Today I'd like to welcome Sandra Lake, author of “The Warlord’s Wife” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
Sandra Lake is the author of the Sons of the North Series, published by Penguin Group. The Warlord’s Wife and The Iron Princess are available wherever eBooks are sold. Her first novella, The Northman’s Bride is available for free on Wattpad.com Sandra Lake was born somewhere in the wilds of Sweden. Surrounded by shirtless, blond men, she learned to sail, swing a sword and skin a bear when she was only three--wait no, that was Davy Crockett...
The real Sandra was raised in rural Canada. (close enough to Sweden) She married her childhood sweetheart (who is blond and on occasion shirtless). They are currently living happily-ever-after along with their kids and unruly husky in Eastern Canada.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? why?
Of course I would. I’m a mom from the Lioness School of Training. The circumstances would need to be extreme (I’m a big believer in cleaning up your own mess) but I think there are exceptions to any rule.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Standing on top of a glacier in Alaska or watching a beer commercial of a guy standing on a mountain. I’ve done both, so I have a clear feeling attached to this question. Being alive is the robotic switch where we accept our roles in life, stay ‘safely’ tucked within the lines and go about the motion of living and what’s Expected of us.
Truly living is when we stop looking at what our neighbor is doing (or what the media tries to force feed us) and step outside of the lines of conformity (for me this usually literally means going outside) and follow the path that calls out to you. Whether it’s pursuing an art, travel, job, hobby whatever you find the passion that makes you unique and not the version that some conforming stereotype says you should be, when we feel the liberation of follow our own path, that to me is truly living.
No.3 What motivates you to write?
Initially it was going through the stages of deep mourning and grief. Those closest to me were suffering more, so I needed to put my own grief aside, not wanting to burden them with my compounding grief. I turned to writing as a ‘cheap’ form of therapy. Now I write out of an obsessive compulsion. These characters live in my head and they’re chatting away at me all night, telling me to let them out. I write first me and me alone. If and when other folks take pleasure in my work, it’s nothing but gravy for me.
No.4 Why do humans want children?
I never ‘wanted’ children. I don’t think all humans ‘want’ children. I was totally depressed when I first found out I was going to be a mom, bummed out that I would be stuck ‘babysitting’ for the next 20 years, and then around year 3, I’m sitting on the living room floor on a Friday night, my two sons crawling all over me and I realized there was no where in the world I’d rather be than right there, laughing and playing with the two most beautiful and interesting people on the planet. I don’t know…Parenthood, the desire for kids, is a mystery of the universe…probably programmed into our DNA is my best guess. But after having my son, I was overcome with the feeling of him being the product of the love of my husband. I’m sorry it sounds so cliché and generic, but I’m a romance writer and that’s just how my brain works. My children are part me, part my husband and then a large part uniquely awesome that makes them just them, and as much as we’d like too, no parent can take full credit for it.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "The Warlord’s Wife" ?
Grammar is the short answer, below is the long-winded answer if you’re interested. I hated school. I had a very hard time learning to read and write and due to my polite, bubbly personality, that learning issue went unchecked by my parents and teaches until mid-way through middle school where one teacher dropped the bomb on my parents that their daughter was ‘dumb’, couldn’t read and going to flunk the grade. I was promptly shoved in a number of after-school programs and caught up in a few years but that feeling of being the dumbest girl in the class never left me. I’ve always had a job, and have been self-employed since I was 18. I’m very independent and self-reliant, and also stubborn and hard-working, and everything I have today is because I’m stubborn and hard-working. The greatest challenge in writing my first manuscript was the challenge of removing the self-imposed label of ‘dumb’ that I had kept stuck to my forehead. Once that mental limitation was chucked out the window, the story came pouring out of me in less than three weeks…after another six months of editing (and learning how to properly edit), I submitted my story to an amateur writing contest and won. The finalist judge was an editor at Berkley Romance /Penguin Group and she signed me to a contract for 2 books with InterMix.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
That I’m enough. It sounds like a Stuart Smalley’s daily affirmation. ‘I’m good enough, smart enough and gosh darn it, people like me.’ Self-worth was a bugger of a thing to acquire for me. You couldn’t pay me enough to go back to the 20 year old version of me that thought she was ‘tough as nails’ but who was really drowning in insecurity.
No.7 How did you come up with the title "The Warlord’s Wife" ?
I wanted to call it ‘The Ring’, because of the inherited Jarl’s ring that is the center of Magnus’s reason in acquiring a wife to breed him sons, to pass ‘the ring’ and his seat as Jarl. But, ‘The Ring’ is too generic and there’s that scary movie already about a ‘ring’ and then the Lord of the Rings…so I needed to come up with something catchier for the medieval/Viking romance market and my editor liked this one.
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
I first lie and say it doesn’t bother me, and then spend a night picking at the scab in my brain, dissecting every little facet, then by morning, I usual take my husband’s time and tested true advice and say, ‘Insert f-word here’ it, I’m good. (Updated version of a Stuart Smalley affirmation.)
No.9 Why should people read your book?
Romance readers will like the relationship conflict and resolution in my story. I think my target fan would be anyone who enjoys the Viking genre, medieval, historical and fantasy, also anyone who enjoys a ‘good-old’ marriage of convenience plot with a pig-headed Alpha male and a stubbornly strong-willed heroine. One of the base themes is that marriage is damn hard work, especially when the couple sucks at communication, which I think is very relatable and true too life. I write love scenes with what’s been described as a medium heat level that I think modern readers will enjoy, as well, my editor has told me I write historical with a uniquely modern voice. I particularly was proud of the blended family theme of Magnus becoming an excellent stepfather and through that softening the heart of his forcefully acquired wife. I tried very hard to keep the underlying dysfunction in their marriage real and relatable to a modern reader, even though the time period may not be.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
I’m assuming this is one of those ‘did the chicken come before the egg’ debates. “There has to be something,” says philosopher Bede Rundle. I’m not much for spouting off on subjects that I’m not well-versed, not overly interested in tossing my hat into the philosophic arena. But what I’ve come to feel is that the more we look into the universe, (I mean literally look through the Hubble) the vastness of it, the more boundless our questions seem to become, the wonders that I don’t see how scientists will ever explain into a quantum formula.
What I do believe (from my ‘average Joe’ studies of the universal questions of life) is that life, energy, living matter has never been able to come from nothing. Why is there something rather than nothing…because something, a spark, a force, a push, an energy is still needed to bring two separate entities together. A combination of basic elements has never been able create living matter. Only living organisms can combined to create other living organisms.
But, don’t listen too me, I’m only a silly romance writer that is endlessly consumed with answering the worlds second biggest question. “We will probably never understand Black Holes,” unknown author said; maybe it’s a Steven Hawking quote, I’m not sure. “Or why women fall madly in love with douchebags.’
Now that’s truly a question for the ages.
Thank you Sandra :)
For taking the time to answer my questions
& the best of luck with your new book!
Check out "The Warlord’s Wife" on
A stunning historical romance from debut author Sandra Lake transports readers to 12th century Sweden, where a powerful Viking lord will discover a fierce heart cannot be taken by mere force.
“With compelling characters and a clever plot, The Warlord’s Wife will appeal to readers obsessed with TV’s Vikings, and who miss the classic Viking romances of Catherine Coulter or Johanna Lindsey.”—Heroes and Heartbreakers
“Lake’s debut historical romance is sure to appeal to those who enjoy spirited heroines, grumpy alpha heroes, and a slow sweet journey to everlasting love.”—Smexy Books
“Man, this was a fun book! … I cut my teeth on Johanna Lindsey, and this book reminded me so much of those experiences.”—Dear Author