I’m so thrilled to have an author we’ve had grace our presence before. She’s super duper talented, and one of the kindest people I have met. I’m talking about Author Sharon K. Connell. Sharon thanks for joining us today! I’m so glad you’ve agreed to chat again so let’s get going!
What drives you to continue writing?
There seems to be a never quenchable thirst to tell a story. I don’t know how to explain it any other way. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.
Tell us your series genre?
I don’t write series. All of my books stand alone as stories, although they may have characters in them that have appeared in one or two of my other novels.
Tell us about your new book and how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback or hardcovers)
My newest novel is His Perfect Love. Available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.
This is one of the most stunning covers I’ve seen. I’m so impressed you painted it! Tell us how long have you been a painter?
The painting on my cover is not actually my painting. My book cover was done by Miriam Rue, the daughter of missionaries to the Ukraine. Her parents and I attended The Pensacola Bible Institute together. Miriam took the picture that I sent her and created the beautiful book cover you see on His Perfect Love. However, I am also an artist and created a painting using her finished book cover as the subject.
How long did it take you to complete this painting?
The painting I started took a few months to create. I believe Miriam worked on my book cover for about the same length of time.
What inspiration did you hold onto while painting this cover?
As I said, my painting is not actually the cover for the book, but what I did was think long and hard about the story I wrote and tried to decide what inspirational message within the story would be best represented by the cover of the book.
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
The instruction you receive from other authors, whether it is in their style of writing or the words they use or don’t use, is all gleaned from reading other author’s works. Sometimes you will read a book and think to yourself, I would have written it this way, or I wouldn’t have said that. Other times you read a story and think to yourself, that’s exactly the right way to say that, or I wish I had written that. All the books you read by other authors can help you develop your own style of writing and teach you what to do or not to do.
What book genre do you enjoy reading the most?
My reading preference is Historical novels set in what is now the United Kingdom but originally different countries.
What genre will you absolutely refuse to read and why?
I don’t read horror or paranormal. Sorry. I know that’s what you write, Aimee, but that’s not my interest. I also do not read anything other than what we call “clean reads.” SciFi is another genre that I’m really not interested in.
Share with your readers, what’s the best way to handle a less than outstanding book review?
Everyone has their own idea of what a good read is, and we are all different in our likes and dislikes. Some people love J.R.R. Tolkien. I’m one of those people. While others don’t care for his writing at all. It’s all a matter of perspective. One cannot take a bad review to heart, no matter how much it may hurt when you first read it. The best way to get over that hurt is to look at what was said, and decide if there is anything you can learn from that.
What message do you want to send through your book?
My books are all about God’s love and mercy. The message I want people to walk away with is that God is in control. He will allow things into your life to either teach you a lesson, something you have yet to learn, or to help you grow as a Christian.
What age range of readers is for your new novel?
I’d say that my novel is for anyone who is old enough to read an entire novel all the way up to senior citizen. Because my works are clean reads, they are suitable for anyone. A young person will not find anything in the stories that they wouldn’t hear on the daily news. They would more likely hear something offensive there, whereas the only offensive thing they would read in my stories would be the unlawful act of a stalker, and even those actions are not explicit, only hinted, such as attacking a woman with a knife, or looking at her in an uncomfortable way.
What encouragement can you give to the aspiring author?
The best encouragement I can give is to read all you can about writing, take classes (there are many free classes online today), and get started writing. Read what other authors have written. Learn what you do and don’t like. And most of all, if you know you are called to write, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Have you ever had writers block? If so, how did you handle it? What are some tips to others who may experience a terrible case of writers block?
I think I have the opposite of Writers’ Block. As I mentioned before, once I decided to write, I couldn’t stop. I may a few moments when I don’t know what is coming next in a scene, but it doesn’t last long, so I can’t call it a block. I know. I’m an oddity. All I can tell others is that if you do get writer’s block, walk away from the manuscript. Take some time off. Read a book. Go online and enjoy someone’s writing prompt (especially on my group forum LOL). Whatever you do, don’t get frustrated. That would only make it worse. Go shopping. Take a trip. But always keep a notepad handy for when the ideas start up again. You’re a writer. Eventually, you’ll start writing again.
What characteristics do you relate to with your main character Patricia and why?
With Patricia, I believe the only characteristic I would relate to is her being of Celtic decent and the fact that she has doubts, fears, and desires love. But then, we all do.
What are some of the challenges that face Patricia?
I’m not going to go into much of that because I don’t want to give a spoiler. I will say that one of the biggest challenges Patricia faces in the story is fear and doubt.
What gave you the idea to write this new novel “His Perfect Love?”
When I first wrote about this character, it was in my first book, A Very Present Help. She wasn’t a nice person in that story. She shows up again in Paths of Righteousness in a situation with the hero, and still isn’t very nice. When I wrote my third book, There Abideth Hope, Patricia wasn’t in it at all, but I kept thinking about this poor girl. I decided that she had to have a story all her own.
I see there are three men pursuing Patricia. Be honest lol. Which one did you crush on and why?
Not telling. No spoilers. It would give it away. Hee hee hee
In publishing your novel, which part do you absolutely love?
Holding the finished product in my hands.
Tell your readers yet again, how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write? Example, music on or quiet etc.
You may not believe this, but I can write in almost any atmosphere. I have my own office, which is wonderful. I often play music, and I have a window at my side where I can watch the birds coming to my little birdbath (they often sit at the window and look in at me), and look out at the varying skies of Texas. But, I can also writing in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, sitting in the car waiting for someone, stretched out on the loveseat in the living room. At the kitchen table while I’m cooking, on the screened in back porch while Sheila (the dog) is checking out the yard and chasing squirrels. I’m flexible as a writer.
What is one special goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
The worst thing was lack of funds. I thought that was going to stop me for good. Then a fellow author I had been confiding in told me about CreateSpace and that I could self-publish. It made a world of difference.
When you need some extra encouragement when going through your manuscript, who do you turn to?
I do a lot of praying. I also talk to friends who I’ve found are all so supportive.
How do you market your book? If it’s a marketing service, please give the name.
I do my own marketing online. There will be some opportunities to have book signings coming up, thanks to my local American Christian Fiction Writers group, Writers on the Storm, but mostly marketing is a job of making posts about my writing in every possible outlet I can find where readers are likely to show an interest.
What is the worst thing someone has said to your regarding your work? How did you respond or overcome the criticism?
The worst thing was when I first started out writing and joined a writers’ group where the members had no idea how to critique someone else’s writing. Most of the comments were negative, and probably well-deserved since I had no idea what I was doing. My background was good as far as grammar and language, but I needed to learn a lot about story structure. All they knew how to do was tell me what they didn’t like. Only on a rare occasion was a comment made which was constructive criticism. Being a Christian for so many years helped in this area, as I’ve run into many people who criticism my faith. You just step back, evaluate what was said, and if there’s any truth in it, you fix it. If it’s not true, you let it roll off of you like water off a duck (I know, cliché…but it’s true and it fits).
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
No one read the entire book from beginning to end when I’ve done the last tweak except for my editor. Before I send it to my editor, I have already send one chapter at a time to my critique partners in the Scribes Loop of ACFW. After that I go through the entire story myself. This process isn’t for everyone. Many writers I know have Alpha and Beta readers who read the story first, but I do it this way.
What are some of your hobbies when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m painting, gardening, bird watching, moon-gazing, and reading (of course).
Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. Let them in to just who the wonderful Sharon is.
Don’t know about that “wonderful” part, I’m just like everyone else. But, my favorite food is ice cream. I can’t resist it. And, I have three favorite colors: white, emerald green, and royal purple.
Tell us your favorite novel?
Lord of the Rings, with The Hobbit a close second.
What is your favorite classic movie?
McLintock with John Wayne. Or if you mean older, I guess it would be White Christmas.
I know you have pizza Fridays. What’s your favorite kind of pizza? What drink do you always have to go along with it?
My favorite is Spinach with Marinara Sauce instead of Alfredo. I also have Coke, sometimes Vanilla, sometimes Cherry.
Now a fun game I’ll ask what your preference. Let your readers know what you love.
Crime or mystery novel? Mystery
Singing Christmas carols or watching someone sing Christmas carols? Singing them.
Lighting New Year’s fireworks or watching it outside?
Neither. I don’t like fireworks except on the 4th of July and then I like watching.
A kindle or a paperback? Paperback only.
I want a real book, although I do appreciate my Kindle readers.
Paperback or hardcover? Hardcover
Favorite pie during the holidays? Pecan
Pie or cake? Pie
Holiday flavored creamers or regular creamers? I like both.
Espresso or regular coffee? Both
Name some of the delicious things you like to eat during New Year’s Eve and day? My own fruit cake, made using my grandmother’s recipe for raison cake. And DARK CHOCOLATE covered cherries.
Are there any mistakes you have made during the publishing process? How did you learn from them? Yes, publishing the first three books before I really knew how to write.
When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out? My writer friends, if you’re referring to doubt about my writing.
What is one thing you’d like to address to your faithful readers? I appreciate every one of you, and hope that I will always write stories that you will love to read.
Do you have a mailing list? Give us the address to sign up!
If you go to my website, http://sharonkconnell.com/ you will see a signup box for my monthly newsletter. If you need to get in touch with me for something, you can always reach me at any of the links below.
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
I have no deadline to meet for my next new novel and I’ll be working on my first three novels before I start that one. I do not write series, mainly because I don’t enjoy series myself. I like all my stories to stand alone so no one has the fear of reading one of my books and feeling like they should have read the one before it. My genre is Christian Romance Suspense with a bit of mystery. My first three novels are on Amazon, but I would prefer that my readers wait until I have rewritten them before they read them, so they can enjoy the stories the way they should have been written. I will be keeping everyone up to date on my progress in my newsletters.
Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome books?
Following are my links:
Author’s book page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/averypresenthelpbook1
Group Forum on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/writersandauthorsforum/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sharonkconnell
Blogging on WordPress: https://sharonkconnell.wordpress.com/
Blogging on Niume: https://niume.com/pages/profile/?userID=52569
His Perfect Love on Amazon http://amzn.to/2iCMALI
And my book video:
His Perfect Love – New novel by Sharon K. Connell https://youtu.be/e3tRr6mLzZk
Thanks so much, Sharon for your inspiration and your time and this wonderful new novel! It’s sitting on my writing desk and going to be devoured soon. Ya’ all need to get online and grab one of her novels!
Join us next time for our all new Author Spotlight!