Wednesday, March 26, 2014

#Giveaway $25 & İnterview with Sandra de Helen!

Sandra will be awarding a $25 Powell's gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Book Two of the Shirley Combs and Dr. Mary Watson series, THE ILLUSTRIOUS CLIENT, shows us the private investigator and her sidekick sharing an office, and introduces their receptionist, Lix. They are hired to influence a young international pop star, Oceane Charles, to pry her away from her older, richer, player of a girlfriend. The cast is made up of people with various ethnicities and backgrounds, and of course the job soon includes solving a murder mystery. Along the way, Mary discovers her latent lesbianism. Set in Portland, Oregon on a superyacht, in a hospital VIP room, at Rose Festival, and other fun places.


1 * Hi, Sandra we want to know you.Tell us some things about you.
Thank you for having me today! I'm happy to reveal a bit about myself. I grew up in the Midwest US in the fifties, moved to Portland, Oregon in 1980 after living in Missouri, Kansas, Alaska, Texas, and Arizona, not in that order. My favorite things are not things, but people and places (still nouns!). My daughter, son and grandchildren, my close friends here and around the world; places: New York City, the Grand Canyon, San Francisco, Egypt, Turkey, Venice, Paris, London, and especially Ireland.

2 *  Tell me secrets about your book. Why did you come up with this name? What was the idea behind the book?
 This series is what I call descended from The Complete Sherlock Holmes. My Sherlock is actually Shirley Combs and her sidekick/narrator is Dr. Mary Watson, a naturopath. The books are set in present day Portland, Oregon. This one is The Illustrious Client, and I got the name from The Adventures of the Illustrious Client by A. Conan Doyle. The secret is

3* You are an author. I'm assuming that you're also a reader. How much do you read in a year?
  I read 50-100 books every year. I used to read my favorites over and over, but that was before I became an author, met other authors and want to read their books in addition to reading authors I don't know personally. I belong to two book clubs. I buy books, borrow books, and check books out of the library.

4* What's your expectation about being an author?  
That I will write until I die. I hope I also publish a lot more books.

5* Are you hanging out on any social media? Which ones do you use most?
  I'm on FaceBook every day, Twitter most days, and I write a blog (well two if you count my cat Stanton's blog).

6* What's your all time Best/Worst Book?
 I won't diss a book. If I don't like it, I stop reading it and move on. Way too many good books to waste my time. The Dollmaker by Harriet Simpson Arnow is one of the books I read many times. I love all of Kate Kasten's books, and the one most overlooked is The De-Conversion of Kit Lamb.

7* I've been writing stories on my own since I was a child. Can you give advice to aspiring authors like me?
 Write every day. When we write every day the story we're working on is alive in us all the time so we are working on it even when we aren't writing. Read good authors, not to write like them, but to see what it is they're doing that makes them "good." Take classes or workshops in areas you feel less strong in: structure, plot development, characterization, dialogue, whichever it is for you. And make time in your life to write every day, even for ten minutes.

8* Do you have another job besides being an author? 
Not any more. I'm retired from the day job. But I wrote every day for twenty years while I also raised a family and worked full time.

9* What types of things do your family and friends say about you?
  They say I'm a good friend, that I follow through, and I'm dedicated. I work at each of these things because I can always get better. Or try.

10*It was so lovely to talk with you. Is there a something you want to add? 
Thank you so much. Best of luck with your writing! That goes for everyone who writes or wants to.


  1. Great interview today, thanks for sharing a peek into your very interesting life.

    ilookfamous at yahoo dot com

  2. Thanks for hosting today! I loved answering these questions. Hey Elise-Maria! I see you everywhere. Thank you so much for commenting, and following this trail.


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