Today I have the opportunity of welcoming Toni Sands to my blog.
Toni was born and brought up in South Wales, devouring every book in the local library children’s section and playing as much tennis as possible. She admits she can still bore for Britain if anyone’s misguided enough to mention Roger, Rafa et al. She trained as a secretary and worked in the leisure industry, including aviation and hotels, before running a guesthouse and restaurant in Wiltshire. When she settled down to write properly, or some might say improperly, she realised how much she loved the magic of creating characters and being able to control their lives.
Who has influenced you most? My former writing tutor, Dr Menna Elfyn, plus other and more illustrious RNA members than I.
Which is your favourite book? May I sneak two in? I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith and Theodora by Stella Duffy.
What would you save in a fire? My DH is safe so my jewellery box for sentimental reasons. Without that, I probably wouldn’t have the heart to write anyway.
Which film have you seen several times? South Pacific. I had a huge crush on John Kerr, also there are so many issues explored within the story.
What in your life would you change? I’d like to move back to England one day - if they’ll have us. That’s no reflection on Wales, but I’d love to be closer to family.
What ambitions do you have? To become a better writer and hopefully to keep entertaining readers on the way. I’m also hoping to enhance my output to include women’s fiction that isn’t romantica but Xcite Books have asked me to submit a proposal for a historical trilogy, so hot knights are high priority.
What is your favourite colour? Blue/green shades attract me.
What temptations do you wish you could resist? Red wine - real coffee - dark chocolate … I’m joking!
What in others makes you angry? Lack of consideration.
What is your philosophy on life? Do as you would be done by.
What is your favourite song? Another killer question! Younger than Springtime because it is sheer romance.
What is your favourite piece of music? Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
Which four people, dead or alive, would you like to invite to dinner? First response Jilly Cooper, Charles Dickens, Cleopatra and Martin Clunes - but I’d love to sit down with some of my forebears, beginning with my late parents.
What do you regret from the past? Not fully appreciating what lovely people my parents were.
What is the thing that has made you happiest? Loving and being loved.
What would you want if you could choose anything? For sanity to return, creating a less materialistic world with jobs for those desperate to use their skills and experience – and that includes my son.
Where is your favourite place in the world? Apart from Waitrose? Put that big stick down, please, Bex. It has to be Cancale in Brittany, honeymoon spot for my late husband and me.
Five things you may not know about Toni:
Aged five, she crashed her British Racing Green pedal car, but still enjoys driving;
Her first writing success was in a school Eisteddfod;
As a Butlin Redcoat, she was a real life ‘Gladys from Hi di Hi’;
She took part in BBC TV’s Play School with her son in 1981;
Fate sometimes propels her into the paths of famous people;
Thank you Toni, for dropping by to share so much with us.
To find out more about Toni and her books, you can visit her website by clicking here.
Check out her books on Amazon.
Or follow her on Twitter @tonisands.