Monday, November 07, 2016

Sharon Struth: 'The To-Do List doesn't fit the one-genre mold'



Bestselling author Sharon Struth believes you’re never too old to pursue a dream. When she’s not writing, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail.

The Hourglass (Etopia Press), her debut novel, is a finalist in the National Readers' Choice Awards for Best First Book and winner of the Chatelaine Award For Romantic Fiction. Her follow-up release, Share the Moon (Kensington Publishing) is a Barnes & Noble Romance Bestseller and first in the Blue Moon Lake Novel series.
She writes from Bethel, Connecticut, the friendliest place she’s ever lived along with her husband and dogs.

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About the Book:

Maggie Harris has her ultra-organized life well in hand, until she finds her neighbor and husband together, in her bed, and the tight hold she keeps on her world unravels, leaving her grasping for an escape. So how can she refuse when she’s handed the dream job of running her aunt’s bookstore and
a chance for a fresh start? Even though the bookstore is in Brockport, Connecticut, her former hometown, and a place she’d vowed to leave behind forever.

When someone breaks into Maggie’s new business and leaves a threat on the wall, Detective Cooper Stanton is assigned the case. It’s been twenty years, but Coop hasn’t forgotten the way Maggie once charmed him at every turn—even with her controlling ways. This time, though, Coop refuses to let her seize the reins. What he doesn’t know is she plans to grab them anyway…and she’s got a secret she never shared.


Watch the book trailer at YouTube!

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Sharon: A friend of mine wanted to file for divorce for weeks but couldn’t seem to get to the courthouse with the paperwork. She turned to me as we left an exercise class and said, “I finally filed the divorce papers yesterday. All it took was adding the chore to my to-to list.” I laughed and said, “That would make a great book opening.” The idea stuck and my book opens with a similar list.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Sharon: This book has layers. Keeping them balanced and threaded together was a challenge. I wanted the reader to feel the hometown comfort of a small New England village, embrace the rekindling romance of our main characters, laugh—because everyone should have some laughter in their day, and also get caught up in the mystery behind the threat for Maggie Harris to leave town, plus want to know why her father disappeared years earlier. My tip to other writers would be to make sure you are clear about your main character’s goals, motivation and conflict. Each time I start a scene or chapter, I think about those and make certain where I’m headed satisfies any or all of them. If it does, the thread stays joined. When it doesn’t, a story can easily lose focus.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Sharon. Most of my books are published through Kensington Publishing, like my Blue Moon Lake Novels. The To-Do List is my first attempt at self-publishing.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Sharon: My first book, The Hourglass, was published with a small press (Etopia Press). The biggest surprise was how, in the process of wanting a book published, I never really considered what it felt like to put your work out there for others to read. On launch day with my first book, I suddenly felt like I’d been stripped naked and left in the center of town! Even though I have more books to my name, it’s not always easy putting your work out there. But it’s definitely easier after the first one.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

Sharon: I recently signed a contract with Kensington for a three-book series called “The Sweet Life Novels.” Each book takes place in an overseas destination with the first—called The Sweet Life—taking place in Tuscany, Italy.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

Sharon: One thing about my book that might surprise readers is that it doesn’t fit the one-genre mold. It’s a journey that gives the reader a few treats… a meaty mystery, a truly heart-twangy romantic storyline, and a little light comedy along the way.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

Sharon: To trust where life takes us. As someone who likes to be in control (just ask my family), over the years I’ve learned to adjust my expectations with the people and circumstances around me. Going with the flow has merit. And it can lower your blood pressure, too!

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Sharon: Thank you! To those reading this, if you’re looking for a book that’s a little different, I hope you’ll give my work a try.