Guest Authors

The Dunes by Erin Sands Book Tour & Interview

BANNER (2)

THE DUNES, Releasing Your Fears, Restore Your Soul, Renew Your Live Virtual Book Tour

Genre: Christian- Mind-Body-Spirit-Self Help

Paperback: 230 pages

Publisher: The Dunes (May 22, 2014)

ISBN-10: 0615982948

ISBN-13: 978-0615982946

About The Author 

Erin photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California, Erin grew up with an innate love for dance, theatre and the written word. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Erin began her career in the arts as an actress and choreographer. After booking several notable roles in television and film, Erin began to use her gift of writing in blogs featuring political and social commentary, as well as developing content for theatrical use.

Although The Dunes, is a divine departure from Erin’s previous writings it is by far her most cherished work to date. “I wrote The Dunes initially as self therapy because I needed to release some painful experiences and disappointments from my past. I had this thirst to walk in the complete fullness of life with joy as my constant companion. I had no idea what effect it would have on other people. But when I saw people read it and be released from fears that had held them back for years…when I saw people forgive and be able to walk in the freedom forgiveness brings…when I saw people commit and serve and how those things opened up new opportunities in their life, I was just humbled. Humbled by the awesome power of God and humbled that I had been allowed to go along for the ride”.

When asked why she writes, Erin pauses and reflects on the truth of her heart. “I write because although I am only now beginning to truly love the process, I have always loved the outcome. Like a composer, words become my notes. I string them together in song eliciting the response of my reader, grafting a picture of my soul. Where besides the written word can you effect change so utterly and so succinctly? What besides the written word can pierce the universal collective mind? Everything begins with a thought, but it isn’t until that thought is articulated in written word and those words passed down can life changing movement happen. It must be written, it must be expressed on tablet, and when it is, we all become greater, whether the writing be genius or fatuity, it has evoked thought and debate. Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of that phenomenon? Why wouldn’t I want to share my story, give my testimony…add my paradigm to the mix? Whether it is a novel, a poem, an essay or an article, it is humanity visited. An insight into a new or sometimes shared truth. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. And with that I live my life”.

About The Book 

The Dunes Book Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If there was a journey that could masterfully change your life in seven revelations…would you take it?

In life, sometimes the kernels of wisdom and the richness of revelation can be found in the most innocent of stories; and so it is with The Dunes. Join one man and one woman in an exquisitely simple yet remarkably profound journey as you discover with them that the mountain you must climb in order to live the abundant life of your dreams is located squarely within your heart.

Illuminated in seven revelations; The Dunes carries the reader on a journey to not only examine the obstacles that are holding them back in life but to conquer and overcome them as well. With each revelation The Dunes intimately calls on the reader as the journey companion to face a challenge…a dare if you will that requires an uncompromising commitment to change. In the family of faith-based self help books The Dunes stands alone, simultaneously taking the reader from fiction to life and back again, equipped with a tailor made journal for the readers inner most secrets and reflections. The Dunes is part allegory, part testimony and part journal but the best part is the healing it offers your heart. When you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone and step into the miracle of your life…The Dunes awaits.

Caution: Readers of this book are subject to significant changes for the better. Side effects include frequent smiling and enjoying life in every season.

Social Links

Email:   thedunesbook@yahoo.com

Website: http://www.thedunesbook.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TheDunesbook

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TheDunesbook

Trailer: http://youtu.be/dxCc270iTDY

Trailer code: <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/dxCc270iTDY” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Buy Links

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dunes-erin-sands/1119633905?ean=9781483527086

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00KO43L2Q

Tour Hosted by WNL Book Tours www.wnlbooktours.com

FROM IDEA TO AUTHOR

We have all heard someone throw out the, “I should write a book” line. Heck, I’ve even jokingly said it myself whenever a friend asked me about a subject I felt pretty well versed in, “I should write a book” five little words that are so easy to say. However, those of us who have plunged into the deep and managed to surface with book in hand know far to well that the journey from idea to author is no small feat.

The most important aspect of any book is good writing. Whether you are an indie writer or a best selling author, the litmus test remains the same; is the book well written? The answer will be found on page one of your manuscript, which is why every author must get comfortable with a very simple truth. A first draft is merely that, a “first” draft. Excellence comes from writing, re-writing, re-writing again and then re-writing some more after that. There were many times while writing The Dunes that I would give a draft to my husband and he would shake his head indicating that it was not good enough yet. As infuriating as that was, he was absolutely right. It made me go deeper, search for better words and a clearer vision of how to share my ideas with readers. Writers become better through exposure and feedback from editors and people we trust. It is a part of the process that should never be avoided. http://bit.ly/1pwryZK

The aesthetic design of your book is also essential. The cover of your book is your first “hello” to the reader. It is your 3-second commercial and it needs to give readers insight into your story at a glance. Finding someone who is able to graphically illustrate the heart of your book is key. I worked with my cover designer for months before we finally settled on a cover that I believed masterfully articulated the beauty and the transformative nature of The Dunes. Getting the interior design of my book just right was also an integral aspect in my publishing journey. The choice of font, the font size, the layout and page color are all things that can make your book flow seamlessly in the readers mind or be disruptive and jarring. It is important to take the time to make sure that those choices compliment your book and allow for the experience you want your readers to have. http://bit.ly/1pwryZK

Another important aspect of publishing is one that I am still learning, the necessity of marketing. Finding unique ways to spread the word about your book requires creativity and tenacity. These days, utilizing social media is paramount, but a “following” isn’t born over night. It is important to be consistent and patient. This process is indeed a marathon. Also, never discount the grass roots approach. Networking with other authors and good old-fashioned word-of-mouth are still priceless tools for any author.

http://bit.ly/1kO8xOR

 Erin, Keep Calm and Answer These Questions 

Do you consider yourself a logophile? If so, have you always been?

I have always had an innate love for the written word. As a young girl I always enjoyed expressing myself through writing and story telling. Now as an adult I have a much deeper appreciation for the written word, where besides the written word can you effect change so utterly and so succinctly? What besides the written word can pierce the universal collective mind? Everything begins with a thought, but it isn’t until that thought is articulated in written word and those words passed down can life changing movement happen. It must be written, it must be expressed on tablet, and when it is, we all become greater, whether the writing be genius or fatuity, it has evoked thought and debate. Why wouldn’t I want to be apart of that phenomenon? Why wouldn’t I want to share my story, give my testimony…add my paradigm to the mix? Whether it is a novel, a poem, an essay or an article, it is humanity visited. An insight into a new or sometimes shared truth. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. And with that I live my life.

Tell us about your new book? What is it about and why did you write it?

I initially wrote The Dunes because I was journaling. I was going through a very tough time emotionally and I decided to turn what I was feeling into an allegory. I never intended for anyone else to read it. It was purely a creative form of self-therapy for me. After I was done writing it I put it away and did not look at it for years. Then one day I was going through an old box and I found it and read it. That same day, God put it on my heart to expand what I wrote and make it a book. I began to broaden the allegorical aspect of the story along with adding personal testimonies from my own life experiences that correlated with the direction the book was taking. I added a journal section and at the end of each journal section I added a “challenge” for the reader. I have always believed that it is one thing to make a life change in your heart and your mind but it doesn’t become real or a part of your life until you put it into practice; that is what the “challenge” section is all about. When I completed The Dunes, it contained seven chapters that I refer to as “Revelations” because that is what they were for me, revelations about life, joy, freedom and forgiveness. Each revelation begins with an allegory, followed by my personal testimony, then journal questions and finally a challenge for the reader. I had no idea if what I wrote would resonate with readers or have any affect outside of my personal life. I did know, however, that I was willing to put it to the test. I put an ad on Craigslist asking for strangers to read my book, answer the journal questions and do the challenges while I chronicled their journey on film. The results amazed me! I witnessed peoples lives literally transform. That was when I knew I had something special and that I had to get it published.

What is your favorite color?

Blue.

Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California.

Who is your favorite author?

I have enjoyed many books and many authors over the years, so this question is a little bit hard for me to answer. That said, the author that I go back to time and time again. The author that makes me think and reason in a new way is, C.S Lewis. I love his writing style and his profoundly astute approach to Christianity.

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?

I think a “relaxing” day is dependent on where you are in your life. For instance, during an extremely busy season in my life a relaxing day would probably be staying home in my pajamas all day watching old movies. If I am in a more peaceful season of my life, a relaxing day may include going hiking or going to the beach to look out over the ocean and pray. A relaxing day could also be sharing a great meal with good friends. Our needs change and expand with our lives, so for me; a “relaxing” day is an ever-evolving thing. Still, whatever it is, the important thing is to remember to take time to do it.

Do you have a day job as well?

In the span of my lifetime, I have had some really interesting jobs. From my first job at the age of fifteen working at Burger King to jobs in the theatrical industry where I have been blessed to be on sets with the likes of Angela Basset, Will Smith and George Clooney. Although my theatrical bookings have been awesome life moments because they came through the victory of an audition process, the job that has had the most profound effect on my social paradigm has been my work as a Field Interviewer. I have worked on and off at companies like Rand and Westat for 13 years doing research funded by government agencies that is used to help determine public policy. Working as a Field Interviewer has allowed me to engage with a diverse racial, religious and socio economic populace. Interacting with such a wide diversity of people has allowed me to go beyond “the veil” as they say and find that as human beings we have more in common than we do differences.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

The most important aspect of any book is good writing. Whether you are an indie writer or a best selling author, the litmus test remains the same; is the book well written? The answer will be found on page one of your manuscript, which is why every author must get comfortable with a very simple truth. A first draft is merely that, a “first” draft. Excellence comes from writing, re-writing, re-writing again and then re-writing some more after that. There were many times while writing The Dunes that I would give a draft to my husband and he would shake his head indicating that it was not good enough yet. As infuriating as that was, he was absolutely right. It made me go deeper, search for better words and a clearer vision of how to share my ideas with readers. Writers become better through exposure and feedback from editors and people we trust. It is a part of the process that should never be avoided.

Is being a writer a curse or a gift?

Being a writer is a GIFT.

Do you prefer silence or some noise while you write?

I prefer complete silence while I write.

What was the most challenging aspect about writing your book?

The two most challenging aspects of writing The Dunes were the allegory sections in the first and second revelations and the Commentary section. The allegory section of The Dunes tells the story of two characters: The One and The Other. Although, as the story unfolds the reader quickly learns that The One and The Other represent a man and a woman, I chose not to reveal which was which until the very end of the second revelation. I did this because I did not want the reader to identify with the character simply because they shared the same gender identity. I wanted the reader to identify with the character in which they shared the same fear paradigm. So for the first two chapters you do not know which character is the woman and which character is the man. You just know each of the characters challenges and fears. Still…it is incredibly hard to write without pronouns. I was relieved when I got to the third revelation and I could write more freely. Writing the commentary section of The Dunes was challenging because I had to be very transparent and share some very personal experiences from my life. But I knew that there was no way that I could ask readers to take this very introspective journey if I wasn’t willing to do the same in return.

How do you market your book? What avenues work best?

Social Media has been a great marketing tool. It has enabled me to reach readers all over the world for free. It has allowed me to share content in the form of book trailers, blogs and inspirational picture quote cards.

What writing are you most proud of?

I am proud of all of the writing I have done because each topic required an earnest amount of soul searching. Whether it was political or social commentary or even theatrically based, it came from an authentic place. That said, The Dunes is by far my most cherished work to date and not primarily because of the writing, but because of the affect the writing has had in peoples lives. I share my journey in a very personal way in The Dunes and it seems to have resonated with readers. God used it to help bring about positive changes in other peoples lives and I will always be very humbled by that.

What’s your greatest character strength?

My greatest character strength is my honesty. Not only am I honest with those I love (friends & family) but I am also honest with myself. I believe being honest with your self is probably the greatest gift you can give yourself and your life journey. I am very retrospective and self searching. I am honest with myself about what I feel and if I do not know why I feel the way I do, I take the time needed to quiet myself and my world so that I can figure it out. Being self-delusional serves no one. When you can be honest with yourself about your greatness as well as your weakness, it enables you to move forward and not waste time on things that are not apart of your calling or purpose.

What has been the best compliment?

I had no idea what effect The Dunes would have on readers. When I saw people read it and be released from fears that had held them back for years. When I saw readers of The Dunes forgive and be able to walk in the freedom that forgiveness brings. When I saw readers of The Dunes embrace commitment and service and how those things opened up new opportunities in their life, I was just humbled. Humbled by the awesome power of God and humbled that I had been allowed to go along for the ride. That has been by far the greatest compliment I could have ever received.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

The Dunes consists of 7 chapters that are referred to throughout the book as “Revelations”. Each revelation sheds wisdom and advances the journey, which is composed of an allegory, a personal testimony from me, journal questions and a challenge for the reader. Although the first part of each revelation is an allegory, I think the story is very realistic in terms of its relatability to human nature. The rest of the book is really about the reader and their journey and as honest as the reader wants to be will define how “real” their transformation is.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I would like readers of The Dunes to walk away knowing that change and growth is a choice. Although it may sometimes be hard and even uncomfortable, the outcome is worth it. When you let go of fears that have held you back for years, when you learn to forgive and trust and commit, your life changes for the better and it is worth doing what it takes to have that level of freedom.  The Dunes will ask something of you but it will give you far more in return. The courage and fullness of life that is only possible when you reach for it by any means necessary.

How did you come up with the title?

I came up with the title for The Dunes because in southern California in the city of Manhattan Beach there is a 100-foot sand dune that people come from miles around to use as a form of exercise. It is incredibly steep and the sand gives such a loose traction that it is extremely challenging to climb to the very top. Years ago I was one of the many who would go there in the blazing sun and attempt to make it to the top. The journey and the pay off were so intense that it made an impression on me. So when it came time to write the allegorical part of my book I instantly gravitated to that memory in terms of a character overcoming a hurdle in their life and the feeling of victory that comes from being able to conquer your “mountain” so to speak.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?

Writing a book offering insight about overcoming self-doubt and fear in no way exempts you from moments of self-doubt and fear in your own life. I think it is something that on one level or another, as long as you are growing and challenging yourself, you will inevitably encounter. The more you grow the difference will be in how you deal with it; hopefully with grace, class and a very introspective insight into your triggers. Nowadays when those feelings come up for me I face them head on. I take a minute to truly examine what it is that is making me feel that way. Is it irrational?  Is it motivated by an experience from my past? Is it blocking me from fully experiencing life? When I locate the source of my feelings, I pray about it and do it anyway. I do “it” whatever “it” is in spite of any fear or trepidation. If I am feeling insecure, I do it anyway. If I am feeling scared about the outcome, I do it anyway. I determined long ago that although I may not be able to control my feelings, I do however, have control over my actions and I do “it” afraid.

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?

At the onset of my book, my very first page, I dedicate my book to my mother. I thank her for “teaching me how to fly”. Obviously I mean it as a metaphor but in so many ways as a woman she has taught me to believe in myself and to spread my wings and strive to meet my fullest potential. She is an extraordinary woman and I will always be grateful that God gave her to me. I could not have written my book without my husband. He was my encouragement during the more challenging parts. He was my first editor. He was the one I bounced sentences and story ideas off of. He was the one when I was being impatient and would write something down that wasn’t worthy of The Dunes, who would give me a look, shake his head “no” and give the manuscript back to me, forcing me to push myself to be better. My mother and my husband have been my biggest support and a great extension of Gods unconditional love during my writing process.

What project are you working on now?

Several years ago I toured in a Christian play entitled S.T.E.M. It was a theatrical ministry vehicle I co-wrote with three of my dearest friends. It was composed of dramatic and comedic monologues where we gave our personal testimonies of how, by grace, we not only survived things like breast cancer, domestic abuse and low self-worth but triumphed through the power of forgiveness and faith. Our testimonies and our witness of God’s faithfulness encouraged women in similar circumstances to persevere, to have hope and expectancy in a God who is able to bring us through. We have recently decided to bring S.T.E.M to the masses in the form of a DVD, with added commentary from our present lives. That is what I am currently working on.

Keep calm, breath and Believe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Comment

  1. Hi Kristy!
    Thank you so much for hosting The Dunes on your site today!
    I hope your readers enjoy the The Dunes Book Trailer and the Author Interview. I look forward to interacting with everyone and discussing The Dunes journey.

    Much Love!
    Erin Sands

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