Tell Me Your Story Tuesday
I am so excited to have Sharla with us again. We got to hang out last year at DFWCon
and she is just awesome!
She visited with us once before. You can read all about that here
Today, Sharla is here to talk about her debut release
Which I have read and y'all should be jealous because it is great!
So, Let's get to know more about Sharla!
First, tell us about The Reason Is You.
Dani Shane just wants her daughter
to have what she never did—a normal life.
But “normal” leaves the equation when sixteen-year old Riley is found
talking to Dani’s only friend, Alex—who has been dead for forty years.
In the small river town of Bethany,
Dani never fit in. Being different
pushed her to the fringes of society, and even leaving town for two decades
didn’t stop the talk. Now that she’s
back, so is Alex. Mischievous and sexy
and still hot enough to melt her shoes.
Between his popping in at inopportune moments and her having to hide her
daughter’s new talent, Dani fears that her plans for staying under the radar
may be short-lived.
As Dani scrambles to get solid
footing under her family, secrets buried for forty years begin to unearth
themselves. She and Alex have always
been connected, but he is hiding something.
The computer is making her hear things.
Weird memories that she doesn’t recognize keep popping up in her
mind. Then there’s that little thing she
hasn’t told her daughter yet—that some of the people she sees aren’t breathing.
It has such an interesting premise. What inspired you or planted the seed for you to write this
Honestly? A hot
vampire. Mick St. John on the long gone
Moonlight television show.
Think of Mick, the blue-eyed,
gorgeous vampire always in black, with the sexy smile and snarky wit, that was
basically forbidden for Beth to be with.
Yeah…. I was smitten.
I was heavy into reruns of
Moonlight when I was playing with a story of a single mom of a teenage daughter. I’m a character-driven writer, finding my
peeps before I find the story, and all I knew so far was that my main
character’s name was Dani Shane, and she was stressed and tired and headed back
to her hometown to start over. Someplace
she didn’t want to go.
Then my show ended, and I wanted
more. And suddenly Dani needed a
forbidden love like that. Maybe someone
she could never really be with. Maybe
someone that was going to make her return home both exciting and
migraine-worthy. While I love vampire
shows, I don’t write about them, so it couldn’t be a vampire. But a ghost….ooooh, someone she couldn’t even
touch. That was the ticket.
Who was your favorite character to write in this book and
Probably the most fun was Riley, the sixteen year old
daughter. She was a blast, with all her
snarky little quips and knowledge beyond her years demeanor. And she came very honestly, as some of her
ways and comments came straight out of my daughter’s mouth. I live with my research. Miss Olivia was fun, too, because she holds
What is your favorite part of the writing process? First
draft, editing, etc.?
I have a crazy process, since I don’t plot. I come up with the idea and start playing
with it, and then once I start writing, I edit as I go, constantly going back
and feeding things in as things change.
It’s exhausting and exhilarating and I curse it and love it at the same
time. So my first draft is nearly done,
it’s just line editing after that, but that first draft beats me up every
single day. J Probably my absolute
favorite time is the very beginning infatuation stage when all the ideas are
new and nothing has given me heartburn yet.
Tell us about getting the call from the agent that the book
had sold. What was the first thing you did?
I squealed like a girl. My agent laughed, as I’m sure she’s used to
that sort of thing. I was pretty much
useless for the rest of that day.
What has been the most unexpected (good or bad) part of the
publishing process for you?
Being out of the loop on what happens next. I think I thought that making it through that
“door” would be like Heaven when all is made known to you? LOL!
Trust me when I say that before this time you know more than you will
ever know about the stage you’re in. As
a pre-published writer, there is everything under the sun out there in articles
and classes and blogs…how-to’s on everything from writing to queries to agents
and editors. It’s covered. The other side of that door is like an ant
bed. The people that need to know,
do. They handle their part. Other people handle their parts. You find out what you need to do as they feed
it to you. There’s no manual or process
and every book is different so I can’t even say I’m prepared now for the second
one. It’s all crazy, but it’s the best
kind of crazy.
What was the best thing you did to help yourself through
Started writing another book so I could stay in my
would you have for others trying to make the leap to "published
Learn about publishing houses ahead of time. I knew nothing about any of the houses,
because I assumed my agent would know all that for me. She does, and I’m lucky to have her, but one
of the first questions she asked me was, “What houses do you want to pitch
to? Which ones do you visualize working
with?” I was like, “What?” I had no clue. So we went with her instincts, and I was
lucky to get into Berkley, but I wish I would have had some knowledge
Tell us about your next book. When can we look for it?
The next book is called BEFORE AND EVER SINCE, and it
is due out November of this year. It’s
not a sequel to REASON, it’s a whole new story.
I’ll tell you the tagline for it…
“Is there really such a thing as a little secret?” The blurb and new cover for it will be
revealed on my website the week after REASON releases.
Where can we find you?
Want to know more about Sharla? You could ask her about her 19 cocktails, her old lady dog or crab hunting in an Honduran jungle. No, I didn't make the last one up!
Also, next week I will be posting a completely unbiased review of The Reason Is You
. Spoiler Alert: LOVED IT!