Category Archives: romance

2018 Interview with Romantic Suspense Author Sharon Kay Connell

His Perfect Love as seen on Amazon

Sharon’s New Interview! 2018

Today I’m ecstatic to interview this wonderful woman again, romantic suspense Christian Author, Sharon K. Connell.  Sharon we’re thrilled to have you join us today. The reason I am so excited is because you have been through a long road rather recently… the dreaded rewrite- which is why I’d love your expertise. I think it’s wonderful to rewrite and your insight can also help aspiring authors. We need to know when an author should rewrite and I’d like to discuss the pleading reviews. I call it “pleading” because all of us seem to be posting memes and little snippets to leave a review yet so many never do or they simply forget. Without further ado, let’s get cracking!

  1. You are a romantic suspense author. And so readers know, I’ve had the privilege of reading one of Sharon’s novels entitled, “His Perfect Love.” It did have me on pins and needles several points in the story. And that Patricia! Doh! Well, let’s just say she was not my favorite person lol. What made you want to write the genre of romantic suspense?

When I started out writing, I had no idea what I was doing, much less that I was writing romantic suspense. My reading choices were mainly historical romance set in the British or Irish realm. I knew I was writing romance, but I wanted it to be more than just boy meets girl, falls in love, someone makes their life miserable because she loves him and can’t have him, etc. There had to be an element of drama in the story, but it also had to be realistic. Little by little, Paths of Righteousness, my very first attempt at writing, evolved. It wound up being my second published book. Scenarios of danger and suspense crept in to add stumbling stones for my characters.

By the time my forth book His Perfect Love came along, I realized that romantic suspense was what I enjoyed writing. And by then, I had actually learned how to write the story in a way that kept the interest of my readers.

 

By the way, you neglected to mention that Patricia wasn’t so bad at the end of His Perfect Love. LOL  Me- Of course! But I didn’t wanna spoil it.

  1. Recently, I noticed you are rewriting some of your earlier works. I’ve seen this done over the last year with many authors. But this is where I’m curious- since I’ve done it myself- tell us what made you decide to rewrite your books?

My first books were written before I knew anything about writing. They were (and There Abideth Hope, my third published novels, still is) full of head-hopping and needless information that tends to slow down the reading. I made a lot of mistakes. After taking classes in writing and with the help of my critiquers and other authors, I’ve learned how to write in a way that’s exciting. My earlier readers all said they loved the stories, but I knew they could be so much better. And to me, that meant they were worth the trouble of rewriting to improve the story and flow.

  1. Is there a specific sign to look out for that will aid author’s and confirm that they too need to rewrite their novels?

I have no idea what that sign would be except that you are not happy with the way your first edition came out. If it’s just minor things that you know you should or shouldn’t have done, I wouldn’t rewrite. I’d go ahead with new stories. But if it’s like my case where you know the story is good but most people probably won’t want to read it because of the tediousness of the writing, then perhaps it should be rewritten.

Many times, an established author said to me, “Don’t bother rewriting. Just go on with a new story. However, those first three stories, A Very Present Help, Paths of Righteousness, and There Abideth Hope, would not leave my mind. A Very Present Help has been republished in a 2nd edition now, and everyone who reads it loves it. That makes it worth the time and trouble. I’m in the middle of the rewrite on Paths of Righteousness, and then There Abideth Hope will be next.

  1. What helped you (if any) with your vision of the new cover you had made?

When I did the covers of my first three novels, again, I didn’t know what I was doing. Since I’m an indie author, and I was under the restrictions of a tight budget, I used cover templates from CreateSpace. They’re okay, but not what I wanted. When I redid the cover for A Very Present Help, I told my artist what I had in mind, gave her some pictures of what I wanted in the cover, and she did the rest. I wanted a scene from the book itself, not the same old covers as everyone else had on romantic suspense. It was important to me that the cover of the book reflected something from the story, not just the genre.

  1. When beginning a new novel, what inspiration do you draw from?

Life in general, I guess. An idea for a problem in the life of a character will come into my head and stick. Then I have to figure out the old who, what, where, when, why, and how? Eventually all the pieces come together, with the help of a lot of prayer.

  1. Now, this is difficult to talk about at times because of the nature of some or misunderstandings of others, what do you do with a bad review?

I ignore it, for the most part.

Since I’ve been published, I really haven’t had any formal bad reviews. But before I actually published my first story, I had a woman who offered to beta read for me tear my writing apart. Everything was wrong. Granted, I realize now that most of my writing was terrible, but she didn’t like anything. I had to sit back and lick my wounds for a while, and then decide what I could learn from what she said. Was what she said true or not? I did a lot of research about writing and found that a lot of it wasn’t true. Mainly, I think she just didn’t like my story, and tried to set herself up as the perfect judge of writing. I doubt if she cared for Christian Romance Suspense at all, now that I look back on her comments.

However, I did learn some things from what she said. And that’s what we need to take away from reviews when they aren’t what we would like to hear. Yes, it hurts. There’s no doubt about that. But is what’s being said true? If it is, then change it. If it’s not, ignore it.

Bottom line for me is this. I don’t put a lot of stock in reviews. I do ask for them, but I don’t seek them. Not everyone is going to like what I write. I accept that.

  1. Have you ever been misquoted in a review?

Not that I know of.

  1. How high do you hold the reviews?

First, let me say this. I will not give a review on a book if I can’t give it at least a 3 star. What is the purpose of discouraging a writer that way? I rarely give a 5 star. I suppose because I’m a writer and when I read, I have a problem separating the reader from the writer. The book has to have kept my interest so well that I can barely put it down to get a 5 star. If I’ve received a book outside of the genre I love to read, it’s hard for me to really get into the story. Having said that, I have given many 5 star reviews in the genre in which I do read.

Reviews are great when they’re from people who truly love what you write. It feels good when people pat you on the back. But I also think that if someone likes what they read in the blurbs written to give a general idea of the story, and they view the sample pages to see how you write, they’ll get a better idea of what they’re getting from that than a review based on readers likes or dislikes.

  1. What encouragement can you give to authors or aspiring authors regarding reviews?

Take the good and let them encourage you to do even better for your readers. Take the bad with a grain of salt, learn from it if you can, and don’t let it discourage you. Remember, not all readers are alike any more than all writers are. They may have picked up your book and find that it’s not written in a style they like to read. There are many other reasons why they might not become engrossed in your story. Shake it off. Eventually you’ll become more thick-skinned about it in the same way actors do when they get bad reviews.

  1. Let’s talk about marketing. For a lot of authors, this is an Achilles heal. Let others know how you approach the marketing process?

After any trials with outside marketing, I’ve recently decided that my time and money is better spent on doing it myself. I set up my own memes with the use of Canva and a GIF maker program. A file keeps all my blurbs organized so that all I have to do is copy and paste into the meme or GIF, and then Tweet or Post. In a separate file, I keep the pictures I use from free picture sources like Pixabay, and I pull them up from there whenever I make a new advertising meme.

Each day, I chose which pages on Facebook I’ll post my ads. Usually about three or four different groups. I post those every day, and tweet three times a day on Twitter.

When I first started advertising, I used one of the programs for scheduling your posts, but I found that they often did not work the way I wanted them to. Now I just set aside the time and do it myself.

This works for me because I’m generally at home all day. I’m a full-time, at home author. It may not work for those who have full-time out of the home jobs. What you have to do is find out what works best for you. Through trial and error, mostly.

  1. Do you use any special marketing company to help get your novels out there?

No. Not anymore.

  1. Where do you enjoy marketing the most?

I like Twitter because of the retweeting process, and I also like Facebook because you can put more information into your ads.

  1. What is the newest thing that you’ve learning in the area of self-publishing?

For me, it’s that no one knows how to present my books the way I can. After all, I am the author. LOL

  1. Where do you like to research when learning new things about writing?

Everywhere. In books, in blogs, Facebook writing forums, new and experienced authors, Twitter tweets. There’s a wealth of information out there.

  1. I know in your work, you have elements of crime including detectives. So where do you like to go to gather some of that info?

For my stories, I’m very fortunate to have acquaintances in those fields. Just like in the medical field. And whenever I find out that someone online has experience or works in an area where I might need technical, professional advice, I write to them and ask if I can put them on a resource list for future reference. I also use the expertise of people in my offline life. People I have known for years.

Then, there’s always the internet. There are official sites for all kinds of things like the FBI, military, etc. I’ve even gone to a medical site where a doctor is available for questions. People are more than happy to give you the information you need if you ask. When I wrote A Very Present Help, there were three Des Plaines Sherriff deputies in my church and many former and current military. With Paths of Righteousness, I was working in a medical office and the doctors and nurses I worked with were more than happy to give me information. When I wrote There Abideth Hope, the Lord provided me with a direct contact to Search and Rescue. And with His Perfect Love, I used contact and information from past stories, along with contacts from new sources. All you have to do is look and ask. The file I keep lists all kinds of professionals with their contact information and expertise.

As far as the scenes and information for the backgrounds, most of that was from experience. But there too, all you have to do is put the help wanted sign out, and you’ll be amazed at how willing people are to supply the information you need.

  1. What is the number one important thing to you when you’re writing the suspenseful parts in your novels?

That the actions, feelings, and emotions are real. I don’t want the story to come off like old drama from TV shows and movies of long ago. No overacting, please. I try to put myself into the situation and feel everything in order to know how the character would feel and respond. (I just wrote a blog on this) I also contact those who know if something actually can be done the way I’ve written it. Mostly with fight scenes, or things like, would someone bleed to death before help came in this scenario.

  1. What is the number one important thing to you when writing romance in your novels?

That would be the same as with the suspense. It has to be real. The emotion has to be right for the action and vice versa.

  1. What genre do you enjoy reading the most?

As I said before, Christian Historical Romance from the area of England, Scotland, and/or Ireland.

  1. Okay, now since you’ve been interviewed by me before, you know this game. It’s called “Tell Your Readers What You Like.” I will give you options and you tell the readers what you like! Simple right? Lol. Alright, here’s the first one. Slurpee, Frozen Yogurt, or Ice cream?

Both of the last two, there’s no difference to me.

  1. Movie first, or the Book first?

I prefer to read the book first, but sometimes I’m not aware there is a book. LOL Or…if you’re asking which I like better, it’s a tie.

  1. Toilet paper stuck to your shoe, or sitting in gum?- yes you must pick one! Lol

Aimee, you should know by now that you cannot make me do anything. But for the enjoyment of your readers, I’d say TP stuck on my shoe would be better.  Me- Yes I know, but it’s so much trying to get you to answer lol.

  1. Reader contacting you by email, Reader contacting you by Direct Message?

Since I only open emails from people I know personally, I guess I would prefer DM. However, the best way is through a comment on any of my links.

  1. Killing of a Main Character or Doing Something Absolutely Shocking?

Shocking!

  1. Killing off the Villain or Having the Villain Make a 360?

Make a 360.

  1. Audio books or Kindles? (Paperback is not an option here girl lol.)

Since I don’t use either, I can’t answer. I guess if I had to choose, it would be audio because I can’t stand reading online after I’ve worked online all day.

  1. Bowl of pasta or a bowl of vegetables?

Pasta, of course.

  1. Chinese food or Pizza?

Chinese.

  1. Pizza or a cheeseburger?

Cheeseburger.

  1. Fries or onion rings?

Onion Rings. Oh yeah!

  1. What do you put on your hamburger? (i.e. ketchup, mustard, mayo.)

Cheese, mayo, ketchup, tomato, lettuce…and sometimes a slice of dill pickle.

  1. Tell readers what is to come with your writing this year?

I’ll complete the rewrite on Paths of Righteousness and then start the rewrite of There Abideth Hope. I also hope to get further into the writing of my fifth novel, tentatively titled Treasures in a Field, before the end of the year.

  1. Tell readers a Bible verse that encourages you to continue pressing on in your writing.

Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

  1. What helpful information can you tell the aspiring author who may doubt themselves?

Never doubt yourself. There are too many other people in the world who are willing to do that for you. If you have been called to write, do it. Learn all you can before you publish (although you will never know everything there is to know about writing), and always take everything told to you in the way of criticism with a grain of salt. Glean what you can; pitch the rest.

  1. Where can readers find your new and fabulous novels?

 

His Perfect Love http://amzn.to/2iCMALI

A Very Present Help http://amzn.to/2yuF4eE

Here are my links:

Website: http://sharonkconnell.com/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sharonkconnell

Author’s book page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/averypresenthelpbook1

Author’s Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristianRomanceSuspense/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharonKConnell

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SharonKConnell

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonkconnell 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rosecastle1/

 

Blogging on WordPress: https://sharonkconnell.wordpress.com/

Books:

My book trailers:

His Perfect Love by Sharon K. Connell https://youtu.be/e3tRr6mLzZk

A Very Present Help by SharonKConnell https://youtu.be/3a75HKgSkao music by Ross Bugden

https://youtu.be/wYyoOE5IzS0 Music by Chris Trosclaire

My current work in progress Paths of Righteousness (Book not available at this time. In process of being rewritten)

Current Book trailer: http://youtu.be/w2JkmYqhFyE

And my first edition of There Abideth Hope (Book not available for sale at this time. To be rewritten)

Current Book trailer: http://youtu.be/16G7IZaZB9Y

 

Bio

 

Sharon K. Connell began her writing career shortly after Hurricane Ivan hit Florida in September 2004. After constant encouragement from a dear friend, she started her first story without any training or knowledge of the craft. Since then, she has taken classes through the University of Iowa’s online courses. She holds a certificate in fiction writing from the International Writing Program and is constantly improving her skills through information obtained from reading, online writing groups, organizations, and her fellow authors.

 

As a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers organization, Sharon is active in the Scribes critique group. She is also a member of CyFair Writers and Houston Writers House. She manages her own group forum on Facebook for writers and readers, sends out a monthly online newsletter, and maintains a website.

 

Most of her working career included clerical positions from file clerk to office manager, in a variety of offices from advertising to the medical field. She has traveled to all but six states in the U.S. and has visited Mexico and Canada. Some of the experiences she has had are included in the fiction stories she writes.

Sharon is now a full-time author living in Houston, Texas. Her genre is Christian Romance Suspense, with as much mystery and humor as she can squeeze into a story.

 

I am so thankful you’ve taken the time out of your busy writing schedule to answer these questions, Sharon. I know your expertise and all the Lord has taught you throughout the years is valuable information for all of us.

Y’ all, be sure to follow her around cyber world and stay connected so you know when she releases these novels. Trust me! Christian Romantic Suspense isn’t my usual reading genre, but it’s exciting, nail-biting, thrilling, and has that touch of romance you simply can’t pass up!

AVeryPresentHelp--9x6--FullCover jpeg 4 marketing - Copy - Copy.jpg

 

Be sure to see what God’s doing at my self-publishing house website. Stay connected and follow blog for future author interviews, and posts including book chapters, and devotionals.

http://deadmanwalkingpublications.com/

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This Week’s Author Spotlight We Have Sharon Lopez!

2016 Shar 1-10 (8)
Welcome Sharon Lopez! Thrilled you are with us for this fun and insightful interview. We have lots to talk about so let’s get started!

What made you want to be a writer?
I wrote a play when I was in elementary school. My teacher had me and some classmates put it on for the class. After that, I knew that I wanted to continue writing.

What genre’s do you write or delve into?
All of my books are multiple genre stories. Destiny’s Mark is a fantasy/supernatural, action, romance. The World Inside Stephanie’s Head and its sequel The World Beyond Stephanie’s Head, are drama, action, romance. Life is Funny That Way is a young adult, coming of age. Alright, Well I love you is crime, drama, with a bit of romance.

Tell us about your novel and if how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)
Destiny’s Mark follows Danni, a very independent, well-liked, and respected freelance photographer. One day Danni learns a secret about her life and who she is and her world is forever changed.
Destiny’s Mark, as well as all of my other books can be found in E-book and Paperback format. They all can be found at Amazon, CreateSpace, Apple I-tunes store, Google Play store, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.

How important is it to read books when you want to be an author and then become an author?
I feel that reading is a very important part of being an author. Reading can stimulate new story ideas and different writing styles. Reading can open your mind up to a creative state so that you can write.

What inspired you to write Destiny’s Mark?
Destiny’s Mark was inspired by a dream I had. I wrote down the dream and then built a story around it.

What audience do you want to reach and why?
I want to reach readers that enjoy a good story. There is so much talk about having great book covers, tons of reviews, etc. I don’t read based off of reviews or fancy covers. I read because something in the story description grabbed ahold of me, and that is the type of audience I strive to reach.
What kind of impact ‘if any’ do you want your book to have on the next generation?
My goal has always been to write stories that people can feel. I would like people to appreciate a good story, identify with or get emotional about a character. Maybe even see something in a new perspective.

Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Though it is true that I would rather write than market, I don’t think there is a part of publishing I don’t like. Each thing I do, either brings forth knowledge or brings really great people into my life.

Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
The best way for me to be able to write is a calm atmosphere. I have been using a sound cd developed by Tom Bird. It helps me focus on writing.

Do you need special treats or goodies to help you write?
Haha, I always appreciate large amounts of Skippy peanut butter and saltine crackers as well as a truckload of Fig Newtons.

Which do you prefer the most, traditional or self-publishing and why?
I like self- publishing. There are many reasons I self- publish my books. I like being able to revise things right away if I need to, as well as deciding where and how my books are sold.

What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel?
I had been writing for many years before I was inspired to publish my first book. After the first one was published my love to write and publish books could not be deterred.

How can you relate to Danni?
Danni to me is a kind, genuine, strong, free spirit. I admire her strength and dedication to her friends as well as her craft.

Did you develop a secret crush on Miles vying for Danni’s love? Be honest lol.
Hahaha Who could not fall for Miles? He is a very loving and loyal man. The fact that he can speak French is an added bonus.

When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
My friends, family, and God are all great sources of encouragement for me.

How do you market your novels?
I use a social media presence mostly. I am on Twitter and Face Book as well as having my own website. I also do interviews such as this one. Thank you by the way. I appreciate it!

Who is the first person who reads your finished manuscripts?
My family mostly.

Since my blog is part about the supernatural and paranormal, do you believe in the supernatural or paranormal realm? Even if it’s not your genre.
Actually yes I do.

Do you believe in the existence of Jesus and Satan??
Yes, I do.

What sorts of things do you enjoy when you aren’t writing?
I enjoy reading, spending time with family, music, movies, and video games.

Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. I know this may seem silly but allow your readers to know more about you.
I like Italian food as well as enchiladas and beef chimichangas. I have a few favorite colors black, purple, and blue.
Now a fun game I’ll ask what your preference. Let your readers know what you enjoy. Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry ice cream? Coffee Ice cream
Go to the movies or prefer the blu-ray? Redbox
Ice cream or frozen yogurt? Frozen yogurt
Mounds bars or Almond Joy? Baby Ruth and Snickers
Thanksgiving or Christmas? Christmas. I love giving gifts.

What are some mistakes you see author’s make?
Some authors treat the business as a competition. I believe there is room for everyone. I like to let everyone know about any good books I read.

What are some mistakes you wish you didn’t make when you were a new author?
While writing and publishing I am constantly learning. I think you have to be open to learning everything you can.

What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors or published authors?
Don’t stop writing. You will get frustrated that things are not going the way you want them to. Don’t give up.

Do you doubt yourself at times? When you do what helps you get over the slump?
Yes, I think everyone does. You just have to find a new way to view things. Sometimes you have to pray or take a breath, see a movie, take a drive, or call a friend whatever it is that can give you a new perspective.

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.
My new book just came out the 14th of April. It is a crime drama called Alright, Well I love you.
Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book? (Please include a jpg of your book cover) My website has all the links to my books as well as links to other books I have enjoyed reading. http://azteddie.wix.com/sharon-lopez I also have an Amazon author page. http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Lopez/e/B00HTK4KQO

This was soooo much fun Sharon. Thanks for stopping by. And ya all go on and grab one of her fabulous novels. I’d begin with Destiny’s Mark since I’ve read it lol. And follow this blog for wonderful info coming every week!
Destinys Mark ebook

Interview With Author Sharon K. Connell!!!

Sharon
Welcome and thank you so much for joining me for this interview Sharon!

What made you want to be a writer?
I never thought about being a writer but my dear friend Alan O’Reilly, author of Sound of Battle and Desired Haven, along with many non-fiction publications kept after me about putting my experiences in a book. After going through Hurricane Ivan in Pensacola, Florida, he started in on me again and this time I took him up on it. However, what came out was not a thriller, as you would think someone would write going through an experience like that one. It would up being a love story. Yes, I did touch on the results of the hurricane in the novel, but nothing more.

What genre’s do you write or delve into?
My genre is Romantic/Suspense or Drama. I’ve also written some short pieces in the Fantasy genre, which someday will be published in a short story collection.

Tell us about your novel and if how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)
My current work in progress is His Perfect Love. A story about a bad girl (woman) who realizes that the choices she’s made in life have done nothing but cause her trouble. She’s on the run, hiding from the villain. This character shows up in previous books published before I took any classes in writing. One other character (pulled from my previous novels) shows up in the story but my readers don’t have to worry about not having read the first three novels. All my books stand alone. Some of the characters are simply too good not to mention or have make an encore.
His Perfect Love is in the editing stage right now. I wish I could give you a date when it will be available, but I don’t like setting a deadline. I want to make sure the story is right, a good read, and therefore I don’t rush it. I will keep everyone posted, and you can always check on my website and group forum page on Facebook for updates. It will be offered on Amazon.

How important is it to read when you want and then are an author?
If you mean, how important is it for me to read while I work, I read as often as I can find the time, usually when I can’t write, doctor’s offices, etc. It helps me to see how others do it. I glean what I like.

Is it necessary to take classes to help learn how to creatively write?
I’m not really sure how necessary it is. It has helped me to learn how others in the field create their stories. In times past, people wrote great novels without the benefit of having gone to school to learn the trade. Also, one can read books to learn the various techniques of writing. I think that’s a very personal question for the writer to decide upon.

Tell us about your first three novels.
As I’ve mentioned before, my first three novels were written before I learned so much more about writing, how to attract the reader, how to keep the reader involved in the characters and story, etc. I plan to go back and edit each of those stories, although everyone who has read them thought they were wonderful tales. When I do go back, I won’t change the plot or the basic story, all I’ll do is make the reading of it better.
A Very Present Help is about a young teacher, Shannon, engaged to her childhood sweetheart. They grew up across the street from one another. He breaks off the engagement while serving in the Marines and then brings his new love home for the holidays. In the meantime, an older man decides that he must have the young teacher for his own. Shannon cannot get her mind off another Marine she only met once. She’s going through a time of having to trust God and being tested to the limit. This book was originally a short story, which wound up being made into a novel.
Paths of Righteousness was actually the first story I wrote but was not published until after A Very Present Help. The story is about a young woman, Kathryn, who has lost her entire family. It’s also about a young doctor who had a very trying childhood. They work in the same office and take a dislike to each other immediately. Another man from Kathryn’s past, someone she would rather never see again, shows up and life becomes a tangled web.
There Abideth Hope takes place in Pensacola, Florida where a young nurse, Lynne, formerly serving in the U.S. Navy has decided to settle after leaving the Corp. A killer whom she had testified against in the past shows up and things get stormy. This story touches on human trafficking, drugs and murder.

What about your first three novels do you struggle with?
I struggle with the fact that I wrote them before I knew a lot about writing technique. Therefore, I want to go back and make them better.

What audience do you want to reach and why?
My target audience is wide. The subjects are definitely for adults, however I believe that older teens would find them interesting. I do not believe in writing explicit details of worldly lives. Nor do I use language that cannot be read by anyone. If I refer to expletives, I use that word in my current work. In the previous three novels, I use symbols, such as @%#*@#. These will be changed to read “expletive” when I redo the first three books. My main goal is to show God’s grace and mercy in my tales. I believe any age and any group of people need to learn about that. Christian’s need to learn that they can trust God. The lost need to learn that there is a God who loves them and wants to be there for them.

What kind of impact ‘if any’ do you want your book to have on the next generation?
The next generation needs to know the consequences of not following a loving God. They need to know that they can trust a loving God. They need to know that there are people who can testify to the fact that God is and has always been there for them, if they will simply look to Him.

Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Easy question, easy answer. Marketing. I am not a salesperson. If you’re talking strictly about the publishing end, making sure all the formatting is done correctly.

Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write.
I’m very fortunate in that I have a separate office from the rest of the house. It is set up with everything at my fingertips. I need all my little writing tips that I refer to almost daily right in front of me (such as the difference between Lay and Lie, the words I should avoid using, and my synonym book). I need to have a cup of coffee nearby, my ongoing outline, character traits notebook and my event in the story calendar at my right side. I really don’t need music, although I do put some on from time to time. But I really love having a window next to me where I can look out and see the front yard, birds in the birdbath and flowering plants when I need to rest my mind. Quiet helps too. LOL A vace of white roses on the end of the desk does a lot for my spirit.

Do you need special treats or goodies to help you write?
I wouldn’t say I need them, but I sure do like them. Preferably Mind Chocolate Cookies. Hee hee

Which do you prefer the most, traditional or self-publishing and why?
I am self-published. The reason for that is simple. I tried for two years to get someone, a publisher, or agent, to even look at my manuscript when I wrote my first book. It was a very disappointing experience. Afterward, I heard from many that because there are so many writers today, it is extremely hard to break into the traditional route of publishing. I know some who did but they are now changing over to self-publishing as well. I am self-published, and very content with it.

What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel?
The worst part of publishing my book was worrying that it would not be something anyone would want to read. Those fears are gone now.

When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
Most of all, I pray. Secondly, I go to those I know have given me encouragement in the past. Most are listed in the acknowledgements in my books.

How do you market your novel?
Being retired, I’m on a fixed income. There is not budget for expensive marketing. My marketing is done on social media and word of mouth. So far it’s served me modestly. I wish I had the money to hired a good marketing group, but it’s not there. Interviews like this one are a great help to get word out about my books. And I thank you for that, Aimee.

Who is the first person who reads your finished manuscripts?
The very first person is me. I also have critiquers who have been reading along as I finish editing my chapters and I have my proofreader/editor as well. I tried to go the route of a Beta Reader but found that they always want to change my style of writing. Perhaps I haven’t found the right one yet, but I think those who read along with me right now are doing a good job.

Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
I have never had a book signing. With this current book, I have toyed with the idea but I read so much from other writers who say they were either disappointed in them or don’t think they really add much to getting your books out there that I’m not really sure I will do it. Time will tell.

Since my blog is part about the supernatural and paranormal, do you believe in the supernatural or paranormal realm? Even if it’s not your genre.
I do believe there is supernatural realm. I’m a Christian. God, angels, and the devil are part of that realm. I do not believe in paranormal; however, it does make for interesting stories of fiction. I’ve written about Fairies, and that would fit into that kind of fantasy in a way.

Do you believe in the existence of Jesus and Satan?
I do believe in both. I choose not to dwell on the later or bring any attention to that being. Jesus, on the other hand is Someone I am very eager and willing to talk about.

What sorts of things do you enjoy when you aren’t writing?
Generally, I finish my writing day at dinner time, although there are occasions when I go back to it before bedtime. After dinner I relax and do my Bible reading for the evening. Then I either watch NCIS (depending on the night) or put in a DVD, have coffee and maybe a cookie and stretch my legs. I love gardening and cooking, birdwatching and painting. The last activities are not as often as I’d like because my focus right now is on getting my current story finished.

Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. I know this may seem silly but allow your readers to know more about you.
Not silly at all. My favorite food, oh dear, I have so many. LOL I guess my very favorite of all types is ice cream (and there I have many favorites as well). Too many ethnic foods to mention. My favorite color is emerald green, followed by royal purple and snow white. I’m complicated.

If you aren’t writing, what is your idea of a perfect day for Sharon?
A perfect non-writing day for me would be to visit a museum, followed by dinner in a quiet restaurant and a walk in a botanical garden.

What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors or published authors?
The best advice I can give to any of you is, don’t let anyone discourage you. If you have a story in you, get it out and on paper (in our case today, the PC). Don’t worry about the grammar, if you’ve made mistakes, or if all your ducks are in a row. Get it down. Do it. When you have the complete story written out, go back and in a relaxed manner, read it to yourself (preferably aloud). That’s when you can change things to sound right, correct your spelling and grammar errors (thank God for grammar check and spellcheck), and put in all the little details you were overlooking while trying to get your ideas down. After that, the critiquers and proofreaders and editors can spiffy it up for you.

Do you doubt yourself at times? When you do what helps you get over the slump?
It may seem strange to you, but I don’t think I’ve ever doubted myself as a writer. Yes, I’ve wondered if I’m doing it right at times but doubting being a writer has never come into play. I’ve never had writers’ block either. Not really sure why. If I did get it or start to doubt myself, I think I would simply walk away from it for a while and then come back.

When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series.
I mentioned this above. I do not have a date but try to keep my readers posted in my Facebook group forum, on my author page, and on my website. The genre will be as before, Romance/Suspense. No it is not part of a series. I tend to shy away from series, even in my reading. It’s not my thing.

Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book?
Right now, I do not have a picture of my book. The cover is still in the making, although the artwork has been completed for the cover (it is a secret and will not be released until the book is published, but I can give you a mock up picture. The finished product will be spectacular). The books pictures below are my first three. I’m not sure that I will change the covers of these book, but perhaps tweak them a bit.
Below are all my links:
Website: https://sites.google.com/site/rosecastleplace
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonkconnell (PenandPaperWorld)
Facebook Page: sharonk.connell@facebook.com
Author’s book page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/averypresenthelpbook1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharonKConnell
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sharonkconnell
Group Forum on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/writersandauthorsforum/
And for my book videos:
A Very Present Help by SharonKConnell http://youtu.be/aRGooJjxaHU
Paths of Righteousness by SharonKConnell http://youtu.be/w2JkmYqhFyE
There Abideth Hope by SharonKConnell http://youtu.be/16G7IZaZB9Y

Again, I’m so pleased to have you stop by and interview with us. It was so touching to hear more about you and your wonderful work. Everyone be sure to grab a copy of her novels and follow Sharon for updates of her upcoming novel!!
Sharon Pics

Thank you everyone for following along. Feel free to follow this blog for next week’s spotlight!