My interview guest for the month of August is Author, Sharon C. Williams. Sharon is a children and YA author. She also writes short stories which have been included in a couple of anthologies. I hope you enjoy her responses to my interview questions. Welcome Sharon and thank you for participating.
About Writing/Books/Being an Author
- When did you first realize you wanted to write?
Oh gosh I started writing later in life. When I talk to other writers and I hear that they been writing for years I feel like a newbie. In 2010 my husband told a good friend that he felt I wrote well. And what better way to let me know than to tell my friend who he knew would tell me. LOL. So I took that to heart and worked on my first book at the end of that year. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I fell hopefully in love with the process of creating something out of thin air to create a world, characters and plot lines that embraced me as much as I embraced it. I imagine if my husband had not started the ball rolling I would probably never would have started. I am grateful he did. This is now who I am. I am an avid reader and now with that an author who can’t imagine not ever not wanting to write.
- Who is/are your favourite author(s)?
My go to authors are Stephen King for starters. We are from same place plus I do love horror in the way that he does it. I inhale anything he writers. Agatha Christie to me is still amazing her books never go out of style no matter how much time passes. I started reading Bently Little since I saw on one of his covers a high recommendation from Mr. King. Taking a chance I fell in love with his story telling and have read to date the majority of his works. My new favorite now is Michael Grant who has penned the Gone series which is a YA series. I am enjoying this series, I am on the last book that is out, though two more have not yet been released.
- What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing writing?
I love that you can write anywhere you want on anything you want. It is so freeing and invites you in to forget about stress, forget about that pain or forget about anything that is taking you away from being the best that you can be. Writing is just freeing and I love it. To dive into a new piece of writing is so exciting for even when I feel I know where it is going to go. There are times it decides for me and I let it. It is kind of hard to describe to those who don’t write, you know? It is thrilling, exciting wonderful and amazing that is how it makes me feel so why would I want to do anything else? What I like the least is the editing part. I mean yuck. LOL I know there are people who are editors and they love it and that is wonderful you should enjoy it. But that will never be me. The revisions, editing, rewriting and doing that so many times until you feel it is good to go is a long tedious process. I’d rather just sit down and write and that is why I write free style. I know authors who edit as they write, I can’t do that. It stifles my creativity. And we get that enough when we are editing. Why do it while I am writing?
- Where do your ideas come from?
I find they come from just about anything. I love prompt books and a good portion of my short stories in my anthologies started as a word or picture prompt. It is different now that I am an author. I look at things with the purpose if I can use it for a writing piece of any kind or length. I love that. It keeps my mind busy and active.
- I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?
I am an avid photographer and have had lovely reviews on some of my photographs. I do calligraphy, I still need to work on it more, but it is so relaxing and what you get is something really cool that you can give as a gift. I also knit various items such as scarves, blankets and home-made slippers which I also gift. I love puttering with my plants and enjoy seeing them grow. Life is so full of things to try out and explore. I am always looking for the next thing to try to learn.
- If you could jump inside of a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?
There are just too many to choose from for as an avid reader I go through a lot of books. If I had to, it would be anything from Agatha Christie or Stephen King.
- When you create characters are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?
The majority of my characters are people I have made up in my head out of the blue. It gives me personally more range as a writer. However, my children’s series is based on my parrot. And while people might say well that is not the same thing in a way it is. We have had Jasper since 1999 when we adopted/rescued him at the age of five. In having him for so long we have come to learn of his vibrant personality if we just take the time to take notice. His mannerism is seen through the series in how he approaches things. He may not be human but please don’t tell him that. In his mind he is all boy.
- How do you come up with titles for your books?
To be honest I suck at creating titles. All my books have been titled by other authors who see it clear as day while I am wondering what will I call this book anything but, “The Book.” I need to do better at this for there will be a time it will be up to me.
- What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?
At the moment I am working on three separate projects. The first one is volume 4 to my Jasper series which is a children’s book that is based on my rescued Amazon, Jasper. Each book I have tried to invoke a problem that is going on in the rainforest and with this volume the topic is the poaching problems in the rainforest. My second book is entitled; “Lost Faith” it is a YA series and I am working on the first volume. The premise is that it is based in the future where religion is no longer allowed. Our heroine learns quickly how serious this is and she won’t stand for it.
- Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?
In 2013 I released an anthology; “Dragons In The Attic” with a writer group I formed called “The Wonder Chicks” which consisted of five ladies. On May 12, 2014 we made the Amazon Best Sellers list in three categories. We rose quickly and fell just as fast but still it was a wonderful moment for us and we can now say we are Amazon best-selling authors.
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#9 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Anthologies & Literary Collections > General
#12 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Anthologies & Literary Collections > Short Stories
#33 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories
And while this next part is not an award I been fortunate to have been able to sell my writings and books overseas quite a few times. My friends say I can call myself an international book selling author. I think that might be stretching it but it sounds good.
- What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?
I would love to skydive, I been too chicken to do it as of yet. I would also love to travel more than I have to date.
- What makes you happy?
Gosh I have so many things that make me happy. I love to read. I can get into my own little world in my house and visit countries, realms, people, animals and all in between. To read and forget about life’s problems and pain is one of the easiest ways to destress. I love spending time with my family. Granted they get on my nerves as I do on theirs but just having them home with me makes me happy. They don’t have to be interacting with me. Just having family around gives me just a sense of happiness. And of course writing gives me such joy. The pleasure this gives me when I am writing, especially on a new manuscript can’t honestly be measured. I love to laugh. I try to laugh daily and sometimes if that means watching a sitcom or cartoon so be it. Something so incredible as a good belly laugh definitely makes me happy. I’m a huge sports fan and anytime my teams are on TV or I can make it to the game I am definitely in my happy zone. The list is truly long and for me that is a blessing.
- If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?
Again as mentioned I’m an avid reader. I love taking pictures and always am trying to find the shot that will wow people. I do love watching movies, listening to music and exercising. I like being outdoors and love working with my plants. I am a huge history buff and I LOVE documentaries. My family is accustomed to me saying, “Hey, I remember hearing about that on a documentary I just saw.” I always want to learn about history. It has been a close friend of mine for years now.
This is where I can be found online:
Here are pictures of my books and short stories and stories inside anthologies
At the moment I am in the process of obtaining a new publisher. However I do have copies of my books if anyone is interested.