Our guest today is Sharon House, author of the historical romance, Brimstone and Water. Sharon and her husband Jon are retired and currently spend six months of the year in southwest Michigan wine country while traveling to warmer climates through the winter months. They have a married son and married daughter, gaining a daughter and son, and four very lively grandsons ranging in age from teenagers to adolescent to toddler. In college Sharon was a voice major with an English minor and loves to sing in her local church choir. She credits writing to her maternal grandfather who owned and edited a small town newspaper in the early part of the 20th century and left a little ink in her veins.
Thank you for this interview, Sharon. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I’m married with two grown married children and grandmother to four boys ranging from toddler to young adult. I worked at the local county mental health outpatient facility for 25 years and wrote my first novel during that time that was published in 2006; four years prior to my retirement. My maternal grandfather was the owner/editor of a small town newspaper in the early 20th century and I believe he left a little ink in my veins.
I wrote my first article 23 years ago for a Multiple Sclerosis Newsletter after returning to work from a five month medical leave that focused on my experiences when diagnosed with the disorder and being blessed to have gone into remission. Since that time I served as the editor for my church newsletter for several years as well as recording secretary to the church board. I continue to work on historical/fiction novels and find the research especially interesting.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
The book has two main female characters, Mynah, princess of the royal family from the ancient Minoan Culture on Crete that is the ancestor to Caralynn Davidson who is orphaned as a toddler and raised by her grandfather and great aunt. She grieves the loss of her grandfather as she takes over the reins of the family estate near a small Swiss village, but the Brimstone and Water from millennia ago that destroyed an ancient civilization is about to change her life. She receives a letter from her grandfather, charging her with the mission of bringing an ancient soul to rest.
For generations, Mynah has visited the women in Caralynn’s family, and now Caralynn knows the time has come to visit Mynah herself. She learns in this compelling story about love and a soul crying out to be free that even Brimstone and Water cannot keep a family apart.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
I enjoy learning about history and when I watched a PBS special a few years ago about the possible answer of how the Minoan Culture of Crete was destroyed several millennia ago I thought, what if?
Placing fiction in history helps to bring the history to life for me and I hope for the reading audience as well.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
The greatest challenge I believe was finding the few bits of known history and tying that to the story line. While it is a stretch of the imagination to believe a spirit will call this far into the future, it isn’t improbable. I also found it challenging to find Egyptian names that fit the personality of the character involved once the story moved into ancient Egypt.
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
Brimstone and Water is published through Tate Publishing out of Mustang, Oklahoma.
Was it the right choice for you?
Tate was very good working through the publishing process. My editor challenged me to make the writing as professional as possible while helping to keep the story flowing for the reading audience. The team provided insight into cover design and layout while being sensitive to the author’s wishes.
How are you promoting your book thus far?
Tate assigns a marketer to their authors that will assist with contacting bookstores, libraries, organizations I find in an area where we will be staying in our RV. The marketing department will continue indefinitely to assist the author with any marketing requests.
How is that going for you?
So far the traditional venues are scarce with few sales.
Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
I have done signings at traditional bookstores with mixed results. I also did a presentation at a local Lion’s Club that was well received and provided sales and I did a special presentation when we were at an RV park in Alabama that went over well.
Do you have another job besides writing?
I retired in May 2010 as an Administrative Assistant with the local county mental health agency.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
I would say keep a business card with you at all times. I often give out my card with the name of my book, the cover picture and the link to purchase through the publisher on the front of the card. On the back of the card is a quote from the book.
What’s next for you?
My next project is getting my third novel “Return to Nineveh” a sequel to my first WWII historical/fiction novel published and marketed.
Thank you for this interview, Sharon. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?