The Coffee Corner Welcomes
So, pull up a chair and stay awhile. We have a lot to talk about including her latest book...you, know, the one you may just WANT TO PICK UP FOR CHRISTMAS!
Let's get started with the interview...
RB: Hello, Sharon, welcome to the Coffee Corner. What can you tell us about your new book?
SM: Hi, Renee. I'm excited to be here. Thank you for having me.
All's Fair In Love And Arson is a Christmas novella. Bella has returned home to help her mother Izzie who broke her leg when she fell down a hill in the Nuisance Grounds. In addition to minding Izzie's store, Bella is coaxed into taking over her role in the Christmas production of Hercule Poirot's Christmas, which Izzie's best friend has decided to transform into a musical. Bella had hoped her homecoming might bring back a little Christmas spirit to her life, but things become difficult when she runs into Jake, her old high school sweetheart. Someone is setting fires in St. Christopher, a family feud is in full swing, and everyone is on edge. In the midst of all this, Bella is searching for the real meaning of Christmas.
RB: Wow, sounds like a lot is going on! What an incredible story. I can't wait to read it! What about you, folks? I love Christmas stories...almost as much as I love Christmas. Bella, Izzy, Jake...how did you come up with these names, Sharon? After all, I struggle with picking names for my own characters...anybody else have this problem out there?
SM: In All's Fair In Love And Arson, I began with the name Jake because it's always been one of my favourite men's names. I think this goes back to my younger days when I had an unrequited crush on a "Jake." It wasn't until after I'd settled on Bella and Izzie as the two diminutives of Isabel that I realized the pairing of Jake and Bella were reminiscent of characters from the Twilight series. By then I was attached to my characters so I decided to run with it.
RB: I've been there before. I have a novella with a similar name to another book I've written, but I can't bring myself to change it. I can't see him as anybody else but JB! Sometimes this writing thing is so difficult. (sigh) Like outlining...I HATE outlining. In fact, I don't do it. But now, I love the editing process, although it is rather time consuming. What's the easiest part of writing for you?
SM: What an interesting question, Renee. I'd have to say it's always the first draft. Once you get the story line in your head, it's so easy for me to just let the characters lead me along as I tell their story. The difficult part is the editing and rewriting that follows.
RB: Some people prefer to certain "point of views" when they read a book such as first or third person. In turn, certain writers may prefer one over the other. Do you have one you like?
SM: I'm always most comfortable both reading and writing third person stories. There are some classics of course that simply had to be told in the first person, like Huckleberry Finn and To Kill A Mockingbird, but it takes a deft hand to do it, and I don't know if I could. Maybe someday I'll give it a try. I also prefer past tense to present. Again, it takes a special talent to write in present tense, and I don't think it's one of mine. I love humour. I always try to bring an element of fun to my stories. I think bringing out the funny side of a character makes them more easy to identify with.
RB: I think your book is sounding better and better! Let's talk more about it. What's your favorite part of the novel and why?
SM: I love the rehearsals and performance of the Christmas production. I've always loved Agatha Christie and it was so much fun writing about the bizarre twists Sarah gave to the story. I could just imagine outdoorsy, masculine Jake playing the role of the prissy, obsessively neat, symmetry-loving, Belgian detective. Like Bella, I giggled every time I pictured it. Actually, I spent a lot of time giggling as I wrote this one.
RB: I love Agatha Christie too. And if you laughed when you wrote the book, I bet I'll laugh when I read it. How did you pick a setting for your story?
SM: I like to use small prairie towns for my stories. Timber was the prairie town where my three Dreams series romances took place. This story has a different setting but it's still small-town prairie. I chose the name of St. Christopher for Bella's hometown as it seemed apt for a Christmas tale. I grew up in a small town and love the way people all seem to be part of a larger family.
RB: I love small towns. I live in one! I've lived in larger towns but I like small towns the best. I know this is a little personal, Sharon, but if you weren't a writer, what do you think you'd be?
SM: I've always wanted to be an archaeologist. I'd love to be out there on a dig in the sun and the sand with an ice pick and a toothbrush to uncover old pottery shards or projectile points, trying to put together a lifestyle picture of our ancestors. I think writers and archaeologists are birds of a feather-we both like to dig around in other people's lives-professional snoopers, if you will.
RB: Good one! My mom's dug around in an archaeological dig site and found a cool dinosaur bone. It's in a museum now. I don't know if I'd like to scrape around in the dirt looking for bones, but I'd wouldn't mind finding a bit of treasure. It may pay for a new computer or desk. My desk is a chair and TV tray...for the moment. What does your writing spot look like?
SM: I have a desk in the corner of my living room. It's right beside a window so I can look out at my little piece of the ocean. It's usually more cluttered than it should be and sometimes covered with a calico cat. Zoey likes to take control of my keyboard and we have a running battle over it. She does some strange things with my resolutions and settings. I'm afraid someday she's going to order a carload of catnip or Fancy Feast when I leave her alone at my desk. I make sure she has no access to my credit card numbers.
RB: Hide the mouse! I have a tiger kitty that does the same thing. LOL Thanks for stopping by the Coffee Corner, Sharon. I've had a grand time! Oh, and have a Merry Christmas.
ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION TO
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY FOR SHARON MCGREGOR'S
FIONA'S KNIGHT OF DREAMS (ebook)
"What is the name of Sharon McGregor's cat?"
(Hint: You can find the answer in the interview above.)
Winner will be chosen by random draw on December 27,2015 from comments below.
Five comments required to validate giveaway.
About All's Fair in Love and Arson:
Bella is back at her childhood home. When her mother took a fall in the Nuisance Grounds (garbage dump) and broke her leg, Bella came back to help her and run her shop, Izzie's. Soon Bella discovers she's also been handed Izzie's role in the town's Christmas theatre production, a musical version of a well-known mystery that threatens to become more bizarre each day. A serial arsonist is frightening the townspeople, a family feud threatens young romance, and intrigue and rumors are the order of the day. On top of everything, Bella's high school sweetheart Jake, who dumped her for a cheerleader, is now Chief of Police. Poor Bella! Christmas in St. Christopher's is not what it used to be.
Amazon - http://goo.gl/buCUxg
Barnes and Noble - http://goo.gl/fKrxKB
Kobo - https://goo.gl/ci3m4B
About Sharon McGregor:
Sharon McGregor is a prairie girl who has been working her way west to escape the cold. She now lives on beautiful Vancouver Island. She hasn't escaped her roots, though, as her romances are set in small town North America. When not writing or reading, she operates a shave ice concession with her daughter and follows her grandchildren's athletic endeavours. She has a constant battle with her cat Zoey for control of her computer keyboard. Sharon loves to write romance, mystery and humor, if possible all three at the same time.
Facebook Author Page - https://goo.gl/DA5ktR
Web page and blog - www.sharonmcgregor.com/blog
Twitter - @sharonmcgr