Tag Archives: Author’s life

My most recent interview: By the lovely Cheryl Holloway

 

 

I was interviewed last Friday by the lovely author and blogger Cheryl Holloway. As with other interviews when they occur I place the link to as many social platforms possible.

It was fun to do. Some of the questions I had to pause and think on how to answer them. That’s a good thing. A new way to learn about my brand and myself and share with others is always a good thing.

What was cool is how she incorporate all the volumes of the series so far as part of the post,

So, I will leave some of the questions and answers from the interview but the rest you can find at the link to Cheryl’s site.

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CH: Can you tell us about The Rainforest Adventures (Books 1-3) with Jasper the parrot, who is not the ordinary bird?

SCW: Gladly. The Jasper, Amazon Parrot series is based on my rescued bird, Jasper. It starts off with his birth and the make up of his family. Throughout the series you see Jasper and his brother interact with different species, encounter dangers and learn how to work together to get things done and to keep them safe. But you also learn about family values and what it means to care for each other and those around them.

In each volume in this series, one will find a new animal introduced to the boys. One also learns about the Amazon rainforest and the features that makes it amazing.

I am trying to place in this series, the dangers that this region is dealing with. So far, I have included the logging issue and have touched briefly on the poaching situation. I will expand on this later in another volume.

CH: Where did you get the premise for this book?

SCW: My first lesson was write on what you know. Thinking and thinking on what I did know, it hit me. To that point, I had been rescuing and adopting birds since 1998. As for Jasper, we rescued and adopted him at the age of five in 1999. I continued this trend for a nice while. So, I knew about the birds in my home.

Jasper, being as colorful as he was, was a topic I could work on. With him being an exotic pet and birds of his type being in the Amazon rainforest, I thought it be a wonderful educational tool for the children.

CH: Did you have to do a lot of special research to write this book?

SCW: With the mannerisms of parrots, I was good. But when it came to placing him in the Amazon rainforest, I had to do a lot of research. I had to make sure I had the right animals in that setting. I learned about their mannerisms, the flowers, the colors and the atmosphere that all makes up this amazing environment. I wanted it as accurate as possible. In fact, I was obsessive about it. Each fact I learned I made sure that I triple checked it.

I have notebooks just for my research of this series. I know this will grow as the series grows. I listened to videos to try to make as accurate, as possible, the sounds I was describing. I watched, oh my gosh, so many documentaries from National Geographic and BBC. I was hoping to learn more, regardless how small, that I could incorporate into the books or confirm a fact.

My reason was simple: children are going to be reading these books. I want them to be factual. Just because they are children, doesn’t mean they deserve any less. Yes, it can be fun and entertaining. But it can also be educational.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

SCW: Jasper will always be my favorite character. I mean, I live with my main character. His personality, I just incorporate into the book. By just watching and interacting with him, his character development was being played out before me. Plus, that is my boy. Having a rescued animal is special. Having a rescued parrot to me is beyond special. It was my favorite for I was showing to the world our bird. People have told me that birds can’t really be pets. I always answer, ‘You are right. Birds are better.’ I just get giggly and happy, when I write about him, because I get to share with the world how amazing birds can be. It is truly not work, as the words write themselves when I talk about him in the volumes. It is a topic and subject I love and adore.

It really isn’t work, it is more love when I write about him in any of my books.

The rest of the interview can be found here:

http://www.cherylholloway.net/blog/2020/01/24/guest-author-sharon-c-williams/

 

 

Planning every day of a calendar to work on your brand: People do that?

 

My friend James told me that he was done with his planning his calendar for 2020. He had written out what he would do daily for his brand which is being an author.

Wow I am sure was the first words out of my mouth. Our friend Sandra was equally impressed saying with her full time job she would not be able to do this.

The thought of doing this that far in advance was overwhelming. But not just that not practical. Why? Life. Life always has a way of interrupting us especially when things are going smoothly and we are on a roll.

I know right off the bat there would be the time I would miss while I go back home to Maine to check on my mom. That is always a month long venture at least. I have to include my doctor visits, some that are out of town, my procedures and other stuff doctors throw at me. I have to factor in the days I am not feeling well. There are the trips down to my in-laws for various occasions.

These are just the few things that popped into my head. I am quite confident I left a lot out. And as my mom use to tell me, “This house doesn’t clean itself.” While her house didn’t my house doesn’t either.

So I knew I was not going to approach my planning like James did. I came up with a different outlook for 2020. In my calendar I placed a sheet stapled to each month. On that sheet I wrote what I want to accomplish for that month. It could be looking for reviews, interviews and conferences to researching my current WIP, going back to my writer’s groups and writing. When I did January my list was long but not long enough to be discouraging. I figured if I can get a certain percentage of it I will be okay with that. I wrote up my sheets for January and February. One item on February will be to do March and April and so on.

This is what will work for me. To plan every single day that far is illogical for me. But not just that I could be setting up myself up for failure and disappointment. Who wants that? No, not me.

Unfamiliarize yourself with your WIP

How do you unfamiliarize yourself from your WIP? It was not a term I had heard before when it came to revising my works. But apparently this is a thing and not only a thing but I took a class on it this past Saturday at the writers conference.

When you hear what I am about to write some you will nod and think I knew that one like I did. Some, I did not.

Here we go:

– read your work out loud or have someone read it to you out loud.

– change the font of your work

– change the title of your work a number of ways

– change the gender of your main character

– change the pronoun

– try a new opening

It does not drastically change your WIP but it makes you view it as different in comparison to one that you have read a thousand times before. You know what I mean? You know it so well you skip over lines, words and things that need to be edited just because you are so familiar with it.

The class was amazing and the instructor as well. When he informed us we had 10 minutes left so it was time for questions I was bummed out that it had gone by that quickly.

I believe I will try some of what I learn in hopes of improving my WIPs from now on in hopes it makes it shine more. For after all that is the whole point of revisions which is to make your work shine as much as possible.