Thanks, Mousey. You made it just right. Did I mention I love coffee? As in coffee, coffee and more coffee. Black, no sugar. Large mug.
I’m thrilled to make it for you. As a fellow coffee drinker, I completely understand. I love a little caramel macchiato in mine, though. So, what made you first want to be a writer? I love your book, by the way.
Awww, how sweet. I’ve always loved inventing stories. I grew up an only child on a farm and my imagination was my best friend. I’d make up stories surrounding the farm animals but it was years before I felt the need to commit them to paper. I was an obsessive reader though, even as a child, and devoured all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. Even then I loved mysteries.
Me too! I loved them, as well as the Cherry Ames books. What inspired you to write Island Charms?
I wanted to create a scenario for a cozy mystery where outside contact was cut off and thought what better place than a remote island in the Lake of the Woods. I used to work at an island fishing camp there during the summers of my college years. Access was by boat and float plane and there was a real feeling of isolation.
Wow! That can get kind of creepy or kind of great depending on your reason to be there. When you write, do you need complete silence? Or do you require background noise?
I need relative quiet to get started on a block of work, but once I’m ‘in the groove’ it doesn’t matter so much. I like to have music in the background, but classical rather than pop.
What is your creative process like? Are you regimented? Or do you write whenever the feeling hits you?
I try to set myself up with a goal of so many words a day, but I can get side-tracked or bogged down when something just doesn’t want to gel. Then I usually either go for a long walk with the dogs or switch to a different project – maybe an outline for a new story or do a few blog entries until I can get back on schedule. If I’m really having problems I can be convinced (by myself) to take the day off.
It’s great to be flexible. Sometimes the characters in a book want a day off, too. Is there any genre you want to try, but haven’t yet?
When I was a child my father loved to read westerns – Zane Grey especially. Someday I’d like to try my hand at a western, but it would be a little different from the Zane Grey Dad read. Maybe a little more romance, a few more bare-chested cowboys. Ooh, now I’m getting distracted – Back to the questions.
It’s okay to be distracted by a cowboy. Being a mouse, I prefer a good hunk of cheese myself rather than a hunk. lol. Oh well, as you said, back to the interview. What would you say are the benefits of being an author? The downside?
It’s fun to live vicariously through your writing. I think you get a powerful feeling of control knowing you can guide the story and make life and your characters work out the way you choose. That all sounds lovely until sometimes, one of your characters simply refuses to co-operate. It’s almost like real life. The downside is that there are times you feel like tearing out your hair because you think every word you wrote that day or that week is total gibberish and no one will ever want to read it, including yourself.
Well, you don’t have to worry about that with Island Charms. Okay. We are going a bit off-topic. These are the fun questions in an interview. What makes a perfect day for you?
Sunshine, four legged friends to pet or walk and time spent with my family. I love watching my grandchildren with their sports. Of course an afternoon at the spa would top it all off.
What is something really embarrassing that has happened to you?
I’ve never been talented mechanically. One day my car wouldn’t back out of the driveway no matter what I did. I thought something terrible had happened-maybe transmission problems. I called my son in law to see if he could figure out what was wrong. He had the answer immediately. My parking brake was on! I rarely use it so never thought of that.
Oh my goodness! I can so see the look on his face when he found that! You’ve spoken a lot about animals. If you were an animal, which would you choose and why?
An elephant. They have so many wonderful attributes. They form families and groups that stay together. Female elephants bond in friendship for a lifetime. They are intelligent and caring. They grieve as we do for the death and illness of their friends.
An elephant. What an excellent choice. If you could bring any of your characters to bring to life, who would you choose and why?
Abby’s daughter, Mandy. She doesn’t play a large role in Island Charms but in the next one in the series, Murder at the Island Spa, she takes on a much bigger part. Mandy is training to be a vet. She loves animals and seems to have a great understanding and empathy for people at her young age. She also has a sense of humor and the ability to accept her parents’ divorce without taking sides and without rancor.
She sounds like someone I’d love to meet. As for you, what would you consider to be one of your greatest accomplishments?
My attempts to overcome my fear of heights. I don’t go out on balconies above the third floor. I quit wearing platform shoes because they were too high from the ground. I am TERRIFIED of heights. But then I started hanging out with a group of sky-diving friends. I actually convinced myself to jump out of an airplane – twice. Then I learned to fly and got my pilot’s license. I’m still afraid of heights, but I’m proud of my attempts to conquer the fear.
I have never been able to convince myself to leap out of a perfectly good working plane. That takes guts! Well done. What do you hope readers will take away from your stories?
A cozy mystery to me is both an escape into another life and a way to feel there is structure and justice in our world. In a cozy mystery, the bad guy always gets his just deserts and murder is avenged. The universe unfolds exactly as it should. I hope readers are left with the enjoyment of sharing a part of the life of people they feel connected to.
The reader will not be disappointed with Island Charms, Sharon. Tell us where we can find you around the web.
Author Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/SharonMcGregorauthor
Web page and blog – http://www.sharonmcgregor.com
Twitter – @sharonmcgr
Amazon author page – http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-McGregor/e/B00IO31F1I/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Sharon, it has been a pleasure to have you here with us today.
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From Whimsical Publications, we wish a very merry Christmas and happy holidays to our readers, our authors, and to everyone! Here’s to a fantastic 2015!