Sandra Bretting

Why I Started Writing:

I was at the University of Missouri School of Journalism when I signed up for a creative writing class on a whim. I’ve always been an avid reader, but I thought books were like magic--something conjured out of thin air by mystical people with unknowable powers.

Anyway, once I’d read one of my short stories to the class, a fellow student turned to me and said, “Well, it’s obvious that you’re here to become a novelist.” He’d assumed I was a fiction writer, which turned my world upside down. It was the first time I ever asked myself, “Why not?”

That innocent comment was made decades ago, but I’ve never looked back. Although nonfiction (writing for newspapers, magazines, etc.) has paid the bills, my heart belongs to fiction.

Authors Who Have Influenced Me:

Although it sounds cliché, I’m a huge Ernest Hemingway fan. To write so sparingly is a gift, and I think about him when my sentences become too complicated. I’m also a fan of John Steinbeck and Jack London. I guess I have a thing for California writers, since I grew up there.

Books I Have Written:

I published my first mystery (Unholy Lies) in 2012. That was followed by Bless the Dying in 2014.

Kensington Publishing offered me a cozy mystery contract in 2015, and I wrote six cozies in five years for them: Murder at Morningside, Something Foul at Sweetwater, Someone’s Mad at the Hatter, Death Comes to Dogwood Manor, and All Hats on Deck.

After suffering a near-death experience in 2018, I wrote an inspirational memoir titled Shameless Persistence. My last mystery debuted in 2021, and it’s titled The Safecracker’s Secret.

What I'm Working On Now:

I have a 1930s-era inspirational historical novel that my former literary agent couldn’t sell. It’s about an actual WPA program that linked out-of-work writers with the elderly to glean their stories for a series of booklets. I’m going to take some time to rewrite it and who knows where it might end up?

Bretting, Sandra - Web

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