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Author spotlight: Sandy Barker

11 November 2022

In the lead-up to ARR2023 in February 2023 we will be spotlighting the authors who will be signing. In the spotlight today we have Sandy Barker. Sandy will be signing in Melbourne.

Who was the first romance author to catch your interest?

I was obsessed with Sweet Dreams books when I was a teen, but as an adult reader, I’d say that Lindsey Kelk was the most influential author I read before I was published (and I’ve read every book of hers since). Reading her books showed me that there was a readership for writers with a similar voice and style to mine.

What do you write?

I write travel rom-coms with heart. My characters transform, so beneath the humour is the tale of a real person who is ‘stuck’ and trave.ling helps them get back to themselves. Friendships are key in my books, as well as location and, of course, there will always be a scrummy love interest who brings out the best in my heroine.

Which usually comes to you first—characters or plot (or something else)?

Often location is a starting point―who can I send to this incredible location and why? I’ve also started with a concept, like I did with The Christmas Swap where three childhood friends, an American, a Brit and an Aussie, swap Christmases. And sometimes, I’ll begin with character―someone ‘ordinary’ who I put in an extraordinary situation, like Abby in The Dating Game, who ends up going undercover on a reality dating show.

Choose one of your books to turn into a movie—who would you cast in the lead roles?

I’d love for The Dating Game to be made into a film. Abby’s British and while I was writing, I pictured Emilia Clarke―she’s a terrific comedic actress and can play ‘Everywoman’. As Jack, the sexy Australia producer of the dating show, The Stag, Adam Demos, definitely (swoon).

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less:

The Christmas Trip is the follow up to The Christmas Swap (from 2020). I wanted to bring the three May Ladies and their boyfriends (sorry―spoilers!) back together again. One couple plans to spend Christmas in Paris, but an Icelandic volcano erupts, sending an ash cloud over Europe―no one in or out. So, what’s the next best thing to Christmas in Paris? Reuniting with your besties and their beaus in Hawaii for the holidays! There are some fabulous new characters, lots of May Ladies mayhem, rocky romantic antics, and Christmas! In Hawaii! It’s a romp of a ride and was incredibly fun to write.

What else are you working on at the moment?

I’ve started working on a new rom-com series that features a bespoke dating agency called the Ever After agency. Each story riffs on a familiar fairy tale and I get to play with a range of romantic tropes: enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, forced proximity, grumpy sunshine … Book 1 is called When Beauty Met the Beast. My agent is currently working on finding a home for it. I’m also writing an Australian dramedy―lots of Aussie humour but with real family drama―about a rich and famous lifestyle guru who blows up her ‘perfect’ life to reconnect with her roots, finding herself along the way. It’s called Tilly Finnegan, Begin Again.

Sandy’s latest releases:

Tickets for ARR2023 are now on sale here. You can find the full list of signing authors here.

Join us in the ARR2023 Attendees group on Facebook.


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