Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m excited to introduce you to Love Inspired Suspense author Sharee Stover! I very much enjoyed getting to know Sharee in this interview, and especially love her advice for authors. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m a Colorado native transplanted to Nebraska where I’m married to my real-life hero. He’s a law enforcement officer and I live what I call LEO Wife Life. It means finding bullets in the washing machine, dealing with SWAT calls that interrupt our family functions, and having my very own subject matter expert to bounce my story plots off of. Our three children ages adult to junior high are truly gifts from God, and our ridiculously spoiled German Shepherd runs the house.
Tell us about your current release: Tracking Concealed Evidence was a joy to research, and I am super excited to share it with you! Here’s the blurb:
Unearthing clues in a murder could be the last thing they do…
To salvage his reputation, former forensic entomologist Jamey Dyer and his cadaver dog search for clues in a dismissed homicide—and find the victim’s sister, Detective Shaylee Adler, buried alive. Convinced her senator brother-in-law is behind the attack on her and her sister’s disappearance, Shaylee needs Jamey’s expertise. But can they uncover a deadly conspiracy before the killer buries the case—and them—for good?
With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? I have books simultaneously living in different developmental phases all the time. While I’m brainstorming a new book, I’m writing a book, editing an already written book, and promoting my newest release. Whew!
Ideas and characters for my stories are always bouncing around in my head. I keep a notebook with brainstorming notes when a new story first begins to percolate, but the notes transition into a three-ring binder and index cards in Scrivener as the story develops. As the characters take on lives of their own, I save pictures of them (if a certain real-life person resembles how I envision them) and I use the character developer in OneStopforWriters (it’s a fabulous investment for any writer. No, I don’t get any kickbacks for recommending them, but for plotters like myself, it’s invaluable) and I build the character’s entire profile.
I also write out their backstory in first person, which helps me a ton. I need to know why they behave, think, and react the way they do. I want to know if they have quirks or phrases they prefer.
When I’m ready to plot out the story, I use my personal template developed from various sources to create the entire synopsis. So much of this work is never seen by anyone except me, but it’s the foundation for where my characters come to life.
Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I’m a plotter to the max but characters take on a life of their own at times which means being willing to make necessary adjustments. I basically plan to be spontaneous. LOL. I don’t do unplanned spontaneous in my writing or in life period. A surprise party would send me over the edge. LOL. So everything about my stories is complete before I start writing. I store documents like the character sketches, research, maps, etc. in Scrivener as well as three-ring binders complete with tab inserts that organize the information. My synopsis is usually 10-15 pages long and I write the first three chapters to get a feel for the book.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Number one, pray before you write.
Then, my simple mantra is never give up. Never give in. When rejections come, take a little time to grieve, I recommend 24 hours, then get back into the game.
Be a sponge when it comes to learning craft. No one knows it all, no one has it all figured out. Writers who teach other writers are offering their wisdom and brilliance. Take advantage of their kindness.
Read in your genre and especially in the publisher you’re aiming for. There are so many wonderful craft books, seminars, webinars, conferences, etc. Join a writing organization that helps you to learn and connect. There are many great ones to choose from.
Be picky how you spend your money and get the most ROI.
Connect with other writers. They’ll understand you like no one else.
Lastly, honest critique partners are invaluable.
Which of your characters most reflects your personality? In a way, all of my characters reflect parts of my personality. I have a dry sense of humor and they’ll often adapt that characteristic. I talk to my German Shepherd like he’s a human and even jokingly will have him respond.
Do you talk out plot lines with others, and if so, who? Yes! I have amazing writing friends and I love to talk out a storyline. My husband is also wonderful about talking through a book with me. I joke that he loves to shoot holes in my plots. When I’m stuck, talking through the story helps spark ideas. Writing friends and friends who are willing to talk writing are invaluable.
I often wondered….when you sit down to write that first line/paragraph in a new book/novella, is it difficult to get that started or do the words flow easily? Honestly, for me, the story always begins with how I envision the opening scene or inciting incident. I play it like a movie in my mind and that helps me to get it down on paper. But that first line is crucial, and I’ll spend a lot of time working through that repeatedly. It sets the mood of the book and draws in the reader…at least that’s the aim.
Do you have a particular character that you fell in love with and keep them alive in your mind? I do. I actually have several. Often my favorite characters are side characters like Will in Cold Case Trail, he’s a cantankerous cowboy who cracks me up, or Wesley in Untraceable Evidence who has the best personality and one liners. But Trey Jackson and his K-9 Magnum who are first introduced in Silent Night Suspect, get their own story in Cold Case Trail. They both are by far, my favorites. Magnum is a Belgian Malinois with a ton of personality. He’s my dream dog. Shh don’t tell my German Shepherd.
Find Sharee online: