Sandra Mclaren (left) & Rhonda Collins (right)
About the Authors
Collins and Sandra McLaren met on the internet, and having similar
interests, became fast friends.
Rhonda Collins and Sandra McLaren met on the internet, and having similar interests, became fast friends.
Sandra, who has spent time in the Middle East and is very fond of their people and culture provided much of the raw material for the “Castles in the Sand” trilogy. She lives in Manchester, England, with her husband of thirty years. She has one son, two adopted daughters and several grandchildren.
Rhonda, who has always been fascinated by the Middle East, probably from her years of raising Arabian horses and learning their history, lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband of thirty years and her two sons, who are grown and about ready to ‘leave the nest’.
“Altogether”, Rhonda says, “the story probably took about four years to write, when you consider the time each of us worked on it, both separately and together. It’s been quite an undertaking.
The series of three books is, all told, over 300,000 words. The scope of the story reminds me a good deal of a mixture of ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘The Wind and the Lion’.
At first glance, people might look at some elements of the story and believe that it’s merely a ‘racy romance’.” At this point, she stops and smiles as she adds, “Racy and explicit it may be, and it’s definitely a romance to make you believe in love all over again, but I see it as much more. When I write a story, I want it to be something that will make people think about hard choices, and this story does that.
In addition, there is a tremendous gulf in understanding between West and East. Wars are fought and hundreds of thousands of people die because cultures don’t understand each other. Simply because people and cultures are different doesn’t make either one ‘bad’, or even ‘wrong’. We’d both like to feel that our story will not only touch the heart, but the mind, and help people realize that no matter how different other cultures may be, they all consist of people…people who are like everyone else, good and bad.