AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Sandy Lo (plus giveaway!)
We last spoke to Sandy Lo last year, about the release of her debut novel Lost In You. Sandy's back, and this time she's penned her second book, Dream Catchers. We spoke to her about this latest release, and what she's been up to since her last interview!
Plus, Sandy Lo has three signed copies of Dream Catchers to give away! Simply send an email to the editor (elle.symonds [at] gmail.com) to be entered into the draw. Be sure to put 'Dream Catchers' in the subject heading. Good luck!
We last spoke to you early last year. What have you been up to?
Well, since we last spoke, I've done a few book events in New York, including an awesome release party in my hometown of Staten Island for "Dream Catchers" earlier this year. Along with "Dream Catchers", I wrote a song for the book called "Haley's Letter" which is available on iTunes under the band name Tortured. Other than that, I began my own web show with my friend called "The Sandy Squared Show", where we discuss entertainment and feature new talent.
Tell us more about Dream Catchers.
"Dream Catchers" is like a romantic comedy for young adults. The main female character, Haley Foster, is a bit of an anxiety-ridden social misfit who is very wealthy and sheltered. She basically is bored with her life and doesn't want to return home from college for the summer. She winds up getting on the wrong bus going home, loses her wallet and her cell phone and meets Jordan Walsh, a laidback musician who's pretty much the opposite of her. They push each other's buttons the entire bus ride until they're stranded together. Jordan dares Haley to go with him to New York and break out of her rich girl bubble. She surprisingly takes the dare and learns how to finally live her only life and experiences her first love. For me, the book was so much to write and I've received great feedback from my readers saying how much they enjoyed the story and its characters. They also said they didn't want it to end, which is why I'm currently writing the sequel!
What inspired you to write the book?
I actually wrote the first chapter in October 2001 while I was a freshman in college. So many of Haley's emotions expressed in that chapter was what I was feeling at the time. I went on to find myself and what I truly wanted out of life and who I am over the past nine years. When I went back to writing the novel eight years later, I wanted to finish Haley's journey of self-discovery. I wanted to prove dreams come true and it's okay to chase them, or catch them when they come soaring by.
We understand that you write for StarShine Magazine. Could you tell us more about that?
I am actually the founder and president of StarShine Magazine. I began it as an e-mail newsletter back in 2001 to gain journalism experience, since at the time, that was my career path. By June 2002, I turned the newsletter into a full-blown online magazine that interviewed stars like Goo Goo Dolls, Backstreet Boys, and Aaron Carter. Now, after nine years, I'm still running StarShine Magazine and interviewing today's big stars like Lady Gaga, Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift. In fact, I even got to interview one of my favorite bands 30 Seconds To Mars, who acted as my muse while I wrote "Dream Catchers". I was able to tell them about the book and how they inspired my fictional band Tortured. StarShine has helped bring out the best in me and introduced me to many friends and entertainers that I am honored to know.
How much success did you get with your first novel, Lost In You?
As a self-published author, it's very difficult to get your name out there. I am fortunate to have a platform to publicize my books such as StarShine Magazine. That being said, "Lost In You" has sold fairly well with what little resources I have. Several publications/websites have raved about the book. My favorite review was from Denise Solis, who is a fellow author and mother of Backstreet Boy, AJ McLean. Since the book was influenced by the Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees, it was an honor to have someone so close to them review the book. Denise was also a character in the book and was flattered by that. Overall, I was proud of what I accomplished with "Lost In You" and hope with each book, I gain more readers and keep the ones I have coming back for more.
Do you have any plans to write more? If so, can you give us any details?
I think I will always have plans to write more! There wasn't a time in my life where I can remember me NOT writing something! My next novel will be the sequel to "Dream Catchers", which will probably come out in early 2011. After that, I plan to work on more of a supernatural book, "The Watch Dog", which takes place in Nashville, Tennessee, where I plan to move to next year. That one means a lot to me since it will be dedicated to Brownie, the dog I grew up with. She passed away when I was sixteen, but her memory is so much alive within me. She was my protector and I feel she still watches over me. So I'm taking that beautiful idea and working it into the theme of this book.
You can find out more about Sandy Lo over at her official website.