For Hanks - author, cafe owner, sibling to a star - ‘Seychelles is home’
Writer and former radio show host, Sandra Hanks, is the big sister of actor Tom Hanks ( Sandra Hanks)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Living the American dream is a life that many people seek, and yet some are choosing to leave the hustle and bustle of the U.S. for a much quieter life.
Marriage was the reason why Sandra Hanks, the big sister of actor Tom Hanks, moved to England and later on to Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
“We lived in England for a while, then moved here, opened a café in Baie Lazare, built a house and called it home,” Hanks told SNA during an interview.
Settling down has never been a problem for the full time writer and mum who has lived in over 31 different places. Hanks developed an ability to easily adapt to changing circumstances early on in life as she moved around a lot. Her father’s job involved setting up and opening restaurants in various cities in California.
|Hanks posing under the banner announcing the launching of her book “Papaya… and other seeds” ( Sandra Hanks) Photo License: CC-BY|
The eldest and only girl in a family of four children, Hanks said neither she nor her siblings had a normal childhood given all the moves. Her brother Tom is now a world famous movie star, brother Larry is an expert in the field of entomology and the youngest brother Jim is a movie producer.
“I have now been in my house here in Seychelles longer than I have ever lived in any one place,” she added.
For more than two decades now, Hanks has called Seychelles home. Having had her dose of bright lights and big cities, she has fallen in love with the beauty and tranquility of the island nation of 93,000 inhabitants. According to Hanks, adapting to life in the tropics was not difficult.
“I must say, though, that it would be easier now than it was in the early ‘90s. Back then, there was no Internet and I didn’t even have a phone for quite a while, so keeping in touch with loved ones far away was far more difficult than it is today,” said Hanks.
She recalled having to stand in the international phone booth and pay $5 per minute to talk to her children in the U.S., or travel to Victoria, the capital of Seychelles, to send a fax.
Hanks has been living in Seychelles for over twenty years ( Sandra Hanks) Photo License: CC-BY
Today she keeps in touch with family members on a regular basis through the use of Skype, emails and of course the telephone.
Hanks furthered her education while being a single parent and holding down many jobs. She worked as a bartender, a dental nurse, a rock band manager, a counselor for heroin-abuse, a TV news presenter, business owner and radio show host. Through it all writing has remained her passion.
Hanks has been writing as long as she can remember and was ecstatic when it became a paying job. For the multi-talented artist, writing involves a lot of planning, plotting and getting to know characters.
Her best seller was an adoption guide titled “The guide to U.S. infant adoption,” which is for sale as an eBook by adoption.com. The book talks about step-by-step protocol and state-by-state regulations to be observed during adoption. It also offers a way to build bridges between birth parents, adoptive parents and the children.
Hanks has personal experience on the subject of adoption, having adopted children herself. She also considers motherhood as a full-time job.
“My first child came when I was 17, my last when I was 55, so not even my mothering fits most profiles,” says the mother of four.
Hanks’ book ‘Papaya and other seeds,’ a collection of short stories, can be purchased in local shops in Seychelles. Her other works include ‘Female Nomad and Friends’ and ‘It All Changed in an Instant’ and are in anthologies.
After working as a professional blogger for a number of companies, Hanks started her own personal blog.
“I found I had things I needed to say that didn’t fit within the parameters of my mandates, so I posted thoughts, opinions and observations on Paradise Preoccupied instead. I’m not very active there these days, but still occasionally crank something out,” explained the former Pure FM radio presenter.
In the movie business, Hanks was approached by a producer to write a script for a comedy to be filmed on location in Seychelles. At the moment the movie is on hold.
“The movie business is quite flaky with writers, but it was a fun project,” added Hanks, who has collaborated on scripts in the past.