Hi Regan, I’m so happy to be guest blogging at your site this week. I do love to write, but marketing, not so much. So, when these opportunities to connect with new readers in distant cities and even distant countries come alone, it’s a real treat. This past week has been a busy week for me with setting up book signings, arranging for sales tables at various sales venues and polishing up some workshop presentations that I will be moderating right after the first of the year. But, best of all, I’m finding time each day to ‘play’ with the charcters of The Band, my latest novel in progress. It is book number six in my series of the Farrell family, that debuted in my first novel After the War, Before the Peace. The first book began with the story of four Southern brothers just after the U.S. Civil War and The Band features their great, grandsons in the 1950s who have formed a rock and roll band. I have a seventh book in mind already. I just signed a contract for the first sequel, so I’m hoping readers will want to follow this family from generation to generation. Now, on to some questions from some fellow authors who have been along for this wild Awe-Struck authors blog tour.
Why do you write?
Because I enjoy it. I love playing ‘what if?’. My imagination has always been one of my most valuable treasures. Instead of dreading to have to ‘wait’ for something, I almost look forward to the opportunities when I’m at an airport, doctor’s office, bank line or at the dreaded DMV. My imagination can create a story about almost any of the people I see in those places. Just recently, I noticed a strikingly handsome man sitting alone in a restaurant. He was nervously checking his watch quite frequently and watching the entrance. He looked apprehensive, yet excited. I imagined him as a cheating spouse awaiting his equally cheating paramour to arrive. I had to edit my imagined story when a tall, handsome man arrived. After a warm hug, the man who had been waiting relaxed. The men sat down, but continued to share a smile while holding hands across the table. My dinner date arrived and my attention was diverted, but it had sure been a lot more fun writing my little story, wondering why my date was late. So, like I said, I love the ‘what if?’ possibilities of life.
How long have you been writing?
I started imaging stories as a child, especially when it came to playing paper dolls with my neighborhood girl friends. As I got older, I got busy with life, a husband and kids. After my divorce, I found myself with time on my hands after the kids went to bed. That’s when I started ‘listening’ to my Southern brothers tell me the story of their life after the U.S. civil war. I’d get out the old typewriter and pound out a few paragraphs here and there. I never shared it with anyone. When I was offered early retirement from the communications company I worked for, I took it. Then after a couple of years of 24 hour togetherness with my second husband, I knew I had to either kill him, get a job or go back to school. The first two options were fleeting moments of whimsy, but the school idea hit home. I enrolled in a local junior college and that’s when I began writing seriously. I had a couple of great Lit professors who felt I had some talent and urged me to get busy. My first published piece was a Haiku. I don’t enjoy poetry writing, but working with that genre really helps to learn how to be succinct and precise. So, I guess I’ve been writing seriously for about 15 years now.
What interests and hobbies do you have, aside from writing?
I love going to movies, most genres, except vampires and horror-for-horrors sake. I love to read, long saga type novels and almost always have a book in progress. I love to travel by RV. I don’t care for tours or cruises, but put me in an RV and on a backwoods, two-lane road, a campfire every night and I’m a happy camper. I love playing bunco and a couple times a month I like to head on over to the casino and play some keno.
What’s your goal for the next 5 years, writing career-wise?
I’m love to have all seven books of my After the War, Before the Peace saga become a hugely popular series and maybe even made into a TV mini-series. I’d love to see one of my books on the New York Times bestseller list. And, I’m still waiting for the call from Stephen Spielberg, Ron Howard or Penny Marshall to ask for the rights to film any one of my novels. Tee Hee. I can dream, can’t I?
Author Bio -
Sharon Poppen ( www.sharonpoppen.com ) has won awards from Arizona
Authors Assoc. and National League of American Pen Women. Her western novels
After the War, Before the Peace, Hannah and Abby-Finding More Than Gold are
available at Amazon Books, most web based book sellers and from her website.
Her work has appeared in such publications as A Flasher's Dozen, Desert
Treasures, Skive, Offerings from the Oasis, A Long Story Short, Apollo Lyre
and Laughter Loaf. Her workshops on Journaling, Short Story Writing and
Blogging bring rave reviews. Sharon is a member of Lake Havasu City Writer's
Book Blurb -
In 1897, Abby Barron, a young Irish-American girl, loses her cousin to a
fire and with him the plans to escape Chicago to search for gold in the Yukon
fields. A want ad for a cook revives the plan and she soon hires on with Paddy
and Tommy, a medicine-show man and his son.
Despite Abby's wanderlust and Tommy's desire to settle down, the two
fall in love. But it's a long road to fulfill Abby's dreams of reaching the Yukon--one
that tests the bonds of love and uncovers long-held family secrets.
Eleven-year-old Liam was sitting at the kitchen table peering over an atlas. He called to his red-headed cousin. “Red, come here. Look.”
With tears in her eyes, Abby made her way over and slid into a chair next to him. The desolate ten-year-old had just lost her mother. The poor, young woman had died of pneumonia.
He reached over and patted her hand. “Abby, don’t cry now.”
She looked up. He never called her Abby; it was always Red. His eyes were a little glassy too, but he managed a smile.
“Look.” He pointed to a map of the world.
He swept his hand across a centerfold map that spanned two large pages. “All this is out there for us.”
“What do you mean?” She sniffled.
“Well, you know how your Ma always talked about seeing the world.”
“Yes?” Abby started crying again.
“Come on, Abby. Listen.” He reached over and clumsily wiped her tears away with his big, awkward adolescent hands. “I’ve an idea.”
She sniffled and looked with trust into his eyes
“You and me will travel to all the places your Ma used to talk about.”
“How?” Abby was old enough to realize that her Ma had been a dreamer. The Barrons and the Moynahans were lace-curtain, Irish poor. They spent their lives trying to make a mean living; there was no time for frivolous travel. Her mother’s dreams had brought a measure of scorn from many of the neighbors. If it hadn’t been for the kindness of Aunt Kitty and Uncle Maudie, Lord knows where or how Abby and her mother would have lived. An unmarried woman with a child was a pariah in this close-knit Catholic community.
Liam smiled and set his jaw in that determined pose that always preceded his occasional streaks of stubbornness. He spoke to Abby’s eyes in a firm voice. “I don’t know yet.” Abby lowered her head. He lifted her chin and continued. “But, Abby, we’re going to do it. You and me.” His eyes challenged. “Have I ever let you down?”
She shook her head no. Then, despite her misery, she felt a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. “You won’t forget?”
He smiled broadly. “Forget you, Red?” He tousled her hair. “Not likely.” He turned and refocused on the atlas. “Come on. Look, here’s New York and here’s Washington where the president lives.” He swept his arm across a blue expanse. “And look here, Paris.” Soon the two of them were engrossed in the atlas and Abby’s healing began. The atlas became their bible over the years. As news events and school topics brought strange and exotic places into their lives, they found them on the map and often added them to their list of future destinations.
Website - www.sharonpoppen.com
Blog Site - http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com/
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
List of Published Novels -
After the War, Before the Peace - Xlibris Publishing
Hannah - Virtual Tales Publishing
Abby-Finding More Than Gold - Awe-Struck Publishing