Sharon Lynn Fisher writes sci-fi romance and battles writerly angst with baked goods, Irish tea, and champagne. Her novel Ghost Planet was named a finalist for the 2009 and 2010 Golden Heart Award, and she also took first place in both the Great Expectations contest and the On the Far side contest. Sharon’s first accomplishment as a writer came at the age of 10, when she received an honorable mention for her story “Ice Age Adventure” from Cricket Magazine. To learn more about Sharon and her writing, you can find her at the following links:
And now a little about Sharon’s back to back Golden Heart finaling manuscript -SHADOWED (previous title - Ghost Planet), which you’ll see in the Paranormal Category:
Psychologist Elizabeth Cole is about to discover three facts that will change her forever: She died en route to her new job. She’s been reincarnated as an alien. She’s bound to a man who believes she’s his enemy.
(Okay, can I just say I really want to read this book now? Just from those four simple sentences! )
I asked Sharon to tell us a little bit about herself before we dive into her post:
1) How long have you been writing?
Since I was six. The first story I remember writing was about a little girl who shrank and had an adventure in her grandmother’s strawberry patch. My sci-fi roots go deep.
2) Did you always want to be an author or is this something you fell into later in life?
I’ve wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember. Books have always been my passion, and as a child I played hooky so I could stay home and read. My first attempt at a novel came at age 13 — a story about a boy who used a spinning cube to travel in time. (Recognizing a pattern here?)
3) What do you do in your “other” life? (Day job, family, etc.)
I have a husband and young daughter, and I work as a freelance copywriter and editor. A friend and colleague of mine passed away two years ago, and she was only a couple years older than me. Since then I have simplified my life as much as possible so I can focus on my fiction writing. I’m also a mountain biker, food/wine enthusiast, shoe addict, and cupcake FREAK.
4) Who are your favorite authors?
This question is always really hard for me. Instead can I say the books that have inspired me the most? They are: A Wrinkle in Time, Watership Down, Jane Eyre, Lord of the Rings, Pride & Prejudice, Outlander, Maia, and Anthony Trollope’s Phineas Finn books. Also a nonfiction book called Touching the Void, because it is such an amazing story of survival through sheer mental focus.
5) Do you have an agent?
Yes, I’m represented by Robin Rue and her fabulous assistant Beth Miller of Writers House. More about that in my post…
6) Where do you see yourself in five years?
Supporting myself through my fiction, I hope, and trying not to stress about the fact my daughter is growing up too fast. I would also like to move to Ireland. I’m not sure my husband is going to go along with this.
(Oh, man…I want to go to Ireland with you…)
Okay, enough rambling from me. And now, in Sharon’s own words…
At that point in my life I was weaning an 18-month-old, and I was still telling myself that someday I’d get serious about my childhood dream of writing. I’d worked at it diligently for five or six years after college, but careers, relationships, and a cross-country move derailed all my good intentions.
I read Twilight, and it changed my life. It had less to do with the story itself (though I certainly read it as compulsively as the next person) than it did with reading the author bio, growing curious, and looking up the details of Meyer’s success story on her web site.
Meyer said the most important thing is to write the story that grabs you by the hair, drags you into a cave, and won’t let you out until you’ve finished it. Actually that’s not what she said, but you get the idea — write the story you love so much you feel compelled to tell it.
Even then, I knew how unusual success stories like hers are, but I’m a firm believer in “there’s only one way to guarantee it won’t happen.” So I took her advice to heart. Within a month of reading Twilight, I got the idea (or rather, IT got ME) for my two-time Golden Heart finalist manuscript, Ghost Planet (aka Shadowed). Eight weeks later I had a completed draft.
So much has happened since then… I signed with an agency that nurtured my talent and helped me evolve my manuscript. I attended my first RWA Nationals. I parted amicably from my agent when we both realized we weren’t the right fit. My book was named a GH finalist a second time.
A week or so after the GH calls went out this spring, I came full circle with my Meyer “connection.” I had queried an agent at Meyer’s agency, Writers House, during my first agent search. I was lucky enough to receive a manuscript request, and a wonderful critique from the agent’s assistant. Finding myself agentless in February, but fortified with a freshly rewritten manuscript, I approached the assistant again. She remembered my book and agreed to read the new version.
From the research Meyer had done before querying, she considered Writers House a dream agency, and so did I. I was proud of the work I’d done on the manuscript, but I tried not to have expectations. In early April I got the call — actually an email requesting the call — and I signed with my dream agent.
Today I wonder if I’d have had the guts to stick with it this far if I hadn’t read Meyer’s story. I mean, there’s a lot of terrific, essential information out there for writers these days, but much of it seems to imply there’s a better chance of Bella choosing Jacob than of you ever selling your book. You have to shut all of that out and write the story that grabs you by the hair.
Now it’s your turn! Do you remember the moment when you decided, “Okay, I’m really going to do this”? Who or what inspired you?