Thursday, 3 November 2011

Interview with Sandra Yuen MacKay

Today we're talking with a talented woman who not only writes memoirs and novellas, but is a brilliant artist as well. I'm sure she has other hidden talents as well, but let's dive into an interview with her and learn about her memoir.

Welcome to We Do Write, Sandra. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm a dreamer who likes variety in what I do. I'm a writer, visual artist and a public speaker on recovery. I have experience as a columnist and editor for Majestic, an online newsletter for, a writer's forum.

How long have you been writing?

I did journal a lot when I was young. My first published piece was a letter to the editor in Canadian Architect in 1995. Since 2002, I've been published in various magazines and online since then.

Tell us about My Schizophrenic Life: The Road to Recovery from Mental Illness.

I wrote this book from a personal perspective about what it's like to experience hallucinations, paranoia and delusions and how I dug my way out of schizophrenia to live a purposeful life. Recovery isn't a straight line but has dips and curves. In writing the book, I gained perspective on the balance of positive and negative aspects of my life and was able to let go of some of the pain and losses I had. By sharing my story, I wish to give hope for others.

I also published an e-book titled Hell's Fire, a scifi novella about a father who goes on a mission to save his daughter from alien abduction.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The hardest part is receiving rejection letters! However, they do motivate me to work on my craft and some give me feedback on what editors are looking for.

Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

Write from your heart. Dig into your emotions. Build conflict and tension into your story. Make sure the characters thoughts and actions fit into the structure of your story and plot, and tangents are minimal.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

A cup of coffee, an online dictionary and thesaurus, and a blanket because my computer is in a cool basement. A clock is handy but I usually don't pay attention to it when I'm deep into my writing.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

I'd love to be able to fly. I have dreams where I'm airborne and feel the wind. I look down and see the lights of houses.

And finally, where can people find you and your books online?

You can find me at Letters from Sandra or on Facebook

My Schizophrenic Life is available in print on Amazon, and or as an e-book at Smashwords or Amazon Kindle

Hell's Fire is available on Smashwords and Amazon Kindle

Thank you for chatting with us, Sandra. Your work sounds amazing.

Thank you, Dorothy, for taking the time to interview me!


Anonymous said...

Sandra's a wonderful person. Lovely interview and I told her before: it's incredibly brave to be upfront with mental illness. I salut her for doing it.

Sandra Yuen MacKay said...

Dorothy, thanks for the interview. It's great you showcase other authors. Good luck with your writing.

Stella, thanks for your kind words! cheers, Sandra

jenny milchman said...

This sounds like an important book the could become a resource for many. Best of luck on your writing (and other) journeys, Sandra...And thanks to both of you for the post.

Sandra Yuen MacKay said...

Thanks Jenny! It's been a long road but I feel it's less difficult now. I'm coasting these days!