I would love to welcome my special guest Sharon C. Cooper, a successful writer in contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Please enjoy her insightful interview as well as a book spotlight of her new Jenkins Family Series, Still the Best Woman for the Job.
1. Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?
Don’t give up! Unlike some authors, I didn’t send off a lot of query letters to traditional publishers–instead, I self-published. In doing that, not only do I have complete control of my work, but I have also been noticed by a traditional publisher (Harlequin). I’m living proof that there is more than one way to get a contract with a traditional publisher. If you want to see your work published, and have tried to connect with traditional publishers, consider self-publishing first. Some traditional publishers are taking a different approach in finding authors to work with. Here’s a link to a blog post I (and a couple of my critique partners) did, sharing my experiences in how I hooked up with Harlequin: Breaking News: New Harlequin Kimani Romance Authors.
My other advice for writers trying to get published–keep writing. Whether you decide to self-publish or go the traditional route, it is always better to have more than one story ready to publish. Think about it. What do you do after you read a great book by an author? You look to see what else they’ve published and if you find another book by them, chances are you buy it or you at least add it to your TBR list. The same goes for you as an author. When your reader enjoys your work, they are going to look to see what else you’ve published–so keep writing!
2. What genre do you write for? Your favorite aspect? Your least favorite aspect?
I write contemporary romance as well as romantic suspense.
3. What are your current/next projects?
I’m currently working on a romantic suspense–Truth or Consequences, book 3 of the Reunited Series (Malik and Natasha’s story).
4. Do you prefer to work alone or with critique partners/beta-readers?
Writing can be very lonely, even if you’re an introvert. I treasure my critique partners as well as my beta readers. My critique partners are wonderful for brainstorming, bouncing ideas off of and telling me when a scene doesn’t work (and they don’t hold back–Lol)! I can’t imagine publishing anything without at least one critique partner reading the story first.
5. How do you find time to write?
I treat writing as a priority…like a part-time job. I’m a believer that you always find time to do the things you really want to do. I usually carry a notepad wherever I go and I squeeze in writing every chance I get.
6. Do you write the beginning/opening first or do you tend to write out of order (with whatever scenes interest you the most)?
I prefer to start at the beginning and write straight through, but there are times when I’ve been stuck on a particular scene and have worked on other scenes. Usually that helps get my creative juices back on track.
7. Which is easiest for you–novel, novella, or short story? Why?
Good question. Right now it seems that writing novels come easier for me than novellas and short stories. I’m not totally sure why…but I know I have a hard time tapering my ideas down into just a few words…pages.
8. What inspired you to write your latest book? What is the book about?
I was a sheet metal worker for ten years (MANY years ago). I also grew up in an entrepreneurial family. Last year I thought it might be neat to combine the two experiences in a book series about a family of female construction workers. Below is the blurb and an excerpt for Still the Best Woman for the Job, book 1 of the Jenkins Family Series.
Joint heir to the largest construction company in the state of Ohio, master plumber, Toni (TJ) Jenkins has been groomed to behave in a way that is befitting of the respected Jenkins’ family name. But after she breaks up with the only man she’s ever loved, to protect a secret she holds close to her heart, poor decisions lead her down a path of destruction that risks ruining the reputation of the company her family has worked hard to build.
Cincinnati police officer, Craig Logan, knows Toni is the woman for him. They’ve been apart for months, but when they run into each other at a party, the passion between them sizzles stronger than ever. She says she can’t handle dating a cop, but he senses that something else keeps her from rushing back into his arms. Craig wants her to be his wife, and he’ll do whatever it takes to prove no matter what she’s hiding, she’s still the best woman for the job.
Toni leaned back and narrowed her eyes. “What?”
“You heard me.” Craig readjusted Ronald against the wall, ignoring her date’s mumbling. “If you want me to help you get this bum home–to his house,” he emphasized, “then you have to agree to have dinner with me Friday night.”
Toni hesitated. Intense hazel eyes sprinkled with specks of green and laced with a light brown stared at her, awaiting her response. She would love to have dinner with him, heck, she’d love to spend the rest of her life with him, but there lay the problem. Craig already had the big house and the white picket fence, but he wanted the wife and the three-point-five kids to complete the fairytale. The problem in a nutshell was that he wanted her to be a part of that dream, and she couldn’t give him what he wanted.
“I can’t believe you.” She glanced back at the bathroom door and then closed it. Returning her attention to Craig she said, “After all we’ve been through, has it really come to this? You’re going to blackmail me into having dinner with you?”
“Hey, if it means spending time with you, I’m not ashamed to do whatever I have to do. Besides, I don’t see it as blackmail. I see my request as being nothing more than a man, who is still in love with you, asking you out to dinner.” He shrugged. “But you can call it whatever you want. I do know one thing though. If you don’t make up your mind in the next five seconds, your drunk boyfriend here is going to find his ass back on the cold marble tile. So what’s it going to be, sweetheart?”
Want to see what happens next? Get your copy today!
About the Author
Bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, lives in Atlanta with her husband and enjoys reading, writing, and rainy days. She writes sweet and contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense. Sharon is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), board member and member of Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and a member of the Page a Day Writers Group. To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net.
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