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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Author, Sharon Garner Debutes New Book, Pele’s Tears,This Month

In Author, Sharon Garner's Own Words.

I write so I can snag all the great comebacks that have eluded me in real life, although I manage to voice my fair share.  I began my writing career with disastrously detailed diaries, which I used to blackmail my sister, then moving on to simply loving words, books, and reading.  Living in seasonal Pennsylvania, I choose to write my stories of love and danger set in warm, tropical, even exotic, locations.  I am a former library cataloguer and newspaper proofreader. My site is

Tell us about the genre of your work. 

Four of my five published novels are romantic suspense; one is romantic action adventure.

Why did you choose this genre?

The love and danger in romantic suspense are a heady combination, one I have always been attracted to in my reading. I like the rhythm of it: The crest of danger, the trough of aftermath. Moreover, the love story reflects that same pattern: physical touch or awareness then reflection and analysis.

What are some of your books, stories that have been published?

I started out writing short stories. I sold quite a few to the confession magazines. I always did cute meets and falling in love, never problem stories like those that they feature on the covers. My commercially published novels are River of Dreams, Sanctuary, Lokelani Nights, The Spaniard’s Cross, and coming 07/11 is Pele’s Tears.  All my books can be found on this Amazon page or click through from my site:

River of Dreams (Brazilian rain forest): A friendship that catches fire, a conquistador’s gold medallion, an act of atonement that goes horribly wrong, a rain forest trek they might not survive.

Hardback from Five Star/Gale/Cengage (secondary market, new and used) ISBN: 978-0786223176, and large print ISBN: 978-0786223176; trade paperback (Hard Shell Word Factory/Mundania Press ISBN: 0-7599-4234-X; Kindle ASIN: B004SRFQ5K; other electronic formats

Sanctuary (cerrados of Brazil): A double cross that keeps on giving, an ex-mercenary who wants to live in peace, a children’s book illustrator who’s thrust into a danger she doesn’t understand…with a man she doesn’t want to love.

Hardback and trade paperback from Five Star/Gale/Cengage (secondary market, new and used) 978-1594140976, and large print 978-1846172878; Kindle ASIN: B003TU2IJ4; other electronic formats.

Lokelani Nights (island off the coast of Kauai): A handsome Hawaiian cop on the injured list, a private paradise threatened by a malicious prankster, a restless shark god who makes regular appearances—, but nobody told her Hawaii would be like this.

Trade paperback from Hard Shell Word Factory/Mundania Press, ISBN: 978-0759942349; large print (secondary market) ISBN: 978-0708998472; Kindle, ASIN: B004SRG9CE; other electronic formats.

The Spaniard’s Cross (Cornwall, England) Pledged in love by an Armada survivor, the gold and ruby cross is a modern Spaniard’s obsession. Ellie and Trev are forced into a deadly game for the heirloom…a game that ends in a smugglers secret passage deep beneath Cornwall.

Trade paperback from Hard Shell Word Factory/Mundania Press ISBN: 978-0759941359; large print (secondary market) ISBN: 978-1843954675; Kindle ASIN: B004SRG0X2; other electronic formats.

Coming in July 2011.

Pele’s Tears (Kauai): A Hawaiian flower farm, a hidden trio of bad-luck gems, an obsessed note writer, a friendship that catches fire—again. Five Star/Gale/Cengage ISBN: 978-1432825058.
Available on Amazon at:

At Barnes & Noble at:

How do you come up with the names of places and characters in your books?

I have Portuguese and Hawaiian dictionaries and I am not afraid to use them! In River of Dreams, I was looking for something simple for the name of a river, which then became the title of the book. Sonhos means dream or dreams in Portuguese, and Abundancia as the name of the plantation in Sanctuary means abundance.

Lokelani means a small rose in Hawaiian. My fictional island in Lokelani Nights was formed by two volcanoes whose craters look like two roses from the air. The Spaniard’s Cross came about when I discovered the link between Cornwall and wrecks from the Spanish Armada, where survivors lived, and made babies with the English. That led me to Cornwall’s smuggling history and their old tin mines with their distinctive smokestacks—and the old shafts.

I have to know the characters’ names before I can write them. The name Emily Noble from Sanctuary came to me in a dream. Trevor/Trev from Spaniard’s Cross is such a very English name. In Lokelani Nights, Christopher/Kit Kahana got his nickname from Jude Devereaux’s Knight in Shining Armor. Nicolao/Nic, from River of Dreams, should be shortened to Nico in Portuguese but Nic shortened it himself. Yes, the characters are that real to me.

The names Dante and Dominic Kahoa, fraternal twins in Pele’s Tears, reflect their Italian mother’s heritage and their Hawaiian father’s surname. Shaka, also in Pele’s Tears, lost most of the fingers on one hand in an accident, leaving the thumb and little finger in a perpetual shaka sign. Noelani and Melika in Pele’s Tears were named after women who helped me with a Hawaiian word. More personal is Kalana, which is Sharon, and Keneke, which is Kenneth, my f-i-l’s name.

What about an antagonist…is there a unique “bad guy” or a recurring nemesis of any kind?

In Sanctuary, the villain is an icy, dangerous man with one soft spot that makes a small part of him human—the heroine. It was fun writing how Emily saw him and how others knew him to be, cold and deadly. I loved writing the climax scene where they all come together to live or die.

What is your favorite thing about your book(s)?

It is the settings. Most of my books start with the setting. I season each book with it, flavoring the whole. The setting is a character, in its own right, in all my books.

Why and when did you begin writing?

Early on, apparently! I have been rereading my pre- and teenage diaries before destroying them, and I talk a lot about a book I was writing when I was 12. I began in earnest when my mother died. Faced with my own mortality, I decided to do what I had always wanted to do. Write. It took me six years to get my first short story published. It took me more years to attempt a novel.

Are there any other comments, advice or tips that you would give to beginning writers?

Persevere. Develop a hide like a rhinoceros and send out your stuff. Study the available publishers.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I do copyediting and proofreading for other writers, especially those who plan to self-publish. I also do walk aerobics when I cannot get outside to walk, and I read English mysteries. 

What “Made It” moments have you experienced in life?

The call when Five Star accepted River of Dreams; the e-mail when Five Star accepted Sanctuary; the e-mail when Five Star accepted Pele’s Tears. My other acceptances. The good reviews. The notes from fans. However, the feeling does not last. Thank God for the good stuff and move on.

An interesting tale: I wear Tova Signature fragrance from Tova Borgnine, wife of Ernest Borgnine, who sells her products on QVC. Emily Noble wears Tova in Sanctuary. I sent a letter to Tova through QVC and told her this. She called me a few days later and asked permission to mention it during her presentation that night. Heck, yes! I immediately sent her an autographed copy and she kept it visible on camera beside her and read the pertinent passage on air for many of her presentations. I have a lot of them on tape. What a thrill! Moreover, she is as gracious on the phone as she is on the screen. I told her to tell Ernie how
much I enjoyed his film Marty.


Jacqueline Seewald said...

I got through to this website via Facebook. Sharon, like you I have a library background. Librarians are great researchers. Obviously, you fit the mold! Congrats on the new novel.

Jacqueline Seewald

Sharon K. Garner said...

Jacqueline you are so loyal about reading blog posts of fellow authors. I really appreciate it. Sometimes I wish I'd never left library work!

Alice Duncan said...

Excellent interview, Sharon! And way cool about the Tova promo. Wish we could all get something like that going :-)

Ellis Vidler said...

Sharon, that was an interesting interview. Yyour books remind me of Phyllis Whitney's and others with exotic settings that I used to love. The title, Pele's Tears, is beautiful. I'll definitely look for your books.

heidi ruby miller said...

Sharon, I can't think of a better setting!! Just from your description and the photos, I want to be there now.

:) Heidi

Sharon K. Garner said...

Alice - I'm not sure the Tova promo helped with sales, but it was a thrill.

Ellis: I read Phyllis Whitney as I grew up. I'm seeing a pattern here. I'm under the influence--a good one. It's all about the settings. Thanks.

Heidi Ruby: I can blow this joint in an hour. Meet you there! Wouldn't it be great to just beam over there?