Sandra Barnes

Why I Started Writing:

I’m often stumped by the question, “Why did you start writing?” It’s like asking a drummer why he or she drums, or staring at a sunflower and wondering why it blooms or demanding to know why a fish swims. For me, writing is a natural extension of who I am ... and I don’t remember when or where or how it all started. I just know writing was a must even without a dream of ever being published. The best way to get thoughts out of my head was to scribble everywhere—in the margins of class assignments, on snippets of papers, and on post-it notes! I also wrote skits, plays, poetry, and essays; but never novels. When I taught middle school, my students seemed to enjoy my oral storytelling. They encouraged me to write my stories. So I did!

Authors Who Have Influenced Me:

I look for works that will encourage and inspire me through life’s journey, regardless of the genre. My favorite authors can be found among both fiction and non-fiction writers. Right now, I'm loving books by Victoria Christopher Murray and Patricia Raybon.

Books I Have Written:

My first book, Favor Factor, was nonfiction and written as a contribution to the field of organizational psychology. It was specifically written with the Christian employee in mind. I wanted to help other Christians navigate work life when working with non-believers or people of different faiths.

My second book, Presence of Cyn, is a young adult novel that became the first in the Unity Series. The underlying theme for Presence of Cyn is finding one’s identity in Christ.

Next in the Unity Series is 28 First Kisses. This book continues the story of Cyndray and delves more deeply into the mind and heart of her best friend, Janaclese. It is written from both girls’ perspectives on teen sex and abstinence.

What I'm Working On Now:

I'm working on Book 3 in the Unity Series, titled Another Miracle. It features Miracle, who has cameo appearances in the first two books in the series. Another Miracle also introduces Dakota, a foster kid who struggles with bipolar disorder. I'm enjoying incorporating a male perspective in this novel because it challenges me in new ways. The theme of this book addresses a social issue that’s dear to my heart—racial reconciliation. In Another Miracle, the reader can gain insight, from a Christian perspective, on how today’s teens are dealing with contemporary issues surrounding race, police brutality, and faith.

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