Sunday, May 24, 2009


Most writers are bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, but few of them actually make a serious effort until they are well into adulthood, with a surprising number waiting until retirement. The great disadvantage of a late start is the fact that it takes many years to develop as a writer. Many publishing houses today have a turnaround time of as long as eighteen months from proposal to print. It is always good to see someone start early along the path toward publication. One of those writers is Brian D. Sandell, a recently graduated college student. I finally ran Brian down at his college and asked him a few questions about his hopes and aims as a writer. Here are his answers.

Who is Brian D. Sandell?

Brian D. Sandell is a recent college graduate from Grove City College, with a degree in Christian thought. He enjoys many of the finer things of life: a good game of bocce, rooting his Steelers on to many Super Bowl wins, a really good back massage, the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, laying in a hammock on a warm summer afternoon, a great George Clooney movie, and of course writing. Brian loves referring to himself in the third person, and he will be attending Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in the fall. I hope this gives you all just a brush stroke as to who Brian D. Sandell is. D stands for Day, by the way.

How long have you been writing?

I have a huge notebook full of story beginnings about the most random and bizarre ideas, and characters. Creativity is definitely an attribute that I have possessed ever since I was a little kid. So, this has been a wonderful journey for me going from an ambitious, starry eyed writer, to an actual published author. I have enjoyed the continual process between characters, and the skill of keeping the reader on the edge of their seat with a surprise ending, So, I guess to answer your question I have been writing for about fifteen total years, and I first started writing seriously in high school English class. The journey has been bumpy, but the rewards far outweigh the bumps sustained.

You seem to be comfortable writing Christian fiction. Have you tried any other genres?

Let me answer that question by first saying, I do write Christian fiction, but my Christian fiction is not judgmental or preachy. I desire to write great fiction that teaches and drives home a wonderful Christian message. The message can be anything from the happiness found in our relationship with people and not things, how to deal with pain, the need to offer forgiveness when we have been wronged, and we need to honor and obey our parents. In my writing I strive to convey messages like those I have listed above. But, I am currently very much involved in writing both a children's picture book and a middle grade mystery novel. I like to keep busy.

What was it like to see your book finally come to print?

Words can barely describe the feeling to finally hold your book into print. I think it is a huge relief to finally hold the finished project in your hands. So, one adjective I would definitely say I felt was proud. The process was long, but definitely well worth it. One of the biggest mistakes I see in people today, and not just in writing is that people often get so focused on the end result whether that is a job promotion, a published book, graduating school, or a new car, we focus so much on the result we often forget the journey. I wold encourage each person reading this, whatever you do in life value the end result, but don't forget the journey you took to get the end results.

What is your ideal writing setting?

I enjoy writing at night. I cannot explain what or why it is, but I find myself in a much more creative, richer, and fuller mindset at night. So, the time is at night, I would say anytime after 10 is probably the best time. I sit in a very comfortable brown leather chair. I have penned four books, from the comfort of this chair, so something right must come from the chair. I really enjoy watching something else while I am writing either, Seinfeld, The Office, Sports Center, or anything that is on. Those are definitely some very inspiring and culturally enriching shows, so I always inspired every time I get the privilege to write.

What is your greatest joy in penning a new story?

There are many joys in penning a new story. Having characters come to life is something magical, and I just cannot explain how it happens, but when it does it truly is a magical thing. Writing should be done not just to entertain people, but to teach and inspire people to make good decisions, to value their relationships they have with their family, and to pursue the gifts that God has given them to the fullest. I would say one of the biggest joys, and one of the biggest reasons why I write is to see the joy and happiness someone gets shortly after they finish reading one of my carefully crafted tales.

What about frustrations?

One of the biggest frustrations has to be editing. I do not consider myself to be a strong ideas writer, but grammar is something I have been lacking. However, I am definitely improving in this area. I do not mind editing, but it is something I am not very good at, kind of expensive, and one of my biggest frustrations in writing.

Who is your greatest champion?

My greatest champion has to be my father, Mark Sandell. Mark is a great example of someone who is a great leader, visionary, father, and friend. Mark has tirelessly taught all around how to make good decisions, and live life to the fullest. My father has been one of my biggest encouragers and inspirations to develop and pursue my writing talent. One of my biggest dreams and goals in my life is to become half the man my father is. I am constantly inspired and motivated to live life to the highest level I can, due to my father.

Who are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Uncommon by Tony Dungy. In my opinion we need more people like Tony Dungy in our society today. He is a true hero who is not only a wonderful football coach and author, but Tony Dungy is a fantastic human being. I just got the book for my college graduation which was last Saturday, so I have not read that much of it yet. But, what I have read so far is inspiring, compelling, and well written. I am very excited to finish the book soon.

What's next for you?

I am going to be pursuing some different opportunities in children's book publishing. I am working on a children's picture book, and a middle grade mystery book series. I did just graduate college on May 16, so I am enjoying being all done with school, however, I do have lots of loans to pay back. I have a suspense/thriller manuscript being looked at my a literary agency, and I am very optimistic about this opportunity. One thing I am currently doing non-writing is hosting my own radio show called Before Bedtime. It is a show dedicated to hosting the best authors, artists, leaders, and visionaries before you go to bed on Sunday nights. If you want to or know someone who would be a good guest email me at

Where can we find you on the web?

You can find me on my website at:
My email address is
You can tweet me as well at:

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