Sharon Dunn interview

» Posted on Aug 15, 2007 in Blog | Comments Off on Sharon Dunn interview

Don’t forget to email me at by Sunday evening if you want to enter the drawing for Death of a Garage Sale Newbie.

1. What made you start writing?

I’ve always written but started to take myself seriously around the time I had my son fifteen years ago. I remember going to my first writer’s group meeting when I was pregnant. I needed to find a creative outlet that worked with having kids.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

I have been writing since the second grade. It was always something that I knew I did well, but never something I thought I would be making a living doing. I sold my first book in 2003, Romance Rustlers and Thunderbird Thieves.

3. How do you handle rejections?

I let myself be sad, mad or whatever emotion rises to the surface. I never try to minimize the pain or pretend it doesn’t hurt. If it’s really bad, I go for a walk and pray through it. Then I go back to my computer and keep on writing.

4. Why do you write?
I can’t not write. Even if I wasn’t getting things published, I would still be doing journal entries and working through issues by writing about them.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?
Free time? I am not sure what that means. All my hobbies have pretty much fallen by the wayside in order to make time to write. If I am not writing, I am hanging out with my kids or hubby. Today my son and I floated boats he made down the river. It was a sweet break from writing. At night I will usually watch a movie with my hubby. I read a great deal, but it is in little snippets of time.

6. What are you working on right now?
I am drafting book three in the Bargain Hunter series with a working title of Death at Discount Prices. In the next couple of days, I will be getting together a proposal for another series and polishing a stand alone proposal as well.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
Not in terms of physical attributes or personality but the characters’ spiritual journeys are usually based on things I have learned or am struggling with.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.
The first book in the bargain hunters series Death of a Garage Sale Newbie came out in March 2007. It’s the story of four women bonded together by the need to clip coupons and be first in line at doorbuster sales. When one of the bargain hunting ladies goes missing after a morning of
garage saling, the other three hunt down clues instead of good deals.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t get into the writing for fame or money or to overcome some childhood wounding or insecurity. Get into writing because you love being alone in a room creating worlds and characters you fall in love with. Recognition and money are just icing on the cake. Being alone listening to your fingers hit the keyboard must be your meat and potatoes.

10. How important is faith in your books?

I don’t know if this makes sense, but if you have characters who are Christian,the faith element will happen naturally in the story. So it is important, but I don’t push for it when I write, I just let it happen.

11. What themes do you like to write about?
It’s different with every book. With the Ruby Taylor mysteries I wanted to show that God could redeem anyone at any time regardless of their past. There are other themes, women supporting each other and that our witness to others doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to be obedient.

In the Bargain Hunters, I touch on issues of how Christians look at money. Book Two, Death of a Six Foot Teddy Bear which comes out in January 2008 deals with the issue of greed and trusting God in all financial circumstances.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

Always with the books, I have a love/hate thing going on. When the book is an idea floating in my head, I love it. When I have to push out rough draft, I hate it. During revision I start to like it again…toward the end of the process. When the final book is in my hand, I luv luv luv it. I don’t have a favorite, but I suppose Romance Rustlers has a special place because it was my first book.

13. You describe your books as having elements of a mystery and romance with a whole lot of fun thrown in. Which element is the hardest to write: mystery, romance or comedy? Why?

The comedy is the scary part because “funny” is not something you can force. What I try to do is craft a good story, lay out clues to create a solid mystery and then the funny just has to happen. The romance part depends so much on the characters. The romance in my first series was a struggle because I was dealing with two very broken characters who had a lot to work through. I thought and journalled a lot about motive and how Wesley and Ruby’s past choices affected their ability to trust in a new relationship.

14. What is your writing schedule like?

I work four mornings a week at a college. I come home, eat a quick lunch and write until my kids get home from school. I write on Saturday two or three hours, sometimes more if a deadline is looming. Sunday is a little more flexible, if I am not behind, I take time off or do administrative writing stuff. I have Wednesdays to write in the morning a do my ladies Bible study in the afternoon.

15. I love the titles of your books and the title of your newest mystery series: the Bargain Hunter Mysteries. How important do you think titles are and why?

Titles are really important. When I am in the proposal stages of a book, I can’t really wrap my mind around the book concept until I come up with a series and individual title. Also, it is really important that my titles indicate what kind of book a reader is dealing with. I want the titles to reflect that the books are a mystery but that they are also fun, that they won’t have gory details. Book two in the bargain hunters series which comes out in January 2008 is called Death of a Six Foot Teddy Bear. I think that title fits the bill.