Author Spotlight – Sharon Sala (and her animal companions)

I fell in love with Sharon Sala’s books way back when. The first book I read of hers was Sweet Baby, a romantic suspense with psychologically and emotionally complex characters that stuck in my head long after I finished reading. Her small-town romances are my favorites now, but no matter which of Sharon’s books you pick up, you won’t be disappointed. Her characters are always complex, her settings are always rendered so well that you have the experience of being there as you read, and her plots are always believable. Her next book is The Best of Me and is #13 in the Blessings series.  It is hitting the shelves April 26th – so be sure to grab a copy for your Spring Break reading!

What inspired you to become a writer?

I have always been a dreamer. As a child, I lived in day dreams throughout my waking hours, and walked in other worlds and other dreams as I slept. From as far back as I can remember, I would plan what I wanted to dream about, then go to bed and dream it. My books are dreams. From start to finish. Like movies. Sometimes with dialogue and in color. I’ve been told my stories are very visual to the readers, which does not surprise me, because that’s how they come to me. I see them. I don’t think them up. They’re already with me. All I have to do is sit down and write what I see in my head…

But I don’t know that I would ever have started writing if it hadn’t been for a family tragedy. In May of 1985, my father died. It was complications from diabetes and liver failure. Even though he’d been a recovering alcoholic for over 20 years, all the years prior had done damage to his body that couldn’t be fixed. But then in August of the same year, my younger sister, Diane, committed suicide. She was diagnosed bi-polar as a young woman, and her struggle for normalcy was hard and heartbreaking, and it left her five-year old daughter without a mother. Losing both of them within the space of three months was devastating. Their plans for tomorrow were never going to happen. Next week. Next month. Next Christmas… no longer existed for them.

I was sitting in the church at my sister’s funeral with my 5 year old niece tucked up against me, with the realization that if I was ever going to share the stories I lived with, then I had to make it happen. No one would even know they were in me unless I began writing them down. One thing led to another. I wrote two books and put them under the bed because I didn’t know how to put down on paper what I saw in my head. And then I joined a writer’s group. And then joined RWA, and learned about pacing and plot, and point of view and dialogue, and never looked back. The third book I wrote, which was Sara’s Angel, became the first book I sold. That was in 1991. This year, my 135th book was released.

Writing saved me time and time again… and it has sustained me through the past 31 years of being published. All I know is I’m not through. I’ll die with untold stories still in me, but I treasure the gift of storytelling that I was given.

Career Highlights

Sharon was first published in 1991 and has received an impressive list of awards and accolades throughout her career, including:

  • New York Times/USA Today, best-selling author
  • 135+ books published in six different genres – Romance, Young Adult, Western, Fiction, and Women’s Fiction and Non-Fiction
  • Eight-time RITA finalist. (Romance Industry award)
  • The Janet Dailey Award
  • Five-time Career Achievement winner from RT Magazine
  • Five time winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award
  • Five time winner of the Colorado Romance Writer’s Award of Excellence
  • Heart of Excellence Award
  • Booksellers Best Award
  • Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award presented by RWA
  • Centennial Award from RWA for recognition of her 100th published novel

Learn More About Sharon:

Sharon’s website: www.sharonsalaauthor.com
Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/sharonsala
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/sharonkaysala

Upcoming Release

The Best of Me

Take a trip to Blessings, Georgia, where bestselling author Sharon Sala welcomes you with a touching small-town romance:

An orphaned little girl who desperately needs a new home
A couple ready to welcome her with open arms
Friendly neighbors who are always there for each other
A Southern small town where great things happen to good people

Ruby Butterman and her husband, Peanut, cannot have children, but they’re given a second chance at a family when eight-year-old orphan Carlie is left in their care. It’s a challenge for Carlie to adapt to a new town, a new school, and a new family, and when she gets bullied at school, Ruby and Peanut discover how to step up as parents, and how to make a forever family for their beloved little girl.

ORDER ON AMAZON


Meet Sharon’s Animal Companions

I was so impressed with the bios Sharon wrote for her granddogs! Not only is she a fantastic writer, she’s an animal communicator too! (Well, to be fair, we all are, if we’ll allow ourselves to be.) I felt like I knew Winston Miller and Geenie Dog before I even connected in with them.

Winston Miller (the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel)

I’m Winston Miller. I’m a Ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel., and I came to live with my humans when I was about two months old. My humans are Daniel and Kathy. Daniel’s other grandmother raised me. She has lots of dogs and because I was so special, she gave me to her grandson to live with forever. I was scared at first, but now I love it. And they love me. I am four years old now. Sister (Geenie) taught me to chase squirrels and birds, but I don’t know why. I like to run with her when she chases squirrels, but I don’t like them. They’re scary. Sometimes I just runs right past them. Once I ran over one a squirrel as I was chasing Sister and that squirrel and I both fell down. I was scared. I ran back to the house. I’m not very brave like some dogs, but I’m really good at being a friend. I like to cuddle beside Kathy, and I lay on her feet sometimes when she’s sitting down just so I’ll know when she gets up. That way I can follow her into the kitchen and beg for a piece of ice. Sometimes I sleep with Daniel, but I like sleeping with Mama Kathy better., even though they say I snore. I love my humans, but I love Mama best of all.
My Grammy is a writer. We lived with her for a whole year. She’s very quiet when she writes. I like quiet. And Grammy always sneaks me treats. Even though we don’t live with her anymore, she still brings the best treats because she loves us so much.

What’s your favorite thing to do while your human is writing?

My favorite thing to do is run and play. And get treats. And sometimes sleep. My favorite things don’t change. It doesn’t matter to me whether my human is writing or not.

What’s your mission in life?

Um… I don’t know. Am I supposed to have one? I like to run and play. Can that me my mission? I also like to get the most treats. I’m very good at acting like I didn’t get mine, so then I’ll get extra. Can that be my mission? I love everybody. Maybe that’s my mission.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Not really. I do have advice for people though. People should take some time every day to pet their dogs, because that’s the main way dogs heal their people. I’m very glad that my family knows this.

Geenie Dog (mix-breed)

I’m Geenie Dog. I’m what they call a mix-breed dog, but who cares. I have pretty white hair, a heart-shaped black nose and a little black mouth. I don’t have a tail anymore. Someone cut it off when I was a baby. I wasn’t a year old when a man took me to a park and left me there. I was lost and hungry when a human and her little boy found me and took me to their house. She called him Daniel. He called her Mama. I learned later that other people called her Kathy. I didn’t have a name, so Kathy named me Geenie, because I just appeared out of nowhere in their lives.
I’m a good mouser and I take care of my family. I chase out anything in my yard that doesn’t belong. I don’t like cats. And I don’t like squirrels. So I chase them away. Sometimes now when I go out I can’t remember what I was going to do or where I was going. But Kathy or Daniel always come to remind me, and give me treats. I sleep in bed with my boy, or in my bed on the floor beside Kathy’s bed, because that dog (my baby brother) that came to live with us four years ago sleeps with her. That’s okay with me. Kathy’s bed is too tall for me. My boy build a ramp beside his bed so I can walk up it just fine.
I have a Grammy, too. She’s a writer. We lived with her for a year. She made me a bed in front of the fireplace and had treats for us all the time. We don’t live with her anymore, but she still visits, and brings the best treats ever.

What’s your favorite thing to do while your human is writing?

My favorite thing about writing is getting treats. But I also like to sleep and doze and soak up the knowledge that I am loved. I can’t rest for long though, because I have a big job to do, and I have to check often to make sure that the yard is clear of varmints. (Her use of the word varmints makes me wonder where she may have heard that… Sharon, maybe?)

What’s your mission in life?

My mission is to keep my people safe. I take care of everyone in my family, including Winston. I tried to teach him how to be a dog, but he doesn’t seem to want to learn. I worry for him. He needs a keeper. I hope that I will live for a very long time so I can continue to take care of him. (He’s not very smart.)

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Yes! Writers should write. They need to spend a lot of time sitting in a chair. They should have a dog nearby to help them stay focused, but also to help them get up and move every now and then. And they should keep treats handy, to let the dogs know that their work is appreciated. Writers should not have cats. Cats are bad.

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