Sharon Buchbinder is the talented author of some interesting characters and their wonderful side kicks in the Hotel Labelle series. Please welcome Sharon and allow her to tell us about herself and her wonderful books.
Tell us about yourself (husband, children, hobbies, etc)
I’m a child of the 60’s but I can recall everything I did, so clearly not THAT much of a hippie. Put myself through college working a zillion jobs. I met my then medical student husband while working as an IV Therapist at Hartford Hospital. Dreamed I was going to marry him—and we married 8 months later. I was the “trailing spouse” following his career from Albany, NY to Chicago, IL to Baltimore, MD. Along the way we had a son, I picked up two more degrees, including a PhD, worked as RN, healthcare researcher, healthcare association executive, and professor and academic administrator. I was writing on and off all those years. I got “serious” when I hit mid-life and realized I wanted to be published in fiction. My husband, a chairman of surgery at that point, supported me, as did our college age son. When I’m not writing, I enjoy family time (a grandson, a grand nephew, grand niece and a grand-daughter on the way!), baking cookies with kids, building LEGOs with Lego-maniacs, fine dining, good wine, fishing, reading, cooking, walking our dogs, and snapping photos of beautiful and interesting things to share on Instagram.
Do you write under any other names?
No. I have non-fiction textbooks and I use the same name—although the textbooks use my middle initial. 🙂
How long have you been writing?
Since I could hold a pencil in my hand—and I have the rejection slips to prove it! To give you a sense of how long I’ve been scribbling, I wrote a script for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. when it was a TV series. On yellow note pad. With a pen. Yes, it was rejected. LOL.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I lived in books as a child and I wanted to have my own stories to hold and read.
Who are some of your favorite authors? What, if any, influence have these authors had on your writing?
I haunted the library in my home town, taking out ten books a week to read—because 10 was the limit. I read all the SCI-FI, Mystery, and Horror I could find. At times, the Librarian questioned if I was permitted to read them. I said, “YES” of course I had permission to read. Heinlein, Bradbury, Christy, Asimov, the classics. I was a NERD. I wanted to be like Isaac Asimov, a professor of biochemistry and iconic SCI-FI author.
Later on, I discovered Katherine Neville—who was Dan Brown before Dan Brown. She wrote THE EIGHT. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. I’ve read it at least eight times, maybe more. I learned you could combine genres. I also discovered a story structure that combining historical fiction and contemporary fiction with SCI-FI, Mystery, Supernatural and YES ROMANCE. She’s not shelved in romance, but there is romance in that book. Fast forward a few decades and guess who I met at a Mystery Writers of America event in a funeral home (true story). YES. KATHERINE NEVILLE!!! [Insert Fangirl squealing and palpitations here]. She said to me, “Never let someone else dictate how to tell your story. I was told my story would never be published because it just didn’t fit the norms.” Her books have been translated into 40 languages. Katherine Neville inspired me to TELL MY STORY, MY WAY.
By the way, that doesn’t mean you don’t learn the rules of the road or your craft. It does mean you learn what rules to break and what ones to keep as you write.
Eye of the Eagle—think Children of a Lesser God meets X-Files.
Anomaly Defense Director and shapeshifter Bert Blackfeather doesn’t need a boss with no experience. So what if she’s beautiful or gives him a jolt when she shakes his hand? He never plans to get seriously involved with another woman—not in this lifetime.
Phoebe Wagner, an empath with psychometric abilities and an advocate for the deaf, gets more than she bargained for with Bert. One touch and she relives his IED injuries. So what if he’s handsome and hot? She doesn’t need to add his secrets to her own. Phoebe’s are bad enough.
When his niece goes missing from Hotel LaBelle, Bert goes to Montana to help—and Phoebe insists on going with him. Can these two hard-headed people share their darkest secrets in order to work together? It may be the only way to save an endangered child—and their own hearts when Bert’s past rears its ugly head.
One soars like an eagle. One strikes like a thunderbird. But for both hearts, revenge can be deadly when it’s nourished.
Tell us about your latest book/series
All of my books are about Family Secrets, Extraordinary Abilities, Truth, Justice and Redemption.
My latest series is the Hotel LaBelle Series, Western Paranormal Romances set in Montana, incorporating Native American mythology, history, starring heroes and heroines with paranormal powers. Each book features a sidekick in the form of a pet for either the hero or heroine. All the characters are connected through the hero of my latest book, Bert Blackfeather, Director of Homeland Security’s Anomaly Defense Division.
The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle features a cursed inn-keeper who has been living in limbo for a century and meets a beautiful hotel inspector with Native American heritage who can actually see and hear him. The turn of the century man meets his match in this modern woman. Her pug can see him, too. 🙂
Legacy of Evil brings two feisty people head-to-head on a mission to stop terrorists from unleashing weaponized, unmanned drones on the state of Montana. In this cowboys and Indians versus the Nazis thriller, the hero and heroine must pretend to be a newlywed couple to go undercover in the hate group. The hero has a snarky bobcat as his sidekick.
Eye of the Eagle answers my readers’ question: when will Bert Blackfeather have a story? Bert is the ubiquitous Director of the Anomaly Defense Division, sort of the Charlie character from Charlie’s Angels. Except his “angels” are agents with paranormal talents. When his niece is kidnapped, he aches to fly into the Montana skies in his eagle form, but his new boss insists on going with him. Phoebe Wagner is deaf and the new Under-Secretary for Homeland. She appears to belong on catwalk in Milan, not in the wilderness of Montana searching for a toddler. Little does Bert know that Phoebe has some extra talents up her designer sleeves. Her little dachshund has a few secrets, too.
Where can readers find your novel?
Eye of the Eagle can be found here:
Do you have a strict writing schedule?
Ummmm. No. I know this goes against all the sage advice to block time out to “write everyday”. My advice is Carpe diem, Carpe whaneverem. I have a day job that I love that requires LOTS of writing (I’m a professor), I have textbooks that always need a new edition, and my romance novels. Sometimes when I’m working in my non-fiction or day job compartments of my life, I get an idea for a character, a plot point, or tagline, etc. related to my romance writing. When that happens, I use the voice to text app on my phone and make notes which I can email to myself for safekeeping. I also have a wall with a 3-Act play structure outlined on which I slap sticky notes when something occurs to me. When I have a chunk of time (a plane ride, a weekend day, an evening) I pull those notes together and put them into character sketches or my planning grid from which my book grows.
Do you usually outline your stories before you write them?
I learned the hard way that I need to outline. After writing my first novel in 2004, I had to revise it ten (10) times (not a typo) to get it in shape for publication. That book came out after other novels, because I dreaded revising it. SOME OTHER CHILD is that book baby, a difficult birth, so to speak. Now I use several tools and techniques: Detailed character sketches with extensive back story that I need to know but readers may or may not need to know; Alexandra Sokoloff’s Story Grid (she’s awesome, by the way), combined with the Hero’s journey; OneNote to keep track of ALL my research—and it’s my series bible. I am obsessively methodical in this approach and it keeps me on track when it appears I’m not “writing”, I’m planning, planning, planning.
What is your favorite genre to write?
Paranormal Romance because I can combine SCI-FI, MYSTERY, HORROR, and ROMANCE. It gives me the freedom to tell my stories, my way.
What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
Characters, characters, characters, characters. You can have the best plot in the world, but if the characters wouldn’t do it, then it’s not a great story. Which speaks to their Goals, Motivations and Conflicts. Did I mention characters?
I hear some authors have several ideas for books in their head at one time, How do you separate these ideas, and not confuse them?
OneNote and voice to text apps on my phone help me to keep track of ALL my research—and story ideas.
Of your books, who is your favorite hero/heroine and why?
You are asking an author to choose between her children!!! I have to say right now, it’s EYE OF THE EAGLE, and I LOVE Phoebe because she is my deaf grandmother who raised me—infused into a modern kick-ass woman.
Do you have any Pet Peeves in your writing?
I get annoyed with myself for things like echoes (using the same work over and over), filter words (thought, felt, smelled, etc), and missing inconsistencies in characters or plotting. Thankfully, I have WONDERFUL beta readers who help me catch those.
Do you listen to music to help bring forth ideas? And if so what type of music?
When I want to dig into an emotion, I pull up my tunes: fear, grief, love, jealousy, etc., I listen to music that elicits those emotions in me. It’s a wide range from Adele to Hosier to Green Day to Santana to Mozart.
How can your readers contact you?
Amazon Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001IODIE2
Facebook: Sharon Buchbinder Romance Author https://www.facebook.com/sharon.buchbinder.romanceauthor
Twitter ID @sbuchbinder https://twitter.com/sbuchbinder
Goodreads author page https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4417344.Sharon_Buchbinder
Link to sign up for Newsletter http://www.sharonbuchbinder.com/contact.html#newsletter
What is your web site address?