Growing up, I was surrounded by the traditional type-A personalities; people who went for practicality over dreams or what wasn’t considered the “norm” for society. These people worked 9 to 5 jobs, got married and had kids. There is nothing wrong with that, however, I always felt like I wanted more. My dream wasn’t to work for just a paycheck, to marry because it meant I was a grown-up, or to have children because everyone else was, and that is what’s expected of you.
I dreamt of making a difference somehow, of going to diverse places, and meeting new people. I wrote about these dreams. I wrote stories of love, but with more than just two characters passionate about one another. They always have a passion for life and for fulfilling dreams. I wrote these characters doing things I had never done – getting lost in a new city, meeting people unlike themselves, and falling in love in the midst of it all.
While I wrote these novels, I worked on who I wanted to be. I lived my life with passion and I allowed my art to take me to new places, people, and experiences. I don’t put limits on myself. I don’t feel bad about being single or not being a mom. It’ll happen someday, but I’m not in a rush.
Through my writing and all of these characters, even the ones that seem nothing like me, I have found who I am and what I want. Most writers say their art imitates their own life. For me, more often than not, my life is shaped because of my art. For instance, in my novel “Dream Catchers”, my two main characters go to the top of the Empire State Building. Meanwhile I, myself, had never been. I lived my entire life in New York City and had never been to the Empire State Building! I changed that after writing the book.
Just like I have gone to a Yankees gave after writing “Take Me Home”, and how I began a love affair with peanut butter and banana sandwiches after a character I had written was obsessed with the combination. I had never tried it prior to writing about it. What made me write these settings and character quirks if I had not experienced them? Who knows? When I write, I let the characters lead the way in my mind. I can’t really explain it other than that.
My latest novel, “Indigo Waters” is possibly the only novel of mine where I experienced much of the adventures and sights that go on in the book before I wrote it. I went on a wild dolphin expedition last summer and knew I had to base a novel off my experience. Still, next time I go back to the Bahamas, I need to learn to calypso dance like Cosette and Madeleine did in the book.
Perhaps my novels are pushing me to experience things I wouldn’t normally do. With each novel, I feel happier with who I am, and excited to go on the next adventure with a new story.
Starting this fall, I will be traveling across the United States for several months while writing a quirky ghost story. Oh, the characters that I will meet on my journey, both fictional and real…
I hope everyone finds something they are passionate about, outside of another person, or their job (I never look at writing as a job), and feel as complete as I do because of that passion. I only brag about my passion because I want to encourage others to discover theirs.
About The Author: Sandy Lo is an author, journalist, and dreamer who inspires the world with her words. For more information on Sandy and her books visit www.Sandy-Lo.com.