Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Authors On The Rise Interviews Urenna Sander
Authors On The Rise is delighted to bring you an interview from author Urenna Sander.
Urenna is the author of, True Season Of Love. She is currently hard at work on her next novel,"But For Those Who Love."
Dee Dee: Please give the readers a brief Bio on you the person and tell us about yourself.
Urenna:I live in Pennsylvania with my family. I am employed as an administrative assistant for a renowned physician. I attended Temple University, majoring in Social Administration. My major should have been English. My writing life began early: love notes, which I never sent, at the tender age of eleven, hidden under the carpet, until discovered by my father, and then poetry writing at the age of twelve. My short story writing began in the late eighties. I have written three books and published one. Currently, I am in the midst of revising my third book, “But for Those Who Love.” “True Season of Love” is my first published book.
Dee Dee: What pushed you to write your book?
Urenna: This book was propelled out of deep, indescribable feelings for another.
Dee Dee: How did you come up with the characters in your book?
Urenna: “True Season of Love” is my second novel. My first unpublished book involved an epic on Olivia and Connie’s cousin, Dr. Djoser Simon, his wife, Eve, and her mother, Karoline. This too is a great love story, but it has to be condensed.
After my first unpublished book, I decided to branch off from Djoser and start a book on his first cousins, Olivia and Connie Moreno.
Dee Dee: Were the characters and writing the story easy for you, or did you have to outline and do research?
Urenna: No, I had no difficulty with Olivia and Connie; writing their story was uncomplicated. The sixties were an exciting time, and a coming-of-age for my two characters. I wanted them to do more than grow up, attend college, get married, buy a house, and have 2.5 kids. I wanted them to have interesting jobs and adventures abroad.
I researched travel, movies, music, clothing designers, clothing styles, etc. When you are writing about a certain era, research is important. It makes the story more credible. Also current events are important. If your character is living abroad or in the States, what annual events take place? What is going on in the world around him/her? The death of Reverend Martin Luther King is mentioned in my novel, as well as that of one of Ptolemy’s countrymen, Greece’s former premier, Georges Papandreou. I also added discussions at a dinner party concerning student riots in France, as well as unrest in the States. I believe in researching, and since I’m a history buff, I enjoy this part of writing.
Unfortunately, I am considered a seat of your pants writer and not organized to do outlines. I have tried to outline and will type short notes. I usually type notes on my lunch hour. I also keep a pen and pad handy on my night table and in my tote bag. Scenes come at weird hours of the day or night. Sometimes, it’s difficult falling asleep when scenes appear.
Dee Dee: How long did it take you to complete your book? Will there be a sequel. If so when do you plan to release it?
Urenna: I began writing “True Season of Love” in March 2007. I completed my first draft in November that year. I had some issues with the publishers, which I won’t discuss. But I will say I haven’t been happy with the results. But I completed my second draft in March 2008. The book was released in April 2009.
In my first draft, I had more pages on Connie than Olivia. I had to remove a lot of storyline with Connie. After all, this is Olivia’s story.
I feel like I am going backwards with storytelling. Connie’s story (“But for Those Who Love”) should have preceded Olivia’s. But Connie incubated from Olivia’s book. Connie’s saga begins during her life in college, in New York. Connie is such a strong character; I had to tell her story. You might say Connie is a prequel. Connie’s book will be released late this year or sometime next year.
Noémi, Olivia’s daughter, might be the next sequel. I’ve written brief notes on her. I would probably write about Ptolemy and Olivia’s adult children in another novel.
Dee Dee: After reading your book, what do you hope the reader will take away?
Urenna: I hope they will have the ability to love unconditionally without regard for ethnicity or religion. Also to forgive; become resolute and release themselves from their past, no matter how horrendous it might have been.
Dee Dee: If you could write a book together with any author, dead or alive, who would it be?
Urenna: Josephine Baker.
Dee Dee: If your book was made into a movie, what actors would you choose for the characters? Why?
Urenna: That is an interesting question. Gabrielle Union, Sanaa Latham, and Jennifer Hudson are my choices for Olivia. I think all three actresses have the depth and emotions to play Olivia. However, I believe Jennifer would be more powerful and define the role more than the other two actresses.
Connie: Ashley Madekwe or Zoë Saldana. Both are good actresses. Ashley’s carefree spirit might be great for Connie, but Zoë might do Connie’s role justice. Connie is aggressive, angry, and can be quite the witch.
Ptolemy: Eric Bana or James Franco. I like both actors. They both have the dark, Mediterranean look to portray Ptolemy.
Al: Morris Chestnut could definitely portray Al.
Eleni: Saffron Burrows has the intensity of emotions to play Eleni.
Dee Dee: Besides writing, what are some of your other talents and hobbies?
Urenna: I paint and do charcoal drawings, but this hobby has definitely taken a backseat. Chess and checkers are great games that I don’t have time for. Yet, I love to read, especially books involving research for my writing. But honestly, I write most of the time.
Dee Dee: What words of wisdom do you have for aspiring authors?
Urenna: Don’t change your story unless you are truly comfortable with the advice given by editors. It’s your baby; you know what’s best. Never abandon what you’ve begun. Write every day, whether it’s a paragraph or a page, keep writing. You are not obligated to complete it, but don’t desert what you love and what gives you pleasure. And do your research.
Dee Dee: What current projects are you working on? Will you be attending any events, book fairs or have any book signings?
Urenna: At this time, I am still working on Connie’s book, “But for Those Who Love.”
Dee Dee: Where can readers find more information on you and your work?
Urenna: My website: http://www.urennasander.com/ and Amazon.com
Urenna's ten favorite things:
Shoes: My comfortable Dansko clogs.
Season: I love the fall. It might sound corny, but there’s something mellow and comfy about the fall season for me.
Poet: Maya Angelou
Flower: Peonies, red or pink
Fruit: Mangoes and golden delicious apples
Day of the week: Wednesday
Friend/why? I first met my best friend when we were 15. When I look back, I laugh at how we competed in high school. She happened to be a better typist with fingers that raced across the keyboard. I was more proficient in shorthand than her. We went through the usual period of angst with teenage crushes and broken hearts. And during our twenties when we discovered true love, we shared our hopes, dreams, disappointment, and sorrow. We have known each other since childhood. She is more like family than a friend. Old friends are the salt of the earth.
Radio station: I seldom listen to the radio. I listen to great music and watch CNN, the History Channels, or PBS. And I love to watch Judge Judy, The Tudors, and Mad Men.
Blog: Tyler Perry
Play: A Raisin in The Sun