Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not aware the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit it is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sort of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.
Today I’m chatting with with Sharon in the tearoom. Welcome. My first question is what would you like to drink.
Thank you so much for the invite, Paula. Could I have a sweet ice tea. It’s such a lovely day, and a lovely spot here looking out over the clubhouse garden.
Yes, we are so lucky to has such unspoiled surroundings. Ah, here come our refreshments. So let me start with when you first begun your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?
When I first entertained writing, I looked around the house looking for an idea. My eyes landed on Jasper, our Yellow Cheek Amazon. We rescued and adopted him in 1999 at the age of five. After being around him for years, I knew his personality and mannerisms. I thought, “Why not?” Thinking I could write a book around him, for any future grandchildren I might have in the future, I went that route. I figured I could read it to them as they grew. That is how I embarked on the genre of children’s chapter books.
Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
I would have to say they are new ideas. The projects on my desk I did mull over in my head for a while. Fortunately, I was able to write them down. And while the ideas are new, they are part of two series that I have already written. At the moment, I am working on edits for volume four to my Jasper, Amazon Parrot series plus edits for volume two to my Squirrel Mafia series. So, two additional volumes for two series. The fourth volume includes a new animal and another issue that plagues the Amazon rainforest. The problem is the poaching in this region. The second volume finds me having more problems with the squirrels in my backyard in comparison to the last book. Readers will see new players, scenes, and adventures.
How many unfinished projects do you have on your computer?
I have too many. LOL I have A Woman of Color, Lost Faith, the fifth volume to my children series, Mona’s Revenge, and a few others that are only in note stages.
Do you write a synopsis first or write the first chapter, or let the characters lead you?
I am a pantser at heart. I am more apt to just write the manuscript and worry about the rest later. I worry about the title, synopsis, and the rest once the first draft of any manuscript is done.
Is there anything about you your readers might be surprised to find out?
I have a B.S. degree in Chemistry and two A.S. degrees. One being in Biology and the other in Math. Plus, I’ve been rescuing and adopting birds since 1998.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Even though I am a full-time author, I divide my day into two parts. In the morning, I attend to errands, doctor appointments, and chores at home. Once 1:00 pm comes around, it is all business as I work on my craft. I take time each week to work on my social platform, marketing, researching, editing, revising, making contacts, to name a few. I will work through until five to six in the evening. And even though I move from my office at that time, I will be working on the couch on various activities such as reviewing, answering emails, searching for guest posts to do, interviews, and other opportunities that I can have for my brand. One of the earliest things an author told me was that writing was the easiest of all to do. I did scoff. I was wrong, so very wrong. I do make time to write daily in some capacity.
Do you set yourself a daily word count?
When I am doing NaNoWriMo, I do. I like to finish that yearly contest sooner than later. My best time had me finishing in two weeks and my longest three weeks. But daily word count I don’t do that anymore. I am of the mentality now that if I write a paragraph to half a page, I am content. It is when I have days that I don’t write at all that I get bummed out.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
It never really occurred to me to do so. Thou in hindsight, if I had an inkling of potential books I am now working on, it would have come in handy. I am working on two manuscripts that can cause a fuss among readers. But now that I have a few books under my belt, I am not sure if I can get away with a pseudonym name.
What was your hardest scene to write?
In one volume of my children’s series, I addressed the death of a parent. It was one that I agonize over. I wanted to get it right. The target audience for this series is middle grade. I had to make sure I was sensitive enough in what would be a sad event for any child.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It varies on what genre I am writing in. At the moment, I write short stories, action and adventure, and for children. It takes about a month for me to get down on paper a volume to my children’s series. While that is not a lot of time, getting it in top shape takes much longer. My comedy takes a couple of months to complete. My action and adventure novels have taken me much longer. That genre can take from six months to a year if the word count adds up to 75k or more. It depends if my day is hectic or not, if I have interviews, guest posts to write up, promotions, and marketing to do, this takes me away from writing. It depends if my day is hectic or not.
This has been fun thing to do, Paula. Thank you so much for the opportunity to join you in the tearoom.
It’s been lovely having you, Sharon. When you’re ready to our driver, Brutus will take you home.