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Sandra's soapbox to gain a wider audience

Working mum Sandra Ashenford is about to give up her life in newspapers – to seek her fortune as a novelist.

She has already had one book published. It’s a collection of her weekly column Sandra’s Soapbox, from the Stroud News and Journal.

The Soapbox Book has been published to raise money for a local cancer hospice and is dedicated to a friend of Sandra’s who died of cancer.

Her 15 years of writing the column – just part of her workload at the weekly – began soon after she started work at the Journal after completing her A-levels.

Six years and two children later, it was time for a change so Sandra became town clerk for two-and-a-half years.

Spells as a freelance sub editor, and then teaching media at the local college, led to her running the company training scheme for the then owners of the Journal, a job which involved the design, marketing and delivery of the professional qualifications for journalists.

Then it was back to the Journal as news editor before it was time for another big change.

Work advising business people, councillors and other groups about dealing with the media, will now be balanced with creating her first novel.

She said: “I felt as though I’d been floating around the same sort of jobs for a while and although I’m still going to be involved in training for journalists and people who come into contact with them, this will give me time to work on the novels.”

The first, provisionally titled Candyfloss, tackles relationships between women, and could be completed by Christmas.

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