In 2013, I interviewed Sharon C. Cooper, “wife, entrepreneur, Virtual Assistant, freelance writer, playwright and author and not necessarily in that order,” she says. If you’re not familiar with her work, feel free to click on the book covers, they are Amazon linked. You can also find her books at Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.
Grab a cup of coffee or tea, take a seat and relax while we learn more about Ms. Sharon C. Cooper!
Who is Sharon C. Cooper? What are your passions outside of writing?
Hmm…who is Sharon C. Cooper? Well, I’m a wife, stepmother, sister, entrepreneur and an author (and not necessarily in that order). I love rainy days, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (smashed), and I absolutely love, love, love to laugh.
When I’m not writing I’m usually spending time with my amazing husband, doing fun things like playing golf, shooting pool, or going on long walks. When I’m not hanging with Mr. Cooper, I’m usually reading (avid reader) or reorganizing something in the house (I love organization…and containers – I would definitely be categorized as an “A” type personality…but I’m trying to change). I also do volunteer work at a local women’s shelter.
Great admiration for your volunteer work! Where are you from?
I’m originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but moved to Atlanta, Georgia by way of San Diego, California a few years ago.
Tell me about life growing up? How does it affect your writing?
**perfectly arched eyebrows drawn together with a finger tapping my cheek**
Hmm…now that I think about it, I guess I had a good life growing up. Not only do I come from a family of entrepreneurs, but I come from a family of jokesters…or funny people – which is probably why I enjoy laughing so much. I grew up in a Christian home where there was a lot of love, and a whole lot of laughs!
I can’t help but think about our Thanksgiving dinners. My mom is an AMAZING cook, so holiday meals were…and still are huge. Re: Thanksgiving dinner – after everyone says what they’re thankful for, we tell jokes (STILL). It’s as traditional as having turkey and dressing sitting in the center of the dining room table on Thanksgiving day. Granted, laughing with our mouths full is probably not the best thing to do – but we all look forward to it and everyone comes to dinner bearing jokes (even “yo mama” jokes)!
As for how my life growing up affected my writing – I didn’t really come from a strict household – probably because I didn’t give my parents any trouble – which forced me to make up “stuff” to put in my diary. I’m serious, a big junk of my daily diary entries were made up. I wanted my life to seem eventful…just in case someone read my diary (I wanted to entertain my reader). As I got older, I didn’t have to make up “stuff” but I did start putting disclaimers in the front of my journals – “Read at your own risk. There just might be something in here about you!” Lol!
So I guess making up things for my diary has played a role in my writing now – I still have an over-active imagination. I also have strong work ethics. My parents are hard workers and have been wonderful examples to my siblings and me. We’re all pretty disciplined and serious about reaching our goals. Those qualities…if you can call them that have definitely helped me in reaching my writing goals.
When did you know you were a writer?
Interestingly enough, I never really thought about it, but if I had to pick one specific moment, I’d say it was when I received my first email from a reader. Nikki, I know you’re familiar with the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when a reader takes time out of their busy schedule to let you know how much they enjoy your work.
That, I now have the privilege to enjoy Sharon. There is nothing like it! What genre do you write?
I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense, although lately most of my story ideas have been more in line with Romantic Suspense…now I just have to get all the ideas down on paper!
What motivates you to write?
I have so many characters and story ideas floating around in my head until I feel I don’t have a choice but to write. I have to get these people out of my head! Lol!
How much of what you write is based on personal experiences?
There is a little of “me” in every heroine I write about, and some of my stories are VERY loosely based on personal experience. One example of that is a scene from my short story, Best Woman for the Job. The heroine in that story, Toni, is afraid of rodents and there is a scene where she sees a rodent in the basement of a customer’s house and she totally freaks out. Let’s just say that she and I have something in common…I am CRAZY afraid of rodents – especially mice/rats. I can’t even watch the movie, Stuart Little – and it’s a kid’s movie!
Now mind you, I was a sheet metal worker for ten years – meaning I spent a lot of time in basements and attics. I don’t know how many times guys I’ve worked with have asked, “How can you be a sheet metal worker and be afraid of mice.” Nikki, girrrl, I could tell you some “mice” stories that would have you rolling on the floor laughing (or at least have you shaking your head)…unless you’re afraid of mice/rats too then they might not be that funny.
I’m afraid, but because I wouldn’t be in the room with them I could definitely laugh! I loved that book by the way! Your romantic suspense stories are so detailed. What is your research process?
I’m not sure if I have a standard process, but it all usually starts with me hearing about something, reading about a particular topic, or seeing something on television (though I’m not a big TV watcher). Random thoughts and ideas are my friends. Then I start thinking- “I wonder if…” or “What if…” and I just go from there.
I do like many people do and I hopped on the internet in search of info, and of course one search leads to another, and then another. Once I know enough to be able to form intelligent questions, I often talk to individuals who have experience with a particular subject. For example, when Bernard Madoff was busted for his elaborate ponzi scheme a few years back, I started thinking – “What if …” After I did some initial research about investing and ponzi schemes – I asked my husband fifty million questions (or so it seemed – his background is in finance). And before I knew it, I had some great ideas/information for my story, Blue Roses, book 1 of the Reunited Series.
I have a couple of police / SWAT story ideas brewing in my head so I recently signed up for a 10-week Citizen’s Academy class with a local police dept. here in Atlanta. I’m curious to see what ideas spark…especially after I get a good look inside of a police cruiser.
That sounds so fascinating Sharon! I’ll be curious to see what you write based on that experience as well! What genre do you read? What authors do you admire?
I typically read contemporary romance and romantic suspense. As far as the authors I admire…I admire ALL authors, because writing books is not easy! But if I had to pick my favorite authors, I’d have to say: Beverly Jenkins and Brenda Jackson, not just because I enjoy their work, but also because they have stood the test of time. Oh, and I also get a kick out of Suzanne Brockman’s work.
I agree. I admire Beverly Jenkins and Brenda Jackson as well! What advice would you give others about writing & in general?
Write, read, and write some more. Keep writing and learn as much as you can about the craft. You should see yourself/ writing skills improving with every story you release.
As for general advice … Keep God first and trust His timing.
What would you like people to know that they might not know already?
Hmm…not sure. I guess many probably don’t know that I’m really an introvert, but I force myself to be sociable (at times). Oh, and I have never had braces on my teeth. Surprisingly enough, I get that question often.
I would never have guessed that you were an introvert. From your smile, I can see why they ask about braces Sharon. Your teeth are perfect! What are you working on and when can we expect a release?
I’m working on the rewrites for my first book for Harlequin Kimani Romance (to be released Spring 2014), and I’m also working on my next series, the Jenkins Family Series. The first book of the series is expected to be released late summer or early fall of this year (2013).
Blurb and excerpt from Rendezvous with Danger .
Alandra Pargas, ex-CIA counter-intelligence officer, plans to wreak vengeance on the people who tried to kill her. A little rendezvous with danger is not what scares her, though. It’s seeing the tall, dark, and dangerously sexy man she vowed to love forever that has her running for cover.
Former U.S. Special Operative, Quinn Hamilton, left the world of covert operations after the love of his life died in his arms during a black op. Three years later, he still loses sleep wondering if maybe he could have done something more to save her – until Alandra shows up on his doorstep. With her lies and betrayal, he wants nothing to do with her, yet, his heart won’t cooperate. It’s not until unknown enemies come after her that he must decide if he can leave the past behind and protect the woman he’ll always love. Will they survive this last mission and rekindle the love and passion they once shared?
“Quinn continued to stare. The intensity in his midnight dark eyes scrutinized every inch of her.
“I don’t even know what to say to you,” he finally spoke just above a whisper, his voice laced with anguish. Alandra looked at him, unsure of how to respond, but didn’t have to say anything when he continued. “A part of me wants to wrap you in my arms and love on you so fierce that you’ll never want to leave me again, but then there’s the other part of me. The part that is mad as hell that my wife has been alive all this time, working in the city that I live in, and has never tried to contact me. That part of me wants nothing more than for you to get your ass out of my house and stay the hell out of my life…for good.”
Alandra reared back, stunned by the bitterness of his words. But what had she expected – to be welcomed with opened arms? Maybe not, but she had hoped they could at least talk. Yet, if she was honest with herself, she knew his unforgiving heart would rear its wicked head. He was the most committed, determined and trusted man to those he loved, but merciless toward his enemies. And right now she wasn’t sure how Quinn saw her.
Quinn released a long ragged sigh and leaned against a nearby wall, his muscular arms folded across his chest. “Do you have any idea what I’ve been through these last few years, thinking you were dead? Thinking I’d never be able to touch you, hold you, or make love to you? Hell, I watched you die, Alandra, in my arms! You have any idea what that feels like? To watch the one woman you loved more than life get gunned down.”
His voice broke, but he held his gaze steady, maintaining his usual tough-guy composure, and Alandra’s heart crumbled. She blinked rapidly to keep tears from falling. He had always been so hard, tough, and strong willed. It had been too easy for her to forget he was just a man.”
Copyright Sharon C. Cooper
I know I speak for many when I say that your Jenkins Family Series and your first Harlequin Kimani story is greatly anticipated! Once again, I am so happy for your recent signing with Harlequin. Thanks so much for dropping by and helping us to get to know you a bit! It has been an honor to have you in my Chat Chair!