Sharon C. Cooper lives in Atlanta with her husband and enjoys reading, writing, and rainy days. She writes sweet and contemporary romance, and has recently published her debut novel: Something New. Sharon is currently working on her Reunited Series, where book one, Blue Roses, is due to release June of 2012. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and the Page a Day Writers Group. To learn more about Sharon, visit www.sharoncooper.net
Entrepreneur, Simone Edwards, did what any intelligent woman with a ticking biological clock would do: she asked her longtime boyfriend to marry her. Devastated when he turns her down, and fed up with dead-end relationships, Simone swears off men … and takes a vow of celibacy. How hard could it be? She soon learns it’s harder than she thinks when the most irresistible man in the world, Tim Hollister, shows up at her job. She hasn’t seen him in over ten years, and quickly realizes he is a temptation she doesn’t want to resist. But isn’t there some rule about dating your friend? Simone must decide if a romance with Tim is worth risking their friendship, and her reclaimed virginity.
Tim Hollister has placed a padlock on his heart. But when Simone, an old high school friend, falls back into his life, he soon forgets his promise to stay clear of beautiful women. Simone was always like a sister to him, but he discovers that his feelings for her aren’t very brotherly. He’s captivated by the woman she’s become and is on a mission to take their friendship to the next level, and prove that he’s the man for her.
How did you start out your writing career?
My writing career first started in San Diego when I and another lady started a writer’s group. It was hilarious! We named the group – Hardcore Writers, and had posted an ad on Craigslist (or some free site) to solicit more writers. I remember my husband questioning our decision to go with the name Hardcore Writers. I didn’t understand his concern until our group had its first meeting at a coffee shop. The type of people that attended were questionable to put it mildly. And the type of stuff they wrote was way out there! We soon realized that Hardcore Writers had several meanings, and we changed the name to San Diego Writers. The group’s name is now Page a Day Writers.
The first thing I ever wrote was a children’s book entitled: “But I Washed My Hands Yesterday.” When I couldn’t seem to sell it as a book, one of my critique partners suggested I change it to a play and it sold right away. Soon after I started freelance writing, and then decided to write my first novel.
What did you learn while writing this book?
While writing Something New, I learned that it’s important to write everyday even if you can’t use half the things that end up on the paper. Writing daily keeps you in the writing frame of mind. I also learned that it is best to get the story on paper, and then go back and edit. If you edit as you go along it’ll take forever to finish the book, or worse, you may never finish it.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
I don’t know if I set out to accomplish anything in particular with this book – except to finish it.
What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why?
Hmm, actually I believe the main character, Simone Edwards, came first and then part of the plot. I had heard of a woman who had asked a guy to marry her and I thought that would make an interesting story. The rest of the story developed from there.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I think what has surprised me the most about becoming a published author is all the love that I’ve received. Oh my goodness, it has been an amazing experience! Though I published the novel because I thought it was a cute story that people would enjoy, I had no idea of all the love I would receive once it was released. Not only that, but all of the tips, suggestions and support that I have received from my critique partners, and my mentors, has exceeded anything that I could’ve imagined.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
I LOVE playing around with the character’s personality and getting to know them. By the end of the story it’s like they’re my imaginary friends (Lol, I’m not crazy, really I’m not). Sometimes it feels as if the characters are guiding me versus me deciding which direction they’ll go. As for the aspect of writing I hate the most -I really, really, really dislike the rewriting process...especially when I get to the second and third rewrite. At that point I have to push myself to reread the story yet again.
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
1.) I wish I would’ve known just how much work is involved in marketing...although, then again, maybe it’s good I didn’t know. Lol.
2.) I also wish I would’ve known how rewarding it would be to be a published author. Had I known it would be this cool, I might’ve done it years ago!
3.) I wish I would’ve been more active in blogging years ago. I’m having a blast with those who are following my blog, and reading my stories!
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Do get critique partners and/or join a writer’s group. It’s so important to have others read your work and give feedback before you put a story out there. Besides, I can’t imagine myself enjoying the process of writing as much as I have without my critique partners. Writing can be very lonely, but there’s nothing like having people to bounce ideas off of, brainstorm with, and share the highs and lows of being a writer.
Don’t even think about publishing a book without first getting it professionally edited. Though I think I would’ve thought of this on my own, I’m so glad I had published authors in my life who told me the value of having my manuscripts professionally edited. Priceless! If you don’t have the money for a professional editor, wait until you do! It’s worth the wait. In the meantime, keep writing!
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
Writing is not as easy as you think. There’s a lot of work that goes into a novel. I also wish non-writers understood the value of giving reviews. Whether good or bad, authors can learn a lot from them. NOTE: I’m not encouraging people to give reviews that are hateful or disrespectful. I do believe that sometimes it’s best to say nothing, if you don’t have anything good to say.
Tell us something few know about you?
I was a sheet metal worker for ten years.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I love hanging with Mr. Cooper (my husband). I enjoy reading, playing golf, and traveling.
What do you do to interact with your readers?
I try to drum up conversation by posting interesting topics on my blog, and I’m quick to respond and interact with those that seek me out by shooting me an email.
Our theme for this month is INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS. Have you ever considered self publishing your work? Why or Why not?. If you are a independent publishers, can you offer some tips for taking this journey.
I am an independent publisher. Though it took me a while to come to the decision to self-publish, I think it’s the best move I’ve made in a long time! There are millions of people querying agents and publishers on a daily bases and there is no way they can contract with everyone they come in contact with. Knowing this, and after receiving a few rejection letters, I decided to self-publish. It didn’t hurt any that I knew several individuals who had self-published and were doing very well. I believe that had I not self-published, I might’ve stopped writing and I think that would’ve been the worst thing I could’ve done.
Tips I would give: 1) Don’t be afraid to put yourself or your work out there. Though everyone won’t love everything you write, there are some people who will love your work.
2) Stay encouraged and keep positive people around you.
3) Don’t be afraid to ask for advice (especially from people whose advice you trust).
4) It is better to have tried and failed, then to have never tried at all. And lastly, keep writing.
Who was the first author you ever met?
Kirsten Imani Kasai. She’s based in San Diego, CA and writes sci-fi / fantasy.
Oprah always asks, what do you know for sure?
I know that I’m glad I have Christ at the center of my life, and I can’t imagine my life without Him!
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
Definitely! My next novel, Blue Roses, is a contemporary romance, with a hint of suspense. The story is about a Chicago-based investment manager, Dallas Marcel. Where most women would welcome love from a wealthy, good-looking man, she’s not one of them. She’s vowed to never let a man control her life again, and that includes handsome entrepreneur, Tyler Hollister. Dallas is on track to making partner and she’s not letting anything or anyone get in her way. But when her life is threaten, and a Ponzi scheme ignites a company-wide SEC investigation, she realizes the one man she’s banned from her heart, might be the only one who can save her career and her life.
Tall, dark, and handsome, Tyler Hollister can have any woman he wants, but he only wants one - Dallas. When he starts talking marriage she breaks things off between them, claiming she doesn’t want a romantic entanglement to hinder her plight to making partner. A chance meeting, six months later, brings them face to face and Tyler soon realizes the intense sexual attraction they once shared is stronger than ever. But he swore he was done with her. Except, he finds out her life is in danger and his protective instincts take over. Can he save her life without losing his heart … again?
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Connect with Sharon Online:
Subscribe to her blog: http://sharonccooper.wordpress.com/
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