Monday, May 19, 2008

FEATURED AUTHOR: Yolonda Tonette Sanders

Yolonda Tonette Sanders gained national attention after the debut of her first book, Soul Matters (Warner Books; 2005) – a story that reveals the self-destructive outcomes of a life driven by bitterness, revenge and fear. A graduate of Capital University and The Ohio State University, Yolonda worked for the State of Ohio until 2004 when she resigned to focus full-time on her writing ministry.

She enjoys reading, singing, and spending time with her family. She is self-employed as a freelance writer for various print publications, businesses and individuals. Yolonda currently resides in Columbus, OH with her family.

Secrets of a Sinner

Natalie has always done whatever she needed to survive – even if it meant stealing another woman’s husband or trading her favors for money. After a serious relationship leaves her heartbroken, Natalie returns to the Mississippi home she ran from years ago. There she confronts the painful events of her past, finding comfort in the faith of those around her. As old wounds heal and the burden of long-buried secrets is lifted, Natalie realizes that God has led her home to show her that with love, prayer and a willing heart, every sinner can be saved, and every life redeemed.

What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

The main thing I want people to take away from Secrets of a Sinner is to remember that those we dislike (even if we dislike with probable cause) are still loved by God.

What did you learn while writing this book?

To be more confident in the gift of writing that God has given me.

What is your favorite scene from this book?

Hmm . . .I'd say the scene when Natalie first opened up to Aneetra about what was going on with her and Troy. This was a major breakthrough for Natalie because she'd always been so superficial and reclusive. I also love that Aneetra shared the part of her past that was relevant to what Natalie was going through.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

How therapeutic writing can be.

What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?

I love being able to touch the lives of others through my words. What really amazes me is when those same words minister to my spirit as well. I think the most frustrating aspect of writing for me is me. LOL! I am so meticulous when writing that I literally get on my own nerves at times. Meticulousness is not necessarily a bad thing, but I seem to take it to a whole different level!

What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?

1. In the publishing world, nothing is ever consistent. Be prepared because things can change quickly.
2. To embrace the fact that not every person I meet will be in my life forever. Sometimes relationships are just for a season.
3. I wish I knew more about the production process of getting a book ready for publication.

What do you do to make time for yourself?

Read, exercise, watch a movie, etc. When I need to relax, I just do it – even if it means turning off my phones and not checking my email.

This month our theme is Resources on the Net. Can you give us five resources you use on the net?


Do you have any advice for the aspiring writer?

Know what motivates you to write, stay passionate about your work despite any roadblocks, and never put forth anything but your best effort.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

They can visit me on-line at or write to P.O. Box 32329, Columbus, OH, 43232.


LaShaunda said...


Thanks for the interview. I'm learning to have confidence in my gift from God.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing your journey! And you are so right about things changing quickly in publishing.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your first book, Yolanda! It sounds wonderful and will hopefully be the first of many more to come. :) It really comes through that your main focus is helping people and serving God with your talent, and we world needs more writers like that!
Best wishes,
Gaelen Foley
PS--What a lovely and elegant author photo, too! :)
PSS--What exactly do you want to know about the production process? I'm not an expert, but I've had a few books out, maybe I can help.

Anonymous said...

Hey Yolonda!

Great interview and congrats on your sophomore effort. To Anon - "Secrets of a Sinner" is Yolonda's second book. Check out her debut "Soul Matters" it was awesome!

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