Deerfield author provides escape for young adults
Sandy Bernstein celebrates the launch of her latest book, "The Door in the Sky." Photo supplied.
Updated: November 27, 2012 10:34AM
DEERFIELD — Sandy Bernstein, a Deerfield resident and published book author, has quite a few accolades to her name. Bernstein said her latest book, “The Door in the Sky,” has been nominated for The Young Adult Book Bloggers Award for Best Fantasy, and is also in consideration for two young adult Library Association awards. Bernstein said it was also voted Best New Release and Best New Young Adult Fantasy on GoodReads. Her book, which would appeal to middle schoolers and up, is available at Barnes and Noble in Deerfield and Amazon.com as a paperback, and as an e-book on Amazon.com, B&N.com and iTunes, Bernstein said.
Q: What inspired you to write “The Door in the Sky?”
A: When my kids were little, I wrote a book about my daughter (unpublished), and my son was upset and wanted me to write one about him. I used to sing him a song I wrote about talking stars that whisked him away to an enchanted kingdom. I decided to write that story — however, to his continued annoyance, his sister eventually snuck her way into that book as well!
Q: What got you interested in writing and fantasy?
A: I’ve always been a writer, ever since I was a little girl. When I grew up, I worked as a copywriter at a huge ad agency downtown (think Mad Men minus the hot guys). I quit to raise my kids, but I never quit writing. I’ve loved fantasy since reading “A Wrinkle in Time” in the 5th grade. It was a gateway book leading to such harder fantasies as “Narnia” and “Lord of the Rings.”
Q: Who is your biggest influence for writing?
A: Patricia Wrede, Douglas Adams, and Dr. Seuss.
Q: What are your future writing goals?
A: I’m working on the sequel to “The Door in the Sky” right now called “The Knights of D’atura.” After that, I’ve written two other books that I want to publish — one is a middle grade humor book called “Of Mice and Chickens” and the other is a teen paranormal romance called “The Prince and the Pendant.”
Q: What is your proudest moment or achievement?
A: As exciting as my award nominations and glowing reviews have been, my proudest professional achievement has been my fan mail. One young fan wrote that he loved my book so much he’s read it six times! But the letter that meant the most to me was a young woman who wrote that her father was dying of cancer and she had
been in the throes of depression, but reading my book made her laugh for the first time in months. She thanked me for helping her to escape into a world filled with magic and laughter.
Q: Why did you choose Deerfield?
A: 25 years ago, it was the only suburb on the North Shore that we could afford. My first day in Deerfield, the cashier at a now defunct hardware store heard I had just moved in and gave me a plant! I fell in love with this town on the spot.
Q: Where are you from originally?
A: Wilmette. I’ve lived on the North Shore all my life.
Q: What is your family like?
A: Very funny! People often ask how I came to infuse so much humor in my writing, but they need look no further than my family.
Q: What is your favorite Deerfield event?
A: When my kids were little, it was the Fourth of July Bike Decorating Contest and Parade (my daughter is 24 and she still has her Honorable Mention Awards)! But now that I’m, shall we say, more mature, I love the art fair.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in town?
A: Hard to pinpoint one — but if pressed, I’d have to say Rhapsody, and Deerfield’s Bakery!
Q: If you were mayor of Deerfield for a day, what would you do?
A: I’d open some awesome entertainment venues in town: indoor mini golf and a comedy club – anything that would stay open past nine o’clock on the weekend! Also, I’d fix the sewer that’s always flooding in front of my house.
Q: What are you currently reading?
A: “The Panther,” by Nelson DeMille (I’ve read all the books in this series —I have a crush on Agent John Corey).
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: “Star Wars: Episode IV,” which is really episode one, which is really confusing!
Q: What is on your iPod?
A: Dust. I only listen to it when I work out.
Q: What is your favorite vacation destination?
A: England — the land of Jane Austen, Monty Python, and Kate Middleton.
Q: Are you a summer or winter person?
A: Winter! Anyone who reads my book would guess that by the way I describe the ethereal land of never-ending winter.
Q: What’s your favorite Chicago sports team?
A: The 1985 Bears (if you see me around town, ask me about the time I tackled Walter Payton)!