Sandefur has sold more than 150 articles to both electronic and print publications, and she's the editor of Coffee Break for Writers (an e-zine for and by writers) as well as the As the World Turns editor for Soaps.com.
Sandefur starting writing short stories and poetry at the age of eight. When she became pregnant at the age of 16, she felt the right thing to do for the baby was to marry her baby's father. Therefore, in 1992, she droped out of school and married her baby's father. Later, Sandefur decided she wanted to better herself so she obtained her CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) through Southeastern Illinois College. Her plans were to get a job, complete her GED and then go on to become a nurse. But later, while she worked as a CNA, she also wrote novels, short stories and poetry in her spare time. Her passion for writing seemed to grow, so instead of going on to become a nurse she decided to take a course on Basic Novel Writing through the Writers Digest School. However, that soon ceased when she realized she was in a bad marriage. Her husband, at that time, was both physically and mentally abusive. She wasn't allowed to do much but go to work, take care of the baby and tend to her husband's demanding needs. Because of the situation she was in, she had to stop taking the writing course and even left her unfinished writings alone.
Two years after giving birth to a daughter, she gave birth to a son. Then, in 1996 she gave birth to another son. Finally, two years after the birth of her third child, she was tired of the abuse and ready to get out, but her faith in God told her she vowed for "better or for worse." However, when she discovered that her husband was having an affiar, she knew she could divorce for adultery so she sought help from God as well as her family and friends and left her first husband.
A few months after her divorce was finalized, she decided to try her hand at article writing. Because she enjoyed nursing, she researched lots of medical stuff, but instead of writing health articles, she chose to write articles about parenting.
Becoming a Novelist
In October of 1998 she met Kevin Sandefur, a veteran of the United States Marine Corp. Sandefur's mom and Kevin's sister introduced the two.
When Kevin learned that Sandefur was a writer, he encouraged her to pursue her dream. With her boyfriend's support, she dusted off her course materials, unfinished novel and completed the Basic Novel Writing course in 1999, while still working as a CNA.
Two years later, the novel she finished through the Basic Novel Writing course, Help From Above, was published. She worked hard to promote the novel while she continued to write articles related to parenting and freelance writing.
One month after publishing Help From Above, Sandefur decided to try her hand at a non-fiction book. In an effort to help other writers, she created On the Net Resource Guide for Writers. In July of 2002, On the Net Resource Guide for Writers was also published.
Sandefur continued to write and even begun her second novel, which she is still working on today. Between writing and working, Sandefur always tried to help other writers by answering their questions or mentoring them when she could.
On June 26, 2004 Sandefur and Kevin married in an outdoor wedding at Kevin's brother's house in the country. Sandefur's sons were the ring barriers, and her daughter was the maid of honor. Sandefur's other bride's maid was Kevin's sister. After Sandefur married, she gained two step-children that reside with their mother in North Carolina.
With her husband's continued support, Sandefur decided to make writing her full-time job. Determined to still make time with her new husband and children, Sandefur decided she would write at night and take the weekends off. Since she, her husband and children enjoy the outdoors, they use the weekends for fishing and camping trips. At times, they also explore the historical sites in their area.
Sandefur continues to write full-time and enjoys helping other people as well as fellow writers. When she can, Sandefur donates her time to help charities and local fund-raisers. Sandefur states that all of the volunteer work she does makes her feel good about herself, and allows her to give back to her community and others. Most of what she gives is time: volunteer time, words of encouragement and informative information through words.
In 2005, Sandefur wrote about her past experience with domestic violence for the Stories of Strength anthology -- lead by Jenna Glatzer. In addition to donating her essay (Behind Closed Doors), she helped with the promotion and many other aspects of the project. 100% of the profits from the anthology goes toward disaster relief efforts.
- Help From Above (March 2002). Published under Misti Jackson.
- On the Net Resource Guide for Writers (July 2002). Published under Misti Jackson.
Misti Sandefur at [Facebook]