BRoP interview: Sandra Saidak

Sandra SaidakI’m very pleased to introduce this week’s Blog Ring of Power guest, Sandra Saidak. I met Sandra through Broad Universe and have since had the pleasure to visit prehistoric cultures through her books–both are interesting and fun reads!

Be sure to catch the rest of her BRoP interview at:

Part 2 @ Em – Friday, Aug. 31

Part 3 @ Sandra – Monday, Sept. 3

Part 4 @ Dean – Tuesday, Sept. 4

Part 5 @ Terri – Wednesday, Sept. 5


SANDRA SAIDAK graduated San Francisco State University in 1985 with a B.A. in English.  She is a high school English teacher by day, author by night.  Her hobbies include reading, dancing, attending science fiction conventions, researching prehistory, and maintaining an active fantasy life (but she warns that this last one could lead to dangerous habits such as writing).  Sandra lives in San Jose with her husband Tom, daughters Heather and Melissa, and two cats.   Her first novel, “Daughter of the Goddess Lands”, an epic set in the late Neolithic Age, was published in November, 2011 by Uffington Horse Press.  Learn more at




BRoP: When and why did you begin writing?

Sandra: I can’t really remember when I started writing.  I imagined stories as far back as I remember.  Like most little girls, I played with dolls.  But somewhere around kindergarten, the dolls became a problem: they couldn’t talk or grow or change, like I wanted the characters I was imagining to.  So I continued playing in the same imagined universe—just without the dolls.  I started writing my stories down somewhere in middle school.  As for why: fantasy is just how my brain works.  I also wrote because I wanted to know what happened after the end of a beloved book (or movie or TV show).  And I wrote when the story didn’t end the way I thought it should, or when I wanted to insert myself into the story so it would go the way it should have.  I mean, somebody had to fix those things, right?  (I didn’t know until much later that most of my early work would be called “fanfic”.)


BRoP:  When did you first consider yourself a professional writer?

Sandra: The day I got my acceptance letter from Galaxy Magazine—along with a check for $115.00—for a short story called “Support Unlimited”.  I didn’t know at the time how unusual “pays on acceptance” markets were back then.  I just know that the check twirled out of the envelope while I was trying to read my very first acceptance letter, and lay glimmering on the floor.  I stood there, laughing and staring at the check, until my three year old daughter said, “Mommy funny”.  Then I pulled myself together and called everyone I knew.


BRoP:  What books have most influenced your life?

Sandra: The “Earth’s Children” series by Jean Auel.  And everything Spider Robinson and Zenna Henderson ever wrote (at least that I’ve gotten a hold of.)


BRoP:  What genre do you write?

Sandra: Prehistoric fiction, historical fantasy and alternative history (does anyone sense a pattern here?)


BRoP:  What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?

Sandra: I like clashes between cultures and ideas.  I especially like to put two characters together who have totally different views of the universe—each with the belief that he/she is right; that no sane person would believe any differently.  I also like characters who break out of the roles that society hands them, and expects them to follow.


BRoP:  Please tell us where your readers can find you:

Facebook page:!/sandy.saidak
Goodreads author page: (but having difficulties; I keep adding the new book; it keeps not showing up!)

Daughter of the Goddess Lands–Abducted by a tribe of violent horsemen, Kalie, daughter of a peaceful, goddess-worshiping society, escapes from slavery and returns home, only to find her trials are just beginning.  When her warnings of an upcoming invasion go unheeded, Kalie seeks sanctuary in a temple of healing.  Here, she learns to help others, yet is unable to heal her own pain or stop the nightmares.  When the horsemen return, it is up to Kalie to find a way to save her people from slavery and death, while at the same time, finding the courage to confront the ghosts of her own past.

Shadow of the HorsemenShadow of the Horsemen continues the saga of Kalie, the intrepid heroine of “Daughter of the Goddess Lands.”  Kalie is rising in status and influence among her captors, the horsemen that control the rugged steppes of prehistoric Europe.  Now she seeks the weapon that will save her people, but time is running out as Haraak the Kingmaker, forges a mighty federation of tribes, intent on invading Kalie’s rich and peaceful homeland. Kalie finds, an unlikely ally in Riyik, a powerful warrior whose crippled son Kalie has been treating with her healing skills.  Forced to work together, the two find themselves growing closer than either had intended.  But in the violent, chaotic world of the steppes, love can be a dangerous thing. As alliances shift and warriors battle for dominance, Kalie must use all her abilities see her enemies defeated and create a new life for all of those she has come to love.



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