To celebrate Women’s History Month, we showcase Writing Wonder Woman: Sharon S. Darrow, our Author of the Month. Sharon writes in several genres, publishes many authors’ books, and serves as a leader of Northern California Publishers & Authors.
Q: You are so multi-talented in the world of literature, Sharon. How did you get your start and even more important where do you get your energy?
Thank you for the kind words. My first book was written when I decided it was time to stop taking care of bottlefed kittens. I’d done it for well over 20 years and the sleep deprivation was getting to me. I wanted to make sure the lessons I’d learned were still available to rescue groups, vets, and individuals who found babies and needed help. (As this photo attests, some of the animals make it far past babyhood!)
I think the source if my energy comes from two directions. First my core beliefs. Many years ago at some event the speaker posed a question I’ve never forgotten — what do you want people to say about you when you’re gone? I’ve thought of that a lot and want people to say that I made a difference to them and in the world. In addition to that, I was given a Sanskrit name years ago, Samati, that means inner harmony. I take that name seriously, as a goal and mission in life. I try to maintain inner tranquility so that I can reflect it to others, which makes a difference.
Second energy source? I’m just too stubborn to not finish something I start!
Q: What are you working on now?
I am writing the third book in the Laura’s Dash series, which will have a total of four including She Survives, book one. It is challenging to work on one book while working with beta readers and creation of the ARC (advance reading copies) with the previous one, but to meet my self-imposed deadline it has to be done that way.
In addition, I’m ghostwriting a book with two very special women who rescue horses and are also mediums that communicate with their horses.
I’m also working on the first stages of two other non-fiction books. The first, working title Devil Triplets, Angel Kitties, is about three black kittens that came to me at 11 days of age from Laurie Hoirup just two months prior to her passing.
The other, All About Beardies, from A to Z, will be a very special collaboration with my daughter. She has a horrible disease, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, but absolutely loves her reptiles. This book will be a very specific guidebook for anyone wanting a bearded dragon for a pet.
Q: Of the many genres you write, which is your favorite? Which is the easiest to write and which the most challenging?
I don’t really have a favorite genre, since whatever I’m writing is what I’m devoted to at the moment. The most challenging has to be fiction. Instead of providing information that I’m intimately familiar with, fiction requires the creation of situations and characters that ring true and involve the reader on a deep emotional level. Besides, writing fiction means learning about POV — what a pain, and a pain that is not a vital part of non-fiction.
I am truly blessed by a family that believes in me and supports me. They don’t get nearly as much of my time as they deserve because I spend so much time on writing, working with animals, and my business, but they don’t give me a hard time. I always try to put them first when it really matters, and they know that. I firmly believe that no writer can do their best work unless their family supports them, and am incredibly grateful that mine does.
Q: So many other writers give you credit for some of their success. What leads you to care so much for helping your fellow writers?
Again, thank you so much for that lovely comment, but I am just trying to pass on the warmth and support that I’ve felt from our wonderful writing community.
From my first Northern California Publishers & Authors meeting, when I was open-mouthed in awe at being in a room with real writers, I have felt welcomed. The generosity of spirit from other writers has taught me more than I can begin to articulate. That sharing has made a world of difference for me, so my goal is to do the same with anyone I can possibly help.
Q: What is something that most people don’t know about you?
They might be surprised to know that I love flying. My favorite dreams as a very young child were about leaping in the air and flying above the trees. I’ve been up in a hot air balloon, open cockpit biplane, a glider, an ultralight, and small private planes. I was working on my pilot’s license in 2008, but had to quit just a few hours short of soloing because of the economic crash. I only flew once a week, but it was costing me between $600 and $800 a month. Now I can’t do it because of my glaucoma. However, I will still go up anytime, in anything, anywhere, with anyone who will invite me!
Q: If you could offer other writers just one quotation to tape above their own writing desks, what would it be?
Stephanie Chandler, founder of the Nonfiction Authors Association, is an amazing writer and very special human being. She’s also one of our Sacramento area treasures. She has created a door hanger that I have love and keep hanging from a cabinet door just above my desk. It says “Writer At Work, Do Not Disturb.” I couldn’t possibly top that.
Learn more about Sharon at her website: www.sharonsdarrow.com/