Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Author Spotlight - Sharon Kendrick

The Minxes are very excited today to welcome USA Today Bestselling author Sharon Kendrick to chat with the Minxes today :-)

Thanks so much for being with us today, Sharon!

What is your writing process?

I’m not sure that I have a *process* because every book is different. Sometimes I start with a man who wants me to tell his story. Sometimes it’s a woman. Or I might have a scene which I can see very clearly in my mind. Then I need to weave some kind of compelling thread which links them all together. Having said that, sometimes the scene that I loved so much just doesn’t work – and then it ends up being deleted. I can be ruthless about ditching stuff – particularly at the beginning - because if my story isn’t writing fluidly, then I can’t continue.

Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?

I have a confession. For me, buying shoes is like a trip to the dentist when you have an unexplained nagging in one of your molars. You’re screwing your face up in astonishment, right? A romantic novelist who isn’t orgasming over shoes? But let me explain my unfashionable aversion… my feet are so big that getting anything to fit takes a miracle. It they look half-way decent, it’s a bonus. I’m Cinderella in reverse! But to address the main point of your question: I consider writing to be a job, just like any other job. So, just as someone who (say) worked in a bank, wouldn’t dream of saying to a customer, “I’m really sorry, but I’m just not that into it today” – neither would I. If I’m really stuck, I might go and make a coffee or watch some trash TV – but I’m always back at my desk twenty minutes later. Whether I then choose to surf the Net or to lose myself on Twitter is up to me, but I know that if I have got a couple of thousand words down by the end of the day – I’ll feel considerably better than if I have the horror of having made no progress. And even a bad writing day will always yield something good.

Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer? 

I do. For me, exercise is imperative. It gives me ideas, clears my mind – oh, and it helps combat my natural greed by making my bottom less big than it should be (though never as small as I’d like it to be!). I run. I walk. I do one of those classes where you lift weights up and down. And since spending a week with a friend and his personal trainer in Italy, I have now (very reluctantly) started doing some interval training.

Do you believe in writer's block?

I do believe in block and for me, there’s only one reason for it. Quite simply, the story isn’t working. When dialogue between your two main protagonists is forced, then your characters aren’t real. When your story isn’t flowing, you need to go back and fix it.

Have you ever used an incident from real life in a book? If so, did it get you into trouble?

It’s impossible not to use incidents from real life, but seen through my eyes they may bear little resemblance to the original! Gathering inspiration from the world around them is as essential to the writer as gathering grapes is to the vintner. Obviously, I’m careful!

In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?

You know when people say: “It was like a dream come true”? Well, that’s exactly what it’s like – and I always guessed it would feel that way.

Promotion is no longer a dirty word. In what ways do you strive to reach more readers?

I do radio and newspaper interviews and have appeared on national television. I blog (not very consistently!) over at I Tweet @Sharon-Kendrick (and would love your readers to follow me!) The main way I strive to reach more readers is by writing the very best book I can, so hopefully they will come back and read more – and tell their friends to do the same.

What is your top promo tip for other authors?

Always be charming to journalists and they’ll remember you. Be original. Embrace social media and get your local newspaper to do a feature on you. Be memorable. But the main tip is to be so damned proud of your book, that you’ll want to tell everyone just how great it is – and hopefully, that will snowball.

What did you learn while writing this book?

That you can never put too much emotion onto the page.

What was the most fun part of writing this book?

Becoming Francesca (my heroine) and falling madly in love with Zahid (the hero).

And just for fun: what would your hero’s honeymoon destination of choice be?

I think he might take her back to Morocco – because they had such a flaming row last time they were there!

Monarch of the Sands

An impossible love affair--with a Sheikh!

Francesca is shocked when family friend Zahid Al Hakam turns up on her doorstep. After all, he's now the Sheikh of Khayarzah--England's surburbia is hardly his regular stomping ground! But he is as achingly gorgeous as ever...and she's certainly tempted by his invitation to come to the desert and work for him. Zahid finds the geeky, gauche teenager he once knew is now an understated beauty. Embarking on a secret affair is bittersweet--but, however all-consuming their passion, Zahid's duty to his kingdom must surely come first?

Monarch of the Sands is still available at Amazon UK and Mills & Boon and has now released at Amazon US and if you're lucky enough to be in the UK, Sharon's latest Sheikh is available now over at Mills & Boon!!


TashNz said...

What a neat title!

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Ooh this one sounds like another goody, Sharon! XX

Maya Blake said...

Wow, I remember reading the one-page scene with Zahid and Fran a while ago and thinking they needed their own book. It's now nestled in my Kindle waiting to be read! Thanks for being a minx today :)

Sharon Kendrick said...

Thanks, TashNZ! (what's your real name?)

And thank you also, Rachel.

Sharon Kendrick said...

Maya, I LURVE being a Minx delighted that you're about to read Zahid and Francesca's story! Let me know what you think.

Sri Pammi said...

I love the title and took a sneak peek at it, Sharon, Can't wait to read it...

Sally Clements said...

I love that 'dream come true' line, Sharon. That's exactly how I feel! Thanks so much for being minxy, great to read all about you.

Catherine Coles said...

I love a hero who is bound by duty ... I have this one and also The Sheikh's Undoing on my Kindle. Time to abandon the housework and indulge in some Kindle time :-)

Lacey Devlin said...

What a great interview! I love all the advice and your exercise regime puts me to shame. I really MUST start doing something about that... Thanks, Sharon!

Sharon Kendrick said...

Thanks everyone for all their lovely comments.
I find the best thing about exercise, Lacey - is that it feels so GOOD.....when it's over!

Maria said...

I picked up a copy of your book Sharon and I look forward to reading it.

Sharon Kendrick said...

Thanks, Maria - I hope you enjoy it. :)

Abby Green said...

A very minxy interview! Loved hearing all your secrets. I'm off now to try and emulate you ;)
x Abby