My days are filled with a combination of writing, reading, gardening, and taking care of Redwood Writer business (of which I was elected president for 2015-16). I continue to work on a series of kid-gardening books, 32-page full-color picture books featuring garden topics with a plot. Hence my blog title, Garden Plots! My first book, Mrs. Feeny and the Grubby Garden Gang, was released in mid-April 2011. You may order autographed copies of all my books through my website www.sandybakerwriter.com or unsigned through www.amazon.com/author/sandybakerwriter.
Zack’s Zany Zucchiniland, was released in early April 2012. The big news is that Zack was recently named the Best Children’s Picture Book for 2013 by the Bay Area Independent Publishers Assn. Quite an honor and a really big thrill for me and my illustrator Amanda Baker (no relation)!
In 2013, I published The Dead Butterflies Diary, a kid gardening detective story, and Color My Garden, a habitat coloring book for birds, bees, butterflies and bugs. The Spanish version, Colorea Mi Jardin is also available. Howie’s Hungabird Dilemma will be released in April 2014–the same month of our Redwood Writers biennial conference. It’ll be a crazy time!
The Tehran Triangle is an international thriller for YA and above. It takes readers across Kazakhstan to Tehran to El Paso to drug gang-infested Juarez with CIA agent Elizabeth Mallory. Her assignment is to stop the plot begun by the madman of Iran to build a nuclear bomb in plain sight on U.S. soil. A young American couple of Iranian descent do just that. Co-author Tom Reed is a nuclear scientist and political historian, a real insider who knows the facts–they’re all in the book. I’m the tweaker of character, setting, and plot. Oh, the ride we had! TTT came out in March 2012.
In 2015, I published Three Sisters Garden, Gai’s Go-Away-Come-Back Garden, and a collection of short stories entitled Adventures of the Hotel Sisters that take place during the 1920s in a family-owned hotel on Long Island, New York.
Teendom and Other Stark Realities–that’s the tentative title of a collection of flash fiction in verse I’m working on. They’re about all the teens I’ve ever known or been. Once published, you may think you recognize yourself or me in them. But the characters are composites, not actual friends I’ve known or teens I’ve raised. Teens throughout the ages all seem to have certain characteristics or issues. You may have noticed . . .
I write for the Master Gardener website, www.sonomamastergardeners.org and focus on habitat gardening, lawn alternatives, gardening with natives, container gardening, drought tolerant gardening, and basic garden design. I lecture on these topics as well and teach Lawn Alternatives in the Master Gardener training class.
When I’m not writing about gardening, I’m actually gardening! And when I’m doing neither of those, I’m probably crafting with something natural from the garden or with some ol’ piece of junk I’ve found or have been given. Life is good!