Welcome again to CentreStage! CentreStage is a new(ish) feature on my blog that showcases fantastic authors from around the world, introducing in particular fellow featured authors at loveahappyending.com as well as fellow authors in the Sapphire Star Publishing family. In this new, exciting feature, these authors might write for you about their lives, or their writing journey, or anything else that matters to them. Every feature will be different in format and flavour, so watch out for a variety of stories and tales.
Today, it is my tremendous pleasure to welcome loveahappyending.com featured author Patricia Sands to this fourth edition of CentreStage!
CentreStage: Please give it up for…. Patricia Sands!
Today, Patricia Sands writes about friendship, the central idea in her award-winning novel, The Bridge Club
How far would you go to help a close friend? Is there a place where you might draw the line and simply have to say no?
The Bridge Club reminds us of the complexities of women’s friendships through an entertaining and often moving tale of eight women whose lives intersect once a month initially to play the game of bridge. What began as one night turns into four decades that span the segments of a woman’s journey from youthful optimism to embracing the challenges and opportunities presented in life’s later years.
Although The Bridge Club is fiction, it is closely based on my own real-life bridge club, still going strong! The women were happy to share their stories and have been my biggest cheerleaders since publishing. They are true girlfriends!
When I’m asked to speak to women’s groups, one fact I love to stress is that whether you are 25 or 85, true girlfriends are always true girlfriends. Some things never change!
The story weaves the reader through a maze of life’s inevitable scenarios and I love hearing from readers who tell me they relate to many of the characters. You will no doubt see someone you know in this story!
Throughout the novel each of the characters faces challenges and change in her life. The Bridge Club emphasizes how honest and loyal friendship helped to enable these changes and how these women empowered and learned from each other in the process.
Through laughter, tears, and everything in between the story meets life head on and affirms that a strong foundation of friendship is a priceless asset. The only thing, in fact, that allows them to face the final chapter’s unimaginable challenge.
Patricia Sands has stories to tell. In fact, she believes so do we all. Encouraging others to value and share their stories is part of what she works to accomplish through her writing and speaking.
A writer and published author, she is also a blogger and professional speaker: all this since she turned sixty-five. She feels that life continues to present opportunities no matter what our age and it is our choice whether or not we embrace these new possibilities. Be a “possibilitarian”!
A strong advocate for the importance of friendship, her talks stress the value of the connections women make in their lives and how we are able to empower each other.
Patricia lives in Toronto and has degrees from the University of Waterloo and York University. With a happily blended family of seven adult children and, at last count, six grandchildren, life is full and time is short. Beginning with her first Kodak Brownie camera at the age of six, she has told stories all of her life through photography.
Her award-winning debut novel, The Bridge Club, was published through iUniverse in September 2010 and was a finalist in the Foreword Reviews 2010 Book Of The Year (general fiction) and the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (First Novel – over 80,000 words). Also a Flash Fiction Finalist (Winter 2010) with Women on Writing, her work was recently included in the anthology “Canadian Imprints” published by the Writers and Editors Network. She is currently working on her next novel.
“It’s never too late to begin something new,” she enthuses. “As the saying goes, just do it!”
What a rousing finale! I wholeheartedly agree, Patricia! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and introducing us to your book here today. To find out more about Patricia, visit her blog or website. You can also follow Patricia on Twitter or find her on Facebook.
Finally, what do you think about the importance of friendship? Do you have any stories of amazing friendship support that you would like to share?