Sharon Sala investigates Rebel Ridge
Sharon Sala is a long-time member of RWA, as well as a member of OKRWA. She has 85 plus books in print, published in four different genres – Romance, Young Adult, Western, and Women’s Fiction. First published in 1991, she’s a seven-time RITA finalist, winner of the Janet Dailey Award, four-time Career Achievement winner from RT Magazine, five time winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award, and five time winner of the Colorado Romance Writer’s Award of Excellence as well as winner of the Booksellers Best Award. In 2011 she was named RWA’s recipient of the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Her books are New York Times, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly best-sellers. Writing changed her life, her world, and her fate.
Please tell us your latest news!
I have several books coming out this year. The first one is TIL DEATH, a romantic suspense, which is book 3 of my Rebel Ridge Trilogy. It will be out mid-March for paperback and April 1 for digital version. I’m writing another Young Adult book in my Lunatic Ghost series. LUNATIC TIMES TWO is the 4th book in that series. It will be out some time this fall, I think. I’ll also have the second book out in a paranormal series I’m self-pubbing under my pen name, Dinah McCall. The first book WINDWALKER, in my Prophecy series, came out last fall. It’s available in print and ebook from Amazon.com, from B&N, and for order from any bookstore in print, as well. The second book in the Prophecy series will be THE DOVE. It will be available sometime later this year. I also have a southern women’s fiction book coming out from Sourcebooks in Sept/October. The short story introducing the book will be out in September in ebook format only. It’s called COLOR ME BAD. The book that follows in October is THE CURL UP AND DYE, available in both print and ebook. It’s about a small southern town (Blessings, Georgia) and how their lives seem to revolve around the beauty shop, The Curl Up and Dye. I’ll also have the first in a new romantic suspense trilogy out this fall. The book, GOING ONCE, will be released by Mira books. The other two books in that trilogy are GOING TWICE and GOING GONE.
Please describe your writing environment.
Because I take care of my 93 year old Mother full-time (she has dementia and lives with me) my writing environment is anywhere I can find some time on my own and some peace and quiet. I have and office, but it’s next door to her room, so that’s no longer a viable option. I’m not picky. I’ve learned to write pretty much anywhere. Right now, the favorite spot is on a sofa that has a recliner built in. It’s situated in a family room that’s part of a very large kitchen.
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
Most of my books come to me in dreams, so I know all of it before I start, except some of the secondary plots. They develop as the book goes, but I am required to do a synopsis format for my publisher beforehand, and part of it comes from that aspect as well.
How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?
I research according to the storyline, not across the board. I already know a lot of what I’m writing about, and what I don’t, I look up. I am NOT a history buff, so research is usually a distraction I do not look enjoy. I write in a contemporary voice because I don’t like making history ‘fit’ my stories. I don’t want to be held to historic details. I always say, I write fiction, which means I can make it what I want it to be.
What main genre do you write in?
Romantic suspense but of late, I’m branching out into women’s fiction and fiction.
How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?
My family is proud of me and the career that I’ve made for myself, and yes, they read my books. I started writing Young Adult for the simple fact that my younger grandchildren weren’t old enough to read the romance, although most of them are now. But I enjoy writing in different genres and will probably continue to do so.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I always laugh and say my writing originated because of chickens. I had a job I hated checking groceries in a local grocery store, and once a month they would put chicken on sale. People bought so many chickens during sale day that I couldn’t get that smell out of my nose. I wanted a job that had NOTHING to do with chickens, and writing romance was about as far away as a person could get.
Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer? Or Still do?
Yes, I write full time now and am single, but before I did that, I was a full-time farmer’s wife. I drove tractors, hauled hay, helped combine wheat, drove trucks to market, helped fix fence, raised a large truck garden, chased cows… cooked three huge meals a day for husband and workers, everything that the now famous “Pioneer Woman” blogger turned TV cook does without getting paid for my labor. LOL In between all of that, I also was a secretary at public school, worked in a florist shop, was a court clerk in the local city hall.
Do you have a specific writing style?
My readers say I write with emotional intensity. I don’t really know what my specific voice is, but I do believe that everything in life eventually comes full circle, so… however my book begins, I like to tie it up at the end with the same references at the ending.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
I would be Layla Birdsong, the heroine from WINDWALKER, under my pen name, Dinah McCall, because she is most closely aligned with how I see and want to live in the world.What do you do on a typical writing day?
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
For me, the perfect hero has to be the WINDWALKER himself. He was male personified.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
I can’t afford to have writer’s block. I have a mortgage.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
Readers can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on FB as Sharon Sala.
Nearly twenty years after he was wrongly convicted of setting the fire that killed his father, Lincoln Fox returns to Rebel Ridge, Kentucky. There, deep in the Appalachians, the truth of that terrible night lies buried—and he's sworn to uncover it.
His plans take an unexpected turn when, in the midst of a blizzard, he rescues Meg Walker from her wrecked car. Suddenly Linc discovers another reason to clear his name. Meg, his high school sweetheart, had always believed in his innocence, and if he wants a future with her, he has to show the world proof that she was right.
As the community chooses sides, those who once let a teenage boy take the fall for their crime are forced to raise the stakes. They kidnap Meg, leaving her to the mercy of the mountain. And a second rescue may be more than even Linc can manage….