Aicha Zoubair

Jessica Bell

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Quick #Author Chat with Sandy Nathan @sandyonathan #AmReading #SciFi #GoodReads

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Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
Many people, starting with my husband. He’s supported me and my writing unstintingly, reading drafts, proofreading, and going along with my sometimes foolish ideas of how to advance my career. He gives 100% of him self to me and our family. I’m grateful to my kids, too. They’re behind me 100%.

My editor is wonderful and I’m deeply grateful for her assistance. She’s got a keen sense of what should be in a story and what shouldn’t. I say she’s got a golden machete when it comes to cutting material. She’s as tough and knowledgeable as the professor whose writing group I was in.

I’m glad that I live in the United States where I have the freedom to write and publish what I want. I’m grateful for pretty near everything and everyone: all the teachers who helped me learn, the jobs I’ve had, and the good and bad experiences.

I’m grateful to God. God is one of the most loaded words in any language. Say God, and some people tighten their jaws and narrow their eyes, saying, “Which God? My God? Do you go to my church/temple/whatever? Do you agree with this scripture? Let me read it to you.”

Things get weird fast. The God I’m grateful to is the one that gave me life and created the universe and keeps it going moment to moment. The God I’m grateful to doesn’t have a name or a face. He/she is the Great One that the shaman Grandfather talks about in my Bloodsong Series. He’ll tell you all about it.

Tell us a bit about your family.
I was born in San Francisco, CA at the end of WWII. (Yes, I am an oldie but goodie.) My dad was of 100% Icelandic stock, his family dating back to the 8th century in Iceland. My mom’s family lived in the Missouri Ozarks for generations.

They got together in Los Angeles where they shared a room in a boarding house. This was very unusual in the pre-WWII era. Verboten, actually.

But they worked it out. My dad had a job working for the government, building some sort of towers (he was an engineer) out the Mojave Desert. He wasn’t home Monday through Friday, so my mom had the room. She cleared out on the weekend, when he was home. So the two managed to share a room and minimize their housing cost without raising eyebrows.

Of course, my mom wasn’t interested in my dad. “He’s a womanizer,” she told my aunt. “There are pictures of four beautiful women in his room. I’d never have anything to do with him.”

Turned out they were his sisters! My aunties. That problem removed, my parents proceeded to fall in love and get married.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
Regarding self-doubts and fear, the most important thing to remember is that they go away. Just leave them alone and they’ll go away, in the same way that a small child will go away if you ignore him or her. But that isn’t true, is it? Doubts persist and come back and hover below consciousness.

I try to stay in a mental state where writing and everything connected with it is a hobby. I do it for fun, not to attain riches and splendor. I don’t care about money, or fame. If I’m writing for fun, the self-doubts and fear don’t come up.

I find this almost impossible for more than a few hours. I think the solution is some kind spiritual practice: meditation, tai chi, chanting, or prayer. Another part of the solution is recognizing that doubts and fear are part of the writing profession, as well as human existence. Self-doubts and fear are normal. There’s nothing wrong with them.

What scares you the most?
The possibility of falling off my horse. I would go splat!

What makes you happiest?
Being at home with my husband and family. I’m in bliss sitting with my husband in the evening, watching Dexter reruns and holding hands. Also, I love to ride my horse. And I love to write. I like all the parts of writing, not just the blissful swinging-through-the-trees initial word dump, known as the first draft.


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Genre – Metaphysical Science Fiction
Rating – R
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