Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Interview with Sandy Nathan, Author of the Tales From Earth's End Saga

Sandy Nathan writes to amaze and delight, uplift and inspire, as well as thrill and occasionally terrify. She is known for creating unforgettable characters and putting them in do or die situations. She writes in genres ranging from science fiction, fantasy, and visionary fiction to juvenile nonfiction to spirituality and memoir.

“I write for people who like challenging, original work. My reader isn’t satisfied by a worn-out story or predictable plot. I do my best to give my readers what they want.”

Mrs. Nathan’s books have won twenty-two national awards, including multiple awards from oldest, largest, and most prestigious contests for independent publishers. Her books have earned rave critical reviews and customer reviews of close to five-star averages on Amazon. Most are Amazon bestsellers.

Sandy was born in San Francisco, California. She grew up in the hard-driving, achievement orientated corporate culture of Silicon Valley. Sandy holds Master’s Degrees in Economics and Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling. She was a doctoral student at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and has been an economic analyst, businesswoman, and negotiation coach, as well as author.

Mrs. Nathan lives with her husband on their California ranch. They bred Peruvian Paso horses for almost twenty years. She has three grown children and two grandchildren.
Her latest books are The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy, Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love and Sam & Emily: A Love Story from the Underground, which are all part of the Tales from Earth’s End series.

You can visit her website at

Visit her blogs: and (blog for writers) (series blog)

Follow her on Twitter:

Friend her on Facebook:

Purchase a paperback copy of Sandy Nathan’s The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy at:

Barnes & Noble

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born in San Francisco, CA. My family moved down the San Francisco Peninsula when I was eight. Where we lived was later named “Silicon Valley.” It was always a place where very bright, hard-working people lived, but when the computer revolution came, the Peninsula became super-fast and intense, a very different place than it was when I was a kid. The change did give me a chance to observe corporate life and values. I’ve used that experience in some of my writing.

In 1995, my family moved to the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara. We have horses and needed extra room for them. We raised a rare breed of horse, the Peruvian Paso, for twenty years. We bred, birthed, raised, trained, and showed our horses. After twenty years, my husband and I went into retirement mode. We have only six horses now.

My fondest childhood memory was riding my horse––I started riding when I was ten––through the beautiful redwood forests of California’s coastal range. Those rides changed my life and put me in touch with the beauty and mystery of nature, and horses.

When did you begin writing?

I’ve written all along. I’ve participated in some form of the arts as long as I can remember. I had a painting in an exhibit of children’s art at San Francisco’s DeYoung Museum when I was five!

Once I started reading and writing, that was it. I read everything I could get my hands on as a kid. The Tarzan series was my favorite. I read voraciously.

Writing came along. I wrote at school––I’ve been in school a long time, I have two master’s degrees, one in Economics and another in Marriage, Family & Child Counseling. I wrote tons of academic papers and I also wrote at work. I was an economic analyst for years and wrote many pages in that profession. My first publications were in economics.

I stared writing fiction when we moved to Santa Ynez. I had no idea that writing novels, writing as a creative art, was different from what I had done.

Boy! Was that ever a shock. I had to learn to write all over again. I was in a writing group run by a local poet for nine years, then spent two years in a group run by a professor of literature. That was a tough group! Most of the people were published authors and didn’t mind sharing their opinions. I’ve worked with a terrific editor for the last six years. She’s as straight with me about my work as the group was, but can communicate her “slash and burn” of my work graciously.

What is this book about?

The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy is about the end of the world. An angelic girl appears on the sidewalks of NYC some two hundred years from now. Or is she a girl? She’s a dancer, for sure. She dances better than anyone at the Hermitage Academy, an elite school for the arts, has seen. She’s on a mission to save her planet. The mission requires her to find “the golden boy.” She finds him at the Hermitage.

Eliana finds Earth in a terrible state. The world has degenerated into a police state where people can be dragged out of their homes and off the streets. They’re tortured and killed; put into camps.

Ellie finds the Golden Boy. They are forced to run, with a few friends, for their lives. A nuclear holocaust will destroy all life on the planet the next morning.

The story sounds grim, and it is, but it’s also about love. Ellie and Jeremy, the Golden Boy, a tech genius trying to save the world, are star-crossed lovers. This is a romance as well as dystopian morality play. As Earth’s end nears, people try to save themselves and clear up the personal traumas in their lives. It’s a book about reconciliation and love, in addition to destruction.

What inspired you to write it?

A big question that I discuss more completely in the book’s Author’s Note. Short version is that my younger brother died tragically a few years ago. I was grieving for him, with all sorts of feelings and memories churning inside. I had a dream early one morning where a radiant golden light hovered above me in bed. The light was everything good, everything beneficent, thrilling and calming at once. It settled onto me, merging with me. I got to feel like that angelic light did for several hours.

Very soon after that, the ideas for The Angel came to me. The angel in my dream became Eliana, and the other characters arose from my experience.

I have very large spiritual experiences and have had them since I was a child, usually when something awful happens. This was one of them; my soul’s way of making sense of the senseless. Because of these experiences, I write visionary fiction––a type of fiction that has a moral core and shows at least some people choosing the good road.

Something else was floating around inside me: extreme concern over the state of the economy now. I am an economist, and all the news I’d heard at that time scared me silly. The world of The Angel is dark, and I think it’s entirely possible that something similar could happen. The historical precedent is there with the rise of the Nazis after the economic disintegration of Germany post-WWI. The Angel was my way of saying, “Wake up people and act like grown-ups. Work together for the solution of our economic woes, or what I show could happen here.” A less extreme version, perhaps, but a police state is entirely possible.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My husband!

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

I have a terrific agent who represents me with the international rights of my books. She found me! That’s what happens if you write your truth and put it out there.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

Does anyone have a smooth journey to publication? I went the “query and reject” route for a while. We ended up forming a small press. I think we’ve done very well. My six books have won twenty-two national awards (and counting). Most have been in visionary fiction, though I’ve won in everything from multi-cultural fiction to juvenile non-fiction.

My primary reason for forming a small press was fear of death. If I’d gone the traditional route, I’d probably be dead before my work was in print. Other reasons for the independent press route concern the psychological system that the traditional publishing world is. I have an MA in counseling. We were trained in systems theory, where an entire family (or any type of organization) is taken as a whole. Who are the major players? How do they operate? Who’s the top dog? The bad kid?

In the traditional publishing world, writers end up psychological children forever. Once I saw that, it made me angry. I refuse to participate in such a system. I’m including a link to an article I wrote that fleshes this out more.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Amazon is the best place. Here is my author’s page. You can get the print and eBook versions of everything I’ve written.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

I have a website, Sandy Nathan––Writing Out of the Box. You can find all sorts of stuff there, videos of each of the books, reviews, excerpts. Info about me. I’ve even got articles that I’ve written about horses and dogs and whatever. Sign up for my newsletter, too. I very seldom send one out: just when I’ve got actual news.

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

My website has videos about each of the books in the Tales from Earth’s End Saga. (The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy is the first book of a three book series, all of which are out and in print and Kindle formats.) The series has it’s own blog that has all sorts of videos of the characters and about the books. There’s a great one about the whole series on YouTube. And, you can check out my YouTube channel and see vids of my books and our horses!

What is up next for you?

I have so many irons in the fire. The book we’re discussing today, The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy, is the first book of the Tales from Earth’s End Saga. The following two books in the series, Lady Grace and Sam & Emily, are available in print and eBook forms. Readers can go directly from reading The Angel to the other two books. I’m doing blog tours with them, just like The Angel.

I’m going to write at least one more book in the Tales Saga, but it will be some time until it is completed. That’s because I’ve got two series going, the wild, futuristic sci-fi Tales and the equally imaginative, contemporary Bloodsong Series. A couple of characters from Bloodsong morph into the future and appear in Lady Grace, Tales from Earth’s End Saga II. The two series may merge in the future, or merely continue to flirt.

I need to bring the two series closer together in terms of time before writing the fourth Tales volume. That involves charging ahead with the Bloodsong Series.

Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money, is the first book of the Bloodsong Series. It has been out a few years and tells what happens when the richest man in the world meets a great Native American shaman. One reviewer called it, “Bill Gates meets Don Juan.” Numenon won six national awards and was a phenomenon in its day.

I’m currently rewriting the draft manuscript of Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem, the sequel to Numenon. It takes place at a Native American spiritual retreat. It’s shaping up very well and should create as much impact as Numenon did. It should be published in 2013. I’m getting ideas for Mogollon’s sequel, an ensemble piece occurring after the retreat participants return to Silicon Valley.


Pump Up Your Book and Sandy Nathan are teaming up to give you a chance to win a new Kindle Fire HD!


No comments: