Name Sharon K. Connell
Age Really??? hee hee hee Did you really ask that? 70 years old
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I was born in Superior, Wisconsin but only lived there five days before my parents moved to Chicago, Illinois. Being an only child of parents quickly approaching middle age, I learned to use my imagination to entertain myself, and come up with some fantastic childish stories (much to my mother’s chagrin).
The majority of my education was acquired in Chicago, through junior college. During my younger years, we did live in St. Louis for a short time, as well as a couple of the Chicago suburbs, and one full year in Long Beach, California. As an adult, I have lived in Des Plaines, Illinois, Pensacola and Beulah, Florida, Cincinnati, Ohio and now am retired (except for my writing) in Houston, TX. However, I have travelled in every state of our country, except Rhode Island, Washington (state), Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii and Alaska. I’ve also been in Canada and Mexico. We have one beautiful country.
As far as my family goes. I like to keep that part of my life private. I chose to be an author; they didn’t.
My life here in Texas is a wonderful, peaceful one. When I’m not writing, I enjoy painting (oil and water color), gardening, cooking and singing.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Currently, I am going through the editing process of my fourth novel, His Perfect Love. It was finished last year, but when I started editing this year, I decided to change the style over to deep point of view. This requires many changes in the manuscript. However, it will be worth it, when completed.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing right after Hurricane Ivan hit Pensacola, Florida while I was living there. My friend and fellow author, Alan J. O’Reilly had been after me about writing for some time prior to that. When I told him my experience through the storm, he said I really needed to write a story about it. I decided he was right. However, when the story was done, it was a romance. LOL There is a reference to the storm in the novel but it is definitely not a horror story.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
By the time I wrote “The End” on my first attempt at a novel, I felt like a writer. It was many years after that before I felt like an author. My first book was not published until early 2014.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I’d say Alan O’Reilly and God inspired me to actually write the book.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
When I first started out, I knew nothing about writing. But Alan told me that my writing was as good as anything he had read in the romance genre. That first book and the two that followed where basically written in an old style; like that of the authors Jane Austen or Bronte (not comparing myself to their writing at all, but it was similar. And not the modern versions of their stories. I’m talking about the way people used to write a long time ago. Things have changed in writing since then). Since my first three novels, I’ve taken classes, studied online, and read a ton of books on writing. It wasn’t until this year that I decided to use Deep Point of View as my writing style. Eventually, my first three novels will be rewritten in this style.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
All of my titles were taken from Scripture: A Very Present Help, Paths of Righteousness, There Abideth Hope, and my work in progress, His Perfect Love. The first three you will find word for word from Scripture. The other two are based on Scripture.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, God’s love, mercy, longsuffering, protection and grace. Each of these are brought out in my stories in different ways.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
All the experiences in my stories are from real life. Some are things I’ve seen, heard, read about, or went through. I do research on everything else and ask the experts in that field if I have presented something correctly. I believe in making the story as realistic as possible. I want my readers to get lost in the tale.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
The most influential book I’ve ever read is the Bible. It is God’s manual for our lives. Beyond that, I would have to say Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters have been a great influence on my writing.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Julie Klassen and Jodie Bailey are two current authors I enjoy reading. My favorite author is J.R.R. Tolkien. If it hadn’t been for having to go to work each day, I would have spent my entire day reading his books. I never read The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings until I was an adult. I couldn’t put them down. I dove into his stories. The way he wrote made me feel like I was a part of Middle Earth. I was living alongside Bilbo and Frodo, living in that land. That’s the way I want to write.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I can’t name only one. I have felt that God has been supporting my efforts all along. Aside from Him, my best friend, and members of my church.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Most definitely, yes!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
As I mentioned above, I do plan to change my last novel, as well as the other two published novels into better reads. Everyone who has read these books has enjoyed the stories, despite the errors. And I’ve had authors tell me to let them go as is, but I want to correct the errors, and the style, to make them more enjoyable.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve answer that one above. Encouragement from Alan O’Reilly.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
His Perfect Love is a little different from anything I’ve read (at least so far). It’s about a young woman who grew up getting anything and everything she ever wanted, especially from men. She’s been a selfish individual, only thinking or caring about herself. However, she got into trouble with her wants and desires. She’s now in fear for her life and hiding from a villain. Three men come into her life at this stage, and things get suspenseful, as well as interesting. The FBI is looking for her, the villain wants to eliminate her, someone wants to help her, someone wants her for himself, and she doesn’t know who to trust. She’s not even sure she can trust God.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
To me, the most challenging part about writing is trying to be patient and take the time to make it right.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
So far, I haven’t travelled at all. I’m a homebody. I’m not against travelling but haven’t seen the need to yet.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I designed the first 3 covers for my books. A very talented young artist named Miriam Rue (her parents and I went to school together) designed the cover for His Perfect Love (I am only showing the mock up design that I made for the artist in order for her to get an idea of what I wanted. The real thing will not be revealed until the book is ready to be published).
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The patience needed to get the editing done is the worst part.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Every time I write, every time I edit, have the work critiqued, get it back from the proofreader, and/or read it back to myself, I learn something. Usually, it’s something that I need to correct.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
That’s a hard one. All my characters are unique. There are many good actors and actresses out there, so picking one would be difficult. For my second book, Paths of Righteousness, I think Colin Firth would make a very good Dr. Jacob McLeod and Liv Tyler (as a blond) would be perfect for Kathryn. I’d have to think about the rest.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Do not let anyone tell you how to write. It’s your story, your style, your book. Follow the general rules of grammar (even though we writers do like to break them on occasion. Learn when to break them), make your story jump off the pages, make your reader want to turn the next page, make your characters real. But before you do all that in the editing stage, get it down on paper, PC or recorder first. Don’t worry how the first draft sounds or looks, get it down. DO IT!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love my readers. I appreciate every one of them. Without them, why would I write?
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
At the moment, I’m not reading anything (in the normal sense of the word). I am critiquing several stories while working on the editing of His Perfect Love. While critiquing I’m reading the work of others.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
That was so long ago, I could hardly begin to tell you. LOL It was something in grammar school. I can tell you that the first book that impressed me and that I have read over and over again is The Hobbit, followed by Lord of the Rings.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Oh dear. There are so many things that make me laugh. A good humorous story, a joke, watching the dog in her antics, children laughing, animals being cute, the list goes on and on. What makes me truly cry is the state and morality of our world today. Animals and children being abused. People turning their backs on God.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
If I had the privilege to meet any human being on earth that I wanted to, it would be Queen Elizabeth II. I admire her.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I think the one thing that I would love (not that I deserve it) would be: She pleased her Lord.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I listed several above. One other hobby would be collecting castles.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Again, I have to say, The Hobbit and LOTR for movies, although there are several I like. I enjoy movies set in old England, Ireland or Scotland. My favorite TV show is NCIS. I like all of them but the original is my favorite.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Too many foods to list, although ice cream comes to mind most, I guess. I enjoy Mexican, Oriental, Italian, and others as well as good old American. Colors: emerald green/royal purple/white. Gospel music (not modern), Classical and Bluegrass.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would have loved to be an archeologist or an architect.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Blogging is done on: https://sharonkconnell.wordpress.com/
Here are my other sites to add for contact:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonkconnell (PenandPaperWorld)
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/sharonk.connell?fref=ts
Author’s book page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/averypresenthelpbook1
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
Paths of Righteousness by SharonKConnell
There Abideth Hope by SharonKConnell
Thank you for such an in depth interview, Fiona. It was an honor to be here.
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Ann Ellison said:
Really enjoyed the interview with Sharon. I have read and enjoyed all of her books. I am reading His Perfect Love now and it is another good one.
Thank you so much, Ann. I think I had more fun writing this one, now that I’ve changed my writing style. Hope you see the difference. LOL