Celebrating the Launch of my #RomanceBook #IFFILA #NewAuthor

A huge congratulations to one of my dear writer friends, Lucy Mitchell, on the launch of Instructions for Falling in Love Again. I read an advanced copy of this wonderful drama-comedy-romance. It’s beautifully written and it will lift your soul – highly recommended.

A revisited meme

From our last time in WA

I first published this meme in March 2008, borrowed from the Sunday newspaper supplement. So little has changed that I’m re-posting it almost intact. Anything in blue is new.

My earliest memory is being in hospital. I was 18 months old, and was there because I had stopped breathing. I was sitting at a small wooden table with other kids, eating Weetbix for breakfast. Later I went missing. They found me in the men’s room, peeking into the showers. (I started young.)

At school I was bossy, too smart for my own good, and a bit of a loner. I excelled in handstands and asking too many questions. In high school I quit the handstands, but was still hugely unpopular, because I had a Texan accent (from living in Texas – not just for fun), and wore makeup in a school full of Aussie chicks who preferred sneakers with skirts and bare faces.

My first relationship was with Shane (I forget his last name). We were 10 years old. He let me look at his Star Wars book, which had photographs from the film. I secretly wanted to be with Mark Hamill, but we were together for almost a whole month.

I don’t like talking about injuries, surgery, childbirth and other gory stuff. Just talking about it creeps me out.

I wish I’d never worn glasses without lenses in them, because I thought they looked cool. It was the 80s. Enough said.

My parents always told me that I could tell them anything, and that I should travel widely and pursue my dreams.

I wish I had straight hair. (still true)

I wish I hadn’t obsessed about a boy called Jeremy all through high school.

My last meal would be in Greece: fresh bread, tomatoes, tzatziki and olive oil. (still true)

I am very bad at ball sports. Just don’t throw it, kick it or pass it to me.

Friends say I am funny, naughty, talented, bold, generous.

The song I would like played at my funeral is Nessun Dorma. For some reason, this used to be Wonderwall, by Oasis.

If only I could make a living solely as an author. (soon, I hope)

The last big belly laugh I had was with Ben yesterday – he has a terrific sense of humour. The response from 2008 was about Ben too.

What I don’t find amusing is inconsideration. In traffic, at the gym, in shops. Not funny, not cool, not nice.

Cat or dog. Cat. I miss having a cat.

If I were a car I’d be Seriously? This is a question? Why not, ‘If I were a tree I’d be’? Or ‘If I were an animal I’d be’? (A Peugot 307, a camouflage gum, a turtle – just in case you were wondering). Silly question. (still all true though)

I often wonder how things will work out. They always do – often better than I could imagine – but it doesn’t stop me wondering.

That’s all for now…

15 books in 15 minutes

I came across this post from 10 years ago.
15 books that have stuck with me…I may need to revisit this meme.

What are yours?

Sandy Barker | Author


I love to read. In fact, I have discovered that my desire to write is affected greatly by whether or not I am reading regularly. When I read less, because I am too busy to carve out the time, I write less. When I make time to read – and I read diversely – I find that creative impulses kick in more frequently. I even write stuff in the middle of the night, if that is when inspiration strikes (like last night).

This meme, as with many of the others I have done, comes from Charlotte, whose humor and insight also inspire me.

The task: Name 15 books that ‘stick’ with me – in 15 minutes. Okay, so this took me 45 minutes (sorry Charlotte).

IT by Stephen King Truly the most terrifying book I have ever picked up. I could only read it in daylight, because it scared…

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La La Land Made Me Do it

2016. Ben and I had just returned from another sailing trip in Greece.

My manuscript called to me from the desk drawer. ‘Hey, remember me? I’m about falling in love on a sailing trip in Greece. You could, um, you know, give me a new lick of paint or something?’

I ignored it.

I’d had an agent the year before. He’d loved the book, but he couldn’t get any takers. I was done with it. I was done with the whole ‘being an author’ lark. I was giving up on my dream.

Then we saw La La Land.

La La Land, which will forever be known as ‘the film that changed my life’.

Yes, really.

You see, towards the end of the film [spoiler alert, but really, you should have seen it by now—it’s incredible], Emma Stone’s character, Mia, is at the point where she wants to give up on acting. And Ryan Gosling’s character, Sebastian, convinces her to go to this one particular audition.

She does, and it is a beautiful audition. La La Land is a musical, so she sings it—a song called ‘The Fools Who Dream’. In a perfect Oscar-winning moment, she lays it all out there, her heart bare and raw.


[MAJOR SPOILER] She gets the part and she becomes a huge star.

The rest of the film devolves into a flash forward and then completely the wrong ending, but that scene!!!!

After the film, we caught the tram home and I couldn’t speak and I couldn’t stop the tears streaming down my face. When we got home, I told Ben I wanted to be alone, and sitting at my desk, I had a serious talk with myself.

No one was going to knock on my door and ask if I had a completed manuscript lying about. No one was going to ever read it if I didn’t do something—if I didn’t at least try.

This was my dream. I was a fool who dreamed, and if I didn’t give this everything I had, it would never happen and I would always be heartbroken that my dream hadn’t come true.

So, I had to try—again.

And I did. I re-wrote the book and self-published and queried it and wrote more books and queried those. I kept going. I gave it everything I had—all because of that one scene in that one film. Yes, eventually I may have had a nudge from somewhere else, but I will always remember La La Land as the film that changed my life.