Sandy’s love of reading began in her pre-teen years when she received her first Nancy Drew mystery book. Portrayed in this mystery series were adventures Sandy could only dream about. Over the years, she honed her writing skills and began to produce stories of her own.
Journaling through teenage angst, young adult drama, marriage, children, divorce and varied employment situations; Sandy realized that she had compiled quite a catalog of ideas for diverse storylines. Many years passed before she was able to actively pursue her writing. She wanted to write her own stories of adventure and romance topped off with a bit of danger. To date, her writing has been centered on short stories with strong female lead characters, sprinkled with romance, while paying homage to her southeastern Kentucky roots. She has also produced numerous magazine articles and newsletters on topics such as youth athletics, non-profit fundraising and the college preparation process.
When Sandy’s little piece of heaven went straight to hell in September 2003, she never thought she would recover. Recover from a loss so painful, so shattering, that nothing in her world would ever be the same. Her son, Tyler Jordan Richards, born June 4, 1987, passed away on September 21, 2003 from injuries sustained in a car accident. He was 16 years old and had been driving for three months.
Through music, reading and journaling, coupled with love and support from family and friends, Sandy slowly began living her “new normal” life. A new normal, post-accident, radically changed, misty grey shrouded world that included induction into a club that only nightmares are made of; a club whose membership consists of parents who have lost a child.
As part of her healing process, she took on the challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November 2011 launched her quest to put into words the true story of her love, her loss and her healing. Initially, the story was told from Sandy’s point of view. However, during the month-long challenge, she revised the story to be told from Tyler’s unique viewpoint…through the eyes of an angel. The result of her work is chronicled in A Far Cry…From Home ~ A Mother’s Journey of Love, Loss and Healing…Through the Eyes of an Angel.
Sandy’s mission in life, hand in hand with both her sons, is to spread the message of the wonders of all children and to help them succeed in a sometimes cruel and confusing world. Her work in the Walled Lake School District affords her the opportunity to be surrounded by children and to share a smile with them at every opportunity. Her hope is that by sharing her story she might bring comfort to other parents who have endured the loss of a child.