#AuthorInterview @BlaireSharpe and #Novel #NotReallyGone #5Star #RRBC
It is my distinct honor and privilege to welcome to my blog a good friend of mine and fellow RRBC member, Blaire Sharpe! Please, enjoy learning about this fascinating author and amazing woman.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
**Writing has always been a way for me to process my thoughts and feelings—a form of catharsis. Many of the chapters in Not Really Gone were born of frenetic scrawls in wire-bound notebooks in an attempt to ease my despair. Over time the idea of putting those thoughts into a book grew until I couldn’t ignore it anymore. So in some ways, I’ve always been a writer, but it took me a long time to turn myself into a published author.
What does your schedule look like when you're writing?
**I am mom to three very busy children and my husband has spent more of our marriage outside the USA than inside. If you read my book, Not Really Gone, you will see that I was virtually a single mom during my children’s infancy, pre-school and elementary years, while at the same time I was caring for my aging grandmother. Finding space when I have both the time and the mental and emotional energy to be creative has been a challenge. My writing life seems to come alive for months at a time, and then a situation will arise which causes me to pause for weeks or even months. But, even when I’m writing, I’m rarely only writing. I usually write a paragraph, make someone’s breakfast, write another paragraph, drive someone to school or practice…you get the picture.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
**I am not sure if this is a quirk, but I edit while I write. By the time I get to the end of a page, I have probably gone back and reworked the first paragraph three or four times. Even my blog posts, which are perhaps four or five paragraphs, take me three days to write. I write about half the post on day one, then leave it overnight, come back on day two, rework what I wrote the day before and finish up the post. Then I set it aside overnight again, and reread it several times, changing words and punctuation, etc. until I am satisfied and consider it ready to post. I reread my own writing over and over to make sure that the sentences flow and make sense.
What does your family think of your writing?
**My husband and children are very proud of me. To quote my 15-year old son the day my book went live on Amazon, “Our mom wrote an effing book!” That said, Not Really Gone is a hard book to read, especially for people who care about me. It is difficult for them to reconcile the tragic events in the book with the grounded woman they know. My husband has not read the book and I respect that choice. My daughter, who is 17, did choose to read the book, though I prepared her through many deep discussions beforehand. My boys are both too young yet.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned when writing?
**Writing is easy. Rewriting is hard. Publishing is tedious. Marketing is daunting.
What do you want to do for your next writing project and why?
**I am very private about my writing. In fact, many of my closest friends and family did not know I was working on Not Really Gone until after it was published. But I will tell you this: I have been playing with a fiction project that is very different from anything I’ve written before.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
**I love spending time with my kids. They are the three most interesting people I know! My daughter is into comedy and music, so she and I attend concerts and comedy shows frequently. My middle son has homeschooled for the past five years, so he gets most of my attention during weekdays. And my youngest is a travel soccer player and I am the team manager, so we spend a lot of time driving to practices and games. I find great pleasure in watching him play. For myself, I read voraciously. My guilty pleasure is TV and movies.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
**I wanted to be a ballerina. When an injury ended that dream for me, I floundered for a long time. I had a successful, but unfulfilling career in banking prior to leaving the workforce to have children. Later in life, I had the opportunity to reinvent myself and pursued a Masters in Counseling. I hope to return to private practice one day soon. Motherhood, counseling and writing…those are my callings.