I read and reviewed author Sharon K. Connell’s novel, His Perfect Love in the summer of of 2018. I loved the story and her writing. That is why she is one of my favorite authors and has earned a position on my Author Spotlight page! Please see her interview and upcoming work below.
1. What inspired you to write a book?
For years, I had been hearing, “You should write a book,” or “You should put that in a story,” from my dear friend and fellow-author, Alan O’Reilly. After going through Hurricane Ivan in 2005, which hit Pensacola, Florida while I was living there, I told Alan what I had experienced that horrible night and morning. He once again told me I should be writing. This time I decided he was right, and started writing down what I had experienced and saw. Of course, that never did become a story in itself, but I did glean information from that experience and put it into my first written manuscript and following stories.
2. What does your typical writing day look like?
Each morning, I get up thinking about what I’ll be working on that day as far as my writing goes. After the usual morning routine we all go through, including a short exercise stent, I have my first, all-important for a writer, cup of coffee. Then it’s down to checking emails, saying good morning to my Facebook group forum, and sending out a good morning and early advertising Tweets on Twitter. After breakfast, I’m off to some serious writing, editing, etc.
Usually, I’ll take a mid-day break for a snack, and then it’s off to do my real advertising routine on Twitter and Facebook for all my books and short stories (which is a recent development, as I have two coming out in anthologies this year). Once those are out, it’s back to working on my current work in progress.
In between, of course, I have the regular household duties, errands to run, etc., and recently I’ve started to take an hour break for painting. But the work on my writing goes on until it’s time to make dinner.
After dinner, I take another break and watch something on TV. Either a program (of which I don’t find many I’m interested in anymore) or we put in a DVD.
Before it’s time to retire for the evening, I check back with my group forum, send out one more group of advertisements on Twitter. Then I get ready for a good night’s sleep. I’m not one of those writers who sits up all night. Although, I have had a few evenings where sleep eluded me for some reason, and I used the time to work on my manuscript.
That’s it for my typical writing day. How about yours?
3. Do you have a favorite book you have written?
I do indeed. It’s Paths of Righteousness. (The book should be released this month, November) It was my second published story, although I actually wrote it first. This release is a second edition, as it wasn’t written very well the first time. (I’ve learn a lot since those days.) The characters are my favorites, the setting is a favorite of mine because I worked in the medical field for so long, and I set the story mainly in Pensacola, Florida, where I was living at the time. It also covers other places I’ve been to or lived in, such as Chicago, IL, Des Plaines, IL, Minneapolis, MN, and Atlanta, GA.
4. What advice would you give to a new writer just starting out?
The most important advice I could give a new writer is, “WRITE!” After that, I would say, make sure you get as much solid instruction on writing as you can, and I don’t mean just going to school or taking courses in writing. Join a good writing group with people who already have published works. Talk to other writers, authors and readers. What readers like and think is so important. Learn all the rules for writing, whatever type of writing you will do, before you decide to break those writing rules for your own style. And no matter what anyone says, if you are called to write, WRITE.
Word of warning: There will be plenty of people who will be happy to put you down, criticize your work, and tell you everything you are doing wrong. Take it all with a grain of salt. Develop a thick skin, analyse the comments, take what works for you, change what needs to be changed, and pitch the rest. Most importantly, love what you’re doing, and have fun doing it.
5. Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?
I’m on a number of social media outlets, but not all. It’s all I can handle to do a good job where I am now. And I always welcome comments and interact with those who write to me.
6. How do you handle literary criticism?
As I pointed out in my advice to new writers, I listen, analyse what’s been said, and then decide if I need to take that advice as gospel. I feel that all criticism is something that can help you grow. You either learn something new, or you grow a thicker skin in the case where someone just doesn’t like your style of writing or genre.
7. Please describe your writing space.
You really want to know this??? Okay.
I have my own in-home office with two wonderful windows that look out over the front yard and my little gardens, a birdbath, and hanging plants. My desk is somewhat of a wrap-around desk on which sits my laptop off to the side, and a second, larger screen right in the middle. The wrap-around is a makeshift of other pieces of furniture.
To my left is an antique phone desk, which serves to hold my reference books and other items, trash basket beneath it. To my right is a two-shelf TV stand that serves as an extra writing surface and a shelf to hold other items I use in my daily work. Over the TV stand is one of those portable tables that people use while sitting at a couch to hold their laptop, but I use it for yet another writing surface. I usually have between two and four notebooks open while I’m writing, and this serves to organize them. The extra writing space is necessary as I write in each of those books.
My desk itself has a hutch top, and if you’ve ever done any writing at all, you know what each of those crannies look like, stuffed with papers, files, books, flash drives, etc. All the tools of the trade.
Of course, I have coasters for my coffee and other food items to snack on during the day. Old or handmade coffee cups on the desk to hold my pens, pencils, rulers, etc., and file boxes for notes. Plus, a typing stand. Oh, and a large bottle of hand lotion, fan, Kleenex box (for when my emotions get the better of me while writing), and a holder for note pads. I think that about covers it.
8. Who is your own favorite author? Dead or alive.
My very favorite author is J.R.R. Tolkien, and I don’t really have to explain to most people why. His stories are fabulous. But I have to say that Jackie Zack is my modern day favorite. Her contemporary romance stories are a delight.
9. What is the most helpful thing to you in this industry?
I’d have to say people like you who go out of their way to promote Indie Authors. Outside of that, the standard. Computer, Self-publishing companies, various programs for advertising.
10. If you had to describe yourself in 3 words…what would they be?
Christian, Dedicated, Devoted
Brand New Novel! www.amazon.com/dp/
1732923701 Check out the teaser below!
Chapter One (scene one)
Butterflies filled Kathryn Kendall’s stomach. She sucked in a deep breath as she gazed up at the two-story stucco building. With a degree in business management and finished at the top of her class, an administrative assistant position was nothing to worry about. Yet, her stomach continued to churn as she closed her eyes and reached for the bronze door handle. She could do this.
Kathryn smiled as the door closed softly behind her. She’d made quite a life for herself already. A mere two weeks after graduation and she had her own apartment and a job in a prestigious medical office, Kenner Family Medicine. Her adoptive family in Des Plaines, Illinois would finally realize she could take care of herself.
As she passed the lab area, a handsome man in forest green scrubs and sandy blond hair breezed by her with a cell phone glued to his ear. Her heart jumped as she caught a whiff of his woodsy cologne.
A few steps further, Kathryn glanced back. Mr. Gorgeous had spun around. He winked, raised his brows, and blew a soft whistle through his lips. She chuckled. Would the rest of the staff be as friendly?
The tall, bleached-blonde office manager named Grace met her in the hallway and led her to the front office. “Kathy, this will be your desk. I have new-employee paperwork for you to complete, and then we’ll have you dive right into the medical records.”
Kathryn took a seat at the desk. “Thank you.”
After Grace placed a pile of papers on the desk, she gave a warm smile and retraced her steps to the hallway.
As Kathryn filled out the forms, the man she’d seen in the hall approached. She glanced up into pale blue eyes, which pierced her heart.
A crooked smile formed on his lips. “I think Grace neglected to introduce us. I’m Mathew, the PA. You must be the new hire. Love that long, wavy blonde hair of yours. Reminds me of the color of honey.”
He held out his hand and Kathryn placed hers in it. As he squeezed, a twinge ran up her arm. Maybe this guy was too friendly. “I’m Kathryn Kendall.”
Mathew stood upright and darted out of the front office when Grace reappeared.
Kathryn finished the paperwork and followed her supervisor to the medical records room.
When lunchtime came, she sat alone in the lunchroom, her head buried in a book. Mathew blew into the room and, without a word, swung his leg over the back of a chair next to her. He smirked. She smiled and continued eating her sandwich.
“Kate, right?” He bent his head to the right and again raised his eyebrows.
She swallowed and took a drink from her water bottle. “Kathryn Kendall. We met this morning—twice.”
Mathew laughed. “Ahhh…a girl with a sense of humor. I like that. We’ll have to get to know one another. I like spunky.”
Had he really called her “spunky”?
“I’ll call you Katy.”
“I’d prefer Kathy, if you don’t like Kathryn.”
“No. Katy suits you better. Katy-bird.”
Her Irish temper rose up the back of her neck. She took in a deep breath and narrowed her eyes. She’d heard that every office had its annoying character. Mathew must be the one assigned here. “No. I’m afraid it’s not okay.”
She stood and left the room.
Mathew followed her to her desk. “Oh, come on, Kathy. I didn’t mean to offend you. You’re definitely one of the prettiest girls I’ve ever seen. Can’t blame a guy for trying to score some flirtatious points, can you?”
His lips pulled to the side as he raised his shoulders, palms up in front of him. Was this his way of apologizing for being forward? Then again, she’d probably been rude to him too.
She’d better make her disinterest clear right away, no matter what he did to her insides when he looked at her with those icy blue eyes and chiseled features. There were sure to be rules about employees getting involved with each other. Why did she have to be attracted to a rogue like him anyway?
“I didn’t mean to be rude and the flattery is— Look, we have to work in the same building, and I don’t want to cause any problems for either of us.”
His tongue traced the inside edge of his lower lip as he gazed at her and smiled.
Kathryn lowered her brows. Nervous habit of his, maybe?
Then he grinned. “Okay, Katy-bird.” He turned on his heels and swaggered off.
Sharon K. Connell was born in Wisconsin, but lived in Illinois from five days later, through college, and for most of her adult life. She also made Florida her home for over twenty years, where she graduated from the Pensacola Bible Institute. California, Ohio, and Missouri all became home at one time or another through the years. Now retired from the business world, she resides in Houston, Texas, where she spends her days writing full-time.
Except for six of them, Sharon has visited every state in the United States. She has travelled to Canada and Mexico, as well. The stories in her novels reflect some of the experiences she had during her travels.
Sharon writes stories about people who discover that God will allow things in your life that will help you grow and/or increase your faith.
Her genre is Christian Romance Suspense, with a little mystery for good measure and as much humor as she can squeeze in. On occasion, she also writes short stories in other genres. To Sharon, the most important reason to write is to provide a good story to her readers and to please God with the gift He’s given her.
Connect with the Author and her Work!
American Christian Fiction Writers: https://www.acfw.com/
Houston Writers House: http://houstonwritershouse.net/
2 Elizabeths Literary Magazine: https://2elizabeths.com/
CyFair Writers Group: https://www.meetup.com/CyFairWriters/
Links to available books:
His Perfect Love http://amzn.to/2iCMALI
(I’ll send you the link to Paths of Righteousness as soon as I have it.)
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/
Group Forum on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChristianWritersAndReadersGroupForum/
Blogging on WordPress: https://sharonkconnell.wordpress.com/