ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Before finding her place in the Corrales Writing Group, Sandi Hoover spent her career as a geologist and doing conservation work in Houston. She started out writing natural history essays and now has the freedom to write about whatever she pleases, from romance to thrillers to poetry.
Originally hailing from California, Hoover and her husband came to New Mexico as soon as they began their retirement. Hoover prefers to call herself a naturalist, after having been the executive director of a few conservation organizations in Houston. She says New Mexico was the first place she and her husband both agreed on. “As soon as we could get out of the swamp, we did. As geologists, being here where the bones of the earth are exposed is just a joy all the time. I keep saying usually, ‘It’s just another day in paradise,” Hoover said.
When Hoover and her husband moved to New Mexico, one of their neighbors was trying to write a memoir but was having difficulty. He decided to create a writing group in 2013 and invited Hoover to join, which became known as the Corrales Writing Group. Through the group, she was able to publish numerous works in their anthology series in addition to other works of fiction. The group would meet twice a month and provided a space for her work to be critiqued and to share ideas with fellow authors, and eventually publish their own work.
She said her experiences leading up to writing have influenced her to this day. “The writing that I did before as an executive director was all sales pitch or arguing a position, and this is a freedom for self-expression, for fun and to go wherever the interest leads rather than having to write something that is serious and focus. I appreciate the contrast between all the writing I’ve done and the opportunity to branch out in all the things I’m writing. It’s been a nice awakening that way,” Hoover said.
Traveling has always played a major part in her life, and Hoover is proud to have been able to visit all seven continents. She enjoys observing the natural world, which is evidenced through her writing throughout the years. With all that traveling, Hoover always journaled and wrote letters about her experiences. “When we were traveling and doing things, I was writing home to my mom and dad who traveled vicariously. So it was a lot of ‘Here’s where we are, here’s what’s going on,'” Hoover said.