Have we mentioned how much we love books? Taking time for yourself every now and then to indulge in a great book is something we at RO HQ think is SO very important. Our Date With A Book Gift Packs have been designed with YOU in mind - whether they're the friendly nudge you need to read and recalibrate, a way to dabble in a different genre, to make gifting easy peasy, or to be introduced to a fabulous new author!
Our latest Gift Pack features Australian author Sandie Docker, with signed copies of two of her recent novels for you to choose from. We sat down with Sandie and had a chit chat about all things books and writing. Keep reading to learn more about this wonderful woman and the inspiration behind some of her novels!
RO: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
SD: I always find this a hard question to answer, because I think I’m pretty boring. I’m just a small-town girl who grew up in Coffs Harbour (back when its population was only 25,000 people) and somehow stumbled upon a passion for putting the stories inside my head down on paper. I ‘dabbled’ with my writing for a very long time before deciding to take it seriously in 2011, and then it took years of writing, submitting, rejection, tears, luck and joy before my stories found a home in 2018. I now have 3 books published, one translated into German, and another on the way in 2021!
RO: What sparked your passion for books and writing?
SD: My passion for books, without a doubt, came from my Dad, who was an avid reader. But I came to a love of reading much later in life than you might expect, which I explain a little more in the next question. As for writing, again, I discovered my desire to be a writer not as early as you’d might expect. It wasn’t until I was at uni that one of my lecturers suggested I might have a talent for writing, and that sparked the initial idea that I could give writing a go. Before that, though, it wasn’t on my radar as an option. But once I took those first steps into writing that first manuscript (which, by the way, is so awful it will never see the light of day), I knew I’d found my ‘home’.
RO: What was the first book that you really connected with?
Unlike most authors, I didn’t love reading as a child. In fact, I hated it. It wasn’t until my Dad put a copy of Pawn Of Prophecy by fantasy writer David Eddings in my hands when I was about 16 that I truly understood the power and magic of books – their ability to transport you to a different time and place, and paint characters you want to be friends with. To this day, thirty years later, I can still see scenes from that series so clearly in my mind.
RO: Where do you pull inspiration from for your books?
SD: Inspiration is everywhere. I like exploring the stories of ordinary people faced with extraordinary circumstances, and I can find that spark of an idea literally anywhere. I always say that writers are first and foremost observers - we notice things.
Maybe it’s the woman at the shops who wears a different coloured flower in her hair every Saturday, always alone, always smiling, and I wonder what her story is and Hattie from The Kookaburra Creek Café takes shape.
Or I watch a certain dating show and they go on a picnic and sit on an old bench and I can’t get that bench out of my head for weeks and that turns into Charlie and Ivy’s special place in The Cottage At Rosella Cove.
Or I have a conversation with a librarian after one of my author talks and one line she says stays with me and my 2021 release The Wattle Island Book Club is born.
All of my stories start with one random spark of an idea, a picture in my head, that I just can’t shake and I start asking myself questions like who are they, why is this important, what are they doing there…
RO: What are some of your favourite hobbies or pastimes outside of writing?
SD: It’s a no-brainer that as an author, I love to read, primarily women’s fiction and historical, but I’ll give any genre a crack, except horror because I’m a big scaredy-cat. I also love to bake, and sew, and in covid-free times, travel.
RO: We're so excited to be featuring your books "The Cottage at Rosella Cove" and "The Banksia Bay Beach Shack" in our Date With A Book Gift Boxes, can you tell us a little more about the books?
SD: Both are works of contemporary women’s fiction set in small towns, dealing with themes of friendship, family, secrets, love and loss, and where the past and present are woven together.
The Cottage At Rosella Cove follows the story of three damaged souls who have the chance to rewrite their stories. Nicole, flees her city life and finds herself renovating a rundown cottage in exchange for free rent. She meets cranky hermit, Charlie, hiding a desperate pain, and uncovers stash of hidden letters written in WWII by the original owner of the cottage, Ivy. As Nicole begins to uncover Charlie and Ivy’s story, she might just hold the key to help all three of them overcome their pasts.
The Banksia Bay Beach Shackis a story of first love and last chances and of the truths and lies that can connect people across time. Laura travels to the sleepy beachside town of Banksia Bay armed with only two clues to her grandmother’s past – an old photo and a broken pendant. With an eclectic group of locals in her way, who all seem to be hiding something, she pieces together the fragments of a summer sixty years ago and discovers an horrific event that has repercussions reaching far into the present.
Thanks so much Sandie for letting us into your world! We are thrilled to have featured Sandie in our latest Date With A Book Gift Pack. Click HERE to shop the pack!
CONNECT WITH SANDIE:
Instagram - @sandiedocker
Facebook - @sandiedockerwriter
Website - sandiedocker.com