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Books & Other Writing



Tools of the Writer's Craft (Moving Finger Press, 2005)

"Reading this book is like learning how a juggler juggles. Invaluable for... anyone giving or taking a writing workshop." -- Lynn Freed






Catching Heaven (Random House Reader's Circle Selection, 2001)

"[A] polished, accomplished debut. . . Endlessly intriguing . . . The prose is richly layered with metaphor and symbolism. For the discerning reader, nothing in this finely crafted work is extraneous."
--San Francisco Chronicle

"Vibrant . . . Deftly reveals the push and pull between two sisters who love each other dearly, but who face new tensions when their lives collide in midcourse. . . . A realistic story of two women trying to let go of old hurts and find love that will last."
--The New York Times Book Review

"... elegantly crafted first novel ... a complex story, messy as real life, and told in a most compelling way." --Booklist


Catching Heaven (Ballantine, 2000)

Maud Maxwell, just past forty, is an actress who has not made it in Hollywood. Tired of the struggle, fed up with a going-nowhere relationship, sad that she hasn't had the children she thinks she wants, Maud takes off for Marengo, the New Mexico town where her younger sister Lizzie lives.
Lizzie, a painter who thought she'd be famous and live in Paris, supports herself and her three children (by three different fathers) by selling her paintings to a greeting card company. Lizzie is sometimes weary of her responsibilities and envies what she believes is Maud's free and glamourous life. While Maud settles happily in Marengo, Lizzie has an angry sense that Maud has taken over her life. Then Jake Arboles returns home to Marengo, after two years away, eager to start again with Lizzie and be a father to their child. But Lizzie is resistant, and the presence of Maud in town will further complicate their lives. Catching Heaven is a rich and vibrant novel that captures the ever-changing landscape of family and those who define it.

Tapping into her rich theatrical background and the legacy of her literary family, Sands Hall presents two very memorable characters - sisters whose stormy relationship and sibling rivalry are completely human and wonderfully absorbing.



Sands Hall's essay "Making Workshops Work" was published in the anthology Writers Workshop in a Book. (Chronicle Books, 2007)

Since 1969, the prestigious Squaw Valley Community of Writers has helped develop the art and craft of many who are now household names. Instructors such as Michael Chabon, Mark Childress, Diane Johnson, Anne Lamott, Robert Stone, and Amy Tan have distilled their advice and wisdom from seminars and lectures, and the result is a book that captures the workshop experience of complete submersion in the writing process. With an introduction by novelist and short story master Richard Ford, himself a conference attendee in the 1970s, this volume gives the writer and dedicated reader a jolt of inspiration, sharp insight into matters of technique, and a feeling of camaraderie with a writing community.


Sands Hall's essay "The Backpack, or Lessons from a Tough Workshop " was published in the anthology The Workshop: Seven Decades of the Iowa Writers' Workshop (Hyperian, 2001)

This collection consists of forty-three stories, each with an introduction by writers from the Iowa Workshop. It also includes original essays on both the writing life and trends in 20th century American Literature that were shaped by the growth of the Iowa program and the programs that followed.


Tools of the Writer's Craft (Moving Finger Press, 2005)

"Reading this book is like learning how a juggler juggles. Invaluable for... anyone giving or taking a writing workshop." -- Lynn Freed






You can email Sands at :

sands "at sign" sandshall "dot" com

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