An Interview with Sharon Garner!
Q: Why do you write romantic suspense?
A: I love the duet of sexual tension and danger. They enhance each other. And I love those villains. My heroes and heroines bounce off them like pinballs, going in new directions.
Q: Do you have a greatest strength as a writer?
A: I'd have to say it's my settings. I make the setting a character in my books--and each setting has to fascinate me. I've used the Brazilian rain forest, the vast agricultural cerrados area of Brazil, a fictional Hawaiian island, Kauai, and Cornwall so far. The setting often determines which book I'll buy to read, too. I read English mysteries mostly and wallow in Regency Christmas stories at that time of year.
Q: Did you plan to be a writer?
A: Let's just say the signs were there. I kept diaries, which were great for blackmailing my sister. And I've always been a reader. I've learned writing by osmosis, absorbing the craft through reading. I sat down to write to sell after my mother died. Faced with my own mortality, I decided I'd better get on with it.
Q: How would you like to be remembered?
A: I'd like people to remember my sense of humor and that I laughed a lot. I'd like my husband to remember that I introduced him to hummingbirds, and cats as house pets. I'd like our son to remember that wave of protection he feels wash over him that coincides with my visualizing him enclosed within a protective barrier. I hope I can keep doing that for him after I'm gone. I'd like my readers to remember me as an author who gave them pleasure and a respite from life when they read my books.
Q: Do you have any writing tricks?
A: The tricks are usually on me! I'll go back through a manuscript and find, for example, foreshadowing that I didn't realize I'd put in. I discovered one time that one of my characters volunteered at an abused women's shelter, and during a revision I wrote into her character that she'd been abused by a former fiancé.
Q: Do you belong to any writers' groups or critique groups?
A: Romance Writers of America, the Kiss of Death Chapter of RWA, and Pennwriters, a statewide writers' group. No critique groups. I write best when I write alone. I have, however, recently joined a mystery discussion group in our little town.
Q: What's in front of you on your desk right now?
A: An Irish paperweight with a chip of marble taken from the same quarry as the Blarney Stone. (I need all the help I can get.) A hapa wood tiki from Hawaii. A carved and polished gemstone cat (warm brown and veined) with turquoise eyes that my son gave me from a trip out west. At the moment, the cat is sitting on the tiki's head for some strange reason. Clyde, a resin turtle. An Irish wishing stone. An Irish worry stone. (I cover all the bases.)
Q: Do you write to music?
A: Not all the time. I can't listen to music with words when I write. I have instrumental Celtic, classical, and Music for Relaxation CDs I use. I recently bought a set of brainwave tapes, which includes one for Insight & Intuition for creativity. I'm happy to report that my brain waved back!
Q: What is your relationship with your readers?
A: It's a covenant between us. When a reader takes a portion of their life to read one of my books, I want that book to be the best I can possibly make it.
Q: Any words of inspiration?
A: Never give up. I wrote for six years before I sold a short story. My writing evolved into book length, but I wrote off and on for over 20 years before I sold a book-length manuscript. What a ride!