Today, I have the great pleasure, of bringing you an interview with author Sharon K. Angelici. Sharon describes herself as a writer, poet, reader and dreamer. Her Twitter Bio states that she likes to turn hobbies into adventures, and take readers along for the ride. Let's find out more about Sharon and her work.
Tell me a bit about yourself?
I was born in the American Midwest. I lived an untethered childhood, without definitions and gender boundaries. As a young child, I dreamed of becoming an astronaut. My father is a 30-year retired Navy veteran, and I spent my starry nights dreaming about Annapolis military academy and being in space. The thing with dreams is that sometimes life has other plans. I had an injury in high school that killed military service, and there is also the pesky motion sickness that makes it hard to ride in the back seat of a car, forget about rockets in outer space. Through it all, I was writing; notes, silly stories, and heaps of poems. I went on to graduate with a degree in Police Science. I left law enforcement to become a full-time wife and mother—the most challenging and most rewarding job I’ve ever had, with no retirement plan.
In my downtime, I started writing fanfiction for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I identified with the bisexuality of one of the main characters. It was a part of myself I never understood, but I found a supportive community that helped me embrace that part of who I am. I started to write every day as a mental exercise. I found the courage to share it to get feedback from readers. The group was encouraging and harsh, which gave me the confidence to continue. The writing world can be incredibly generous.
My first published book was Dear Kane; what I wish we would have said. It is a powerful piece about parenting and the words we say that seem meaningless but crush. That story changes the reader, and I wish everyone would read it. I’m most proud of the message.
I write under my name, Sharon K. Angelici. Skangelici.com is my website, and you can find my writer page on Facebook under that same. I’m @edgyartist on twitter and insta.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember—little scribbles on paper and daydream notes in diaries. I still have a few of them. I was an imaginative wild child and lived in my head. I was fortunate to grow up in a house where I got to explore who I wanted to be. I wrote an essay in high school about administering CPR to save someone shot in a hunting accident. The English teacher who assigned the project encouraged me to get creative with words and become a storyteller. She helped me believe that writing could part of my future. I studied English and creative writing for the first few years of University, and I just kept putting words on paper.
Do you remember a favourite book from your childhood?
I got lost in the adventures of Anne of Green Gables and Laura Ingles Wilder. I’d read their tales and do everything I could to be like them. I was more of a “digging in the dirt” child than a reader. Television was a significant influence, but I also had a library card. Reading was essential to my mother, and some of my fondest memories were our trips together to the local library.
Tell me about your latest release titled ‘The Mark of The Maker’
My new book is the first in a series about following your passion and finding love at the same time. The main character in the story, Wildwood Blackstone, is a blacksmith who realizes life in her new town of Bannock isn’t what she planned. When she reaches out for help, the woman who responds brings more to the story than a romance.
I started working on the concept of this book on a retreat in 2017. I set it aside to work on another project and returned to pen it during the 2019 November writing month NANOWRIMO. I’ve been editing and working on book two, which I plan to release in 2021.
What do you enjoy about including romantic elements in your stories?
I’m not sure that enjoy is a great description. I think finding the one who fits into your life is a challenge. Why not write about it. I have the most encouraging family and have an adoring spouse who supports my storytelling. My bisexuality has never been front and center, but I thought it was important to represent that in Wildwood’s character. Romance isn’t always shining knights and heaving chests. Sometimes it’s a curled-up mess. We are all the sum of our lives; all the wins and losses come with us into our relationships. Bringing these two characters together was exciting, and book one is only the beginning.
Can you describe your writing process?
I’m not a massive fan of this notion of having a process. I scribble ideas in the notes app on my phone or dictate when working around the house. I have stacks of research and reference books very much like the characters in Mark of the Maker. Even though the world is mine, I still want it to feel possible— if you believe in magic and demons. For me, I write and research and write again. I do have a very cozy writing space.
What does literary success look like to you?
Success is interesting. I’ve been publishing for the last few years. Every time I hold a new book in my hand, it feels perfect. People ask me how to become a writer, and I say, write. Tell your story. Even if you never share it, there’s a level of success when you put it on paper. Most people talk about it but never do. It would also be great if people read my stories.
Who are your favourite authors, and how have they influenced your work?
My mother gave me books as gifts. For most of my life, reading has been about research. I spent an entire summer borrowing books about ancient Egypt on a quest to translate hieroglyphics on the side of a Senet board. When I find a subject of interest, I usually gobble up information about it. I don’t have a favorite author, but I do enjoy losing myself in a romantic adventure.
Are you working on anything at the moment?
I’m about 50,000 words into book 2 of the Maker series. I’ve had a productive writing year in 2020. I’d like to work on more freelance submissions, but I’m focusing on Bannock’s history and developing the love story between Wildwood and Shay.
In 2016 I published a short story, Dear Kane; what I wish we would have said. Although it is only fifty pages, it’s a punch to the gut and meant to start a conversation about the impact of the words we say to the people we love. I’ve been developing the story into a small group curriculum. I’m happy to say the first printed copies were delivered a few weeks ago.
What advice would you give a new author?
If you want to be a writer, write. Don’t fall into the trap of being blocked. I hear it and see it all of the time. When the story is ready, it will just flow.
Lastly, what interests do you have outside of writing?
I have a million interests. My son and I are part-time blacksmiths. We’ve made some beautiful pieces. We are always playing and tinkering with hot metal. This hobby helped cultivate the character of Wildwood, from Mark of the Maker. I’ve always been an artist. Creating with my hands isn’t much different than writing. Art is art, and I hope it finds its way into the right hands. In 2018 I started a personal experience project. My goal was to accomplish 365 personal firsts in 365 days. It was the most challenging year of my life, but it brought a ridiculous list of interests. When day 365 rolled around, I had a massive catalog of hobbies I wanted to go back and enjoy. I think I’m still recovering from that year.
Thanks to Sharon for giving us an insight into her work. If you would like to know more about her books, click on the links below.