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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Spotlight Author with Sharon Lathan


Welcome to my first Spotlight Author interview. I am so excited to introduce my friend, Sharon Lathan. For those of you new to her works, here's a little tid-bit of information...


About the author: Sharon Lathan writes best-selling stories that follow the Darcys of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice after their marriage. Her newest book, My Dearest Mr. Darcy, is the third volume in her Darcy Saga series, after Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, and Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley. In addition to her writing, she works as a Registered Nurse in a Neonatal ICU. She resides in Hanford, California in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. For more information on Sharon and her saga, come to her website at: www.darcysaga.net


About My Dearest Mr. Darcy: Darcy is more deeply in love with his wife than ever. As the golden summer draws to a close and the Darcys look ahead to the end of their first year of marriage, Mr. Darcy could never have imagined his love could grow even deeper with the passage of time. Lizzy is full of surprises. She is unpredictable and lively, pulling Darcy out of his stern and serious demeanor with her teasing and temptation. Looking ahead and planning for celebrations and life events large and small, Lizzy can still catch Darcy unawares when he least expects it.



Now for the interview…

1. For those up and coming Sharon Lathan/The Darcy Saga fans, give us a description of what your books are about.


My sequel gives lovers of romance, and especially great literary couples like Mr. Darcy and Lizzy Bennet, what they presumably imagine happening after turning the final page: the happily-ever-after life. I follow Mr. Darcy and his bride through the initial weeks into months as they learn to bond as a married couple, live within the society of the Regency Era, and experience the normal and extraordinary happenings of life. The plot is thematic; a saga-based tale heavy on the belief that a marriage can be passionate and contented with the bond growing stronger over time rather than the opposite. Here is a tasty sample from my latest novel, My Dearest Mr. Darcy –


He paused inches away, not touching for several seconds, and then reaching leisurely to her hair and began removing clasps and pins. Each tendril fell into his hands, slipping through caressing fingers. He toyed with curly tresses, pulling them gently as if springs, releasing with infinite care one by one the secured clumps of hair until wildly free over her shoulders. He uttered not a word. Lizzy panted in short spurts, a hazy part of her brain wondering how he consistently found ways to excite her to unimaginable heights by the simplest tasks. Now he laced long, slender fingers through the roots of her hair, massaging firmly over her scalp from nape to crown, only then lifting the heavy locks off her neck and combing tenderly until tangles unraveled. A dozen times he repeated the activity with studied meticulousness. Her lustrous hair crackled through his fingers, the varied hues of brown glimmering in the light with lavender rising to assault his nostrils.



2.What inspired you to write The Darcy Saga?


I was introduced to the world of Austen when I saw the 2005 movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. I was utterly entranced! That began a search for everything Austen and Regency. Eventually I discovered the world of online fan-fiction and read the various offerings primarily searching for a sequel. In time I realized that I had my own sequel playing as a movie in my head. My vision was of their marriage and when I never did find precisely what I envisioned in any of the fan-fiction I read, I took the plunge and began writing it myself.

I was inspired by the beauty of this timeless love story and desired to keep these characters alive. Mainly I wanted to give them the good life and blissful marriage that I believe Ms. Austen planned for them. I also fell in love with the time period and wealth of history. The more I learned about the era, the greater the urge to write this story.



3. How long did it take you to write the first book?


Loaded question! Originally I was writing chapter-by-chapter and posting onto my online website. I had no concept of the monster epic I had created until I looked into publishing what I figured might be one book. I was very wrong! At that time, some 10 months after starting, I had enough for 3 whole books. Crazy, isn’t it? So, I figure I wrote what is now Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy in 2 or 3 months. I sure wish I could say I maintained that pace!



4.What are the titles of your Saga?


The first is Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One. It begins on the afternoon of their wedding and proceeds through the first five months of their honeymoon. Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley follows immediately after the first as the Darcys travel to London and other parts of England in a series of adventures. My Dearest Mr. Darcy concludes the initial year of their marriage and sees the birth of their first child.



5. What do we have to look forward to from Sharon Lathan and her Darcy Saga in 2010?


Sharon will continue to be hard at work! Even as I type this, my editor is finishing up the initial edits for my fourth installment in the Saga. Romancing Mr. Darcy will be released in October. It immediately follows after My Dearest Mr. Darcy, but the pace picks up considerably and secondary characters play a larger role. The novel spans just over one year in the life of the Darcys, now joined by their firstborn. There will be a fifth volume, but it is not quite finished and will come out sometime in spring of 2011.

All is not lost for lovers of my Darcy Saga, however! In November of this year Sourcebooks is publishing a Darcy Christmas anthology. I have written one of the novellas, Reflections of Christmas at Pemberley, that offers snippets of holiday celebrations over 25 years with the Darcys and their ever-expanding family. I am very excited about this!


6. If you had to pick one character in your books, who would be your favorite? And why. Or if you don’t want to pick a favorite… which one do you connect with the most? And why.


I do have several favorites for various reasons. I really love Darcy. In fact, now that I think of it I tend to prefer my male characters to the female! Weird. My Darcy is a wonderfully complex character. He is the epitome of a manly man: strong, domineering, protective, capable, intelligent, passionate, virile, and so on. Yet he is also reserved, sentimental, sensitive, devoted, and possessing of a wry humor. I have often said that I relate to him far more than Lizzy because I too am somewhat shy and uncomfortable in crowds, preferring solitude and quiet.

Of course I love Lizzy as well. But my absolute favorite character is one completely created by me. Dr. George Darcy appeared in Loving Mr. Darcy and instantly stole my heart. He is simply amazing! He is supremely intelligent, eccentric, very funny, and so much more. You just have to read the books if for no other reason than to meet George!


7. Any advice for us aspiring authors?


Oh man, where to start! First off, keep writing! Do not give up or let anyone say you cannot do it. Persistence every step of the way is the key. Learning craft is great, but mostly you need to trust in yourself. Trust in the gift that is inside of you; that gift that gives you ideas and is your voice.

Think long and hard about who you are as a writer. You need to comprehend and embrace your style, be confident in the type of writer you are and the stories you want to tell. Think of your name and your writing as a “brand” that encompasses your website, logo, blogging, and everything else. It is a total package presentation that will aid tremendously when you are published.


8. What is your favorite thing about being an author?


Hands down it is the pleasure others receive while reading this story.

I love writing. I love my characters. I love the life I am giving them. I love the research. All of it is fantastic, even when faced with the hurdles that want to make me rip my hair out!

But the very best part is when satisfied readers write to me, or leave a glowing review, and I know that all the hard work has paid off by bringing happiness to someone else. That is why I write this story and that is the real pay off.


9. Now tell us a little bit about Sharon. Who are you? What do you do when you’re not writing hunky heroes and romantic love stories?


Ha! When you put it like that it is difficult to fathom why I would want to do anything else! By profession I am an RN and for 25 years I have worked in a neonatal ICU. It is the job that pays the bills, but I truly do love working with the babies and can’t imagine ever not being a part of that world. I am a happily married wife with 23 years of mostly-wedded bliss as a further inspiration to writing this love story. My “kids” are now 21 and 17, so parenting is not the huge role it once was, but you know, children always need their mommy! I try to be a housekeeper as well, but that role has sadly slipped in the past few years. LOL! Thank goodness my family is extremely supportive. Just don’t look closely into the corners or under the couch, okay?


10. Hobbies?


I read as much as possible, watch way too many TV shows, play a few mindless computer games, and think I need a 12-step support group for my Facebook addiction. Once in a while I manage a movie and lunch with my girlfriends or dinner with my hubby, and we frequently jaunt to Disneyland, but I am finding that time for much of anything else is next to impossible!


11.What does your family think about you becoming a published author?


My son is 17. This means he is very proud of his mom but far more interested in the X-box! My daughter loves that she can scan my books at her job in Target, is happily reaping the benefits of all the romance novelists I now know, is also extremely proud, but refuses to read my books because, “It is icky to read a sex scene written by my mom!” Point taken.

My husband is far more effusive than me on the subject! He is my agent, manager, fan groupie, shoulder to cry on, romantic inspiration, and cheerleader all rolled into one. In no way would I still be standing and sane if not for him.


12. How long was your road to publication?


I know I will get tomatoes lobbed at my head, especially when I say that at the time it seemed to take forever. I was completely ignorant of the business and when the query process dragged on and all I got were rejections, I felt doomed to failure. Time stretches when fraught with difficulty. And even after I received “the call” there were delays and issues.

Now I realize that the pace of how it all transpired was incredibly rapid. Ridiculously so, and believe me, now that I am aware of how blessed I have been, I am pinching myself and thanking God on an hourly basis. OK, from roughly the month I began writing until the month my first book appeared on a store shelf, it was exactly 3 years.

Go ahead, toss the tomatoes!


13. Any other events or appearances coming up?


Well, this Saturday – Jan. 16 – I will be giving a speech to this wonderful group of romance writers. The Yosemite Romance Writers group. Ever heard of them? LOL! I will be talking about the highs and lows of the publishing road. I hope all my YRW friends will be there. I promise to make it fun!

I recently sat with a reporter from the Fresno Bee for a feature that will print in the South Valley “Talk” section either this week or next. I am not sure as yet. That was lots of fun! Be sure I will be sharing it on the loop once it finally comes out.

My virtual blog tour continues with me guest blogging and interviewing all over the blog-o-sphere through to the end of Jan. Dates and links can be found on my website. Sourcebooks is giving away whole sets of my novels, so it is worth following me around!

Lastly, I will be talking to the Visalia Network for Women at a luncheon on Jan. 28. I am very excited about that!


Okay here is your fast five. Answer these next five questions with a quick one-word response.


Me answer in one word? Micole, do you not know me at all?!?! OK, I’ll try….

Dark or Milk Chocolate? Either!
Early riser or night owl? Night owl, totally
What song is loaded on your iPod right now? None. How sad is that?
Hamburger or Steak? Steak
TV Show that may not be your favorite, but it stops you in your tracks and you can’t walk away from if it’s on? Scrubs or Friends.

See, I knew I couldn’t do it! Micole, thank you for hosting me today, and for honoring me as the first ever guest on your fabulous new blog! I am so happy for you in taking this step. Great things are in store for you, my friend, I just know it! It has been a pleasure being here today. To help support Micole in her new venture, and as a small token of thanks, I will be giving away one signed copy of My Dearest Mr. Darcy. Simply say hi or ask a question of me or Micole, then check back on Saturday to see if your name was drawn. What fun!


Thank you so much Sharon for visiting Micole Writes Romance and for being my very first Spotlight Author. I wish you great success!!! Sending lots of hugs your way!! Now please remember friends, in order to be entered in the contest you must send either Sharon or I a comment on my blog comment page and you must also be a resident of the United States.

Thank you for stopping by.

Micole Black

22 comments:

Sharon Lathan said...

Good morning Micole! How exciting: The first Author Spotlight on your cool new blog!! I am so happy to be here today. I'll be checking in as often as possible, so everyone step up and say hi! Ask a question or comment or just wish Micole huge success with her new endeavor!

Laura Hartness said...

Sharon:

Wow-- you really are all over the place these days! Thanks for doing all of these interviews. I feel like I'm really getting to know you and your writing process by reading all of these.

Michole: Congrats on your new blog, I'm follower #10! And thanks for hoting this interview/giveaway. I look forward to seeing what else you'll have to offer us in reviews, interviews, etc. in the coming months!

Laura Hartness
The Calico Critic
CalicoCritic at gmail dot com

Sarah Simas said...

Hi Sharon and Micole!

Happy first interview....and what a lovely interview it is! How exciting!

Loved the questions, Micole. :)

Can't wait to see you both this weekend. Yay!

Sharon Lathan said...

Hi Laura. Yes, I almost feel a bit schizophrenic! I am here, I am there, I am everywhere! LOL!! Thanks for stopping by. And now that we are FB friends you will really see how crazed I can be. :)

Howdy Sarah. Micole did a great job on the interview. And the two of you did a great job on the website! So impressed.

OK, I gotta go get some sleep. People, don't be shy! Micole and I need your love! I will be back after 40 winks or so - maybe 50 winks - to see what is up. Let's roll....

Sarah Simas said...

Ha! If it were me, Sharon, I'd need more like 100 winks! LOL

This was all Micole's creativity- I just weilded the mouse and said, "Yes, ma'am." :) She has done a lovely job of carving out her own space!

((hugs to you both!!))

Micole Black said...

Michelle, for some reason I don't see your comment here, but i did receive it in my email. Thank you so much for stopping by. I do appreciate the wonderful comments. Unfortunately my book is not in print just yet, still keeping my fingers crossed for that, but all of Sharon's books can be found out our local Borders, plus many other places. Check out her website (sorry I don't know it off hand)you can find the address in her interview.

hugs

Micole Black

Micole Black said...

Laura,

I wanted to thank you for stopping by and adding yourself as a follower. I posted a message this morning, but apparently forgot to use my identity before it posted and I signed out of the screen. I wasn't trying to ignore you! :) This whole blog thing is all new to me and I am still learning.

I am so glad that you followed Sharon over here. It's so nice to meet you. I am looking forward to hearing from you again.

hugs,

Micole

Micole Black said...

Sarah, Thanks for stopping in... I tried so very hard not to copy your interview questions, but some of those things are have to know!!! :) i really appreciate all of the help that you have given me on starting this site!

See you Saturday.

hugs

Micole Black

Micole Black said...

Trease, thank you for your visit and comments as well. I love you too!!!

hugs

Micole

Micole Black said...

Adriane & Ginny... I see you guys added as followers Thank you!!! :) but no comments huh? Come on, don't be shy! :)

hugs

Micole Black

Donna O'Brien said...

Hey Micole and Sharon!

Great interview...both the questions and the answers. :) Very well done and exciting. Can't wait to see both of you Saturday. At what was it again?? The Yosemite Romance Writers whatchamacallit meeting??? LOL

Congrats to both of you! Sharon your Saga is awesome and taking off like crazy. Micole, way to spread those wings. :)

Donna O'Brien

Micole Black said...

Thanks Donna. Can't wait to see you either!!!!

hugs

Micole Black

Sharon Lathan said...

Micole, you are doing great! It takes a while to work out all the kinks. And then when you do, something will change at the hosting site or you will decide to expand and have to learn a bunch of new stuff! LOL! Welcome to the real world. :)

Yeah, Donna, just this little group of awesome women getting together to talk about sex, I mean writing - WRITING! That's right.... ;-)

See you on Saturday!

Nora said...

Yet another great interview for you Sharon.

Micole, I am considering starting a blog so am rooting for you. What is the synopsis for your book?


noralmoore@gmail.com

Ginny M. Christensen said...

Hello Ladies,

Congratulations to you both.

Micole: I admire you for taking this plung. I just cannot get there...not yet. I'll devote my time to comment on all your blogs (yours too, Sarah:).) Love the questions.

Sharon: I see in your answer (I believe it was) question #4, you infer to a "first child." Are we to assume there are or will be more children?

Dang woman, you are going to be in need of a secretary to maintain your busy schedule and newfound celeb-status. I'll be the first to volunteer. I'm very organized and good at typing. Or, your first groupie, I'd settle for that! LOL

Looking for to seeing you, and all my other YOSEMITE ROMANCE WRITERS friends this Saturday.

Hugs, Ginny

Micole Black said...

Hi Nora,

Let's see if I can do my thirty second pitch! (Wink)

Feisty Cody Johnson is overwhelmed by her bosses dying request.Lane Morgan leaves her not only in charge of his ranch, but also with the responsibility to find and bring back his estranged son, Jake. Once Jake is back,it is up to her to convince him to stay and take over where his father left off. Good thing she has a never-back-down attitude because it will take all that she’s got to convince this sexy, stubborn cowboy to stay.

Jake Morgan has only one thing on his agenda when he returns to Lemon Cove. To sell his father’s beloved, Morgan Ranch. Now maybe he can move on with his life and forget the tragic past he left behind seventeen years ago. What will he do when he finds out that his father left half of the ranch to that sassy Cody Johnson?

The journey then becomes getting Jake to know the father he fought with. It is Cody's responsibility to bridge the divide and connect Jake with his families legacy. While they both try to deny the growing attraction they feel to one another.

Hope that gives you a good enough vibe for the story Nora. thank you for asking and also thank you for stopping by my blog and becoming a follower.

I hope you have a wonderful evening.

hugs

Micole Black

Micole Black said...

Thanks Ginny! :)

Sharon Lathan said...

Hi Ginny! Don't sell yourself short, friend. You can do the blog thing and you will! Especially after hearing what I have to say this Sat. :) You know, the secretary is a good idea! Maybe I should hire my daughter! LOL!

Yes, there will be more children. ;-) Read on, everyone, read on....

LighthouseSandy said...

Congrats on your blog, Micole! Have fun with it and don't let it stress you out.

And great interview with Sharon! And of course terrific answers, Sharon. I'm a steak girl too! LOL. And I do love your Darcy. I love a romantic guy like him every time!

Micole Black said...

Thanks Sandy.

Laura Hartness said...

Michole:

Sharon wrote me last night to say that I'd won the signed book copy! So excited. Thanks again for hosting the interview and giveaway!

Laura Hartness
The Calico Critic

Micole Black said...

Congratulations to Laura Hartness for winning the autographed copy of Sharon's new book!!!! Thank you Laura for stopping by. Hope you become a regular here at Micole Writes Romance.

hugs

Micole Black