Friday, June 12, 2015

Conversation 31: Sharon Anderson

Greetings all! Welcome back to Clockwork Conversations.

Please help me welcome today’s guest, author Sharon Anderson!

Sharon, please tell us a little about yourself!

SA: I grew up in a haunted house in the sleepy wilds of Ballard in Washington, where front lawns seemed grander, roads wider, my father’s hands larger, and everyone was a friend—or at least a potential audience member. I spent my time daydreaming, making up stories to share with the neighborhood kids. As for the ghost—a less creative person might chalk it up to older house issues and an off-the-charts imagination…

I am thrilled that my dark fantasy, The Stone God’s Wife, won first place in the 2014 Chanticleer Book Review Summer Short Stories and Novelettes Writing Competition. I write dark romantic comedies, or paranormal romances I guess, and have one published through Booktrope—Curse of the Seven 70s and have another book waiting to be polished, Sweet Life of Dead Duane.

I love taking old stories and turning them on their heads, so my vampire lore does not follow the typical vampire tales, nor does my zombie eat brains. My stories are dark and twisted with a sense of humor, because if you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re already in hell.

Q1: What inspires you most, in your life and in your artistic pursuits?

SA:  I write because it makes me a better, more sane person, so I suppose a person could say that my writing is the angst shed from my psyche. That would be a fair statement.

Q2: How important do you consider it to follow your passions in life?

SA: This is such a good question. I know that if a person neglects that secret passion, that one thing in life she’s always dreamed of, always thought might be the very thing to set her free, but dared not share it for one reason or another—that person will have a hard time finding fulfillment in life. I think we’re given our passions as neatly wrapped presents, complete with ribbons and bows, wrapped in exquisite paper some may be afraid to tear, so they never open the gift. But it is through the opening, the unwrapping, we discover who we truly are. When that happens we share it with the world, and the world becomes a better place, a more enlightened place, a place where others are encouraged to unwrap their gifts and hold them up to the light for all to see. It’s a beautiful thing to follow your passion! And here’s the thing, it might take a lifetime to completely unwrap the package, it usually does, because we’re always improving our craft, and that’s where I believe we find the greatest joy and the best high of all.

Q3: Besides writing, what other things are you passionate about?

SA: I love my writing community and do everything I can to support and encourage other writers. Nothing is better than noshing on food and sipping wine in my backyard (or anywhere) over discussions on character, plot, timing, accomplishments, how sales are going, what’s working, what’s not…I simply love my tribe.

Q4: I loved your blog post about an antiques store you visited that was quite unique. Could you share something of that experience with the readers here?

SA: My second cousin was the buyer for a high end gift shop in the Westin Hotel chain—and the summer before I turned 21 he took me under his wing, hired me as a sales associate, and sent me to the San Francisco store which is located right on Union Square. It was the first time in my life I had been away from home for that amount of time, and while I lived with his parents up in Petaluma and took the bus to and fro each and every day, I was virtually on my own, in a new, exciting town. I had the late shift, from 1-9:30pm, but I came into town every day at 10am to “live” in the city.

Now, I was a Clothing and Textile major at Seattle Pacific University, so of course I haunted all of the couture shops I could find. I remember the girls at YSL were so friendly, and welcomed me into the showroom, allowed me to look through the pieces (normally you’d have to have an appointment for a fitting…) –they were great. In fact, everyone I met was simply fabulous. I began recommending tiny nook restaurants, out of the way places, to my customers. It was both rewarding and fascinating to see businesses grow through word of mouth.

It was during that time I happened upon La Ville du Soleil and my ever-expanding world burst open. Oh, how I loved it there! The proprietors were among the first to import French lawn sale items into the States, and I having a passion for all things French, was in heaven. The shop was divided into different rooms, there was an upstairs, too, and as I went from room to room, the atmosphere slightly changed—the music, from opera to soft French country tunes to the beautiful voice of Danielle Darrieux—I was transported that summer, I was never the same.
Q5: *bonus question for everyone* Do you collect anything? If so, why?

SA: (Ha! I know you collect everything Frozen which I think is a beautiful thing) I seem to collect sea shells, I don’t know why, but right now I’m sitting in my living room and on the mantel is a row of sand dollars (they were dead when I found them), and a fossil of a scallop shell, across the room there is a collection of shells in a glass jar, and on the table by the window shells fill a clay pot my father-in-law made. Sometimes collections happen spontaneously—I really had no idea it was a thing for me until you asked the question!

Thank you so much for being my guest today, Sharon! It was a pleasure to visit with you!

You can find out more about Sharon and her writing by visiting her at: