Chandra Sparks Splond is one productive writer.
She’s a novelist, power blogger and regular conference speaker–and she’s here to spread some wisdom with all of you fellow writers.
Chandra is the author of inspirational fiction for young adults and middle grade readers, and has her first novel for adults coming out this summer. Spin It Like That was chosen as a 2009 Popular Paperback for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and The Pledge was a 2010 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. (Check out all of her books on Amazon.) She’s also the host of the popular blog, Book of Splond, which provides wonderful information and inspiration. (Check out her blog here.) She’s also going to be a speaker at the upcoming SCWC writing workshop this June. (Check out the conference website here.)
I recently got the chance to talk to Chandra about all aspects of her life (writing and otherwise), and found her to be very inspiring.
Enjoy her insights!
Question: How did you get started in writing?
Writing books is something that I’ve wanted to do since I was fourteen years old, but I didn’t actually sit down to write one until after I had my daughter in 2004. Up until that point, I had worked in various aspects of publishing. After my daughter was born though, I realized I couldn’t tell her to pursue her dreams if I hadn’t pursued mine, so I challenged myself to write a book before she turned a year old. I finished my first manuscript a month after her first birthday.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
My main advice for aspiring novelists is to write. As an editor and as an author, I encounter so many people who talk about wanting to write a book, but they never take the time to actually write it. If writing is what you really want to do, then sit down and write.
Q: Tell me a little bit about your blog, and what it’s purpose is.
My blog, Book of Splond, helps women balance faith, family and fiction. I offer inspiring interviews with authors and business owners, as well as posts about issues with which we all struggle such as jealousy and fear.
Q: Give us a little peek into your personal life.
I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. I attended the University of Alabama, and right after college, I moved to New York, where I worked in various aspects of publishing for about thirteen years. I moved back to Birmingham in 2006, around the time I landed my first book deal. I love being back in Birmingham because most of my extended family lives here. I am married, and we have one daughter. We are members of Forty-fifth Street Baptist Church, where my big brother, Andra D. Sparks, serves as pastor. I’m also currently pursuing my master’s degree in instructional design and technology, and in my free time, I love hanging out with my family, reading, watching TV and party planning.
Q: What will you be speaking about at the SCWC this year?
At this year’s conference, I will be talking about Writing a Novel. Readers will be given insight into what it takes to get their book from an idea to a completed manuscript.
Q: What upcoming projects do you have in the works?
By the time the conference is held, prayerfully, my ninth book, It’s Like That, will be released. I’m excited about this book for a couple of reasons: 1) It’s my first book for adults and 2) It catches up with Jasmine Richardson, the main character of my very first published book, Spin It Like That.