Aicha Zoubair

Jessica Bell

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Erin Sands on Her Personal Life, Her Favourite Quote & More @TheDunesBook #NonFiction #TBR


Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California, Erin grew up with an innate love for dance, theatre and the written word. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Erin began her career in the arts as an actress and choreographer. After booking several notable roles in television and film, Erin began to use her gift of writing in blogs featuring political and social commentary, as well as developing content for theatrical use.

Although The Dunes, is a divine departure from Erin’s previous writings it is by far her most cherished work to date. “I wrote The Dunes initially as self therapy because I needed to release some painful experiences and disappointments from my past. I had this thirst to walk in the complete fullness of life with joy as my constant companion. I had no idea what effect it would have on other people. But when I saw people read it and be released from fears that had held them back for years…when I saw people forgive and be able to walk in the freedom forgiveness brings…when I saw people commit and serve and how those things opened up new opportunities in their life, I was just humbled. Humbled by the awesome power of God and humbled that I had been allowed to go along for the ride”.

When asked why she writes, Erin pauses and reflects on the truth of her heart. “I write because although I am only now beginning to truly love the process, I have always loved the outcome. Like a composer, words become my notes. I string them together in song eliciting the response of my reader, grafting a picture of my soul. Where besides the written word can you effect change so utterly and so succinctly? What besides the written word can pierce the universal collective mind? Everything begins with a thought, but it isn’t until that thought is articulated in written word and those words passed down can life changing movement happen. It must be written, it must be expressed on tablet, and when it is, we all become greater, whether the writing be genius or fatuity, it has evoked thought and debate. Why wouldn’t I want to be apart of that phenomenon? Why wouldn’t I want to share my story, give my testimony…add my paradigm to the mix? Whether it is a novel, a poem, an essay or an article, it is humanity visited. An insight into a new or sometimes shared truth. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. And with that I live my life”.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
It’s funny but writing a book sharing your experiences and insights about overcoming self-doubt and fear in no way exempts from moments of self-doubts and fear in your own. I think it is something that on one level or another, as long as you are growing and challenging yourself, you will sometimes encounter. I do think the difference will be how you deal with it. Hopefully with grace, class and a very introspective insight into your triggers. Nowadays when those feelings come up for me I face them head on. I take a minute to truly examine what it is that is making me feel that way. Is it irrational?  Is it motivated by an experience from my past? Is it blocking me from fully experiencing life? When I locate the source of my feelings, I pray about it and do it anyway. I do “it” whatever “it” is in spite of any fear or trepidation. If I am feeling insecure, I do it anyway. If I am feeling scared about the outcome, I do it anyway. I determined long ago that although I may not be able to control my feelings, I do however, have control over my actions and I do “it” afraid.

What scares you the most?
The thing that scares me the most is not doing all that I feel that God has placed on my heart to do, like travelling and experiencing different cultures and learning new languages. I have been to 4 different countries and I am currently learning two different languages (Spanish and Sign-language) but there is so much more I want to learn and there is so much more I want to see. Not taking the opportunity in life to do those things scares me. The idea of reaching the end of my life and to not have fully explored the profound beauty of this earth would deeply sadden me.

What motivates you to write?
I am motivated by passion. If there is a topic that I feel passionate about politically or socially I write about it. If a story pops into my mind, I turn it into a script, a play or a short story. I am very motivated by the “moment”. I initially wrote The Dunes because I was journaling. I was going through a very tough time emotionally and I decided to turn what I was feeling into an allegory. I had no idea if what I wrote would resonate with readers or have any affect outside of my personal life. I did know, however, that I was willing to put it to the test. I put an ad on Craigslist asking for strangers to read my book, answer the journal questions and do the challenges while I chronicled their journey on film. The results amazed me! I witnessed peoples lives literally transform. I knew that I had something very real on my hands and I knew that I needed to get it published. That’s the beauty of writing. To be able to share an experience or make someone smile or laugh just because they can identify with what you have written is motivating in and of itself.

What are you most proud of in your personal life?
In my personal life I am most proud of my relationships. I have been blessed to exist in a community of family and friends that truly cherish and appreciate each other. We celebrate life, God and each other. This is by design. You have to seek people out of like mind and like interests, who enjoy life, value peace and will challenge you to be better. I have made an active choice to surround myself with those types of people. My life is low on drama and high on fun, love, laughter and enlightenment.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I am a United States citizen and I reside in Southern California. I love my country and my state so there is no place else I would rather live. That said, I also LOVE to travel. I love learning about other cultures and experiencing different traditions. This year I went to Mexico with my husband and learned all about the Mayan culture and explored the Mayan ruins. Those are the things that make life worthwhile to me. Seeing other parts of the world and learning and experiencing the history behind different civilizations and cultures.

If you could study any subject at a university what would you pick?
The book that I am reading right now is: Guns, Germs and Steel…the fates of human societies by Jared Diamond. I love history. I love to read about political and the history behind the cultural development of different people throughout the world. I have a Bachelors degree in Dance and Theatre but I am definitely going to pursue getting a second degree in history because I find cultural archaeology extremely interesting.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
As I embarked on my self-publishing journey I also embarked on a journey of inspired quotes. Before I published my book, I would literally just take the time to meditate about life and write down my thoughts in the form of quotes. I put my quotes on top of a picturesque background and began posting them on Facebook and Twitter. The response has been out of this world! So as of today, although I enjoy many quotes by the likes of Maya Angelou and others, my favorite quotes are my own. One that really struck a cord with people was: What has procrastination ever done for you that makes you remain so loyal to it?

Who designed the cover?
Derek Murphy of CreativIndie designed my book cover. The great thing about Derek is that he is willing to work with you until you get your cover design exactly the way you like it. The book cover is one of the most important aspects of your book. It needs to say everything in a glance. It gives the reader a glimpse into your story and your vision as well as what you want to share with them. I am not going to lie; getting your cover just right can be a challenging journey. Derek and I went through several revisions before I was satisfied. The process really helps you to become more acutely aware of what you are trying to deliver to your reader. It is your first “hello” and it is important. I was very happy with my cover design in the end. I think it is a perfect articulation of the journey aspect of The Dunes as well as the beauty and the transformative nature of that journey.

What was the hardest part about writing this book?
The two most difficult parts of writing The Dunes were the allegory sections in the first and second revelations and the Commentary section. The allegory section of The Dunes tells the story of two characters: The One and The Other. Although, as the story unfolds the reader quickly learns that The One and The Other represent a man and a woman, I chose not to reveal which was which until the very end of the second revelation. I did this because I did not want the reader to identify with the character simply because they shared the same gender identity. I wanted the reader to identify with the character in which they shared the same fear paradigm. So for the first two chapters you do not know which character is the woman and which character is the man. You just know each of the characters challenges and fears. Still…it is incredibly hard to write without pronouns. I was relieved when I got to the third revelation and I could write more freely. Writing the commentary section of The Dunes was challenging because I had to be very transparent and share some very personal experiences from my life. But I knew that there was no way that I could ask readers to take this very introspective journey if I wasn’t willing to do the same in return.


If there was a journey that could masterfully change your life in seven revelations...would you take it? 

In life, sometimes the kernels of wisdom and the richness of revelation can be found in the most innocent of stories; and so it is with The Dunes. Join one man and one woman in an exquisitely simple yet remarkably profound journey as you discover with them that the mountain you must climb in order to live the abundant life of your dreams is located squarely within your heart. 

Illuminated in seven revelations; The Dunes carries the reader on a journey to not only examine the obstacles that are holding them back in life but to conquer and over come them as well. With each revelation The Dunes intimately calls on the reader as the journey companion to face a challenge…a dare if you will that requires an uncompromising commitment to change. In the family of faith-based self help books, The Dunes stands alone, simultaneously taking the reader from fiction to life and back again, equipped with a tailor made journal for the readers inner most secrets and reflections. The Dunes is part allegory, part testimony and part journal, but the best part is the healing it offers your heart. When you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone and step into the miracle of your life…The Dunes awaits. 

CAUTION: Readers of this book are subject to significant changes for the better. Side effects may include frequent smiling and enjoying life in every season.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Non-fiction
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Erin Sands on Facebook & Twitter