Before we kick off with all things writing and books … I would like to wish Sharon the happiest of publication days for her second novel #YouNeedMe 🖤 this book is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING and you can get yourself a copy here – https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/you-need-me
Now … time to see a little into the life of writing with Sharon…
1. When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I think I always wanted to be a writer but never believed in myself enough to give it a go! I always thought writing was for ‘other people’ it wasn’t until I started my blog and getting to know other readers, bloggers and writers that I realised that writers are just ordinary people like you and i. Joining that community was a huge eye opener for me, the support and encouragement, especially in the crime writing community is phenomenal. I’d urge anyone who wants to write, to get their butt on a chair and start writing! You never know!
2. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
From everyday life, from small snippets of conversations overheard, from things going on around me. Ideas are everywhere! I’ve got notes all over the place (I’m basically organised chaos) for future stories. Some of them will never come to anything… others, well who knows!
3. What do you like to do when your not writing?
Read! I love to read! And I love to go to book launches, book festivals, bookshops, talk about books! Anything to do with books really! I’m an all round bookworm to be honest! If I’m not doing book stuff, I love to take my dog walking, spend time with my 3 year old grandson (who’s favourite shop is Waterstones… yes I am unashamedly brainwashing him into bookworm ways) I also manage a small independent advocacy service and I am passionate about human rights and helping others speak up for themselves.
4. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A librarian, a vet, a lawyer! Obviously none of these materialised.
5. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Confession time, very little research I’m afraid! Most of my writing comes from experiences and life! I’m so lazy, also I think if I were to research too much I’d find myself down a rabbit hole and never get any writing done!
6. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
Yes, I read every single one of them and I’m grateful for them all, even the bad ones! I think there is a lot to learn from reviews (apart from those one liners that say (‘Boring, don’t waste your money’) Sean at Red Dog told me something, that I’ve really taken on board, once your book is out there, it no longer belongs to you. It belongs to whoever bought it. People don’t like everything and I’m ok if they don’t like my book. But of course, the positive reviews are brilliant. I get such a buzz if I read one, or if someone messages me to say they couldn’t put my book down. Thank you to everyone who has done this.
7. Does your family support your career as a writer?
Absolutely yes. They have always told me I should write a book (as I’ve usually had my nose stuck in one forever!) They are super proud of me and that makes me so happy. I just wish my dad was still here to see this, he was the one who instilled my love of reading as a child.
8. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
From first draft to submission is around eight months for me. I wish I could be a prolific writer like others but working full time and other demands on my time, I just can’t do it. My first draft always goes out to a group of trusted Beta Readers, I know they will be honest on their feedback which is important. I then use this to work on my own edits before getting it as polished as I can before submission. Then the rest is dependent on publisher schedules but I’ll always be a one book a year type of gal!
9. Would you ever consider writing a series?
I’d love to but to be honest I don’t know that I would. I worry I would never remember things from past books! Also by the time I’ve finished writing a book, I’m ready to say goodbye to my characters and find someone new to hang out with. But never say never is my motto.
10. Why comes first for you, the plot or the characters?
Usually for me why comes first is the first line or scene. I usually have something very vivid pop into my head and then I try to work out what might be happening and who might be involved; if it is not the scene then it would definitely be the character. Someone new will appear in my head and stay there until I find where they are meant to be in my dark and twisted mind.
By day Sharon Bairden manages in a small local independent advocacy service and has a passion for human rights; by night she has a passion for all things criminal. She blogs over at Chapterinmylife and is delighted to be crossing over to the other side of the fence to become a writer.
Sharon’s debut novel, Sins of the Father, was published in November 2020 and is published by Red Dog Press
You Need Me, will be released on October 12th 2021, also published by Red Dog Press
Sharon lives on the outskirts of Glasgow, has two grown up children, a grandson, a Golden Labrador and a cat. She spends most of her spare time doing all things bookish, from reading to attending as many book festivals and launches as she can. She has been known to step out of her comfort zone on the odd occasion and has walked over burning coals and broken glass – but not at the same time!
Thank you so much Sharon for answering these questions 🖤 enjoy this day as it all yours!!! 🥰