Sandra Prior couldn’t be more different than Bobby Taylor, the kingpin whose death set off a firestorm in Dangerous, her first novel.
Sandra had a storybook childhood — complete with four sisters and a brother, and parents who lived in the same Dagenham home for more than half a century. She describes her childhood as “sunny and safe”, living in a place where you could play for hours and wander the streets with your friends, without any fears.
Today, Sandra lives in Clacton with her partner, her youngest son, and her two dogs — who, she notes, were kind enough to “let” her write Dangerous in between their walks on the beach.
Unlike other writers, Sandra took a different path to get where she is today. Dangerous isn’t the result of years of schooling and formal writing training. In fact, while she was raising her young children, Sandra took evening classes to complete her English and math qualifications (as she puts it, “I didn’t do what I should have at school.”). After that, she studied Sociology through the Open University which led to her heading off to the University of East London — where she earned a degree in Cultural Studies.
By 1998, Sandra was a business owner — the owner of a domiciliary care agency, to be exact. It didn’t take long for her to learn the value of hard work, passion, and communication — along with the importance of balancing her business commitments with her family commitments. Years later, she would add one more thing to the mix — by balancing her business responsibilities and her family life with her writing duties.
And speaking of writing…
For years, Sandra dreamed of writing a book. Alas, like so many of us, her dream sat in the back of her mind collecting dust. After all, she had a demanding career and a busy family life. How can you add writing a book to all of that?! For years, she told herself that there wasn’t enough time, that she wasn’t organized enough to pull it off, and that it was a nice thought — but not something that you actually go out and DO.
But then, one day, Sandra’s life completely changed when she flipped through the pages of a magazine and read about a man named Anthony Robbins and something called life coaching. She went to one of Robbins’ London seminars and actually managed to walk across a 15-foot bed of burning coals!
From there, she decided that if she was going to make the most of her life, she would have to “keep walking”…
That’s when she decided to make her writing real, instead of just a fantasy that lived deep in her mind. Sandra sat down and began working on Dangerous – with just Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Barry White, Rod Stewart, and the like to keep her company.
Through the laughter, the tears, the shouting, and the frustration, Sandra was able to realize her dream and finish Dangerous. Oh sure, there were times when she didn’t think she was going to make it. On more than one occasion, she considered tossing the half-finished manuscript right in the bin and calling the whole thing off. So, when she finally got to write the words “The End” on her novel, it was a huge accomplishment and, in a way, almost an even bigger relief!
However, Dangerous’ ending was really just the beginning…
Today, Sandra still spends time running her business. However, those long hours have been replaced with just a couple of trips to the office every month. Most of the time, she handles everything over the phone or through email. That way, she has plenty of time to write!
So, what’s next in the writing department?
Sandra plans on devoting an entire series to the Taylor family. She is brimming with ideas as to where future generations of Taylors wind up. One day, she dreams of seeing her name on the New York Times bestseller list! In the meantime, she wants to write one new novel every year.
And, of course, Sandra has her own family to keep her company as she comes up with new stories for the Taylor family. She’s madly in love with her four children and her three grandchildren.
When she’s not writing, Sandra loves spending time at the beach (with and without the dogs!). She enjoys everything from walking along the rocks to enjoying a beach snowfall in the winter. She’s also a big fan of the theatre and, of course, reading! In fact, Sandra credits fellow British author Martina Cole as her “inspiration” for getting into the crime-writing business.
Sadly, Sandra lost her parents, her brother Johnnie, and her sister Shirley before Dangerous was finished. As a tribute, she dedicated the novel to all of them. Even though they’re not here to read it — or to see what comes next — Sandra is certain that all of them are looking down, champagne in hand, saying, “Well done, girl. We knew you could do it!”