AuThursday – Shara Lanel

Q: How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing my whole life, but I really decided to focus in on romance and a career in writing about 9 years ago. I joined my local RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapter and learned so much about the craft of writing and the professional side of things.

Q: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Start by learning your basics. Read Strunk and White’s Elements of Style and find a critique group or partner (preferably who knows more than you do). Attend any local writing workshops or meetings you can, and when you feel you’ve improved, enter some contests. Contests that offer critiques of your 1st chapter will give you an idea of how much more you need to learn. Don’t even worry about agents and editors until you’ve got a good handle on the craft.

Q: How did you deal with rejection letters, if you received any?

Well, that depended on what mood I was in and how many rejections I’d received in a row, like the time 20 agents rejected me in one month. Sigh. The reason I got so many rejections at once was because I was submitting like crazy. This meant I also received a few requests, so it was worth it. In some cases a rejection has made me determined to submit something better to the same publisher—I see it as a challenge. Sometimes you need to get a little angry to keep going, but don’t ignore the advice in the rejection when someone takes the time to give you specifics—that’s rare and useful.

Q: Any recent appearances that you would like to share with us about/any upcoming ones?

On Valentine’s Day five authors from my RWA chapter signed at our local Barnes & Noble. The store had a lot of foot traffic that day, so it was a very successful signing. I like signing with at least one other author so I have someone to chat with during the slow times. To keep up to date with my signings, etc , I have a Yahoo loop, announcements/newsletter only—not a chat loop. Join here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sharasezone/join

 

Q: Do you have a favorite hero in all your books? For any particular reason?

I fall in love with each of my heros. I love Rick from Enlightened Love because he was my first and very fascinating (a virgin ex-monk). Then there’s Heath in Primitive Passion. He’s sexy, demanding, and a bit…well…primitive, but he’s fighting his own darkness—and that’s what I love the most about him. It makes him vulnerable.

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?

This is constantly changing. For a while I bought every Evanovich book the second I could get my hands on them. I love older Nora Roberts—I haven’t read her as much lately—and can get deeply engrossed in an Elizabeth George novel (she also has an excellent writing book that I love). Most recently I just read book number one in Wendy Roberts Ghost Dusters series. Loved it!

Q: What´s coming up on your schedule, book-wise, in the next year?

I’ve finished a cute novella about a ghost hunter and a groovy 60s ghost, but it doesn’t have a home yet. Meanwhile I’m working on a sequel to my Loose Id release, Blame It on the Moon. No finish date yet.

Q: HOW “HOT” DO YOU LIKE TO MAKE YOUR SEX / LOVE SCENES AND WHY?

I like the scenes to fit the characters and the story. The characters and their emotions are what make each sex scene hot, whether it’s traditional or…ahem…alternative.

Q: WE ALL KNOW “SEX” SELLS…………HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ASKED TO “SEX-UP-YOUR-BOOKS”?

When I sold my first book to Liquid Silver Books, I was given an excellent editor who not only helped me heat up my book to LSB standards, but improved my overall writing. I am so indebted to her. Since then I gained a much better grip on the market, so I can cater the heat to the publisher.

Q:  Where can Reader’s find you on the World Wide Web?

My web site is www.SharaLanel.com. You can also find me on Facebook and my MySpace page is http://www.myspace.com/sharasezone.

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