Author Interview: Sharon K Connell

How do you use social media as an author?

Social media to me is a great way to get my name and books seen by the public. I advertise on the two main platforms, Twitter and Facebook, with an occasional post on Instagram. To me, it’s important to keep in touch with my readers and let them know what’s going on in my writing world. Social media is a perfect place to do that.

How long does it take you to write a book?

I usually have one novel published each summer, and a shorter or different type of book published right before Christmas for holiday gift giving.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

After my new novel, Trust Never After, is published in August 2023, I’ll have published 8 novels in the Romantic Suspense/Mystery genre, 1 novella (same genre), 1 novelette (Romantic Suspense Fantasy), 1 collection of short stories (10 in a variety of genres), and 1 cookbook.

Asking me to pick a favorite from my books is like asking a mother to choose her favorite child. LOL When I finish writing a story and then work on the self-editing before it goes to my professional editor, that story is usually my favorite for the time being. Having said that, I can tell you I truly enjoyed my research for Ko’olau’s Secret, set on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu. But it was just a notch above the research I did for all the other stories.

How much research did you need to do for your book?

Research is a very important thing for any story. I do as much research as I can for the scenes that take place, the work that my characters do, the physical aspects of the story, including medical procedures, length of healing, seriousness of injuries, etc. The story must come across as realistic. Because of this, I’ve contacted people all over the United States (the various settings of my stories, except fantasy) to make sure I’m getting it right.

If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?

I meet and talk to my characters every day. They won’t leave me alone. The conversation usually ends with me telling them to “Shut up and let me write.” LOL This is the life of an author who makes their characters a part of their life.

What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?

Aside from read, read, read… I’d tell them to develop a thick skin for the naysayers. To not try to imitate any other author but be the best –their name here– they can be. Find fellow writers, among them some who have actually published successfully, to honestly critique their work. And find a good editor who will not try to change their writing into what they personally want it to be. Each author should have they own voice.

What are common traps for new authors?

Trying to be like their favorite famous author. Trying to follow everyone advice and then getting frustrated. Giving up because they don’t make it to the New York Times book list. Trying to publish their work before it is ready for the reader.

What books do you enjoy reading?

My favorite genre is historical romance in the regency period. But I also enjoy modern day romantic suspense and mystery, fantasy (if it’s written so I can believe it could actually happen), and romantic comedy.

What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

When I was taking classes in writing, one of my fellow-students was an actress. She gave me the best piece of advice on this subject I’ve ever had. She told me, “Be an actress. Play out the part of the character.” In other words, think and act as if you were that person. What would you say or do? It works.

What would you say to an author who wanted to design their own cover?

If you’ve had any experience in design or art, you could give it a try. My book covers are created by me from scratch now, but even when I had others do them for me, I gave the instructions on what they were to look like. For years, I worked in one form of advertising or another. I’m also an artist. If you don’t have the skills, you are better off saving up and having someone else do them for you.

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