Sharon Souza’s interview

» Posted on Mar 19, 2009 in Blog | 3 comments


This week I’m hosting Lynette Eason with a Love Inspired Suspense called A Silent Terror and Sharon Souza with Lying on Sunday. If you would like to be entered in a drawing for both or either books, please leave a comment on one of the posts this week with your email address included (must have that to be entered) or email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday evening.

Sharon Souza’s interview:

1.What made you start writing?

I’ve loved reading and writing for as long as I can remember. Literature classes were among my favorites in high school. I always felt there was a book in me, but was never quite sure I had what it took to write it. But one year, when I had three months off from my job as a teacher’s aide, I began working on a novel. I hand wrote 100 pages that summer, and that was when it really began for me. I also wrote a number of articles, some of which I sold, and that gave me encouragement to keep going. But it didn’t take long to realize that my first love as a writer was novel writing. So that’s what I’ve pursued with a passion for a number of years.

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

It was the summer of 1986 when I began to seriously pursue writing, and April 2006 when I sold my first book. Twenty long years from Point A to Point B.

3.How do you handle rejections?

To make a complete mess of the famous Will Rogers quote, I never met a rejection I liked, and I never got any encouraging tips or remarks with the rejections I received. But I continued to persevere, to make my writing as sharp and intriguing as I could, and as desirable to readers and editors as possible. Even now, rejections don’t come without a pang, but I don’t take them as personally as I used to. I realize there’s a “right fit” and a “right time” for a project. I just do my best to hit both of those criteria at the same time.

4.Why do you write?

It’s hard not to be cliché in answering this question, but like most any writer will tell you, I write because I have stories inside me that want to come out. There are characters in my head almost as real as the characters I know in real life. They all come to me with something to say, and I’m the vehicle they use to say it. By the time we finish, they have become friends, people I hate to say goodbye to. My goal then becomes to introduce them to other people who will come to love them as I do.

5.What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

Besides enjoying my family even more than I do now, I would pursue website design. I love that type of creative process. I’d definitely want a technical person to work with, but I could really get into the artistic aspect of that type of work.

6.What are you working on right now?

There’s nothing I like better than finishing a novel, except starting one. And that’s where I am today. As soon as I finish this interview I’m going to write my opening paragraph of a brand new manuscript. I love the discovery of new characters, new locales, new problems to solve. I am so blessed to be doing this.

7.Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

It’s hard not to. But while my physical person might not be particularly evident in my books, my values will be there somewhere. And when you get right down to it, isn’t that who we really are?

8.Tell us about the book you have out right now.

Lying on Sunday is my favorite book to have written so far. It’s the story about a woman who learns, when the book opens, that she’s been betrayed by her late husband. She realizes how subtly but thoroughly he had controlled her life, even how she perceived herself. Lying on Sunday is a story of self-discovery, and the pursuit of truth, which opens up a whole new world for Abbie Torrington.

9.Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write what you love, because it will come through in your work. Hone your craft by writing, writing, writing. Get honest feedback, from other writers if possible, and as my daughter Deanne would say, chew the meat and spit out the bones. Read the best books on writing (my top picks are Write Tight by William Brohaugh, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, Write Away by Elizabeth George, and Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell), but remember, they’re guidelines. In the end, do what works for you! And find a writers’ conference to attend. Attending Mt. Hermon Writers Conference opened the doors to publication for me.

10.How important is faith in your books?

Faith is very important in my books, because it’s the main woof and warp of my own life. I don’t see how it would be possible to separate faith out of my writing. But I try not to be preachy about it; rather I want faith to be seen as the natural makeup of one or more characters in my stories, presented in a way that draws readers to a closer relationship with Christ.

11.What themes do you like to write about?

I like to write about tough issues we deal with in today’s world and how they impact our lives, accompanied with extraordinary friendship, which is a recurring theme in all my books.

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

Lying on Sunday is my favorite so far. I love the character of Abbie Torrington, love the journey she makes over the course of the novel. I loved laughing with her and her crazy best friend, Shawlie, and seeing Abbie come to grips with the truth, which ultimately is what set her free.

13.What is your writing schedule like?

I’ve always been one to get my household work and busy stuff out of the way first thing. So I get my house in order every morning, which is very easy now that it’s just my husband and me. I do laundry, run whatever errands I have (go to the grocery store, post office, etc.), then try to be home and ready to write from about noon till dinner time. Sometimes I’ll write late at night like I used to do, but only if there’s a scene I want to finish, or if something needs to be jotted down. I typically set a daily word goal and seldom write on weekends unless I’m on a deadline. I’m so fortunate now to have plenty of free time for writing, rather than trying to squeeze in time around a job schedule like some of my writing friends have to do. I admire their accomplishments tremendously, as I remember how difficult it was to juggle family, work, church and writing all at the same time. That said, I think women are amazing. I love how God wired us.

3 Comments

  1. I love the LS suspense books. I’d love to win this book. Thanks.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  2. Would love to be entered for either book this week. Both sound good!

  3. Fascinating interview. I certainly can identify with so much of your journey to publication, Sharon. Again, Margaret, please don’t enter me in the draw because of that wretched Pacific Ocean – or as some call it, the Big Pond.

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