Monday, September 29, 2008

Sandra D. Bricker: Heartthrobs R Us

(This is not Sandie Bricker, but one of her best friends, a collie named Sophie!)

Sandie Bricker knew she was going to be a writer way back in the day. Her dad reminded her of her proclamation as child again shortly before he died. And so it was true!

Now she has written one of the new Love Finds You books and I just saw the ad in a (Parable) Carpenter's Son Bookstore 25th Anniversary flyer (Lafayette, IN.) So cool.

Also, here's some trivia for you: Who sang "Billy, Don't Be a Hero?" Don't know? Well, not only does Sandie know, she took part in publicizing the 3 million records they sold to get a Gold Record.The song is even mentioned in Stephen King's The Stand. Sandie was still doing publicity for various heartthrobs up until she wrote her own heart-thumping novels.

So let's see what this rockin' dog lover who turns a romantic phrase to get the whole country swooning--city by city--was like, back in the Flower-Powered Days:

Childhood Ambition:

I don't remember a time when I didn't want to be a writer. In my professional bio, I tell the story of the prophetic nature of that ambition ... I was just learning to write cursive letters and, on a Sunday afternoon, I figured out how to string together the letters to sign my name for the first time. My dad fell asleep on the sofa while watching a football game, and I ran in and woke him up to declare, "Daddy, guess what! I'm going to be a writer when I grow up!" Of course, I meant writer in the most literal sense but, before he died, my dad reminded me of that day and said I'd always been a girl ahead of my time.

Fondest Memory (then):

I really have so many fond memories of my childhood. It wasn't idyllic or anything ... but I was happy. I spent most of my "formative years" (like the Wonder bread commercial) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Summers were spent running around barefoot, having neighborhood barbecues in the back yard and swimming in our pool or, later, on my dad's boat. (Photo below is of me and my best friend Marian on the boat on the 4th of July, 1979. She's still one of my best friends, all these years later).

Dad had this "secret recipe" for teriyaki steak, and he would always say that whoever helped the cook got the first taste. He'd been an officer in the Marine Corps, and he would often use this silver meat fork with U.S.M.C. engraved on the handle to give me the first bite. I still have that fork in my kitchen to this day.

Proudest Moment (then):

My proudest moment then was in my senior year of high school. I was a page editor on the Conestoga, the school paper, and the teacher who served as the advisor recommended me to write an article about our foreign exchange student, Jorgen, for the Cincinnati Enquirer. I recently found Jorgen on, and I emailed him. After my mom passed away, I found a clipping of that article in one of her books, and I scanned it and sent it to Jorgen, who lives in Paris now. (Photo below of the newspaper article in my mom's book)

Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen:

I've battled a weight problem for my entire life. In fact, I'm still battling it. But it was devastatingly challenging back then. Kids can be so cruel, and I endured a lot of heartbreak that was related to my weight. I pretty much idolized my older brother, and he was one of my harshest critics. And then there was the ongoing boy troubles, broken hearts, low self esteem that result from being overweight ... But I can say this: The scripture that says God turns all things to good for those who are called according to His purpose has been proven true many times over. I think our greatest challenges in life often turn out to produce our most profound lessons learned.

My First Job:

I was a sort of volunteer publicist at around age 16 for a local Cincinnati band that went national with a hit song. They were Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods, and the song was "Billy, Don't Be A Hero." The manager of the band (Bo's mother) offered to pay me and my best friend Joy if we would help organize fans to promote the record. I don't know whether to be proud, or if I should apologize at the same time(the song does tend to replay itself in your head!)to tell you that the record actually sold more than 3 million copies and earned a gold record. And the "paycheck" we got was being allowed to tour with them and being invited to rehearsals now and then. Not that we cared, of course. And by the way, I also found Joy again recently on! I should do a commercial for them.

I took those early skills and rolled them into a career later when I became a publicist for actors in the soaps (General Hospital and Days of Our Lives) in Los Angeles. While P.R. paid the bills, I studied my craft of writing, and my first book (a Christian YA adventure) was published in the early 90's.

Favorite Outfit as a Child:

I grew up in the 60s and 70s, so Flower Power fashion had a big impact on me. I had this shocking pink tunic that hung off the shoulder, with a bright turquoise sash that tied at the waist. I wore it with a skirt that was far too short for me and black go-go boots. I thought I was just as cool as Goldie Hawn on Laugh-In!

Favorite Childhood Movie and/or TV Show:

The first show I can remember really getting into (and I think it was in reruns already when I found it) was The Dick Van Dyke Show. I thought Laura Petrie was so beautiful, and I wanted to marry a man just like Rob Petrie (Of course! He was a writer!). Then later, like every other kid my age, I fell in love with The Monkees (I was convinced I was going to be Mrs. Peter Tork), and I had an enormous crush on Ben Murphy from Alias Smith & Jones. But the life-changing tv show for me was Here Come the Brides. I wanted to be Candy Pruitt so badly, and find romance with Bobby Sherman up in the beautiful forests of Seattle! I just recently bought the first season on DVD, and I seriously found that I could say some of the dialogue right along with them. It left quite an impression on me!

Did you pass notes or have a pen pal as a child?:

I was a big note-passer all through school. I had a group of friends, and we just LIVED for writing notes to one another and folding them up like a flag in those diagonals. I had dozens of pen pals too, and sent around what they called "slams." I don't remember what that stands for, but they were little booklets where you wrote about your interests and then they were passed all around the country, and people with similar interests would write to you. So I had long distance friends who shared my interest in the Osmonds, movies, music, tv shows ... and did I mention the Osmonds? They were very key in a long season of my life back then. And guess who their opening act was on one of their tours! Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods. See how things come full circle?

Childhood Pets?:

I saw an Old English Sheepdog on a tv show called Please Don't Eat the Daisies. Well, I wanted one of my own so much, and I begged my parents for months to get me one. When my father finally agreed that I could have a dog, he came home with a little rat-like creature in his shirt pocket. It was a Chihuahua puppy ... which of course is about the furthest thing from a Sheepdog that there is. Corky lived for 16 years! Oh, and I did finally get my Sheepdog as an adult though; actually two of them, but my best buddy, Caleb, was with me for 14 years until he died of bone cancer. (Photo below)

Anything else you would like to share with readers about your childhood which affected the writer you have become?

I was fairly young when I met the love of my life. He passed away when I was 19, but he started something in me ... or perhaps watered a seed that had been there all along ... and I became a sappy, cry-at-commercials, grab-my-heart-over-love-songs, swoon-at-roses-and-chocolates, true believer in romance! I look back at those years as my beginnings as a writer, and particularly as a romance writer. All these decades later, I'm still a true believer. Love is a powerful thing, especially when it's paired with a hopeless romantic like me. I don't think I could stop telling these Happily Ever After stories if someone offered to pay me to stop!

Any special links? I am a freak about dogs. I love them. Every shape and size and color and temperament. I support several animal welfare organizations, but one of my favorites is the one that hooked me up with Sophie, my 3-year-old Collie, after losing Caleb. The Lost Angels Animal Rescue is a group of tireless warriors on behalf of homeless animals in the Central Florida area. They exist due to donations of time and finances, and I encourage anyone else who loves dogs to consider supporting them.

The daughter of a Marine Corps officer, Sandie has had the privilege of calling many states “home.” Her first book was published in the mid-1990s. Since then, she has published two young adult novels and four romances. Sandie’s books include romantic comedy, romantic suspense, and inspirational romance and have been successful in both general and Christian markets. Her published titles include Wish I Weren’t Here, UnWANTED: Husband, and Change of Heart.

Before Sandie published her first novel, she spent more than 10 years in Los Angeles working as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television’s hottest stars. She now resides in Tampa, Florida, with her best buddy, a Collie named Sophie. Sandie would love for you to visit her website,

Also, visit her Seasonal Blog.
Sandie is involved in writers groups for inspirational writers:
The Faith, Hope & Love chapter of Romance Writers of America:
American Christian Fiction Writers:

Summerside Press Each book will be set in a town somewhere in the U.S.

Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas
by Sandra D. Bricker

Lucy Binoche is not an outdoorsy kind of girl!
In fact, her idea of "roughing it" is suffering
through a long line at Starbucks.
But will she pretend to be someone she's not
just to snag the guy? Or will she discover
someone who loves her just the way she is?

Laugh-out-loud romantic comedy
for the inspirational market.

Go here if you want to see her video!
Leave a comment for a drawing of this book--and if you don't win, it comes out October 1st in a store near you! Drawing will be October 10.


Unknown said...

Sandie, It was nice to get a glimpse into your life. This just proves to me that young people can set goals from the earliest of ages. If you would ask most little girls what they want to be it would have been a nurse, but you knew your calling as a writer. Having supportive parents who encouraged your ventures must have helped you along the way.
Just as a point that wasn't mentioned, we remembered that you came close to having a movie made and Charles Bronson was to be the leading man. Correct? Wow!
You are a positive encouragement to those of us who battle weight problems to. One thing I keep in mind was the Apostle Pauls words when he said, 'God looks at the inner person, not the outward apperance.' It is obvious that you are a woman with a heart full of love, and your writings express it so well. Keep up the wonderful work Sandie!-Dan/Charlotte Kovacevich

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this post. "Billy, Don't be a Hero" was a big hit. I might have even cried the first time I heard the lyrics.

Thanks for sharing such fun photos, too, Sandra!

You'll definitely want to read Sandra's book. She's a wonderful writer and I'm glad she saw her dream of being a published author come true!

Anonymous said...

I pre-ordered this book from and it came last week. I read it in 2 days and loved it! Sandra has such a wonderful way of making the story flow and she has an awesome sense of humor! I love all the mishaps that Lucy has and I could actually relate to her since I'm not an out-doorsy type girl myself! I had never heard of Sandra Bricker before but now I'm going to read her older books too!

br1ghtf00ture said...

Great blog. Very personal. Makes me love Sandie Bricker. Can't wait to read Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Sandie!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your interview and I found out a LOT of things about you I didn't know before. It's great to get better acquainted with you through this interview. I wish you the best of luck with the sale of your book when it hits the stores in a few days. I love the cover, too.
Best of wishes. Irene Brand

Anonymous said...

Enter me, too. Great interview. Wow! Way to go, Sandra! Not only pursuing your dream, but attaining it!


Anonymous said...

Wow. It was so cool to stop in and see all your comments! I'm so happy you all have come to visit and read my blog, and I want to thank the host for having me here. I feel so excited and blessed to have had the opportunity to write this particular book, and I can hardly wait to hear what people think.

Thank you so much for stopping in!

Sandie Bricker
Weaver of Words

Anonymous said...


I love the dog pictures. I also really enjoyed your interesting history and I remember "Billy!" Congratulations on your new book. I hope I win a copy :)


Anonymous said...

I just can't believe I know a "real" writer! I am so proud of you, and so is your mom and dad.
Thank you for including me in your life.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I know a real writer! I am so proud of you, and so is your mom and dad:-)
Thank you for including me in your life. We have been through a lot together.

Debby Mayne said...

Wow, Sandie! That was one blast from the past after another! Thanks for opening up about your childhood and bringing me back in time.

I've read your Summerside book, Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas, and I absolutely loved it! You have such a gift for making people swoon and laugh at the same time. I look forward to your next book.

Anonymous said...

Sandie---I am anxiously awaiting a chance to get a copy of your newest book. Mom and I enjoyed all of the others, which we were able to find at the local library. I am so proud of you. You've grown into a beautiful young woman with lots of pizazz!! I'll always remember the times we spent with our USMC families and the visits we shared in New Hampshire, Slidell and Cincinnati. So glad we've reconnected after all these years. Love and congrats to you!!