She's one of our most enthusiastic members--Sharon Connell. I met her on LinkedIn, in a group we both belong to, Pen and Paper World. The moment I discovered she lived in our area and that she is a Christian writer, I knew WOTS was perfect for her and vice-versa.
Here's a little bit about our newest newbie:
Where are you originally from, and what brought you to Texas?
Even though I was born in Superior, Wisconsin, I have a hard time saying that I’m from there. You see, my parents moved to Chicago, Illinois, when I was only five days old. Besides Superior and Chicago, I have lived in Mt. Prospect, Illinois; Long Beach, California; St. Louis, Missouri; Des Plaines, Illinois; Cincinnati, Ohio; Beulah and Pensacola, Florida; and now Houston, Texas. (Always wanted to be a Texan. LOL) The reason I wound up in Texas is a very handsome gentleman who swept me off my feet.
What did you do before you retired?
Before retiring, I worked in the clerical field, everything from File Clerk to Office Manager. Most of my clerical career was in the clinical setting, working in doctors’ offices and hospitals.
How did you get interested in writing?
A dear friend of mine, whom I usually refer to as my adopted brother, is the one responsible for starting me on the path to authorship. He would say, “Sharon, you need to put that in a book,” every time I would tell him about what was happening in my life and around me. After Hurricane Ivan struck Pensacola, Florida, while I was living there, he kept after me to write about it. I decided he was right. However, when I started the story, it took a different direction. Once I finished my first novel and sent it to him, he told me that it was as good as anything he had read by other authors, and yes, he does read romance novels. That was all I needed to hear. I began my second book and haven’t stopped yet. That was almost ten years ago.
What kinds of books do you write?
My novels are in the Christian/Romance/Drama (or Suspense as ACFW refers to it) genre. I have also written a collection of short stories, some drama, fantasy and spooky (for a contest, in which I earned second place). I love writing about the places I’ve visited and the things I love and have seen. I also love to write about people finding love. But most of all, I like to write about how God works in the lives of His children and even the lost, regardless of how bleak circumstances look or how bad someone’s life has become.
What have you learned as an indie author? What sources did you rely on to publish your books?
There are so many things I’ve learned since starting to write, from authors, from readers and from the classes I’ve taken. One of the things I’ve learned is that each author has to find their own style of writing. Each of us has to avoid trying to sound or write like someone else. But what’s most important for an author is to write something that the reader wants to read. It also has to be written in a way that the reader is excited to start each new chapter.
CreateSpace publishes my books, which are then available on Amazon, Kindle, and may be ordered through Barnes and Noble as a print-on-demand purchase.
Has joining ACFW and WOTS helped in your career?
Being a part of American Christian Fiction Writers and Writers on the Storm is a big help to me. Not only do I receive critiques on my work, continued instruction in writing and encouragements from a great group of authors, but also it never hurts an author to be a part of a nation-wide organization of writers.
What are your writing goals?
My immediate writing goals are first finish my fourth novel (in the revision stage currently) and to start my next story, on which I have been taking down notes and research for the past year. My ultimate goal is to have as many books for my readers to read as I can possible provide in this lifetime.
Stay in touch with Sharon here:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonkconnell (PenandPaperWorld)
Facebook Page: email@example.com
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/
A Very Present Help by SharonKConnell http://youtu.be/aRGooJjxaHU
Paths of Righteousness by SharonKConnell http://youtu.be/w2JkmYqhFyE
There Abideth Hope by SharonKConnell http://youtu.be/16G7IZaZB9Y