Sharon Jones is a paranormal romance writer and the newest member to the Avon Romance community. Her blog, Color Me Read, lets her share with current and potential readers - everything from lists of her favorite things to excerpts from her books.She joined Avon Romance to connect with fellow authors and readers, and her first published post has already had more than 1,100 views! Right now she's in the middle of editing her fourth book, and we're grateful she took a few minutes to answer our questions as the star of this week's New Member Monday:
How has your writing career been so far?
Loads of fun...mostly. I love writing, especially when the creative juices are flowing; when the muse takes over and surprises me with twists and turns I never thought of, , and my character decides to go down a completely different road than I had planned.
I wrote my first novel back when I was homeschooling our youngest son, (he's 26 now) but then a career change took us out of state and I had to go back to work outside of the home. That first novel is still waiting for edits (which I know it needs desperately). When we moved back to Wisconsin and settled in I started those edits, however, once again I was side-tracked with my current Work In Progress. I woke up after having the most vivid dream ever, and began writing at 2:30 in the morning. By the end of week one, I'd already written 3 chapters and had not even gotten to my dream sequence yet. Needless to say, I am now editing book 4 of this series, which is titled Ravenswynd.
I have been sending out query letters to agents since July of this year, and just last week I sent book one (Ravenswynd - Legends) to Avon Publishing. (fingers crossed)
What sparked your transition to becoming a writer?
It all started when I was about 10 years old. I read Little Women, fell in love with Jo March, and decided I HAD to be a writer. I remember writing short stories for a while, and after writing an essay in high school my English teacher encouraged me to keep writing. He liked my work! I dabbled in poetry in my early twenties and spent all my free time reading, but did not begin that first novel for years...
What do you love about the paranormal romance genre?
I love the paranormal-romance genre because of the fact thatanythingcan happen. If there's an adventure involving vampires or werewolves, aliens or time-travel, witches or wizards, mind-reading or fortune tellers, and then the element of romance is added to the theme, I'm in!
How has the internet and social networking tools affected your writing career?
I am following many excellent writers and bloggers and have learned so much about the writing life that I don't think would have been possible without the internet. I have read many of the great writing/editing books, but there is something to be said about being able to interact with real people who are smack in the middle of doing exactly what you're also doing. In addition to that, I've joined several writing groups and love to get feedback on my work. They encourage me to keep going and cheer me on, even after getting rejections. I love all my online writer friends and can't imagine life without them!
How did you find out about Avon Romance and what do you hope to get out of being a member of the community?
My sister-in-law suggested I check out Avon Impulse for publication. I did an internet search to see what they were all about, and after seeing that they are a subsidiary of Harper Collins I decided to submit. A few months after finding their website, I discovered their Contributor Dashboard and thought I'd give it a try. It's another place where I can be visible, and if and when I get published, my fans can find me (and my blog) there too. Plus, it's another place where I can meet more romance authors myself!
How does your blog supplement or help your writing process?
About a year and a half ago a fellow writer encouraged me to start a blog. He told me that I needed to be "out there", visible for potential fans to find me. Through writing my blog, I've met several authors who are in the process of writing, editing, publishing, etc. and find their continued encouragement so uplifting. Every now and then I've posted excerpts from my novels. I can be my own worst critic, sometimes even wondering why I ever thought I could be a writer in the first place... but receiving those positive comments has given me the courage to keep going.
What do you hope your readers take away from your blog?
I hope my readers find my posts to be entertaining. If they enjoy my humor, my silly rants and ramblings, perhaps they'll actually want to read my books!
Which writers do you most aspire to and why?
My favorite author is Diana Gabaldon. Her epic novels make you feel likeyou are there. Her descriptions are amazing, her characters seem like real people, and the action is non-stop. And if that's not enough, the beautiful love-story woven throughout her novels is unforgettably moving.
I also enjoy reading Barbara Kingsolver, Jean Auel, Audrey Niffenegger, John Irving and Nicholas Sparks novels.