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Interview with Sandra Wickham April 2015

sandrawickham_art

Sandra Wickham lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two cats. Recently, Sandra has been busy organizing the Creative Ink Festival for Writers, Readers and Artists, which you are welcome to join on Saturday, 25 April. To find out more about Sandra and the festival, please visit http://www.sandrawickham.com/

Sandra is also a writer and her short stories have appeared in Evolve, Vampires of the New Undead, Vampires of the Future Undead, Crossed Genres magazine, The Urban Green Man and more. She blogs about writing with the Inkpunks, is the Fitness Nerd columnist for the Functional Nerds, blogs for Luna Station Quarterly and slush reads for Lightspeed Magazine. Sandra competed in fitness competitions for ten years, including four years in the IFBB Pro ranks. She’s been a trainer for twenty years, offering programs designed for anyone looking to improve their level of health and fitness. Sandra has also acquired her black belt in martial arts.

Interview by Christel Bodenbender

The Creative Ink Festival is less than three weeks away, how has the response been in the community?

I’m overwhelmed by the support I’ve received from professional authors and artists as well as by companies willing to sponsor us. Our programming is stacked with talented and knowledgeable professionals, and our membership tote bags are going to be filled with great stuff, including free books, thanks to the generosity of those sponsors!

Is this the first major event you have planned and produced?

Over a span of ten years I promoted thirteen bodybuilding and fitness shows. Our last one had over 300 athletes, a sold out audience of over 1200, plus dozens of volunteers, sponsors and vendors. While it’s not the same type of event, the festival is similar in many ways and I’m hoping to use my experience to make it a great experience for everyone.

I saw the programming grid went up and am already selecting the panels and workshops I want to attend. How difficult was it to fill the day with these exciting events?

Once again, I’ll thank the presenters and panelists for their contributions, they’re providing so much experience and knowledge for festival members. Many of the panels are simply things I would love to hear about or have enjoyed at other events.

How nervous are you? This could become one of the major events for art and writing in Vancouver.

Well, now I’m extremely nervous since you put it that way! I do thank you for the kind words, but I’m just focusing on the details of this one, and promoting the 2016 event. I am nervous that after getting all these great presenters and sponsors on board, not enough people will come to see them. I’m hoping the “if you build it they will come” magic will work for me.

You had an exciting career in the fitness industry. Was writing speculative fiction something you always had on the backburner and can you live and breathe now?

I’ve always written, including writing my first novel at the age of nine. I dropped writing while I was at university pursuing my degree in English and Drama. After that came backpacking overseas, then competitions for ten years, none of which really went well with serious writing. Once I retired from competition, I went back to writing and started submitting.

What comes next? Are you right away going into planning mode for next year, or do you have other projects planned first?

The one day event has kept me extremely busy, for the full weekend event I will be taking the entire year to plan it. Of course, I also plan to continue with my own writing!


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