A Conversation With Sandra Orchard
Sandra Orchard writes fast-paced, keep-you-guessing mysteries with a dash of sweet romance. Her novels have garnered six Canadian Writing Awards, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, a National Readers’ Choice Award, a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, and a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.
Why do you like writing romantic suspense?
Sandra: I love to devise fast-paced plots that will keep readers second-guessing their assumptions and worrying about what may happen next.
Have you ever regretted killing off a character? Why?
Sandra: Felt bad about it, maybe a little, but never regretted it. In fact, my main character in my Port Aster Secrets series was driving me so batty by the third book (since she’d taken the plot in an utterly different direction than I’d planned) that it gave me great pleasure to bump her off. Hee, hee, hee.
How do you pick the location/setting of your romantic suspense novels?
Sandra: My first ones were set in Niagara—the place I knew best. After taking an Alaskan cruise, I devised a plot set on one and pitched it to my editor. It became Perilous Waters with Love Inspired Suspense. I pitched Serena Jones, the main character of my current series, as an agent on the FBI’s art crime team without specifying the location of her headquarters. Since I wanted to attend a writing conference in St. Louis, I contacted the FBI headquarters there to see if I’d be able to visit. I got the green light, so I decided to make it my heroine’s home base. And St. Louis turned out to be a perfect city for an art crime agent. There are only 12 such agents in the nation, and one happens to be headquartered there in reality—an agent who spent hours answering my questions.
Current book: Another Day, Another Dali
When FBI Special Agent Serena Jones’s grandmother asks her to investigate a forgery, Serena assumes it will be a typical case and a good opportunity to regain Nana’s favor. But she couldn’t be more wrong.