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Inspired—A Passion for Vintage Fashion

Updated: May 18

An Interview with Author Sandra L. Young


This month I'm featuring Sandra L. Young and her latest novel The Ghostly Diva (The Wild Rose Press, May 1, 2024).


 

Author Sandra L. Young holding a copy Divine Vintage - the first book in the "Divine Vintage" series.

Sandra L. Young’s passion for vintage fashion inspired her to write her debut "Divine Vintage" series, wrapping with The Ghostly Diva prequel. She’s gathered an impressive collection, wearing pieces onstage through years of performing in community theater. She also wears it out on the town for special occasions. Check out her books and garments featured at SandraYoungAuthor.com. And for all who have read / reviewed the Divine Vintage series, thank you so much! Lovely reviews fuel authors to keep diving into their imaginations for your reading pleasure!


 

Welcome, Sandra, we're glad you're here!


Your website mentions that in addition to writing, you also have a passion for singing, acting, and volunteering. How do these interests influence your fiction?


Those influences are heavily reflected in my books. Divine Vintage featured a homelessness plotline, stemming from my nonprofit focus on that issue. Divinely Dramatic spotlighted a community theater play as I’ve acted in dozens of productions. Another work in progress revolves around a singer as I’ve really focused on that over acting in recent years—once I got brave enough to sing solos!


For fun: What is your favorite decade for fashion, and why?


I love the sleek lines of the Edwardian era, spanning from 1901 into the mid-teens in America, and incorporated them into Divine Vintage’s dual timeline. As a visual, think of the luscious gowns featured in the movie Titanic. Before that time, women bundled in multiple layers of undergarments and huge flowing skirts, including bustles. Hot, heavy dresses that made it difficult to even sit comfortably.


Please tell us a little about your newest novel The Ghostly Diva.


The Ghostly Diva, a standalone prequel, and the finale to the "Divine Vintage" series, imparts definite Ghost Whisperer vibes. Like the others, it wraps historical mystery around vintage fashion, romance, and a paranormal sizzle.


Assistant Museum Director Justine Saunders is enticed by the opportunity to sift through vintage treasures from a recently deceased actress. When a snowstorm strands her with the woman’s surly son and the much-too-real ghost, she’s drawn into their unresolved emotional tug-of-war. With Justine’s beloved museum position in jeopardy, she can’t afford the distractions of a rude / broken / fascinating man or his meddling, ghostly mother. Yet she can’t resist solving the mystery of his paternity, even as a big city job beckons her to shake up her life. 


Can you tell us more about how you came up with this idea and what readers can expect?


A friend worked at the local museum, and I was intrigued by their tales of ghost sightings. For The Ghostly Diva, readers can expect a charming, lighter-edged tale that also delves into some serious family drama issues, spiced with an opposites-attract, slow-burn romance.


What inspired you to write the "Divine Vintage" Series?


Initially, these three stories rolled out as linked novellas. I wrote them quickly, one after the other, set in the county where I live. Over the years I refined and improved them, turning each into a full novel. They’re an homage to our county—which borders Lake Michigan—as well as a celebration of my love of vintage fashion, performing, and history.


What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?


For this series I didn’t have to do a great deal of research, except to get the details right for the historical mystery time periods. The eras are 1913 Edwardian, the ‘60s, and late ‘70s. I research to capture the atmosphere, language, and slang to portray a timeframe correctly.


Can you give us a sneak peek into what you’re working on next, and what readers can expect from your future books?


For my next novel, I shifted from multiple-genres to truth-based historical fiction. The Eighth Wonder of Lillian Sinclair is with an agent in the query process, set around the West Baden (Indiana) Spa Hotel’s world-renowned dome. I dove deep into research for that one and absolutely loved the process. I’m also editing my fifth book, which includes a dual historical timeline. Again, history, romance, and magical sizzle are my favorite genres to write and read!


 
Cover for Author Sandra L. Young's novel The Ghostly Diva.

Excerpt from Ghostly Diva:


A fleeting movement at the edge of Justine’s vision led her to swing around. Her mouth opened in shock as she took in the semi-familiar person slouching on the bed. She squeezed her eyes shut, slapped her hands over them, and shook her head. Surely, when she opened them, the impossible image would have disappeared.


She peeped through her fingers and gasped. Liza Maddox lay propped on the bed in a royal blue miniskirt. Raven-dark, chin-length hair waved back from her stunning face in the ultimate Charlie’s Angels style. Nose straight and petite, lips full and pouty as a collagen injection. Dark brows winged over silver-gray eyes. Except for the hairdo and late ‘70s dress, she appeared natural and…human.


Justine shivered, with her gaze riveted on the apparition. In disbelief, she pinched the tender flesh of her own forearm and winced at the stab of pain.


Liza threw back her head and chuckled, baring her long throat. “Yes, dear. You’re very much awake. I hope you’re not too startled, but I thought maybe you could use some pointers in dealing with my obtuse son.”


“Oh-my-Lord.” Justine’s breath panted out as she stood frozen. This. Could not. Be. Real. Yet a few hesitant words slid out of her mouth. “Has Jackson seen you here?”


“Of course not. You think he’d believe in ghosts, my gruff, no-nonsense progeny?” She paused and looked away. The smug expression sobered. “He did believe in magic when he was little. Until he figured out I couldn’t give him the one thing he really, truly wished for.”


“I, uh, I’m sure you meant well.” Justine stuttered. She actually was having a conversation with a ghost. Or she was majorly delusional. She squeezed her eyes shut again and counted to ten. When she opened them, the apparition remained, though the edges grew hazy.


Liza’s arresting face remained downcast. The voice grew faint as she faded. “Unfortunately, my priorities were skewed.”


Justine scrubbed her hands over her cheeks and stared at the now-empty bed. She didn’t dream the encounter. Liza Maddox was haunting this house.


To find out more about Sandra and her books, please visit her website at sandrayoungauthor.com.


 

Thanks for visiting, Sandra, and telling us about your divinely inspired books!


Until next time,

Author Joie Lesin


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About the Author

Joie Lesin, Author of Speculative Fiction

Minnesota-based author, Joie Lesin is a life-long fiction writer and the author of The Passenger. She has long been fascinated by anything otherworldly including ghosts. She loves to write a good ghost story—especially when it includes a touch of romance.

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