Interview with Ellen Sandbeck

December, 2009
Ellen Sandbeck

Quick Start

SS: How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

ES: Trying to figure things out.

SS: What is your motto or maxim?

ES: She who makes the most creative mistakes, wins.

What Readers want to know...

SS: How would you describe perfect happiness?

ES: Being with all the people I love at the same time.

SS: What’s your greatest fear?

ES: That something bad will happen to those I love.

SS: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

ES: With my husband, swimming somewhere very secluded.

SS: With whom in history do you most identify?

ES: Anyone who has ended up in history books is out of my league.

SS: Which living person do you most admire?

ES: Jane Goodall

SS: What are your most overused words or phrases?


SS: What do you regret most?

ES: I can't go there. If I did, I'd grind to a permanent halt.

SS: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

ES: I'd like to be able to draw one thing with one hand, while drawing something else with the other.

SS: What is your greatest achievement?

ES: My two children are smart, happy, healthy, and beautiful.

SS: What’s your greatest flaw?

ES: I'm very, very opinionated.

SS: What’s your best quality?

ES: I cannot be railroaded into doing anything I think is wrong.

SS: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

ES: I'm just beginning to figure out how to deal with myself, and you expect me to switch now?

SS: What trait is most noticeable about you?

ES: I'm very opinionated.

SS: Who is your favorite fictional hero?

ES: Huckleberry Finn

SS: Who is your favorite fictional villain?

ES: Inspector Javert, in Les Miserables.

SS: If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

ES: Mark Twain, but I'd probably be too awe-stricken to say anything to him.

SS: What is your biggest pet peeve?

ES: people who pick on those who are vulnerable and or disabled

SS: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

ES: doing anything at all with my husband

SS: What’s your fantasy profession?

ES: Japanese pearl diver

SS: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

ES: Courage, a sense of humor, compassion

SS: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

ES: nectarines and kefir

SS: What are your 5 favorite songs?

ES: I'd Like to Check You for Ticks, Brad Paisley; Hard Times, Stephen Foster; Fields of Gold, Sting; Garden Song, David Mallet; We'll Make Our Garden Grow, From Candide, by Leonard Bernstein

Questions About Books and Writing

SS: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

ES: Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain; Love Medicine, Louise Erdrich; To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee; Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens; Sweet Thursday, John Steinbeck

SS: Is there a book you love to reread?

ES: I don't have a particular one now, but when I was a child I read Tom Sawyer once a month for several years.

SS: Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

ES: Read constantly.

SS: What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

ES: "You really do a lot of research!"

General Questions

SS: What is your birthdate?

ES: 5/30

SS: What were your previous occupations?

ES: Baby sitter, roofer, housecleaner, landscaper, waitress (two hours), graphic designer, worm wrangler

SS: What was/is your favorite job?

ES: doing artwork

SS: Where did you go to high school and/or college?

ES: San Rafael High School, San Rafael, California; University of California at Santa Barbara

SS: Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

ES: Randy Newman

SS: What is your favorite movie?

ES: The Princess Bride

SS: What is your favorite television show?

ES: Firefly

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