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Sandra Cassandra by Shawna Lewis

Sandra Cassandra by Shawna Lewis

Hi All!

Today I am on the Blog Tour for Sandra Cassandra and I am here with an author interview for you all.

Before I share that though, here’s some information on the book.

Title: Sandra Cassandra
Author: Shawna Lewis
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Published: 17th June 2021
Format:
 Paperback
Source: N/A
Summary: Seventeen and never had a boyfriend, Sandra is resigned to a life without romance.

 Everything changes when Fergus Hardisty, her father’s fifty-something boss, proposes marriage. Mum and Dad seem keen on the idea, so she accepts. She might never get another chance. 

Yet why do Malcolm Pogson’s eyes avoid his daughter’s? What does he know about Hardisty that others don’t, and why does he cringe with shame when no-one is looking? 

The wedding is lovely, but those watching from a distance know it takes more than a fancy dress and a silver horse-shoe to compensate for marriage to a bloke like Hardisty. They will be watching. 

Home alone, obliged to keep the house as it always has been, Sandra spends her days examining her own failings. When things go wrong and sad things happen, she blames herself, fearing the power of her own thoughts. Is she evil? She must learn to empty her mind so no-one else can be harmed. 

Compassion and healing come from unexpected sources until, slowly, the kindness of strangers leads Sandra from darkness into light and prospects of future fulfilment. 

This is a coming-of-age novel about power: the power of dominance over submission; of vanity over values; good over bad and kindness over cruelty. 

It also shows the positive power of the human will in supporting the young, the weak and the helpless. The power of ordinary people doing ordinary things transforms Sandra’s life and points her way ahead.

Book Links

Author Interview

What is your favourite thing about writing books?
I love the way my mind becomes completely absorbed in what I’m doing. My ears block out  any extraneous noises.  I sit at my desk in complete silence, oblivious to the passage of time, thinking of nothing but the task in hand.

Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
Albertina Hedge is probably my favourite character although she doesn’t appear until Chapter 14. I like her because her appearance is unexpected and breathes new life and energy into the story, despite her own grief and woes. She recognises Sandra’s vulnerability, is not afraid to say what she thinks and, crucially, her comment “Dat was no marriage!” allows Sandra to move forward.

What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
Tea, if anything.

Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing?
My worst habit is slipshod typing, which means I spend more time correcting typos than actually writing. I prefer to write by hand, in pencil.

How did you research your book?
The research was not systematic but the locations described are similar to areas I have known well over the years. These are melded together to create a mental map of the significant settings in the story. I know in my head, for example, the approximate distance between the Pogson home and the Hardisty house in the fictional hamlet of Snellington. It was important to me that the story was a mix of small town, villages, hamlets  and unremarkable countryside where ordinary people live ordinary lives, plus a more distant location where less ordinary events take place.

If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
If I could live in a fictional world I would go back to the days of Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie, set in the Cotswold Hills in the 1920’s. I love the language, the freedom enjoyed by the children, the chaotic nature of Mrs Lee , the beauty of nature and,a charabanc trip being a rare treat, the air was pure.

If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
I would like to befriend Polly Garter from Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood. Polly is ‘no better than she ought to be’, frowned upon by other women in the small Welsh town of Llaregyb, but loved by the men. She has her own morality, which is not determined by restrictive codes of behaviour. Although  dissimilar in nature, I’d like to get to know Polly better.

About the Author

I was born above the family grocery shops in a northern seaside town, started school aged three and at five was sailing to Australia with my parents and sibling, to be taken in by distant relatives who were already building a house for us. My memories of that time are of nothing but kindness, of making do and mending, and the maxim, “Do as you would be done by.”

Back in England, teaching was to be my main career. Later, I had a few magazine articles published and for several years worked as a freelance journalist for two local newspapers. Often with a small boy on the back of my bike, I would pedal around to any event worthy of a few lines. This gave me an insight into the workings of small communities, where most people have grown up alongside one another and know instinctively who can be trusted and who must be avoided. Insights gained during those times  helped frame some of the characters in Sandra Cassandra.

Follow the Tour

Will you be reading this book?

Blue x

Blue is an aro-ace enby who loves reading, writing, playing games and watching movies and tv!

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