© 2018 Sandra Dallas. All Rights Reserved. 

Piecework  Newsletter

 

Read the newsletters from Sandra Dallas for news about upcoming books, stories, Sandra's Picks and reviews:

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May 29, 2019

Volume XVI, Issue Two | June 2019

Someplace to Call Home

Someplace to Call Home, my fourth mid-grade novel, comes out in August. It’s for ages eight to 12. Here’s how Sleeping Bear Press describes it:

In 1933 what’s left of the Turner family—twelve-year-old Hallie and her two brothers—finds itself driving the back roads of rural America. The children have been swept up into a new migratory way of life.

 

America is facing two devastating crises: the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Hundreds of thousands of people in cities across the country have lost jobs. In rural America it isn’t any better as crops suffer from the never-ending drought. Driven by severe economic hardship, thousands of...

March 5, 2019

Volume XV, Issue One | March 2019

We all know about the clean-out guru Marie Kondo. She’s the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Because of her, thousands of women are purging their homes of clutter and dragging garbage bags of discards to the Goodwill. I admit that after hearing about her, I went through my closet and tossed out those size six jeans that I will never wear again—well, ok, the size eights, too—and shoes with heels more than an inch high.

I even took a good look at my house to see what I could get rid of. After all, my home is so cluttered with antiques and art and Indian objects and, well, junk, that everything had to be rearranged after I gave Bob a picture fo...

December 3, 2018

Volume XIV, Issue Four | November 2018
 

Most novels are either character-driven or plot-driven. Mine are character drive, partly because I have a hard time with plots, but mostly because I find people the most interesting part of any novel, including mine.

For me, a novel sometimes starts with a setting, say a house (The Bride’s House) or a place (Natchez in New Mercies.) But more often, it starts with the characters—a run-away bride (The Patchwork Bride) or a midwife (The Last Midwife) or a quilter (A Quilt for Christmas.) Then I go looking for a plot. The plot’s the toughest part. Right now, I have a wonderful setting, a character I love (and a dozen minor characters), and I’m lying awake...

November 27, 2018


Join Sandra Dallas on Friday, February 1, 2019 for an Author Talk at 6:45pm at the Windsor Recreation Center in Colorado.  There will be a book signing immediately following the talk.  

September 5, 2018

Volume XIII, Issue Three | September 2018

I wrote my first book more than 50 years ago, using my grandfather’s portable typewriter. When I made a mistake, I xxx’d over or used an eraser to make corrections. There wasn’t even White Out back then. I also used carbon paper to make a second copy because copy machines weren’t around. And I mailed the manuscript, my fingers crossed that the book would not go astray.

My how things have changed! Today I write on a computer, print out as many copies as I want, and email the book to my publisher.

That’s made me think about the changes I’ve seen in the last half-century that I’ve been writing. Here are a few things I couldn’t imagine when I began: Comput...

June 1, 2018

Volume XIII, Issue Two | June 2018

My 15th novel, The Patchwork Bride, is scheduled for publication on June 5. I wrote about the book in the last issue of Piecework.  It’s the story of Nell, who runs away from marriage three different times, from three different men. And it’s bookended with the tale of another runaway bride. 

The main story takes place in New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas over a period of several years, starting in the late 1890s, but the secondary story is set in the 1950s, during the Korean War.

Kirkus writes, “Skilled writing and pacing propel the story which is warm and heartfelt” and calls it “gently entertaining.”

 


 

My Life As A Writer

Why do you write?

It’s...

March 6, 2018

Volume XIII, Issue One | March 2018

The last couple of years have been tough for me as a writer. I spent two years on a book that didn’t pan out. I was about to give it all up and take up knitting or learn to play golf. I even wondered if I should start smoking pot. After all, Colorado was the first state to legalize marijuana. Then my agent called with an idea: Write a book about a runaway bride.

 

Easy for you to say, I wanted to tell her. You don’t have to come up with a plot. Besides, I don’t write romances. Maybe not, I thought after considering the idea. But I do write love stories. I’m not sure what the difference is, but Favio would never appear on the cover of one of my books. So I...

December 1, 2017

Volume XII, Issue Four | December 2017

Some of the best friends I ever made were in junior high school.  When I was at Smiley Junior High in Denver in the early 1950s, I was part of a potluck.  We met on Friday nights at different homes, each bringing a dish.  Then after dinner, we went to the Tower Theater to see a movie, along with all the other potlucks. It was a ritual that the six of us—Diane, Joan, Marilyn, Gwen, and two Sandras—rarely missed.  I moved away after junior high and lost touch with those friends, until a few years ago when I reconnected with Diane, who is trim and beautiful and as sweet as she was 60 years ago.


I also met Diane’s husband, Jack, and at a bo...

September 1, 2017

Volume XII, Issue Three | September 2017

Two years ago in Istanbul, Mehmet, the proprietor of The Columns, a shop near the Arasta Bazaar, introduced my daughter Dana and me to another American woman, Chris Martens.  Because the store stocked pillows and wall hangings and fabric, Chris and I began talking about textiles. Sooner or later, of course, the talk turned to quilts, and we discovered a mutual love for them.  I told her I sometimes wrote about quilts, and Chris revealed she was working on a show of Central Asian quilts for the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska.
 

She invited Dana and me to have tea with her the next day in the Grand Bazaar. First sh...

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