We have another guest blogger this week and it’s Sharon E.Cathcart…
When did you begin writing?
Honestly, I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I was making up little plays and stories from the time I was a child, and arranging to have the plays performed for my classmates. I did a children’s adaptation of one of my favorite novels (Marguerite Henry’s “King of the Wind”) when I was in the sixth grade. I later wrote for my school newspapers, which I loved. I eventually became a professional journalist, rising to become editor-in-chief of my paper.
What’s been your biggest challenge?
I live with an autoimmune disease that sometimes affects my daily life. Because I have a day job to pay the bills, I have to focus energy there … and that means I don’t have the same amount of energy to write that I did before I fell ill. I take it as it comes; that’s one of the good things about being independently published; I can change the deadline if my health gets in the way.
Why did you choose your genre?
My love of historical fiction goes back to my youth; I enjoyed learning how people lived. I am able to use my journalistic research skills to find good primary and secondary sources to help make my stories come to life. I put “boots on the ground” whenever I’m able; I want to know what things taste, smell, and feel like so that I can bring that to my readers.
What writing tips would you like to share?
I always share the same two pieces of advice. First, even if it’s garbage, get it on the paper; you can’t edit a blank page. Second, editing is for afterwards. You slow yourself down if you edit as you go, and sometimes momentum is more important than perfection.
Lately, though, I also find that it helps to let the characters do the talking; sometimes they have better ideas than you do. You can fix continuity afterward if you need to. I started “In The Eye of The Storm” three different times, three different ways, before I found a character whom I needed in order to tie the story together.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve got one work in progress, “French Quarter Christmas,” which is a contemporary romance with paranormal elements. It’s my first time doing a story like this, so it’s been a little challenging. I’m also doing research for two possible historicals: one set in a traveling circus, and one set in Pompeii before the eruption of Vesuvius. I just got back from a visit to Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the inspiration was amazing.
What would you like to promote today?
I have a series of short reads that I call “Pocketful of Stories.” They all have different historical elements, and I had a lot of fun doing them. The first one, “Last Stop: Storyville,” is available for 99 cents via Amazon. I took one of the characters from “Bayou Fire,” Jimmy Arceneaux, and gave him a little time travel tale.