Guest Post – Welcome Sharon Booth –

It is my pleasure to welcome Sharon Booth to my blog. Sharon and I ‘found’ each other via Facebook and the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Sharon is a hardworking and inspired novelist and a generous supporter of other writers.

We met ‘in the flesh’ for the first time last year at the RNA Afternoon Tea in York. Sharon is every bit as warm and friendly as I’d imagined. Take it away, Sharon . . .

author picI write contemporary romance, with a generous sprinkling of humour thrown in for good measure. For many years, I tried to write big, dramatic, historical sagas, as I’d grown up reading Catherine Cookson novels, and thought that was the sort of thing I should be writing. It took me quite some time to realise that, as wonderful as those books are, they’re not the sort of books I need to write. I started to create contemporary stories, filled with heroines I would happily hang out with, and heroes I fell in love with. Now, I have nine books published! Two of those books started life as People’s Friend pocket novels, which was a dream come true, as it meant my work was actually on the shelves in supermarkets and WH Smith.

I have also sold the large-print rights for the pocket novels, to Ulverscroft, and the first one was published last April, as part of its Linford Romance Library, with the second one coming out in March. This means I also have books in libraries.

I live in East Yorkshire with my husband and German Shepherd dog. I have five grown-up children and seven grandchildren.  I’m one tenth of the blogging group, The Write Romantics. I’m shamefully prone to developing huge crushes on fictional heroes, and I never lose hope that, one day, I will hear the sound of those Tardis engines …

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rob-bates-317578

A Q and A session with Sharon. I’m sure you’ll find her answers and inspirational.

advice for fledgling authors

  • If you really want to write, do it. Don’t wait until you “have the time” or until inspiration strikes. Pick up a pen, or sit at that computer, and start. I’ve been told, many times, by various people, that they would love to write a book “if they had the time”. The fact is, you have to make the time. I have a family and a day job. If you want to write, you will push everything else aside and do it.
  • Seek out other writers. It’s a very lonely business if you don’t make contact, and the writing community is so supportive. Join a writing group, or make online connections. Maybe join the Romantic Novelists’ Association if your genre is romance.
  • Read the genre you write in. Read how-to-write books. If you can afford it, take writing courses.
  • Be prepared for rejection and develop a skin like a rhinoceros hide – or, at least, pretend to.
  • Don’t expect to get rich. Keep writing. Don’t give up. If you want this, you must make it happen.
  • Be kind to other writers. It’s a tough world out there, so share their news, encourage, support and congratulate. Learn to promote your own stuff, but don’t be afraid to promote other people’s. There’s room for everyone.
  • Most of all, don’t forget to enjoy it. Writing is a job, and it’s undoubtedly hard work. You started writing because you love it, never lose sight of that.

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Who or what has inspired you the most to become a writer?

  • Enid Blyton, whose stories sparked my love for books and reading, which, in turn, made me want to write my own stories.
  • My English teacher, from the age of thirteen until I left school. My English teacher was so encouraging and supportive, really making me believe that this was something I could do. For the first time in my life, I began to think that writing was a gift, and that I should nurture it and be proud of it.
  • A BBC programme, Reader, I Married Him, back in 2008, or thereabouts, ignited that flame of hope again, after years spent raising children, and writing nothing more exciting than shopping lists.
  • Jane Wenham-Jones’s book, Wannabe a Writer? convinced me that, yes, I really, really did, and led me to study creative writing, read numerous how-to books, and eventually join the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme.
  • Milly Johnson and Sue Townsend. Reading books by these two wonderful writers, about people I knew and understood, I finally realised that I could write about people like me, and that books could be funny, too.
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alejandro-escamilla-10

If not a writer – then what?

I do have a day job, working for the NHS. If I’m honest, though, that’s not a path I chose, exactly.  I’d already given up on the idea of university, as I’d been assured that it wasn’t for “people like us”. I wanted to be a primary school teacher at one point, in my early thirties, and took a further education course aimed at women keen to return to work after having children. A careers guide visited us, and suggested I should aim lower, and try to be a teaching assistant instead. My already fragile confidence was shattered. I spent a few more years floundering, before finally gathering my courage and signing up for a degree in literature with the Open University,  graduating with honours in my mid-forties. I want people to know that it’s never too late to realise your dreams,  don’t listen to the doubters.

Tell us a little bit about where you set your novels

I set my novels in Yorkshire – which is such a huge and diverse county. My Kearton Bay novels are set on the North Yorkshire coast, in a little village that bears a remarkable resemblance to Robin Hood’s Bay. Bit by bit, I’ve built up a whole world around that village, spreading out into the Yorkshire Moors and creating a network of villages and towns that also feature in my Moorland Heroes and Bramblewick series. The Skimmerdale series, on the other hand, is set over in the stunningly beautiful Yorkshire Dales. I have another series in my mind, which will take place in the Yorkshire Wolds, which is an area on my doorstep – the Wolds Way actually starts in my home town of Hessle, right by the Humber Bridge. It’s an underrated area, often overlooked as people rave about the Moors and Dales. I absolutely love Yorkshire, and like nothing more than heading out for the day to take in the stunning views or ancient buildings. We’ve got plenty of castles and abbeys to choose from, that’s for sure.

My current book is Saving Mr Scrooge, the second in my Moorland Heroes series – the first being Resisting Mr Rochester.

It’s the time of peace on earth and goodwill to all men, but at Carroll’s Confectionary, the meaning of Christmas seems to have been forgotten. New boss, Kit Carroll, is hardly winning friends with his high-handed attitude, his foolhardy approach to production, and his tight-fisted treatment of the factory’s employees.
Marley Jacobs, his self-styled PA, is determined to make him see the error of his ways, and return the festive spirit to Carroll’s Confectionary.

Unfortunately, the little matter of their previous relationship, along with Kit’s callous treatment of her when they were teenage sweethearts, keeps getting in the way of her good intentions. With encouragement from co-worker Don, romantic sister Olivia, and — astonishingly — the usually sceptical Great Uncle Charles, Marley decides to save this modern-day Mr Scrooge from himself, despite having no well-meaning ghosts to help her.

But revisiting the past doesn’t just stir things up for Kit. As Marley struggles to deal with bittersweet memories, present-day events take a surprising turn. Can the future be changed, after all? And is it only Kit who needs saving?

Moorland Heroes series

“Sharon Booth’s writing just gets better and better…” Review of Saving Mr Scrooge: Being Anne Book Blog.

“Everything you want in a Christmassy book”. Review of Christmas at the Country Practice: Writer up the Hill.

“A terrific book from a terrific author”. Review of Resisting Mr Rochester: Antrim Cycle

“There Must Be an Angel is one of those delightful stories that grabs you by the hand on page one”. Review of There Must Be an Angel: Jaffa Reads Too.

“A hugely entertaining jaunt of a novel through the Yorkshire dales”. Review of This Other Eden: Random Badger.

I’m currently working on the second in my Skimmerdale series, the sequel to This Other Eden. I’m very much enjoying revisiting my gorgeous Yorkshire Dales sheep farmer, Eliot! I’m also working on the third Bramblewick novel, which continues the story of the village surgery, and the medical and reception staff who work there.

You can find out more about Sharon and her book here – www.sharonboothwriter.com

**featured image – Whitby, Yorks – https://unsplash.com/@grafiklee

About Lizzie Lamb

I write contemporary women's fiction mostly based in Scotland with hot heroes, feisty heroines and always a happy ending. Along with three other authors - Adrienne Vaughan, June Kearns and Margaret Cullingford - I formed the New Romantics Press under which all our books are published.

Posted on January 8, 2018, in Lizzie's Scribbles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. Brilliant post, Sharon & Lizzie. Lovely to learn more about you, Sharon. Great writing tips too. Xx

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks for commenting Jan. I learned new things about Sharon too. I didn’t realise she’d written for people’s friend or was published in large print.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks Lizzie. Yes, two pocket novels and a short story with PF and two large print novels (and one awaiting a decision *fingers crossed*) with Ulverscroft. Thanks so much for inviting me onto your lovely blog. Just got home from work to find myself all over Twitter! 🙂 xx

        Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Jan. I don’t feel comfortable giving writing tips really, as I’m very much at the start of my own writing journey, and not qualified to advise anyone. I just said the things that I’ve found to be true for me, personally. xx

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Interesting post, lovely interview. What a work ethic, Sharon! Every one of your books – different settings, wide range of characters- just seems to hit the spot.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. What an uplifting and inspiring post, just like Sharon herself. She epitomises her beloved Yorkshire, warm and friendly with a heart of gold, yet full of grit and quiet determination to realise her dream. I love Sharon’s books, she’s a wonderful writer and has the uncanny knack of being able to produce a thoroughly enjoyable read, while still being on the edge of your seat at times! Perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sorry that took me so long DE, fecking facebook changed my share to AVA facebook page … took ages to change it back to me!!!??? A X

    Liked by 2 people

  5. And that wasn’t supposed to appear on your blog, that was a message to you! Grrr.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have read all of Sharon’s novels and I’m addicted to her stories. It was a real pleasure to find her here! You’re such an inspiration, Sharon! Exactly like the New Romantics 4 🙂
    Can’t wait to read your new books! keep them coming! Isa xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Morning Isabella, like you, I met Sharon through her books and Facebook. I love her stories and I’m glad that you do, too. I know that you went to university very near to Yorkshire, it’s God’s Own Country – as they say.

      Like

      • I went to University in Hull, and I used to travel to Scarborough very often, that is how I came to love the Yorkshire coast and sea, so much different to our Mediterranean, yet so magical to me. Unfortunately I never made it to Whitby that’s been been on my wish list forever now or Robin Hood’s Bay that I came to love after reading Sharon’s novels 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Isabella. You’ve been very supportive and I really appreciate it. xx

      Like

  7. I enjoyed reading your top tips, Sharon, and fully agree with Enid Blyton being a huge influence. Great post. x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Isa, you would totally love Whitby and RHB. We should get Sharon to show us round.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Joan Davies-Bushby

    Enid Blyton was my inspiration too… not to write but to read and I look forward to reading your books Sharon.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Mags Cullingford

    What an inspiring blog Sharon. Excellent advice whether you’re a wannabe writer, in the the throes of your current masterpiece, or doubting you’ll ever achieve your goal. Your entertaining, thoughtful novels set in ‘God’s own country’ are examples to us all.

    Liked by 1 person

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