Archive for January, 2010
Thank you to Pump Up Your Book. Here is the interview I did for their virtual book tour promotion of Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths published by Turning Point International.
Do you remember writing stories as a child or did the writing bug come later?
A: I daydreamed constantly as a child, inventing whole new worlds for myself. This lasted well into my teens when my device for falling asleep each night was a cinematic adventure I played out in my mind with myself the beautiful and desirable heroine in some far off place in another time.
Creative writing was always my forte in school. I especially remember one short story in high school about a football player scoring a touchdown which, when read aloud to the class, was declared by all that it could only have been written by an athlete. That was never me. I’m afraid of balls.
Do you remember your first published piece?
A: I certainly do remember my first published piece. It’s “A True Love Story” in Life Choices – Navigating Difficult Paths.
What do you consider as the most frustrating side of becoming a published author and what has been the most rewarding?
A: The most frustrating part is getting noticed. The most rewarding part is getting noticed.
Are you married or single and how do you combine the writing life with home life? Do you have support?
A: I am most happily married for 35 years. Of late, my home life has become my writing life and vice versa. My husband is my biggest supporter and has become a publisher and publicist to help both publish and promote Sex and the Zen of Shopping, my first book. He is also encouraging me to write my memoir and says to put in all the good sex – and not just with him.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing? Where do you like to vacation? Can you tell us briefly about this?
A: I love to shop, travel and entertain. Basically I need to be on the move constantly, whether physically or intellectually. I can be alone and write for days on end; then I explode and have to cook an elaborate meal, set a beautiful table and enjoy the company of good friends.
I’m not sure I know what a vacation is. Traveling is how I live in the now. I used to require traveling to a place where they speak another language or I didn’t feel like I had been anywhere. I certainly don’t want to see the same restaurants and eat the same kind of food. But of late I enjoy reconnecting with old friends, who may or may not live in exotic places.
If you could be anywhere in the world for one hour right now, where would that place be and why?
A: I’d be back in Egypt on the Nile in the Rose Suite at the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan, sitting on the balcony overlooking Elephantine Island, watching the boat traffic and listening to the sounds of the river. Do I really need to explain why?
Who is your biggest fan?
A: My husband.
Where’s your favorite place to write at home?
A: At my dining room table with a view out the picture windows onto the Pacific Ocean.
What’s your favorite library and why?
A: The New Library of Alexandria because of the wonderful coalescence of ancient iconography with modern architecture.
What’s your favorite bookstore and why?
A: Any used book store. I love getting books for cheap, but I especially love finding all those eclectic, out of print treasures that you didn’t even know existed.
Do you have any pets?
A: Not now, but if I did, it would be cats – black ones.
What are you reading right now?
A: Just about any book written by women for women that is a best seller or close to it. I’m reading all genres, but particularly romance and memoirs, trying to figure out if I can write something that will actually sell.
Tell us a secret no one else knows.
A: I don’t think so. It wouldn’t be a secret any more. If it’s worth telling and at all interesting, I want to put it in my next book.
What’s the first thing you notice when you meet someone?
A: Their energy field. Sometimes I feel like I see right past the body, although body language tells you almost everything.
Have you ever won anything?
A: Do elections count? I garnered a big percent of the vote out of a field of candidates for School Board. After that, I lost more votes (on the School Board) than I won. That’s what happens when you are on the side of the students.
What’s on your to do list today?
A: Complete this Interview Form. Continue working on the Press Kit for my website http://www.sandragorenielsen.com to promote Sex and the Zen of Shopping. Work on my next book which will be a memoir recounting my travels in North Africa, including a 6 month hitchhiking adventure across the Sahara. Post an article on my blog www.sandraoffthestrip.com. Make a lamb and bean tajine for dinner. Take a walk along the raging ocean. Take a long bubble bath.
I understand that you are touring with Pump Up Your Book Promotion in February/March via a virtual book tour. Can you tell us all why you chose a virtual book tour to promote your book online?
A: You have to have a presence everywhere you can, but the internet is where it’s happening. It will only grow. Virtual book tours are one of the ways that you have a chance to break through if you’re not connected to one of the big publishing houses that have things sewn up in the conventional channels of distribution and publicity.
I’ve been shopping in exotic places most of my adult life. But what used to be just a fun and adventurous addition to “normal” shopping turned to necessity when our world suffered a financial meltdown. It’s the same story being told over and over again by hard-working, smart people who carefully researched their investments and never considered themselves wild speculators. We were lied to and we got robbed.
But we were “lucky” to sell a furnished high rise condo in Las Vegas with only a $90,000 loss. We made it out on the beginning of the slide, but before the fall over the precipice. We rented a 1,000 sqft condo, moving in with clothes, coffee table, kitchenware, artwork and air mattress.
With a budget of $2500, I furnished the condo in style and comfort. I was surprised that everyone didn’t know how to do that. I was more surprised there are people who think buying “used” or “discount” is beneath them. I suspect those numbers are dwindling. Reality is that we all have to change the way we live.
“Why not write a book about surviving the economy in the style we deserve?” In fact, the first working title was “Surviving in Style” because that is exactly what I feel I’m doing – surviving. My Saturday mornings were spent on shopping safari’s with my shopping sister Esperanza, always with a strict budget and always coming home exhilarated. I felt especially poor one weekend and took only $15 to the Swap to return with a silk kimono, silk peignoir and a flat of fresh, ripe mangoes.
I began to carry my camera. I wrote my ideas, not only about what you could find where, but about the mindset to let go of inhibitions and hang-ups –to get over yourself! Sex and Zen of Shopping: Live Rich by Shopping Smart grew from a hope that I could help others, that I could share a fun (and practical) alternative to feeling down and broke. That’s not a state that I enjoy and don’t think is a place anyone should ever be. I do sincerely hope that Sex and Zen can help you live rich, look good, have fun and be happy.