Thursday, November 5, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Sheila Roberts

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

First of all, let me just thank you for hosting me. I’m delighted to be here.
I’m married and have three kids and a couple of grand kids now. Needless to say, I’ve been around for a while. I’ve been writing since I was a child. I always enjoyed making up stories. In fact, I didn’t need anyone to tell me bedtime stories – I could do that on my own! When I’m not writing I’m playing tennis or going to a movie or hanging out with girlfriends playing games. Love board games, parlor games, word games, cards – you name it! Also, I’m a ham. I’m always hearing about how shy writers are. Sadly, I don’t fit that mold. I love the spotlight. And two of the most fun things I’ve done in recent years prove it. A few years back we made a music video as a bonus for my novel MERRY EX-MAS. It’s still on YouTube:



I had so much fun playing the nasty mother-in-law. Last year my book THE NINE LIVES OF CHRISTMAS became a Hallmark movie. My husband and I had cameo appearances. That was truly fun. Just call me Sheila the Holiday Ham.




How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I write pretty much every morning. If I have something scheduled for the morning then I write when I get home. The bottom line is, I write every day.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

Stuck at my desk using my desktop computer. I’ve been known to haul around a tablet or scratch paper though. Comes in handy when I’m waiting at the doctor’s office. I hate wasting time!

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part is beginning a new book. I’m in love with my characters, my story idea, everything! About two–thirds of the way through I hate the monster. Then, once it’s done, I’m in love again. Such is the fickleness of an author. Often the hardest part of writing is that first edit which usually involves a lot of rewriting and trying to wedge new scenes into an already tight plot. Ugh.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

This particular idea was inspired by the observation that we always try to make the holidays perfect when they don’t necessarily have to be. Also, as this is part of a series, I wanted to give a couple of former minor characters a starring role. It all came together well and I’m very happy with the story. Of course, what’s not to like about a Christmas story? I adore writing holiday tales.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I do a lot: mailings, blog tours, book signing events, contests. In this day and age an author can’t afford to simply sit at home and write. You do have to connect with your readers.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

My newest book CHRISTMAS ON CANDY CANE LANE just hit the shelves and so far readers seem to be enjoying it.

Purchase at
Amazon

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I’m actually in the process of writing another Christmas book that’s not under contract with my publisher. Just doing it for fun.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

You won’t know if you don’t try. I think most of us start out writing for our own pleasure and it grows from there. Many people talk about writing a book, start out writing a book but never finish. I say finish and that, in and of itself, will be a huge accomplishment. And I think it’s important for beginning writers to remember that we all grow as writers. If you keep writing your work will get better and better. Also, I think it’s very important to educate yourself. Attend writers’ conferences, buy books on writing. Analyze your favorite authors to see how they put together a story and handle dialogue.

And how about you, Kathryn? What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given on the art and business of writing?

Best piece of advice? Never give up and always keep your eyes open to new possibilities! I used to think a writer didn't have to market to sell their books; what I know now is that marketing is not only necessary, it's really the only way for others to see what you're up to. 


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Thank you, Sheila!

Learn more about Sheila:


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