Sandra Pimentel is a local author from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. A humanitarian, motivational speaker and author, she recently released her book Blind Acceptance. This is a must-read book and is available at major book retailers and online including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Xlibris.
Sandra Pimentel (nee Pasquale) was born in 1942 in Boston, earned a nursing degree, and married Paul Pimentel in 1965. She graduated from UMASS Boston with a BA in Management of Human Services. As an advocate for social change, Pimentel’s award-winning work has helped improve the quality of life for children, teens, and adults on a regional and national level.
Tell me a little bit about who you are and where you live.
I am a little old lady from Martha’s Vineyard who was inspired by the experiences of her life to write a book. There was a story of two young men that touched my soul. In the midst of writing about it, my editor suggested that I relate the whole story in order for people to understand what compelled me in my life and why. It changed to a memoir mid stream.
Tell us about your profession and how it led to your latest work.
I have had several professions — registered nurse, mental health clinician, community organizer and program director. I don’t talk too much about my professional life in the book but rather life as a friend, wife and mother, which are the most important and profound “professions” of all. For the first time in history, women are challenging their roles and here I am having been there at the beginning living my life in the backdrop of social change.
Are there any favorite spots you like to visit that inspire your creativity?
While I love to visit Italy because it is beautiful and almost poetic, home is my most inspiring place. Living on Martha’s Vineyard is like swimming in a creative soup. Everywhere you go is bursting with creativity. There are authors, poets, painters and musicians; many are accomplished, some are famous.
Wow us with shock value. Is there anything about you that would surprise readers?
When I had completed Blind Acceptance and old friends read it, they could not believe that I got to this place in life in such a convoluted way. The people who are my friends now have trouble understanding that I began life in the way I did. Shock is in the eyes of the beholder!
If you could spend the day with any author living or dead who would it be and why?
There are actually two. I love the way David McCullough writes. I’ve never been a history buff but he writes in a way that makes history come alive. I also love Harriet Beecher Stowe. Uncle Tom’s Cabin broke my heart and helped me to understand a part of American history that was missing in my high school history class.
Does the area in which you live provide influence in your writing? How so?
There is beauty all around me. I live in a peaceful place where I can think and paint and feel and write. All of these are an essential part of being creative. While my home is often full of interesting and inspiring people, it can also be quietly tranquil.
What is the most critical piece of advice you would give to new authors?
I would advise the writer to be kind in their writing and to think about how their writing will ultimately affect others — friends or family. Sometimes it’s difficult to be both honest and sensitive. I tried as best as I could to not “throw anyone under the bus” but my husband and me; Paul was very supportive of me telling our story and realized that I couldn’t tell mine without telling his. I could not have written the story before my parents and my husband’s had passed away. There were chapters I took out because I knew that they might hurt people. I’ve seen families torn apart and there is always regret. Another recommendation — I would suggest that the writer find a good editor to help sort through it all and to help the writer stay focused on their story.
Are there more books coming from you in the future? Do tell!
I will be writing again at some point but I’m not sure of what form it will take. I’ve been approached for stories and I have some fiction (or semi-fiction) ideas that could resonate but I’m not sure about it at this time. As you can read in the book, I’ve also written a bit of poetry over the years and I love it. After I retired, I started painting and I really enjoy it. For the next several months painting will be my shtick. I know I will be compelled to write again soon.
Where can people find more information about you and your projects?
I am on social media and my website is sandrapimentel.com.