Readers of The Dunes discuss “Forgiveness” and

some of their favorite ‘Dunes’ revelations.




I never actually intended to write a book. In fact, I initially wrote The Dunes because I was journaling. It was several years ago and I was in the middle of a personal crisis slash emotional meltdown. I was fresh from a break up, experiencing an all time career low and so financially strapped that I had to move in with my mother to save money. Yeah…not a Good Look. But…because I am a creative, I decided to turn the challenges that I was experiencing into an allegory and I named it, The Dunes. I never intended for anyone else to read it. It was purely a creative form of self-therapy.


Years later God put it on my heart to expand The Dunes into a book with journal questions, personal testimonies and real-life challenges for the reader. I had no idea if what I wrote would actually resonate with readers, let alone change anyone’s life.  What I did know, however, was that I was willing to put it to the test. I put an ad on Craigslist asking strangers to read my book, answer the journal questions and commit to doing the challenges while allowing me to chronicle their journey on film.


The five strangers who answered my ad are the bravest people I know. Not because they answered my ad but because they had each come to a place in their lives where they wanted something more and were willing to release the things that had been holding them back in order to get it. To say we were a motley crew is an understatement. The ages and backgrounds ran the gamut. A sincere heart for change was the sole commonality. Over seven weeks, these five strangers searched their hearts, released their fears, forgave past hurts and stretched themselves in ways that were uncomfortable. Yes, there were some days with tears; but the joy, the growth and the freedom that they all now experience, made it well worth it.


During my journey with those readers there were moments when I wanted to quit. Following five strangers lives over seven weeks and trusting them to not only read my book but to authentically put their best foot forward in conquering their own demons was a bit nerve wracking. It forced me to examine my own issues of trust and vulnerability. As they were going through their “Dunes” journey, The Dunes was growing its author yet again in a whole new way.


In the end, when I saw how deeply The Dunes affected each of the readers and how profoundly their lives had changed as a result, I knew that I had to get it published. I used the footage of their experiences as my book trailer but more than that I use the truth of each of their transformations to remind me of the time five strangers and an author dared to believe.



© 2017 Erin Sands.  All rights reserved.