Today I’m speaking with author, Sheila Cronin. Hello Sheila. What made you decide to become a writer?
It wasn’t a decision. It came naturally.
How long did it take to get published the first time and how did it happen?
When I was nine, a poem I wrote was published in the church bulletin.
How exciting for you!
My first short story was published in 2002. I had joined an online group called Writersnet.com. The moderator, Gary Kesslor, suggested we publish an anthology of short stories and he volunteered to be the editor. I was thrilled when my story, “Airport Romance” was accepted. I published my first novel, “The Gift Counselor,” in 2014 via Createspace.com.
You’ve been busy. Would you do anything differently the next time? If so, what would it be?
With regard to the novel’s sequel, in progress, it’s likely , but not certain, I will use Createspace again. I still hope to obtain a literary agent.
What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Take a course if your spelling or grammar needs tweaking. That said, a good writing group offers encouragement during the long, lonely process. A beta reader or two is most beneficial – not too many opinions, just one or two that you trust. Websites such as absolute write.com provide excellent resources for both writing and publishing. Finally, make time to read books while you write your own.
Great advice! Thank you. What (or who) inspires or influences your writing?
Frank Capra inspired me as a story teller. So did stories I heard in childhood and fairytales. My parents read or made up stories at bedtime when I was young. My mother was a non-fiction writer who showed me what it takes to be a serious writer.
I think seeing a parent read or write while you are young also inspires us without realizing it at the time. Tell us about your latest releases, Sheila.
Besides “The Gift Counselor,” a 2014 novel, I have “Heart Shaped: A Collection of Short Romances” a 2015 release.
Were you traditionally published or self-published and how did that go?
After years of resistance, I self-published my novel. I was represented briefly, but when that ended, I finally chose Createspace following in depth research and discussion with other authors. The process went fairly smoothly. I was especially fortunate to obtain an excellent book cover through them.
I’ve heard other authors refer to Createspace. Tell me, Sheila, how long have you been writing professionally and do you write full-time or part-time?
I write part-time and work part-time.
What do you do for fun when you are not writing?
I draw portraits, compose songs on the piano, read, swim, enjoy movies and libraries.
You are a multi-talented person! Where do you call home, Sheila?
I live in Chicago, Illinois.
And do you have any appearances or book signings scheduled this year?
Several book clubs pending in the Chicago area. I want to thank readers for supporting independent authors!