Sunday, May 30, 2010

Guest Post - Sandra Dallas, Author of Whiter Than Snow (and a GIVEAWAY!)

(Be sure and read the end of this post to see how you can have a chance to win this new book!)

I'm privileged today to have Sandra Dallas as a guest blogger. She'll be sharing with us some of her experiences as a writer and how it has changed her life. But first, here's info on her newest novel, Whiter Than Snow:

Whiter Than Snow
WHITER THAN SNOW opens in 1920 on a spring afternoon in Swandyke, a small town near Colorado’s Tenmile Range. Just moments after four o’clock, a large split of snow separates from Jubilee Mountain high above the tiny hamlet and hurtles down the rocky slope, sweeping up everything in its path – including nine young children who are walking home from school. But only four children survive.

WHITER THAN SNOW takes readers into the lives of each of these families. Ultimately, each story serves as an allegory to the greater theme of the novel by echoing that fate, chance and perhaps even divine providence, are all woven into the fabric of everyday life. And it’s through each character’s defining moment in his or her past that the reader understands how each child has become its parent’s purpose for living.

Of WHITER THAN SNOW, Kirkus Reviews writes that Dallas's "Sense of time and place is pitch perfect and her affection for her characters infectious.” The Denver magazine 5280 praises the novel as well: "Without slipping into sappiness, Dallas has crafted a touching portrait of small-town humanity – a read unquestionably worthy of a rainy afternoon and a good cup of tea.” According to Roundup Magazine, "Dallas has written another important story with engaging, unforgettable characters drawn from America’s melting pot. Highly recommended.”

WHITER THAN SNOW was selected by the Indie Booksellers for the April 2010 Indie Next List.

Check out SandraDallas.com for information about WHITER THAN SNOW, as well as to find out more about Sandra Dallas herself. Highlights include:

-About WHITER THAN SNOW: http://sandradallas.com/fiction/snow.html
-An excerpt from WHITER THAN SNOW: http://sandradallas.com/excerpts/snow-excerpt-1.html
-Sandra's WHITER THAN SNOW book tour schedule: http://sandradallas.com/appearances.html
-Sandra's newsletter: http://sandradallas.com/newsletter.html

And now, here's Sandra:

Writing is lonely work. Sitting in front of a computer all day with no one to talk to except your characters isn’t the best way to make friends. So I was surprised and pleased to discover that one of the rewards of being an author is friendships with other writers.


We’re competitors, I suppose, but more often, we’re compatriots, talking up each other’s work, supporting fellow authors in down times, and celebrating our friends’ successes.

Last week, I attended a book signing at the Tattered Cover in Denver for Manuel Ramos, whom I got to know when we worked together a couple of years ago on A Dozen on Denver, a book of short stories about the city. His new book is King of the Chicanos. I ran into Warwick Downing, who wrote The Trials of Kate Hope, at the signing; we were there because we were anxious to read the book, but we also wanted to support Manuel. Wick Downing comes to my signings, and I go to his, but more important, he is a good ear. I complained to him about problems I had with Whiter Than Snow, and he not only listened, but as a writer, he made suggestions.
I’ve known other writers my whole life, of course. My friendship with Arnie Grossman, author of Going Together, goes back more than 50 years, to the University of Denver, where he was editor of the school newspaper and I was editor of the yearbook. We stayed close friends over the years, partly because we understand the trials the other is going through and help when we can. Arnie critiqued the chapter on Essie Snowball in Whiter Than Snow.

For me, this circle of writer friends started more than 15 years ago, at a dinner party given by John Dunning, author of the Clifford Janeway mysteries. That was not long after my first novel, Buster Midnight’s Café, was published. Four or five mystery writers attended that evening, along with their spouses, a dinner with a good bit of shop talk. Dunning is sort of our mouth, the one who articulates the writer’s life. I came away exhilarated—and also wondering why I was the only author in the room who couldn’t produce a who-done-it. So I was thrilled a couple of years later when my novel The Persian Pickle Club was published and picked up by mystery bookstores. One of the novelists I met that night was Diane Mott Davison, the culinary mystery writer, who had just published her first book, Dying for Chocolate. A couple of years later, she suggested I write a novel made of letters, which I did in Alice’s Tulips.

These writers have become more than professional friends. I had coffee with Francine Matthews, author of The White Garden and the Jane Austin mysteries (under the name Stephanie Barron,) a couple of weeks ago to talk about marketing, and she ended up recommending something on a personal level that is turning out to have a major impact on my life.

Every summer we have a writer party at our house in the mountains, and yes, there is plenty of in-house talk, but we’re more than writers. The conversations often veer into politics and local issues. And sooner or later we get around to speculating on how the Denver Broncos will do in the fall. None of us is going to touch that one.
 
Sandra Dallas
Whiter Than Snow

Now, for the GIVEAWAY! Would you like to win a copy of this new novel? All you have to do is add your name and email to the comment section. I will choose a winner on June 13, so don't wait to enter!

11 comments:

Midwestern Gone Idahoan said...

Choose me!!

Suzanne

suzannebake@gmail.com

angie said...

OOO you are from Denver? Me too! And hoping the Broncos do great this year. But don't we always hope that:)
Thanks for the giveaway!
bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

bluerose_shelnut said...

You have an award @ www.bluerosesheart.blogspot.com

Inside A Book said...

I truly enjoy Sandra Dallas and her voice! I would love to win!!

Here's hoping...

Gaye

gayejunk(at)vaterlaus(dot)org

karenk said...

i'm interested in reading this novel...thanks for the chance :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Misusedinnocence said...

I would love to read this. Thanks! :)

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Judy, I would love to have a chance at the book giveaway. Thanks

res0k5vf(at)verison.net


P.S. I LOVE your blog!

Debbie F said...

Please include me! Thanks

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

bluerose_shelnut said...

I left a comment, but didn't enter. Please enter me. :)
bluerose_shelnut(at)yahoo(dot)com

Barbara said...

I really enjoy her books. I would love to win this new one.

quiltyreader(at)gmail(dot)com

Page Turner said...

I read Prayers for Sale last year, so I'd love a chance to win and read this one!