Saturday, November 14, 2009

Welcome Sharon Hooper!


I love meeting new authors and so it's exciting to introduce Sharon Hooper, author of THE DIARIES OF AVALON ROSE: FIRST BLUSH.  FIRST BLUSH is the highly sensual first volume in the series about Avalon's adventures, and her lineage that goes back generations.  Romantic Times calls THE DIARIES OF AVALON ROSE: FIRST BLUSH "a promising debut" and Night Owl Romance says "Sharon Hooper has written a great story that is both titillating and scorching. It also leaves the reader eagerly turning the next page."


Sharon stopped by to chat with me and answer some of my typically probring questions....  So, welcome, Sharon!  It's great to have you as my guest.  Let me start this interview with question about childhood....


Erin:  What was your favorite thing to do as a kid?


Sharon:  As a kid, growing up in Portland, Maine, most of my favorite activities revolved around being outside--ice skating in the woods, tobogganing, hay rides, camping at the lakes and going to orchards to pick apples in the fall. In the summer, the beach was the thing! As teenagers, my friends and I thought nothing of biking ten miles to the nearest stretch of sand, but I have to admit, we did call our fathers now and then, begging for rides home. I also loved to read and created hideaways at home with signs pinned to the blankets, daring anyone to disturb my privacy.


Erin:  I think I had my nose buried in a book from the time I learned to read until...well...still do...  Next

Question....Do you believe in ghosts?

Sharon:  Absolutely, I believe in ghosts. When I was younger, my imagination (or maybe not) used to play tricks on me in the house where I grew up. It was a lovely three story Victorian, which was divided into two homes. The house was built in 1898 for a family with five daughters. When I lived there, one of the daughters (then quite elderly) still lived there on the first floor, but slept on the third floor. We lived in the middle floor. Every night at 9 p.m. we could hear her walking up the back stairs to the empty “attic,” still to sleep in the room she had been born in. Many times, in the dead of night, I was sure that I heard a swishing sound that echoed through the stairwell, but I couldn’t convince anyone that there might be a ghost.

When we lived in the Northwest woods for 12 years recently, I had many magical experiences. Indian voices frequently spoke to me. I even found myself in occasional trances which all involved Northwest Native American episodes. About ten years ago, before we moved to Sedona, we intermittently stayed in various cottages up Oak Creek Canyon. One night, I was sound asleep and I felt warm air blowing in my left ear. I sat straight up thinking my husband was playing a joke, but he was still snoring. Looking quickly to my left, I saw the form of a statuesque and handsome man with almost copper- colored skin, smiling, his body just beginning to disappear. I asked the proprietor about it the next morning. She said that a few women had had encounters with this person, who she believed was her father (and quite the ladies man) who had built the cottages.

Erin:  Wow!  My ghosts are mostly in my head--not complaining about that, though!  Next question, If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction?



Sharon:  Hmmm….My life has been so diverse, it would have to be a combination of drama, comedy, romance and action. I love having lived all these segments! I’ve never been accused of being a “drama queen” but have lived through much drama, including your usual challenging childhood, then the first marriage that was more drama than romance. However, I was blessed with my father’s sense of humor and indulged in more of a comedic/adventurous lifestyle once I got through therapy  One can choose to excel through life’s adversities or cave in. I love being of service to others…and also being balanced and tending to my own diverse needs.

I’ve been madly in love with my second husband for 25 years and absolutely adore my two sons and three grandsons. I facilitate retreats, love being on retreat by myself, hike, travel, play African drums, am passionate about helping women succeed in life and business, carry books with me everywhere and love love love evening fires with marshmallows at the beach. Except for my own solo retreats, my head is always in action, thinking up new businesses, ideas and stories. And my other profession as a life and business coach allows me to indulge in all these concepts without having to personally make them happen! However, I am also blessed with reading wondrous unpublished books since my husband and I have our own publishing company. Yes, I am busy…and I know there is a special place in heaven for entrepreneurs.

Erin:  I think my life would definitely be a comedy--the kind that makes you laugh so hard that you pee your pants.  Can't complain about that.  I've been married only once and to the same man for almost 22 years.  Sometimes it feels like forever, but in a good way.  Now, onto the most important question.... tell us about your latest release and why you think we’ll love it!




Sharon:  My latest release, The Diaries of Avalon Rose—First Blush, was quite an adventure! I have to admit this “first” Avalon Rose is kind of quirky, but definitely captivating. All the characters have strong and amiable personalities. The book describes events that take place in 1877 at an English country estate southeast of London. When Avalon takes up employment as a domestic, she discovers that the staff is made up of unusually attractive men and women whose duties require more than just cleaning and cooking. She quickly falls in love with two men and leaves the estate after only one week when she receives a huge surprise!

Since it’s my first romantic enterprise, I was delighted when it got terrific reviews from Romantic Times Book Reviews, and even a “top pick” from Night Owl Romance. I had great fun letting the character lead me on a merry romp through my imagination and the keyboard. The book actually wrote me once Avalon’s name came to light in my mind. And when I decided to add illustrations throughout the book, it made the story feel more alive.

I labeled the book “Victorian erotica” because there are sexy scenes with women together and also many hot settings with men…and, well, maybe a few men and one or two women. There will be several books in the series, all diaries and journals from Avalon’s heritage dating back as far as the middle ages. I’m working on the second diary now, Entwined Desires (April distribution), the continuation of Avalon’s story in 1877 and her mother’s narrative of daring love and adventure which begins in 1840. Okay, a little hint about book two…the mother is sent to a convent in Italy for misbehavior, and then the fun begins—in fact, it leads her all the way to the Vatican!



Subsequent books will be much longer than First Blush. I’m excited about deepening plots and correlating more history with the Avalon Rose lineage…intelligent, empowered and merry women of romance and intrigue…and sometimes downright dangerous. Who knows which diary will take up the threads after Mother’s spicy exploits?!

Erin:  Sharon, thank you so much for stopping by!  It's been such a pleasure to meet you and learn more about your books!

Readers, don't forget to enter the contest at http://www.erinquinn.info/Contest.htm.  If you leave a comment for Sharon, you'll double your chance of winning!

Don't forget to stop by my site to see my new cover for HAUTNG WARRIOR.  My OH MY, it's a beautiful thing. http://www.erinquinn.info/index.htm

13 comments:

robynl said...

I love that the story takes place at an English country estate southeast of London.

Thanks for sharing with us Sharon.

Kim Watters said...

Nice to meet you Sharon :)

SiNn said...

ty for sharing with is Sharon ill be sure to pick up this book sounds awesome

GladysMP said...

To say you have led a varied life is putting it mildly...from Victorian home, to Indians, to ghosts. But for some reason what stood out in your life for me was your playing African drums. How did this come about and do you still play them?

photoquest said...

This sounds like a fascinating story!
photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Virginia C said...

Hi, Sharon! Those Victorians were actually a very naughty bunch! The cover of "First Blush" is beautiful, and it would draw me to read the book knowing it contained a great read. I also believe in "visiting spirits". Some people are more recptive and open-minded, and they are more likely to receive a "spirited contact". Best wishes for your latest release.

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

susan said...

Morning Sharon, what a nice interview and quite interesting..loved the questions too and they allowed me to know you more, Sharon. I am new to your books but planning to change that very soon. I have missed so many good books and just finding them since I retired and have more time to read. ha Happy Thanksgiving.

Sharon Hooper said...

Thank you so much for all your comments! I've loved visiting England and had no idea that I would ever be writing about it. Several years ago when I had a booth at the Birmingham trade show, my husband and I came early and spent six days in Chipping Norton. I fell in love with the Cotswalds and plan to return next year a few months after my Italy retreat in May where I'll be facilitating a writing/medieveal village retreat.

And yes Gladys, I've had a varied
life--some of it planned and many other episodes taking my life by surprise. When we moved to Friday Harbor, WA, in 1989 with our fledgling company, the women who lived on the island were very welcoming. One day I was watching a movie and decided that I needed to know how to play djembe drums. I convinced five friends that we needed to take professional lessons and within ten months,we were having quarterly women's circles at my home with anywhwere between 35 and 150 women attending. I so miss our candlelit talking circles and then the high energy of drumming and dancing! I believe that we all have many passions and that it is our job to foster every one of them...one at a time! Unfortunately, I have not kept up with my drumming since we moved to Sedona. However, you have inspired me to move into action just by asking the question. Thank you!

Love to all of you. Please feel free to drop me a line anytime. You can also use my sharon@VisionJourneys.com address!
Sharon

Andrea said...

Erin, Thank you for having such an interesting author.

Sharon, Thanks for sharing the paranoraml experiences. Your series sounds great and I will definitely check it out.

sherry said...

This sounds like a very interesting book thanks for such a great interview.

booklover0226 said...

This book sounds great; I look forward in reading it.

Thanks,
Tracey D

gigi said...

Hi Sharon,
You must be a kind of divining rod for ghosts.
I love the cover for Avalon Rose.
It is really beautiful. I also love stories set in Victorian England.

Pat said...

I like books that place in England, and wish I had lived in their victorian era. It's so dignified and proper, so different from our hurried lives.