Saturday, 12 September 2015

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Sharon Huss Roat!

  She grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, went to college at the University of Delaware, and worked in public relations for 20 years before discovering what she really wanted to be when she grew up!
   Atop the dome of Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris (on a research trip for a future novel of course!)
When not writing books for children and young adults, you might find her planting vegetables in my backyard garden, sewing costumes for a school musical, or finding excuses to travel abroad (it's research!). She lives in Delaware with her husband (who makes fonts), her son (who makes music) and her daughter (who makes believe).
For more of her go to:

What has she written?  
 Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat!
   When Ivy Emerson’s family loses their house—complete with her beloved piano—the fear of what’s to come seizes her like a bad case of stage fright. Only this isn’t one of her single, terrifying performances. It’s her life.
   And it isn’t pretty.
   Ivy is forced to move with her family out of their affluent neighborhood to Lakeside, also known as “the wrong side of the tracks.” Hiding the truth from her friends—and the cute new guy in school, who may have secrets of his own—seems like a good idea at first. But when a bad boy next door threatens to ruin everything, Ivy’s carefully crafted lies begin to unravel . . . and there is no way to stop them.
    As things get to the breaking point, Ivy turns to her music, some unlikely new friends, and the trusting heart of her disabled little brother. She may be surprised that not everyone is who she thought they were . . . including herself.
   Debut author Sharon Huss Roat crafts a charming and timely story of what happens when life as you know it flips completely upside down.

Now on to the Interview!!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
I have been a writer most of my adult life, but didn’t start writing fiction until about six or seven years ago. I had worked in public relations and publications, as a writer and editor and publicist… but all of that writing was non-fiction (press releases, articles, etc.). After twenty years of that profession, I decide to try something new. Writing fiction is my 2nd career, and the most fun I’ve ever had!

2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
I’m happy if the reader simply enjoys the book, if it provides them that wonderful experience of escaping into a story. If they gain some additional insights into themselves and others, all the better!

3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
- Write what makes you happy, not what you think other people want to read.
- Don’t give up. Becoming an author requires persistence, lots of rewriting and revising. 
- Be open to criticism and keep pushing yourself. Some of the most exciting moments as a writer have come after a crushing blow of criticism when I’ve had a flaw in my work pointed out and then the lightbulb of discovering how to fix it. That is the best feeling.

4) What is your favorite novel, why?
I have always loved JANE EYRE, since I was a teen. I re-read it every few years, and always look forward to the day when I’ve forgotten just enough about it for that read to feel fresh again. 

5) Who is your favourite author, why?
J.K. Rowling. I was re-reading one of the Harry Potter novels when I decided to try writing fiction myself, and another author advised me to write what I like to read. That’s what led me to YA, and I’m so happy to be here!

6) What are your favorite pastimes besides writing?
I love reading, of course. I also have a big vegetable garden and I find gardening to be a great way to relax and think (also, fresh veggies!). In the past few years I’ve gotten involved in costuming for musicals at my son’s school. My daughter is a dancer and my son is a musician, so I also enjoy all of their activities.

7) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
I’m not sure a single person is responsible for that, but when my son was very young I used to make up stories for him at bedtime and the two of us would giggle our heads off. The stories usually involved some kind of magical ability to turn his bedroom into a spaceship and fly to an alien planet where the Googibundi people lived and they were only two feet tall and kept kissing his knees and trying to make him their leader. Or something. Hahaha. I haven’t thought of that in a few years. My kids definitely have been a great source of inspiration! 

8) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
I don’t really keep a bucket list, but here are five things I hope to do:
1) Write LOTS more books (and have them published).
2) Watch my kids grow up and become happy adults, doing what they love to do
3) Learn a foreign language and live in a foreign country
4) Take art/painting/illustration classes
5) Finish this draft of my next novel!

9) What is your funniest childhood memory?
I used to play the clarinet, and was performing a solo at the final concert of the year at my high school when I was a senior (accompanied by our entire concert band). In the middle of the performance, the music fell off my stand and dropped to the auditorium floor below. I had a rest in the music of only three measures (12 beats), and nobody was sitting right up front to hand the music for me. So I leapt from the stage to retrieve it. In a gown. Holding my clarinet. Then I leapt back up and continued to play without missing a beat. I didn’t realize how ridiculous that must’ve looked until it was over, but my nerves disappeared after that happened. Apparently, the best way to get rid of stage fright is to embarrass yourself spectacularly!

10) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
Ah, hard question! How about, “Listen to your mother!” haha. (Well, that’s my advice for my own kids.) Today’s youth have so much information to process via social media and texting and the Internet, I think it can be overwhelming (it is to me!). My advice is to take the time to step away from all of that and establish personal connections with people you care about. Tweets and likes are great, but don’t let it replace face-to-face interaction.

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