I first met Sharon Clare online and asked if we might be related. Seriously. Clare is my maiden name. Although I learned that we are not second cousins twice removed, we have so much in common. We are both paranormal authors with a love for fantasy. We both are romantics. We write about alpha men and strong women in our books. Gosh. We are practically twins. It's my pleasure to introduce Sharon Clare and her new release. Leave a comment to be in the random drawing for a treat. Since there's a bubble bath scene in Love of Her Lives, Sharon will send one winner something luxurious to add to the bath.
Also, I have a post up today at the Diamond State Romance Author blog if you get a chance to drop by there. Read about free resources and using Creative Commons for Images and Music. Now on to our visit with Sharon. I enjoyed reading Love of Her Lives so much. I have lots of questions.
Photograph by Marcie Costello Photography
Tell us a little about what inspired you to write Love of Her Lives.
I was inspired to write the novel by an interest in past lives and a vision of a warrior. Without sounding too odd, one day I saw a warrior in my mind’s eye. Poof, there he was. Curiosity led me to research his costume to learn he was a 1st century Roman warrior. Around this time, a friend suggested I try past life regression. I thought what the heck and did the session for fun. Oh, the story ideas! I now had Calum, the fervent warrior in Love of Her Lives. The rest of the novel spilled out. I just had to type it.
Can you give us a movie cast to spark our imaginations? I really want to know who plays Calum.
Uh oh, now everyone will know I don’t watch TV, and I’m terrible with actor names. I will say, for Finn, the trickster elf, I pictured Orlando Bloom’s Legolas, the Rivendell elf from Lord of the Rings. For Calum, I was inspired by a picture in a magazine. There is an image I have of Calum and I just can’t translate this guy to an actor—maybe you can help, Brinda. I can see Reese Witherspoon as Beth.
Sharon- I saw Bradley Cooper in the movie The A-Team without his shirt. There is that scene in Love of Her Lives when Calum's shirt disappears. Bradley could do that scene. I wouldn't complain. Sorry, I'm getting side-tracked. Next question...
Was it difficult to give Calum a Scottish brogue for his dialogue? I could literally hear his charming voice. Yes, I liked Calum a lot.
I heard Calum’s voice so clearly in my head, I had no trouble giving him his brogue. I think it helped that Calum has attitude. He’s passionate and headstrong. It was great fun to put a confident man like him out of his element. I just wish all my characters would speak as loud.
I think I remember reading somewhere that you're a fan of Second Life. Your book video for your novel, Rhapsody (Rhapsody Book Video), sure reminds me of gameplay. Are you a gamer?
Actually, no I’m not a gamer since I could be in trouble and get seriously hooked. Second Life isn’t a game, it’s a virtual world where people conduct business, socialize, take classes or just play. I belong to a few writer’s groups in SL, but I’m like a dog with a squirrel when I see a class notice. Class? How to build a virtual chiminea? I may blog about that one day and need one. I learned to use GIMP (like Photoshop) in SL. I made my website banner with GIMP and SL pics.
To avoid image copyright infringement, I use SL for most of my blog pictures because I can make what I need to suit a theme, and I get to dress up my avatar. ( I must have been Barbie deprived) I’ve also begun to market Love of Her Lives in SL, mostly because I get to build things. Now you know why I don’t have time for television.
Love of Her Lives has the best ending ever. I loved the last few chapters. I don't want to give it away, so I'll get on with my question. Do you plot out your entire book or you a panster?
With Love of Her Lives, I flew by the seat of my pants, no outline. Every time I finished a scene, I’d walk away and think how can I make the situation worse for the characters. I immersed myself in the story by setting a 10,000 words/week goal, which for me was major. Not that the story was a lovely cohesive spill of words. It needed lots of work after that rough draft. Now, I’m trying to work from a outline.
What are you working on now or in the future?
I’m polishing Rhapsody, it’s a novella that brings Finn back to play match-making games with humans. It’s a bit sexier of a story. Finn traps a couple on a tropical beach where they must play a sensual game for their freedom. (Do check out the book video link above if you’d like to know more—my first attempt at a video)
I’d love to contract 3 novellas based on games. The second one is nearly finished in draft form. It’s somewhat like a dating Amazing Race. At a workshop recently, I was chatting with Donald Maass, and he gave me the black moment scene for that story. I can’t wait to get back to it and write that scene.
In the Acknowledgements, you name some writers that I know online. How important is it for a writer to be supported during this process? When should a new writer seek a network of writers and where?
For me, Brinda, it’s crucial. My critique partners give me feedback I could never get from friends or family. They are honest and creative. We brainstorm each other’s stories together, share tips we’ve learned on writer’s craft, support through rejections and celebrate our successes (thank you to the amazing Sherry Isaac for all her promo help!).
I know people who have online critique partners. I prefer an in-person group. I love the spontaneous back and forth discussions.
I would suggest joining an organization to find a critique group. I started one group by attending a workshop and asking the instructor if I could approach the class for critique partners. I also belong to the Toronto Romance Writers who are an incredibly brilliant and generous group of writers.
Brinda, thank you so much for having me as a guest today! Your blog always informs and inspires me. When I see a blog notice from you, I know it’s going to be good stuff!
I may have talked on a bit, but here’s a short excerpt between Beth and Calum from Love of Her Lives:
“So, Tarzan.” Her chest rose and fell in quick successions. “Are you going to pound your chest now, affirm your dominance?”
He had her pinned against the wee car in the garage, her back against the front door, his hands pressed to the window on either side of her.
He left the humor out of his smile. She knew him better than she thought. “I’m giving you a choice now. You can either drive the car to a nice inn, when I say it’s far enough away, or you can ride in the trunk.”
The storm clouds in her eyes darkened. She attempted to back away from him, but there was nowhere to go. Leaning in closer, he drew a breath of her, fully intending to intimidate her with his size. She needed to relinquish her irrational need to resist him.
“I am definitely enrolling in karate classes.” His Bethia craned her neck as far from him as she could manage. “Stop breathing on me. Why do you think I’ll be in trouble if I go to the police?”
Visit Sharon at sharonclare.com, follow her on Twitter, and add this book on Goodreads.
Love of Her Lives – published by Crimson Romance. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Google Play(for epub file) and wherever ebooks are sold.