TELL US YOUR BACKSTORY with Sandy Vaile
Hi, I’m Sandy Vaile, and I’ve never been a Barbie kind of girl. I always preferred GI Joe and Matchbox cars. So is it any wonder I’ve grown-up to be a motorbike-riding daredevil suspense writer? (Maybe grown-up is putting too strong a slant on it.)
So how did I get here? (On two wheels of course, LOL.)
My dad always told me I could do anything I put my mind to, so naturally I believed him. I learnt to never to say no to a new experience, and to face my fears head on.
That persistence and willingness to try new things lead me to amazing opportunities. I feel truly blessed to have:
Jumped out of a perfectly good plane at 10,000 feet (admittedly only because I was strapped to someone crazier than I).
Done 3-day eventing and show jumping with horses.
Carried the Olympic flame in 2000.
Swum with a shark, turtles and dolphins (not all at the same time, but equally amazing!).
Lived in Papua New Guinea and learnt to speak the local dialect.
Floated across a serene sky in a hot air balloon.
Scuba dived and snorkelled in vibrant tropical waters.
Had a 28-year loving relationship, and raised two wonderful children.
I’m also a huge believer that you get what you giveg. One of the achievements I’m proud of is starting the Novelist’s Circle group 5 ½ years ago. It provides a nurturing environment for fiction authors to grow and share with like-minded people, and has produced 8 published authors.
And let’s not forget that all of the fascinating people I’ve met and experiences I’ve enjoyed, provide fabulous ammunition for an author. (Don’t worry, I promise you’re all safe.)
Of course, not all of my life experiences were fun, but the unpleasant ones were just as important to teach me what I needed to know to realise my lifelong dream of publication. For example, I drew on my personal confrontation of the devastation of alcoholism on families, to shape the childhood of Mya, in my first book “Inheriting Fear”.
My latest project is a 4-week online course about backstory, hosted by the Romance Writers of Australia in June. I’ll be explaining how to use various delivery devices, when to reveal information for the best effect, and the osmosis method. (I was a chef in a past life, so apologise if all the food analogies make you hungry.)
To me, backstory is like a flavour you can’t quite pick lurking in the layers of a curry. You know it’s there and it enhances the flavour, but it’s intangible and fleeting. It’s a vital ingredient that you need to infuse through all the layers of your story, without sacrificing other flavours (like pace or character development), but in most cases, it should be added in the quantity befitting a jalapeno chilli that can set your mouth on fire and make your eyes water. Book now for Treat Backstory Like a Pungent Spice through Romance Writers of Australia (members and non-members welcome).
Mya is a reclusive motorbike-riding chef, and guardian of her mother. The last thing she needs is her cocky new neighbour, Detective Luca Patterson, linking her to his latest investigation.
Luca has never crossed a professional line – until he meets Mya. She is sexy, feisty and so many kinds of wrong, but he can’t stop thinking about her. But is she a victim or his best suspect?