Oops, my bad. I meant to say, “Author Interview: Sharon Lopez”
Thomas: Sharon, please forgive me for slipping up on your introduction. You are Sharon Lopez. And thank you so much for being here today with me on my blog.
Sharon: No problem Thomas (smiling). It’s an honor for me to be here. It’s not often that I get mixed up with Sharon Stone though. She’s a fabulous movie star and I’m an author.
Thomas: Yes, of course. I was thinking about how easily the name “Sharon Stone” rolled off my fingers, my tongue, and of course, from my brain. “Sharon Stone” is an alliteration, and for centuries storytellers have used devices like that to help their listeners and readers to remember their stories. We will talk more about your writing style a bit later, Sharon.
Sharon: Sure, I’m happy to talk about my writing style.
TJB: Let’s begin with you. Please share with my readers something about yourself and the books you have written.
Sharon Lopez: OK, Thomas. I like so many unique things that have become a part of my writing. I like the sky/ clouds/stars, mountains, lakes, oceans, sunsets, sun rises, Persona (video Game series), Cardfight Vanguard, Nancy Drew mystery game series.
What else can I say? I have wanted to go to London since I did a report on it in elementary school. My favorite author is Cassandra Clare.
TJB: Sharon, tell us also a bit about your books. How many have you written? Nowadays it is unusual to find an author who has written only one book.
Sharon Lopez: I currently have five books published: The World Inside Stephanie’s Head (book one in the Stephanie Series), The World Beyond Stephanie’s Head (book two in the Stephanie Series), Destiny’s Mark, Life Is Funny That Way, and Alright, Well I Love You.
Sharon Lopez: I recently started publishing through Pronoun for my EBooks. My books are available through CreateSpace, Amazon, Kobo, Google Play, Apple I-Store, And Barnes and Noble.
TJB: So your books can be found literally all over the place. Your book covers are very attractive, very eyecatching, attention grabbers. It seems like whereever they are selling books, you’ve got your books available. That’s a smart marketing strategy, especially for indie authors. In my case, all my books are on Amazon exclusively. I’ve got all my eggs in one basket… Sharon, can you please tell the readers what the name of your new book is?
Sharon Lopez: Alright, Well I Love You.
Thomas: Sharon, I’m a happily married man. And besides, you just met me.
Sharon: NO! Thomas, I don’t love you.
Thomas: Now I’m confused. You just said, and let me quote your words here, and highlight them: “Alright, Well I Love You.” That’s exactly what you said Sharon.
Sharon Lopez: Thomas, the book. My BOOK is called, “Alright, Well I Love You.”
Thomas: Hahaha! I feel like a motherless child, Sharon. Let’s not tell my wife about this, OK? What is this book about? It’s not the usual way one would expect to hear the words, “I Love You.” It sounds like somebody is saying something to make somebody happy, but the declaration of love doesn’t appear to be enthusiastic.
Sharon: The genre is fiction crime. It is about a mother (Jo) who must watch as her daughter (Annabel) is put through abuse by her boyfriend. Jo takes the reader through the beginning of it all, and then story continues through Jo’s eyes as events happen within Jo’s family.
TJB: So, it’s social commentary, a story with a message. Sounds like the kind of book teens and young adults and anybody who is in the business of working with young people should have a copy. Sharon, I would like to know about your writing now. Do you have any unusual writing habits you can share with my readers?
SL: Recently I went to a writing seminar hosted by a local author named Tom Bird. In it, Tom led us through a writing exercise using a sound CD that he developed to help writers find the “author within state”. I have used it while writing ever sense.
TJB: Sounds like a very useful approach to come into contact with your creative talents as an author. Besides Tom Bird, what other authors or books have influenced you?
SL: (smiling) Yes, Tom Bird influenced my writing with his finding the “author within state” sound CD, but there are others who have helped me also. Cassandra Clare and many Independent authors have influenced me.
Every book I read teaches me something new and helps me become a better author. I am grateful to all of the authors I have enjoyed books from.
TJB: I feel the same way as you do Sharon. Reading helps authors become better authors. It doesn’t matter whether you consciously set out to emulate another author or simply read for enjoyment. Sharon, what other books are you working on now?
SL: I am currently writing a Young Adult story about a group of friends that stumble into the world of cyber-crime.
TJB: As an indie author, promoting your books is a must if you are going to find an audience for your work. Can you tell me what is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
SL: I have used a few. I have met the most helpful, caring, and all over just wonderful authors through a promotional site named BooksGoSocial. The site offers a wide variety of promotions that continues to grow all the time. I would have to say they are the best promotional service I have ever used.
A best-selling author, Laurence O’Bryan, is the founder of Books Go Social. It’s absolutely incredible all the help that new and old authors can get there. I would recommend it even to someone like you Thomas.
Laurence is amazing the way he has given so freely of his time, knowledge and expertise to help authors. I just can’t say enough about the excellent help, guidance and support that Laurence and his team at Books Go Social make available for authors.
TJB: You have certainly convinced me Sharon. Let me pivot here. As an author, many people are going to say, “I know I have a book inside of me. I want to write, publish, and sell my book.” Sharon, what would you say to someone like that who comes to you for advice?
Sharon: Never give up. At times you may get frustrated that things are not headed in the direction you think they should, or in the time you want them to, but just keep writing and promoting.
TJB: It’s amazing how many authors I’ve interviewed say the same thing Sharon. Never give up. No matter how difficult things may seem, hold on to your dream. Don’t listen to that little voice inside of your head that is whispering to you, “You can’t do this. It’s impossible. You’re never going to write your own book. And if you write it, nobody except your mother is going to read it.”
Sharon: That is so true Thomas. But if you don’t give up, in the end you will succeed. Have faith in yourself, and seek out an author support group like BooksGoSocial, or even your group, Indie Authors Social Media Support Group.
TJB: Thanks for metioning IASMSG Sharon. My group is invitation only, for authors and people who enjoy reading books The more that readers have access to the trials and tribulations of authors who are trying to get their work noticed, and read, the better for everyone. You’ve been very inspiring Sharon, especially for someone new to the business of writing and selling books. I want you to “look directly into the camera” and speak to the young writers. Talk about the writer’s craft, style, the art of stroytelling. What is the best advice you have ever heard for authors related to writing?
Sharon: Write from the heart. Readers want to feel something, to have an emotional experience. It is our job as an author to help them do that.
TJB: That’s deep Sharon. I like that, and I totally agree with you. Now, let me ask you what you are reading now.
— sharon (@sharonL33940258) April 29, 2016
Sharon: Misdirection by Ruth Owan.
TJB: Tell me a little about the book please.
SL: The premise is, What happens when you fall in love with a stranger? The protagonist, Amber, is a talented interior designer with a passion for car rallying. Stranded in the Canary Islands she meets Alex, the handsome, successful architect. It is an extremely engrossing book, because we often fall in love with people who comes from an entirely diferent cultural and even national background than we do. And you have to get to know each other, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
TJB: That’s true Sharon. In my case, my wife is from Chile and I’m from the United States, so both of us went through a process of trying to bring two distinct cultures into harmony with one another. Sounds like a very interesting book for anyone interested in exploring “What happens when you fall in love with a stranger? Sharon, before we finish, I’d like to know what’s next for you as a writer. In what ways will you continue to evolve as an author?
SL: Continue to write until I run out of stories to tell. After I finish writing my current project, I have another story idea that I will work on. I read a lot. I have an “Honorable Mentions” page on my website where I suggest books that I feel deserve a shout out.
TJB: Your “Shout Out” is excellent. It helps you to carry on the legacy of helping authors to realize their dreams. Let me change the pace now. I’d like you to close your eyes, go ahead and trust me, and imagine you are stranded on a desert island. By some act of magic, you get 3 wishes for 3 books to read. Reading is going to be your only form of entertainment. What books would you wish for?
SL: This is a hard question to answer. There are so many books that I have read that I would not want to be without. If I have to choose I would say:
Book 1. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy collection of short stories (Due out in November 2016) by Cassandra Clare with Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman.
Book 2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Book 3. The Ghost of You by Kristen Darling
TJB: Thank you for doing this interview Sharon. It has been a pleasure.
Sharon: (smiling) I had fun. Thanks for inviting me to your blog.
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— sharon (@sharonL33940258) April 30, 2016