So glad that we are getting another chance to know you better. How much has life changed since the last interview you had with AllAuthor?
The biggest change in my life is being homebound for the most part. Plus, having to put on the protective gear necessary to keep safe when we do go out, mostly for grocery shopping. We’ve done a lot of ordering food supplies in where possible, and reserve our “out time” for drives through the country with our Australian Cattle Dog, Susie. But we are homebodies, so it’s doable. LOL
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I never really thought about writing before an author friend of mine, Alan J. O’Reilly, in England, kept telling me I should write down the things I told him were happening around me. They were just little email excerpts from daily experiences. I didn’t take it seriously. But in 2005, after Hurricane Ivan hit where I lived at the time in Pensacola, Florida, I contacted him to let him know I was safe. I’d spent the night huddled in the inner hallway alone with my two dogs and a cat. He told me again I needed to write it all down into a story. This time, I listened and began to write. The story that came out was Paths of Righteousness, my second published book. It did mention the hurricane, but was a different story from what it started out to be. LOL
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Quirk, huh? If you mean unorthodox, I’m not really sure I have a writing quirk, so to speak. Although I do not adhere to all the rules, do’s and don’ts of the writing community. I try to make my writing natural when using dialogue. The way we talk. In my narrative, I tend to follow the rules. And I always have some reference to my paternal heritage, Irish.
How many more books have you published since November 2019?
After publishing my first novella, Icicles to Moonbeams ~ Christmas Eve Blessings, I began work on my next novel, Treasure in a Field. It was published on July 19, 2020.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
As the founder and main administrator of my Facebook Group Forum for writers and readers and a member of the Houston Writers Guild and American Christian Fiction Writers, I’m friends with a great many authors. We stay in touch daily, talk about writing, and in the case of ACFW, I have all my work critiqued by the Scribes critique group within that organization. They help me to see my weaknesses in writing as I help them in turn. Here are a few of the authors I’m constantly in touch with, J.L. Slater, Jackie Zack, Victoria Benchley, Michelle Kidd, Stephanie Parker McKean, Donna E. Lane, Annette O’Hare, but there are so many others. Forgive me guys, if I left you out.
Your recently published novel, Treasure in a Field is an excellent Christian Mystery/Romance novel. Did you write the book during the lockdown?
Actually, yes. But nothing was different about writing it during lockdown. I consider writing my full-time job. And I treat it that way. So being in the house for 8 hours writing, researching, contacting my fellow authors, editor, and others for information was no change.
Who inspired the character of Alanna McCarthy in "Icicles to Moonbeams"?
None of my main characters have been inspired by one person. They are all a conglomeration of the people I know or have met on one occasion or another, or haven’t met but have watched on TV or in a movie. The only character that I can honestly say was inspired by one of my friends was the wanderlust friend of my latest heroine, Haley in Treasure in a Field. Her longtime friend, Lucy, was even named for my friend, Lucy. (I did get permission to put her and her little dog in the story. )
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Hmmm. That’s hard to say. I’m very fugal as a writer. I will honestly say that I’ve gotten my money’s worth from the advertising you give at AllAuthor, and the advertising Pizzazz provides. Besides that, I think purchasing the set of books from Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, beginning with The Emotion Thesaurus were in the category of “best money spent.”
In what ways have you grown as a writer over the past few years?
There are just too many ways to even list. When you work at your craft of writing, you are constantly learning new skills, especially when you’re an Indie Author. It’s like playing the piano. The more you play, the better you get. The same holds true with a writer. Over the past few years, many things have been honed. My goal is to be the best writer I can be for the reader.
What have you learned about the publishing industry so far?
It’s a necessary evil. LOL I’m very grateful to KDP Publishing for offering new writers a chance to have their work read. The traditional path is very difficult to travel, a long journey before publication, and (from what I hear from traditional author friends) a hard taskmaster.
What kind of audience do you hope to appeal to with your books?
My books appeal to a wide range of readers. Men and women enjoy the stories. Christians love them, but I also have those who may not be Christians reading them and saying they enjoyed them because they didn’t feel “preached at.” I have young readers and old readers. Those who enjoy romance, suspense, laughter, and mystery all enjoy the reads.
How did you spend time at home during the lockdown? Did you read more books? Or came up with more book ideas?
Being home during lockdown, didn’t really effect my days much. I got up, did my chores, and went to work…in my home office.
Why do your characters find it difficult sometimes to trust in God when going through trials?
Because I try to make them realistic. We all go through doubt when put under pressure. Some handle it better than others, but in my stories, there wouldn’t be much tension if they were perfect Christians, now would there be?
Which is the next book you are working on? Is it a series or a stand-alone book?
At the moment, I’m working on a collection of short stories. Ten stories in various genres. I’ve titled the book, Sharon’s Shorts ~ A Multi-Genre Collection of Short Stories. They cover Romance, Suspense, Fantasy, Fable, and even a Paranormal.
The next novel I’ll start on (after Sharon’s Shorts is published for the 2020 holidays) will be a story set in Hawaii about a missing father. I don’t write series. All my books are stand alone, although the first four novels I wrote had reappearances of characters. But the readers do not have to read them in order. I explain everything a reader needs to know about the past of a reappearing character. However, some readers do like to read them in order.
Lastly, what are your thoughts and opinions on AllAuthor and its services?
As I’ve mentioned above, I think you’re doing a wonderful job of letting readers know about my books. I appreciate AllAuthor.