On the surface, Gillian Stone has it all: wealth, beauty, and the freedom to come and go as she pleases…at least from sunset to dawn. From dawn to dusk, she’s grounded in several hundred pounds of marble. And if that’s not bad enough, her life expectancy is preordained to be short…unless, she can find a certain genie and reverse the wish-spell.
I asked her a little about her other YA novel, Vampire Island.
Zoe Tempest lost both of her parents in a bizarre murder. She moves in with her Uncle Julian Kilmer who lives on a remote island in the Bahamas called Vampire Island. That is when her life changes in a manner more terrifying than anything she could have imagined."
If Vampire Island was made into a movie, she believes Dakota Fanning and Robert Pattinson would be excellent choices for the main characters.
Sandra didn't picture herself as a writer for several years, but the passion for writing was always lurking in her soul. She always had her nose in a book, living in a make believe world. Now, she writes paranormal and urban fantasy and creates her own worlds.
She has one piece of advice to readers: don't get locked into reading just one type of book.
"Try different genres and different authors," she said. "Hopefully, you'll discover new, exciting reads."
Sandra prefers to write on a computer, but when her brain stagnates, it helps to change her surroundings. She will get out the laptop and move to her screened-in porch to write during the summer, or she'll write in the car when she's on a road trip. She also always starts with an outline.
"My muse frequently takes a side road and I tag along," she said with a smile.
Many authors have inspired her in her own work, including Stephanie Meyer, Nora Roberts, Harlan Coben, and Elizabeth Peters. Growing up, though, her favorite author was Louisa May Alcott.
"What an amazing writer," she told me.
When Sandra's not writing, she likes to shop, read, garden, walk and hike.
Some of the challenges that youth face today that Sandra didn't include drugs, AIDS, and hepatitis.
"On the flip side they also have a lot of awesome tech items we didn't: laptops, ability to text, iPods, XBoxes, Playstations, e readers, all kinds of fun stuff," she said.
"Do you have any advice for young writers?" I asked.
"It's never too early to develop your craft. Join writing groups, enter contests, keep a daily journal, write every day. And, above all, don't quit. Don’t give up."