I’m pleased to have author Sharon C. Williams from Cumberland County, North Carolina here to chat about herself and her writing.
Nice to have you here, Sharon. How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher: Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.
I was first published in Spring 2013 so I just celebrated my sixth year as a published author.
a- “Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure” was published in 2013 by Fountain Blue Publishing. It is being re-released by Creativia Publishing under the title of “A Rainforest Adventure (Jasper – Amazon Parrot Book 1)” The paperback is out as of June 23, 2019 and the ebook will be released July 9th , 2019
b- “Jasper, Amazon Parrot: Rainforest Friends and Family” was released in 2015 by Fountain Blue Publishing. It is being re-released by Creativia Publishing under the title of “Rainforest Friends And Family (Jasper – Amazon Parrot Book 2)” the paperback released June 25, 2019 while the ebook will be released on July 23, 2019
c- “Squirrel Mafia: Black & White Edition volume 1” by Sharon C. Williams was released on March 2015 by Peaceful Musings Publishing
d- “Everyday Musings: Anthology”– This was released on September 30, 2016 by Lysestrah Press; 1rst edition
e- “The Wedding Bouquet”- an ebook short story that was self published on May 2015
f- “Root Canal”- an ebook short story that was self published and released on May 2013
g-I also have 6 short stories in three anthologies
Wow! You certainly are prolific.
Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.
1-“A Rainforest Adventure (Jasper – Amazon Parrot Book 1)” is a children’s book and is a series. The 2nd edition of this book was released on June 23, 2019 and the ebook will be released on July 9, 2019.
Jasper, the Amazon parrot, is no ordinary bird. He lives in the rainforest, which secrets he’s eager to explore. He loves his life, his home, and his family – grateful for the blessings he’s discovered. He’s also in charge of his younger brother Willie, a responsibility Jasper takes very seriously.
Learning how to fly, he learns to appreciate the world around him. When he meets a spider monkey with a penchant for food and a laid back attitude named Charlie, he realizes he’s in for an adventure he never thought possible. Even if this means getting into danger and worrying his mother to no end, Jasper is happen to have made a friend in his home.
Exploring the boundaries of the forest, Jasper soon understands that there is more to the world around – especially the strange new creatures that have come to live there. Are they safe? The young parrot doesn’t know. But with Willie and Charlie by his side, he will soon find out.
2- “Rainforest Friends And Family (Jasper – Amazon Parrot Book 2)” is volume two of my Jasper, Amazon parrot series. It is a children’s book and the paperback was released June 25, 2019 while the ebook will be released on July 23, 2019
Jasper, Amazon Parrot: Life in the jungle is never boring.
From the moment he was born, Jasper’s curiosity has consumed him. With his brother Willie, they’ve made new friends and learned more about the jungle. In their eyes, the Amazon is everything they could have imagined and more.
The youngsters have grown close through the course of their short lives, intent on making the most of any situation they find themselves in. Jasper’s main job, however, is to make sure his brother comes to no harm. But that’s easier said than done: the jungle is full of many obstacles, and if they’re not careful, things will quickly get out of hand.
New dangers are always around the corner, a fact they learn through the course of their travels. Determined to make his mother proud, Jasper vows to protect himself and his friends. If they’re to make it home in one piece, they’ll need to trust in one another, as well as those they come across. It never hurts to give someone a helping hand, either.
The Amazon is vast, piquing their interest every step of the way. Its secrets must be discovered, and each new experience opens their minds to new possibilities. New friends also make their unexpected trips worthwhile. Though trouble tends to follow them, Jasper and his friends do their best to overcome the adversities coming their way.
3- “Squirrel Mafia” is a humorous and adult novel. It was released on March 2015. It is as of now part of a series. Volume two is being revised with plans for a third volume
Genre: Adult, Humor
We tend to think of squirrels as cute furry creatures that scamper around playing while looking for nuts. Yet I’ve a different outlook on these rodents from Hades.
As an animal lover, one who’s owned by eight birds, I’ve had the opportunity to observe a group of squirrels around my home here in the suburbs for the past year. The experience I’ve gained gives a whole new meaning to the words ‘little darlings’.
I offer you a unique perspective of the furry friends entangled within our everyday lives. Their antics and shenanigans have earned them the name, the Squirrel Mafia. This book chronicles my ongoing battle with these pesky little critters.
4- “Everyday Musings” was released in September of 2016. It is anthology of short stories and poetry. The genre is anthology and short stories.
The little things in life are worth remembering.
There are moments in life that stir the senses. Moments of joy, moments of surprise, and moments that can cause great fear. Moments that cause us to reflect on the experiences we’ve encountered.
Dive into various worlds of the author’s own making. Everyday Musings is full of tales of the unexpected, heart-warming stories, and bittersweet poetry. Come in and turn the page. Discover the little things that make everyday worthwhile.
5- At the moment I have a few WIPs.
– “Lost Faith” is base in the future where religion is not allowed. Our main character is 16 and determined to fight back.
– “Woman of Color” is based on a true story in the 1980’s of racism at a college campus.
– “Distorted Reality” is about Molly, a woman who has just woken up from a coma, to find out someone has attempted to kill her.
– “Squirrel Mafia 2” is the working title to the follow up book to volume one. It is a continuation of my war with the squirrels in my back yard.
– “Jasper, Amazon Parrot book 4” is the working title to the continuation of Jasper, his friends an their adventure in the rainforest.
Those all sound excellent. I’m sure children will love them.
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
My goals is to expand on my genre writing. At the moment I am known as a children’s writer even though I write in more than one genre. I have a book that genre one could call comic relief while another is an anthology that has a range of topics and themes. I have at the moment three WIPs that need my attention on them so they can be completed. This is my fault since I told people about the substance of them and now I am being asked repeatedly when the books will be finished. The subject matter on them are a true story on racial tension, mystery and the last one being drama.
What do I hope to achieve? I hope to have a stronger and larger fan base. I would love to be able to have my books in a book store. This is a hard feat.
How do I plan on doing so? I do have a variety of WIPs, that I mentioned above, and I am hoping to finish these projects and give them the same around of light and promotion that I have done for my children’s series.
I understand your dilemma about choosing a genre. I prefer mystery, but I have written a paranormal romance. I seem to be known for my cozy series, although I have two mystery thrillers. I also understand your desire to enlarge your fan base and get your books in bookstores. These are also two of my goals.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
My children’s series are chapter reader books. It is based on my rescued parrot, Jasper, whose heritage is from the rainforest. I am hoping to attract kids who are learning to read at this level. Also, children who are interested in nature, animals, learning about the rainforest and the problems they face. My comic relief book, Squirrel Mafia which is for adults, is well to make one laugh at something that we see everyday. It is more making fun of myself when it comes to the squirrels in my backyard and their way of frustrating me. Those who have read it have enjoyed the humor and it has given them a time to just laugh. So, anyone who wants to take time from stress and just laugh at the mundane and every day life of the squirrels and myself. As for my anthology it is a mixture of genres. I am hoping it will appeal to a wide audience who might like poetry, fantasy and all in between.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published? I would say to get your manuscript in the best shape possible. That includes having beta readers and a critique group that can go over your work. Publishers get so many submissions. They just need one small thing to toss your work into the trash can. Try to make sure they pause as they read your manuscript instead of an easy no. Be persistent. I know an author who stopped querying after a handful of rejections. You will get rejected. Period. But you have to keep at it. And lastly, if you don’t love your manuscript deeply why would you expect others to?
I agree. Great advice.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
One of my first challenges was having people read my WIP and critiquing it. As we all know our manuscripts can end being our children and to let someone see it and tear it apart is not easy. But it is necessary. Another struggle was submitting to publishers for the first time. I had filled out the online submission form and all I had to do was hit submit. I must have walked around my office at least a dozen times and I tried to convince myself to hit submit. I would sit back down in my chair and soon after be back up pacing. It took me easily 30 minutes to hit send. But once that first one was done the rest was much easier. Another struggle was convincing myself that yes I was an author.
Those challenges sound very familiar.
Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.
I have taken a character developmental class at a local community college as well as a creative writing class. Once I was done the character developmental class I went home and all the projects I had at the time I redid. I learned so much and I knew I had to put the time in to revise if I wanted them to be successful. It showed me different ways to make my characters more complete instead of just a outer shell and just a bit of the inner shell.
The creative class was really fun. It showed me how to write outside of my genre, how to think outside the box, and how to be more confident of myself as a writer.
Sounds like you found it helpful.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
I’ve been an avid reader from an early age. I also love to sketch, take photographs, walk, exercise and go to the movies. I also love music, sing and dancing even if I am lousy at the last two. I knit and do calligraphy. I’m a huge sports fan of basketball, hockey, football, baseball and now rugby.
My gosh, it’s amazing how you can fit in writing, too.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I love to write. I love how the stories in my head make me literally force me to write. I tend to write longhand. For me the creative juices work better than by typing. Having the story line unfold and seeing other avenues gives me a buzz. There is such a great feeling as your manuscript unravels. I also love to mingle with other authors. Writing is such a solitary profession so when I am able to hang out with writers and talk about writing that is another buzz for me.
Anyone that knows me will know the least thing I like about being an author is editing. It is tedious, boring, unless of course a new idea creeps up and I get more words down on the paper, and I rather just write.
My toughest challenge is marketing. But it is a necessary evil. I promote myself and other writers as much as I can. It is not always fun to do. Also, I am a strong belief that writers need to help other writers. After all we didn’t do it alone. If you think that you did you are seriously mistaken or you feel your book is 100 % golden after the first draft. To add to that is when writers want you to help them but they don’t want to return the favor. It’s frustrating to say the least but I continue to do it. Plus, speaking out in public is tough. I have been given really nice compliments after I have done a talk but still the butterflies never go away for me.
I feel the same way about meeting other authors both online and in person. It’s a great way to network, and authors are such friendly people. I also love the creativity of writing, but I’ve trained myself to compose as I type. I’m a fast typist, so that wasn’t too difficult to do. I don’t mind editing, although I’m with you about marketing. It takes so much time away from writing but is necessary to sell books.
Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc.
Amazon author page and where to purchase:
Book review website:
You are quite well connected. I wish you the best of luck with your books. Thanks so much for the great interview.
Pictures of covers of my book can be found here: