Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Sharon K. Connell
Sharon: Thank you for having me, Linda. Ko’olau’s Secret is basically about trusting God. A young woman finds that her father, an Army major stationed on O’ahu, Hawai’i, is missing. Even his commanding officer has no idea what happened. Kyleigh learns that her father gave the Honolulu Police Department some information about criminal activity, but she’s getting nowhere in finding out what they’re doing to find him or what’s going on. She’s not even sure she can trust the detectives who are handling the case. And they certainly aren’t going to stop her from looking for her missing father on her own, even if it takes her into the Ko’olau Range to see if he’s had an accident up there on the mountain and no one’s come across him yet.
LM: What draws you to the mystery/suspense genre?
Sharon: I love suspense and mystery, whether it’s in a book I’m reading or something on TV or a movie. I suppose that’s why I started writing it.
LM: Research is an important part of writing. What sort of research have you done for your books, and is there a particularly intriguing tidbit you stumbled on you knew you had to include?
Sharon: Oh, my! Another thing I love to do is research. I’ll ask questions of anyone who will talk to me when I start looking for information I need for a story. For my books, I’ve contacted the Navy, police officers, first responders, searched online for trusted sites to get specific information like the Army and FBI, and even contacted the Chamber of Commerce in North Bend, Nebraska for my story Treasure in a Field. For Ko’olau’s Secret, I joined the Facebook group All Things O’ahu Hawai’i to talk to locals on the island. I subscribed to magazines and newsletters from Hawai’i and made friends with several people who lived or were born and raised on O’ahu. People are more than generous with information if you tell them you’re a writer working on a story involving their expertise or locale, and you’d like to get the details correct. So far, I’ve not been turned down.
When it comes to stumbling upon information I wanted to include in the story, there was just too much. Tempted as I was to add things to the story really not needed for my plot or the scenes, I had to restrain myself. For Ko’olau’s Secret, I did add a section in the back of the book for some fun facts I thought the readers might enjoy learning about.
LM: What sort of routine do you have for your writing? (e.g. do you write at a certain time during the day, set up somewhere specific, etc.)
Sharon: When I first get going in the morning, I do some routine chores around the house, and then step into my office and start working on my current work in progress. Generally, I’ll do other chores as breaks from sitting at the desk. But I keep going until it’s time to make dinner. My writing is a full-time job to me, so I treat it that way. My husband made the guest room into an office where I have everything I need for my writing at my fingertips. It’s just like when I worked out of the home in the 9 to 5 world.
Linda: What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Sharon: That’s a hard one because I enjoy all of it. The first draft, coming up with little sub-plots, self-editing, getting critiques from my critique group, the research. It’s all a joy to me. But I guess if I had to be pinned down to a favorite part, it would be getting that notice that my book has been published, and then getting that first comment about the book from a reader.
LM: If money were no object, where is your idea of the ultimate vacation?
Sharon: I used to think that my ideal destination for the ultimate vacation would be in the United
LM: What is your advice for fledgling writers?
Sharon: 1. If you have an idea for a story, write it. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or any of the editing details until you have that story down from the first paragraph until you add “The End” to the manuscript. Then go back and start your first read-through of your story. That’s when you start to make corrections. 2. If God’s called you to write, write. Ignore anyone who says you can’t do it. 3. Take some classes in writing. If you can’t afford them or don’t have time to go to school for writing classes, join a free online course. Look around online and find something that fits what you need. 4. Get to know other writers. No one is an expert in this field so take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Use what works for you, and discard the rest. 5. Read, read, read. It’s the best way for you to learn how to write. You’ll learn what you think is the right way to do it, and you’ll learn what you’ll think is the wrong way to do it. Use what you learn.
LM: What is your next project?
Sharon: In time for the holidays, I’m putting together a cookbook called Simply Cooking. This will be a cookbook for beginners, and/or for those who don’t have time for gourmet recipes or simply don’t care to cook with ingredients not normally found in their kitchen. After the first of the year, I’ll be writing a story set in the Rocky Mountains, in Colorado. I already have notes on that one.
LM: Where can folks find you on the web?
My website: www.authorsharonkconnell.com
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sharonkconnell
Facebook Author’s book page: https://www.facebook.com/averypresenthelpbook1
Facebook Author’s Page: https://www.facebook.com/ChristianRomanceSuspense/
Facebook Group Forum: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChristianWritersAndReadersGroupForum/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharonKConnell
About Ko'olau's Secret:
With her best friend Marisa, Kyleigh sets off for O'ahu to find out what’s going on. Her father’s commanding officer has no idea where he is but ordered an investigation. The major had contacted the Honolulu Police Department with information about suspicions he had. But what information?
After checking with HPD, Kyleigh and Marisa are told Detectives O’Shea and Swanson were assigned to the case. But the detectives are not available to speak to. Kyleigh is still in the dark. She is not one to sit around and do nothing when her father is missing.
Could the mysterious Ko'olau Range, which holds many secrets, have an answer to her father’s disappearance? The two handsome detectives cause sparks to fly, and not the good kind. At least, not at first. Can Kyleigh trust them? Authorities had let her down in the past when her mother was killed and the murderer not apprehended.
Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1732923752