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Let's talk about the author!

Darcy Saga Week marches on and today Jeane turned the focus onto yours truly. Hope you all find this interesting!

Jeane: First of all, Congratulations!!! The launch of your first novel (Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One), volume 1 from the Darcy Saga series was a big success back in March. How did it feel to be one of the many accomplished authors with your books published and on display in major bookstores nationwide and various online retailers?

Sharon: I am finding that I use the word surreal a great deal these days! I don’t think I have ever used that word in relation to anything in my life before now, but it sure is apropos. I joke that the first time I saw it sitting on the shelf at Target I half-expected angelic heralding from above. LOL! It was a huge moment for me, but I ended up there alone with a camera that had a dead battery! Talk about ironic. And humbling!

I am still such a total nerd about it. I take pictures and know I am smiling ridiculously. It is always a bit startling to see my name on a book. Gradually the reality has crept into my consciousness. My editor exasperatingly quotes the sales figures to me in hopes that I will finally get it through my thick skull that, although not quite breaking onto the NYT Bestseller list, I am doing very well!

But mostly I am just very thankful that this dream has come true for me and that people desiring a happily-ever-after life for William and Elizabeth now have it.

J: You were recently in attendance at the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Conference in Washington, D.C. where you had to attend a few workshops for Sourcebooks (your books' publisher) and Casablanca authors. How was the experience like for you? What was it like to have met your fellow romance novelists in person?

S: It was one of the best experiences of my life. I had an absolute blast! I got to hang out with most of the Casablanca authors who have become dear friends of mine over this past year. I heard so many fabulous lectures and speeches. I attended the RITAs! And I was able to have a long chat with my editor and publisher. I met a ton of writers who gave encouragement and insights, while also being able to give the same in return to aspiring writers still hoping to be published.

The RWA is an awesome organization. The sheer volume of energy that invades the entire conference area during those four days is abundant and palpable. You can’t walk away without being changed. Romance writers are incredibly supportive. It was all so absolutely wonderful and inspiring. Talk about getting seriously pumped up!

J: What was your first book signing experience like? Where and when did you have it?

S: I had two book signings while in Washington DC for the RWA National Conference this July. Again – surreal! The first was a Pro Literacy signing and I sat between Stephanie Laurens and Gayle Callen (Julia Latham) – both very successful authors – feeling awed to be in their presence and overcome with how wonderfully nice they both were. Nora Roberts was walking around chatting and posing for pictures! It was a defining moment for me. The reality is that I will probably never be as popular as a third of the 500+ authors who were there that day. Yet, as Stephanie said to me, “We all started with our first book.” Simple, yet profound. It was so much fun to meet my fellow authors and to sign my novel for the fans.

My second signing was the Sourcebooks’ signing. Just my fellow Casablanca authors and me. There was a long line waiting and a crowd rush! It was amazing! Our editor Deb, publicist Danielle, and publisher Dominique Raccah were there, walking among the crowd acting as social greeters! It was tremendous fun. I have loads of pictures in The Darcy Saga Portrait Gallery.

J:
What was it like seeing/having fans of your book get in line to see you and you signing their purchased copy of your Mr. & Mrs. FD: TSBO novel?

S: Well, I can assure you that my line was WAY shorter than Stephanie Laurens’!! Still, I did have a few gals make a beeline to me, expressing how much they loved my book, or that they had heard about it and couldn’t wait to get a signed copy. One delightful gal brought her copy from home, just to have me sign it. Shall I say “surreal” again? Many others approached when they noticed the title with interest, asking questions and chatting.

At the Sourcebooks signing all forty of my books were gone within 20 minutes! Danielle felt horrible for not supplying more and Dominique was taking people’s names and addresses to send them free copies! That is how incredible the people at Sourcebooks are.

J:
Did you ever imagine or dream that you would be having an autograph session for your book and be signing several copies of them for your fans?

S: Not until a couple months ago, no. Even after I knew I was able to attend the RWA Nationals and that I was to take part in 2 book signings, I still had no idea what to expect. I still get shaky and red cheeked when friends of mine ask me to sign their books! Twice now I have had bookstore managers ask me to sign the copies on the shelves so they can put them in the front with “author signed” stickers on them. That is so cool!

On October 24th I will be in Sacramento, CA at the Citrus Heights Barnes & Noble for a group book signing with the Valley Rose RWA Chapter to benefit local schools. Fellow Sourcebooks author Loucinda McGary will be there signing her second book – The Treasures of Venice – along with about 12 other area authors. If anyone is in that part of the world, mark your calendars and stop by! I am so looking forward to it, but am sure glad I will not be alone.

J: Did you meet any famous writers when you were at the RWA Conference?

S: I did! I met Nora Roberts! I mean, we didn’t hang out and swap girl stories or anything – LOL! – but I did say hello, congratulate her on winning the RITA, and snagged a photo! I did chat at some length with historical writers Gaelen Foley, Lauren Willig, Stephanie Laurens, Julia Latham (Gayle Callen), and Julia Quinn. Of course there were a ton of huge names roaming about the building, a few I was even brave enough to smile and nod at, but I tend to be shy so didn’t boldly approach too many. I met a multitude of perhaps lesser-known authors, not “famous” in the full meaning of the word, but still farther in the business than me. I did not meet a single person that wasn’t gracious, encouraging, and delightful to chat with.

J: You were recently featured in an article of your local newspaper with a full page spread (see article here), what was that experience like seeing an article featuring you and a photo of yourself and your book in a newspaper?

S: Oh, I was so nervous! I have never been in the newspaper, so truly did not know what to expect. The reporter, Heather, showed up with pad and pencil, just like in a movie! She asked about a million questions and I tried very hard not to ramble on a jittery hundred words per second. Then the photographer came in with this enormous monstrosity of a camera, ala Jimmy Olsen, and took literally three-dozen pictures. We covered so much material that I feared her messing up on something or having an article that would be 10 pages long! Waiting the nearly two weeks until it came out was agonizing. I didn’t tell a soul about it until after I saw that she had gotten it right. It was a fantastic article! She hit all the main points that are most important to me. I am so impressed. And, true to geek-form, my husband is going to get it framed! He even insisted on capturing it on video.

J: What other publicity appearances/events do you have planned in the weeks and months ahead?

S: There is the book signing I mentioned above, the one in Sacramento. My virtual blog tour is continuing for the next couple of weeks, the dates and links can be found at my website. All of them are giving away copies of the novels, so I encourage readers to check it out. I am hoping to arrange a local book signing with author and fellow member of the Yosemite Romance Writers Group, Stacey Kayne. We are just talking about it at this point, but the B&N manager in Fresno is very interested. Naturally news will be posted at my website. And, I have a trailer video being created at this very moment! I hope to have it up and running within the week!

J: After Loving Mr. Darcy, you have the next (third) volume, The Darcy's at Year's End scheduled to be released in January 2010. Is that the last book/volume for the Darcy Saga series? Are you writing more?

S: Oh no, it is not the last! The fourth is tentative titled The Family Darcy: Seasons of Romance. I have finished writing it, Deb will be starting the edits soon, and it is scheduled for release on Sept. 1, 2010. The fifth novel in the series is untitled, nearly done, and will be released in spring of 2011. I also have a companion novel about Georgiana Darcy that is almost complete, and Deb is very interested in that as well.

The project that I am actively working on is a novella. I am very excited about it! My story will be part of a 3-novella Christmas-themed anthology scheduled for release in November of 2010. I am joining Amanda Grange and another author, each of us bringing our own twist to Christmas at Pemberley. My short story fall right in with my Saga, but that is all I will say at this point in time.

As for where I will go once I get all that done, I do not know! I have other ideas in my head and have spoken to my editor about them. She is very interested, but for now we need to focus on finishing the works-in-progress.

That concludes my interview with the amazing Jeane. I hope you all enjoyed reading what I had to say. Remember to comment or ask a question of me so I can enter your name into a drawing for one signed copy of Loving Mr. Darcy. Tomorrow, our last day of Darcy Saga Week, I will share a couple excerpts from my newest release.

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***Giveaway deadline: End of Sunday, 9/6 – Leave your email address to be notified***

Comments

  1. Wonderful inteview, one of the best for me. Love the pictures and the music in the website. Thank you. Sharon I have a question for you: Your new characters in Loving Mr.Darcy (Dr. Darcy). Did you always have them in mind ?- or while writting they just pop up!! They are great characters and Dr. Darcy fits so well into your book. In your future sagas will he find someone?? Inquiring minds wants to know.

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  2. Hi Seli! Glad you stopped by! Great question. Some characters arise as the need does. For instance, George was originally to be a brief character but he grew on me so will be around forever. Dr. Penaflor was also just going to be a sidekick, but he ended up working out to be more. *hint hint* Many of Darcy's Derbyshire buddies arose out of a need to establish a history for him, but most of them have proven essential at various times.

    So it varies, I suppose. Some I have thrown in with no thought at all to a future, but then they later occur to me as someone who will work in what I am currently writing. I like to keep my options open and I never forget a character I have created!

    As for George, well, your mind is going to have to remain in suspense! :)

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  3. Lovely interview. The conference sounds wonderful. I remember getting a strange twinge of excitement seeing the first book at Target and realizing I'd "met" the author online. I should be looking out for the new one now shouldn't I. (Can you tell, I've not been to Target, except with teenaged son in tow, for a while.)

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  4. Wow, I really enjoyed your interview today. :) It was like having a conversation with you. Seli had the same question I had...soooo, I guess I'll ask where you got your inspiration from for the other characters? Had you been thinking about them for long or did you take some ideas from your life to create these characters to interact with Mr. Darcy?

    Such a fan of the Darcy...can't wait to read this. Congratulations on your success :)

    rachie2004 @ yahoo (d0t) com

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  5. Lovely interview! I'm thrilled to hear there are plans for five books in the saga. And the companion book on Georgiana. AND the novella, too!

    NutHouseShannon(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. Hi Sharon and Jeane I loved reading your interview. The main things that stand out for me are the excitment, the happiness and the pride you have in developing the series. Also it is such a lovely relaxed interview.
    I am so glad to see that with the launch of your second book Sharon even though everything is still "surreal" hehehe you seem much more at ease with your status.
    I am so happy for you and your success and hope it continues in this way, where it makes you smile and happy. Nerdy is allowed too hehe
    PS I can't wait to read the three part novella!
    Luv ya
    TSBO devotee
    Vee

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Sheila. Thanks for looking around for me! Loving Mr. Darcy will be in Target next month, but now it is everywhere else.

    Thank you RachieG! That is the whole point of an interview, to feel as if it is a conversation. Inspiration is a strange thing. Generally I create characters who fit the need of the moment. Their personalities and back story simple "feel right" for how I want them to interact with the other characters. In some case they are fully realized, but often bits and pieces of who they are emerge and evolve as time goes on. It is very organic, with me. I have never taken someone I know and made them a character, no.

    Yes, Shannon, there is a bunch in the works! Now we all just have to be patient!!

    Hi Vee. I am so glad that ease came through, because it is a very different feeling for me this time around. It is still surreal in many respects, but I am much more aware and confident now. Glad it shows! Next Christmas on the novella. News will come out in due course. :)

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  8. I am so glad you're writing more than 3! And here I was thinking as soon as I'd have read LMD, I'd be almost done. One of the toughest things about books I like is seeing the number of remaining pages to be read go down and down and down till the book is over and I have to close it!

    ReplyDelete

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