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Sandi Rog ~ The Master's Wall ~ Book Giveaway

Welcome to Sandi Rog, currently enjoying rave reviews of her debut novel, The Master's Wall. She lives in Denver with her husband Karsten and their four children.

What led you to the career choice of becoming a writer?

I lived in Holland and had little contact with anyone for the first few years I was there. I didn’t speak enough of the language to communicate with others, and I needed an “outlet,” so I started writing. From that, it kept on growing, even after I finally mastered the language. I’d developed a taste for writing that I couldn’t let go. It was something I could do while staying home with the children and being there for them.

Have you had to overcome any obstacles in your writing journey?

Just learning the craft. Which I’ll always be learning.

What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?

Whatever is on my heart at the time. It varies.

How long have you known that you wanted to be novelist?

I didn't always want to be a writer. I had other plans. Like becoming an actress or a singer. Once I hit college, I decided acting and singing weren’t for me. But there was always one constant: writing. When I was in fifth grade, I wrote a poem that an adult didn’t believe I wrote. I was shocked by his accusation because I had indeed written the poem all by myself. At the time, I didn’t realize his accusation was a compliment. I also wrote some short stories for a project in Junior High. The teacher thought one of my stories was true and shared with the class how important it is that we “write what we know.” I destroyed her point when I announced that the story was actually fiction. I don’t think she was too happy with me after that. However, by this time I was old enough to see the compliment. In high school, after convincing my mom that the 17 absences I had in English were a computer glitch (I still had an "A"), you'd think I would have realized I had a knack for words and for "telling stories."

What is the hardest part after the book is published?

Marketing. It takes away from the time I could be writing. It drives me nuts!

What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?

My most difficult problem right now is my struggle with pride. I’m being published through a small press, but it’s a press I know God has chosen. Still, I wanted a big house so I could be looked upon as having “made it.” I know, I know. It’s nothing but pride and arrogance. I’m constantly reminded of the reason I started writing to begin with, and that was to reach souls. To bring people closer to God through my stories. I often have to refocus on that and not allow the pride of this world to rule me.

How is your inspirational historical novel different from other titles out there?

I simply love history, and I also don’t think anything I could write for the modern world would come across believable. After living in Holland for thirteen years, I’m really not up on trends and all the American colloquialisms.

What are you working on right now?

FATHER’S ROCK, Book Three in the IRON AND THE STONE series.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?

YAHSHUA’S BRIDGE, Book Two of my IRON AND THE STONE series, is due to come out in the Fall of 2011. This one comes after THE MASTER’S WALL.

YAHSHUA’S BRIDGE is an unusual title. Please explain how it came to be:

“Yahshua” is the Hebrew translation of Jesus’ name. The popular “Hebrew” usage today is “Yeshua,” but after doing a ton of research, I discovered that “Yahshua” is actually closer in accuracy to the Hebrew. “Yeshua” is really the “Greek” transliteration of “Yahshua.” Also, “Yahshua” is more similar to “Yahweh.” I just love having Jesus’ name on the front of my book! Anyway, then we have the “bridge.” The meaning of the bridge is revealed in the book, and the answer to me is quite simple, but I’m discovering not everyone can figure it out, so it’s best to let you discover what the bridge is by reading the book.

The theme of Yahshua’s Bridge is based on Romans 7 and our struggle between doing right and wrong. Enslaved by sin. Set free by Christ.

Here’s the book jacket description for YAHSHUA’S BRIDGE:

An amethyst stone draws him to his past. An elusive maiden draws him to his future.

Alexander is born into slavery under an abusive master: a master of his own flesh and blood . . . a man he will never call Father. Determined to break away from his master’s hold, Alexander devises a plan to purchase his freedom. But what's he to do when he finds himself shipped off in shackles to Egypt, disappearing from the lives of everyone he knows and loves?

The third book is called FATHER'S ROCK which takes place in Trier, Germania during the reign of Constantine (several generations later from the first two books). The main character, Ander, doesn’t understand how there can be a kind and loving God with so much evil in the world. He struggles with belief, and really is angry with God. In this story, the amethyst stone (which appears in all three books and is passed down the family line) represents the kingdom/the church. The main theme of this story is our God-given choice between good and evil. Ander blames God, but who’s to blame, really?

Here’s a book jacket description for the FATHER'S ROCK:

As a thief, all Ander knows is the master who rescued him after his parents were murdered. Ander's criminal behavior becomes an art and his passion.

During a drunken stupor, his master reveals an uncut amethyst stone shaped like a star. Ander recognizes the unique jewel that once belonged to his father—a stone passed down from generation to generation. Is it possible that the man who rescued him murdered his parents?

Disillusioned, Ander escapes his master and goes in search of his past. Little does he know, the past is waiting for him.

Has being an author been everything you thought it would be? If not, what has surprised you the most?

No. The part that has surprised me the most is the amount of marketing that is expected of us authors. I just want to write my stories, but I’m realizing to do that and get them sold, I have to develop my marketing skills.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

Numerous children’s books, and I have an inspirational historical romance that was my “practice novel” that still needs to be published. But I’d like to focus on my IRON AND THE STONE series first.

Tell us about The Master's Wall.

The Master’s Wall takes place at a villa just outside of Rome in A.D. 80.

Here’s the book jacket description:

He fights for his freedom. She fights for her life. Together, they fight for each other.

After watching Roman soldiers drag his parents away to their death, David, a young Hebrew, is sold and enslaved to serve at a villa outside of Rome. As David trains to become a skilled fighter, he works hard to please his master and hopes to earn his freedom. However, an opportunity to escape tempts him with its whispering call. Freedom beckons, but invisible chains hold him captive to the master's granddaughter, an innocent girl with a fiery spirit. David vows to protect Alethea from his master, the murderous patriarch, and contrives a daring plan—sacrifice his own life to save hers.

Where did you get the idea?

I’ve always been an avid reader, and after I became a Christian, I decided to clean up my reading and picked up Christian fiction. After wading through sermon after sermon, waiting for the stories to get started, only then to be disappointed in the non-scriptural conversions and teachings, I decided to write what I wanted to read.

The Roman era intrigued me because it was the same time period that Jesus walked the earth, and there are so many similarities between the Romans and us today: roads, mile-markers, amphitheaters for their many games (think football), daily bathing, cosmetics, etc. Some folks like to say, “times have changed” since then, but in many ways they haven’t. I wanted to bring all of that to life, to show just how much the Bible still applies to us today.

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

There's a piece of myself in all my characters. Even the bad guys. My bad guy in this story (the grandfather) is a bit insane and arrogant. E-hem. I'm ashamed to say I see a little of myself in him as well! Aaack! Better work on that. I also see myself in David. He's hot tempered, but has a passion to please God. Yep, that's me. Then there's Alethea. She's carefree and foolish, but at the same time shrewd, especially when it comes to protecting her own hide. Yes, that's me, too. :-)

How long did it take you to write THE MASTER'S WALL?

About three years. The first two years I discovered I had a lot to learn about the craft of fiction (the rules are different than non-fiction; and the research was horrendous), so I worked on a simpler manuscript to learn the craft. I wanted this series to be “perfect,” so I used my “practice novel” to make all my mistakes. I spent several years learning, editing and perfecting the craft, but then I got sick. My only “writing” regret was that I hadn’t finished this story. After that, I finished it in a year.

Some authors report writing 5-10 thousand words a day. Do scenes flow freely from your veins, or do you have to tweeze each word out?

Sometimes they flow freely, and other times, I have to tweeze each world out. Once I get the opening lines down, it seems to come by itself. For me, it’s a matter of sitting down and getting started.


How did you end up getting your book published?

THE MASTER'S WALL was a finalist in The Genesis (a popular novel competition offered by ACFW), and shortly thereafter, I obtained an agent. I’d already heard of DeWard Publishing and communicated with them. In fact, as I was literally writing the last line of THE MASTER'S WALL, I found them. A friend of mine was published through DeWard Publishing, and when I learned the publishers were Christians, I felt my book would be perfect for them.

However, my book finaled in this big competition and I got an agent (not an easy task). I was hoping one of the bigger houses would take on my book, but I was honestly afraid of them. I feared they’d want me change the meaning of it to fit their doctrines. So, as much as I wanted to see my book with a big house (because that would mean my book would be on the shelves and mean more sales), I really wasn’t up for a fight (I was struggling with MS at the time, and had very little energy). So, I asked God to make it easy on me and have them close the doors if He didn’t want my book there.

It would have been very stressful to have signed a contract with a large house, then have to fight with their editor about my baptism scene (they would have had the right to change it in the end without my final say). God was good. He closed the doors (I had a feeling my story belonged with DeWard anyway because they are brethren and because of the timing of when I found them), but He didn’t allow me to get discouraged. Editors at the big houses said they’d never gotten so “sucked into a story set in Roman times” before. Despite that, because my story fell under the Biblical fiction genre, and they weren’t looking for Biblical fiction, they didn’t think it’d sell. Strange, I know, considering they’re “Christian houses.” But I believe Got put my book where He wanted it. And now I get to write what I want.

What do you hope your readers get out of your work?

My biggest prayer and hope is that my writing will draw people closer to God, that readers will question what I’ve written and compare it to what’s in scripture, to dive into their Bibles and see what God has to say.

WHERE TO FIND YOU ON THE WEB:

http://www.sandirog.com/

www.facebook.com/sandirog

http://www.sandirog.blogspot.com/

http://www.thebookdoctorbd.blogspot.com/

Sandi, thank you for stopping by and sharing with us. To have the possibility to receive a copy of The Master's Wall:

  • Leave a comment with your email (name at domain name dot com). 
  • To make it a little more fun, go to Sandi's blog or this blog post and find out something of interest that is different from all other comments about Sandi or one of her characters. 
  • Giveaway closes Sunday, January 16, 2011 at midnight (CST). 
  • Only US postal codes.
  • If you're reading this on Feedburner, Facebook, or Amazon please come to http://www.ajhawke.blogspot.com/ to leave your comments.



26 comments:

Kathy Cretsinger/Katt Anderson said...

Can't wait for the other two books to come out. I loved The Master's Wall. In fact, everyone I know that has read it loves it. Keep up the good work, Sandi.

Pat Iacuzzi said...

Have The Master's Wall and I'm hoping to win a second copy to give to my church library--Thanks for the opportunity, A.J.!

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Sandi, Enjoyed your intereview. Went to your blog and saw pics of your children and was glad you were able to come home for Christmas and be with your lovely family. Wishing you great health in 2011 and my all your dreams come true. Our prayers are with you.

I have had the Masters Wall on my wish list from the first review I read. I am hoping (fingers crossed) to buy it soon. I would love to win so please put my name in the drawing. Thanks

misskalllie2000 at yahoo dot com

Martha A. said...

I think that is interesting that they did not think it would sell because it was biblical fiction. I am always looking for more good biblical fiction as most of it around is from the '90's, which I read all of when I was a teen.
Thank you for the chance to win!
martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Ann Lee Miller said...

Sandi,

Thanks for sharing so openly about your illness and your gratitude for the people who are surrounding you. You help me see how God takes care of us in the worst of life.

Warmly,
Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

Gina said...

What a fantastic post! I can't wait to read all your books! Good luck in 2011 and my prayers for special blessings are with you, Sandi, you are an inspiration. A.J., it's so nice to meet you, & your blog is beautiful. Thank you both, Regina

Jackie S. said...

Already have the book and about to begin reading it. Just wanted to say "Sandi, you are an inspiration and are in my prayers for great health."

lgm52 said...

Would love to read this book...thank you for sharing a story with us!
lgm52@hotmail.com

Tressa said...

This book sound really interesting.
tressa(dot)sherman(at)hotmail(dot)com

Sandi Rog said...

Thank you everyone for stopping by! For those that have the book, and for the one who wins the book, I hope you enjoy it!

Hugs in Him,

Sandi

by Pegg Thomas said...

I'm working on my first book and it's like you've mentioned, a lot of learning so far! Just the other day it occurred to me that a part of myself peeks through in each character, I found it encouraging to see that you feel the same way!

twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

karenk said...

a wonderful posting....thanks for the chance to read sandi's novel...

ps...sandi, you are in my prayers.

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

This was a wonderful post!
I am appreciative for the opportunity to win this book:)

I know that Sandi's life is a testimony to God's grace, and her book is God's blessing to us all!

chakasa58 at gmail dot com

Jennifer said...

I would love a chance to win this book! Thanks
Jennifer

jmschwindt0306 at gmail dot com

Amanda Stephan said...

Sandi said: "No. The part that has surprised me the most is the amount of marketing that is expected of us authors. I just want to write my stories, but I’m realizing to do that and get them sold, I have to develop my marketing skills."

Tell me about it! You're doing a great job, though! Thank you AJ for hosting this giveaway and helping authors. (and for the opportunity to win!)

kjv1611as at gmail dot com

Kait said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kait said...

"Just learning the craft. Which I’ll always be learning."

My oh my isn't that true! As I am in the middle of co-authoring my first book with my best friend, which is also a biblical fiction, I have learned that this is definitely truth!!
Great interview! I've never read this book and would love the chance! Keep up the good work, Ms. Rog, and God bless!

Kait
momiswayweird(at)gmail(dot)com

angie said...

This sounds like a great read! I would love to be entered!
Thanks!
bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

Cheryl said...

Would love the chance to read your book. Please enter me.
Cheryl
cheryl[at]cherycope[dot]com

Jan Marie said...

I confess that I had never heard of Sandi before the prayer request for her came through on the ACFW site. Now she is in my prayers daily - we have fought that battle in our home and emerged victorious so just keep trusting for healing and He will deliver. I love the tag on Sandi's web site: "When the world says you can't, faith says you can!" So much truth in those words!

I would love to read "The Master's Wall" - thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

Great interview, A.J.!


janmarien[at]embarqmail[dot]com

Katy said...

I have seen Sandi and her book around the blogging world. I'd love to win the book!

~ Katy

legacy1992(at)gmail(dot)com

Carman said...

I can't wait to read this book and the rest of the series! It really looks like something I would like! Please enter me. :)

booklovercb at yahoo dot com

Sandi Rog said...

Thank you everyone for your prayers! I can't tell you how much they're appreciated.

lynnadavidson said...

I appreciate the opportunity to win this book. This year I will be writing book reviews on my blog and interviewing authors. If I win this book then I will add it to my list of reviews.
Thank you!

polilla.writes at gmail dot com

Michelle R said...

What a wonderful opportunity! Thank you so much for offering it!

momredding5[at]aol[dot]com

Glenda said...

Would love to try a new author! Look forward to reading the book.

gka444 at gmail dot com

 

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About Me

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I love the wind in my face, the open sky before me, the romance and flavor of the West, but, most of all, our loving and living God, who created it all. I love how He works out His plans in the realm of human events, which is His Story. I have been blessed with a gift: a compulsion to write Historical and present-day novels set in the American West that demonstrate His power to transform ordinary people into true heroes and heroines. I am just a scribe really. I find the joy of participating in the creation of inspirational fiction indescribable. May our Lord Jesus Christ receive all of the credit and be glorified.

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