Hi, my name is Sandy, and I’m a writer.
It’s been roughly ten years since I’ve been on this writing wagon, rickety old thing that it is. My debut novel came out in February, 2009 from Random House: PRECIOUS. You may have heard of it! It was a Booklist Top Ten Debut of the year, but it was not made into a movie, is not about Precious Jones, and is in no way connected to Oprah Winfrey. (Dammit!)
My novel is set during the 70s and deals with the disappearance of a young girl from a working class neighborhood in Pennsylvania. That incident serves as a backdrop for another family, the Kisches, who are in crisis: Mother Natalia has run off with another man, leaving her two daughters, Eva (17) and Sissy (9) to fend for themselves during a summer when peril seems to lie at every corner. There are a bunch of subplots thrown in there, but that’s the gist. It turned out okay, I guess, which is to say, I’m glad it’s in the world and still circulating about.
What are my thematic interests, you ask? Mostly I’m inspired by families and by how our histories are held together, our ties sometimes tested. The novel itself was inspired by my sister, Carole, who ran away from home when I was seven. It’s been over thirty years now, and I’ve never seen her again. I guess you can say I am one of those writers who tends to draw some inspiration from my own life, though really it’s mostly fiction. Really! Just ask my mom. Everyone else does.
Right now I have another book coming out this September from the same press. It’s a collection of stories titled EVERYONE BUT YOU. I’m biting my nails over this, writer friends, because the stories were written during my MFA program, mostly, so the collection features work from 2001-2003. I keeping thinking, Boy, that’s really old stuff. And the thing with old stuff is that sometimes the more you go back and try and mess with it, the worse it seems to become. Oh, yes. It does. I’m one of those writers who is always most excited about what I’m working on now. Older work makes me cringe a little.
Okay. Cringe a lot. (Be afraid, Sandy. Be very, very afraid.)
Still at the same time, a writer has to STAND BY HER PRODUCT, which translates to: Hey, check out my new book, due out September 13th! (Insert terse smiley face.) It’s a collection about…Hm. Well, there’s a lot of sex in it. And fires. And cows. I must have been on a nympho-pyro-dairy farm kick during the years 2001-2003. (Oh yeah. Sex and fires and cows! You know you want to read it, Baby!)
All this is to say: Thank God for the fact that I’m working on something new, to get my mind off release and the absolute panic that causes in many writers, myself included. In addition to cruising Facebook for what seems like a pitiless amount of hours, and in addition to Goozoogling myself each morning, along with checking sales stats and looking up pics of Himalayan kittens, just for fun, I’m working on, wait, drum roll…Non-fiction! Yep. It was a shock to me, as well. We’ll see how it goes. Writers. Always plunking away at the next adventure. And it is always that, isn’t it? Quite the little adventure.
I think that’s it. Oh, and you can read a sample story from my collection here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/57487337/Fireflies-by-Sandra-Novack. STAND BY YOUR PRODUCT, SANDY! (My publicist will be so pleased.)
Sandra Novack’s novel PRECIOUS has been called "lyrical and haunting", "graceful", and "accomplished, showing a new writer already in full command of her gifts". The writing has drawn comparisons to Anne Tyler, John Updike, and Joyce Carol Oates. Novack’s collection, EVERYONE BUT YOU, is forthcoming from Random House, September 13, 2011.