‘Go out and find the adventures in life’

Sandy Nadeau
Sandy Nadeau

NB grad gets first novel published—

Just about anyone who has committed him or herself to writing knows the process of becoming a published author can be a long, sometimes arduous one.

But for those who stick with it and find the right people to help along the way, the journey of crafting a story and seeing it published is worth all the hassle.

Sandy Nadeau, a 1976 North Branch Area High School graduate, is very familiar with the obstacles faced by aspiring authors.

About two weeks ago, Pelican Book Group published her first novel, “Red Gold.”

Nadeau and her husband, Ron, whom she met in North Branch, have lived in Colorado since the mid-1980s, and she’s used her experiences living in that state to draft her story.

According to a Q-and-A article with Nadeau on the American Christian Fiction Writers in Colorado’s Inkwell blog:

Graphic supplied
Graphic supplied

The book centers on Mandy Phillips and her husband; the couple run an adventure ranch in the Colorado Mountains, which has been a dream of Nadeau and her husband’s for years.

In the novel, the couple wants to expand their business, but they run into opposition from a grouch of a neighbor, Mr. Shonee.

When mysterious things begin to happen at the ranch, they don’t know if it’s him causing the trouble, or if there’s something else going on. Their efforts to grow the business keep getting sabotaged. Another character in the story, a 13-year-old guest at the ranch, gets thrown into one dangerous situation after another.

Mandy has to completely rely on her faith in God to save the girl, solve the mysteries surrounding their ranch, save Mr. Shonee from himself and discover the secret to the Red Gold.

The process of becoming a published author

Nadeau said she’s very pleased with the end product that resulted from years of brainstorming, editing and rewriting — both by her and editors at Pelican – and instead of looking at rejections as a slap in the face, she viewed them as opportunities to learn.

In her quest to get “Red Gold” published, she was turned down multiple times — twice by Pelican — but, unlike some editors, one editor at the company took Nadeau under her wing and sent her a couple pages of notes on how to improve the novel.

Nadeau made changes and submitted it again. The result? Rejected.

But again, that editor, Nicola Martinez, gave Nadeau helpful notes about how to refine the book.

Nadeau took those suggestions into account, revised it again, and the success came. Pelican offered her a contract.

Writing background

Nadeau said her interest in writing could be linked back to her grandmother and her mother. She said her grandmother did a lot of writing in her later years, and her mother, who grew up in the Great Depression era, has reams of stories in a three-ring binder she had written about her childhood in North Dakota.

“Writing kind of runs in the family,” she said.

The writing bug for Nadeau started in high school. She wrote many stories during her secondary school years in North Branch, but she doesn’t have copies of those stories anymore.

Her desire to become a published author didn’t hit full force until she, her husband and her daughter, Trisha, moved to Colorado.

Her first consistent experience with getting published was with Canyon Courier of Evergreen Colorado, the newspaper that covers the town in which she and her husband now live, Kittredge, among other areas.

Nadeau wrote a biweekly column for a dozen years that was mix of her personal insights on community events.

When she decided to transition from column to book writing, Nadeau attended writers’ conferences for years in Colorado, picking up helpful information from many of them, including the American Fiction Christian Writers Conference.

Nadeau said her faith is a strong part of her life, and that is reflected in her novel, but even readers who are not of the Christian faith could find the book enjoyable because of the adventure and mystery elements.

“My tagline is ‘Life is an adventure created by God,’” she said. “I think it’s important for people to go out and find those adventures in life and appreciate them.”

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