It's been a very busy year for author Sharon Skinner. Earlier in 2022, Brick Cave released Lostuns Found, a new middle grade steampunk adventure. Now, just in time for Halloween, Sharon has released a new collection of dark, short fiction and poetry, Blood From a Rose. Both of those projects on top of a seriousl;y full event schedule and a growing Book Coaching business.
Sharon gave us the time to share some thoughts in this interview. Enjoy this part two. You can start at Part One here.
Q. In the last 12 years, you have released 10 strong selling titles of your own through Brick Cave, plus several co-written releases as well as books with other publishers. That’s a grueling pace for any author, but especially one that has several other career obligations. Talk about the challenge of that.
Admittedly, it is sometimes a lot to juggle, especially now that we are doing events and appearances again after a two-year hiatus. But it is also joyful work. I love writing and sharing good stories with readers. I love coaching other writers and editing their work, supporting their creativity, and helping them get their own stories out onto the page and into the world. TBH, if I weren’t doing the Coaching KidLit podcast with fellow book coach, Christy Yaros, I would still be talking about KidLit and writing craft somewhere with someone. I wanted to be a writer when I grew up—and, in all honesty, I am still growing!—but books and stories (reading, writing, editing and coaching them) are a huge part of who I am and who I want to be.
Q.Your beta readers pinged on something on Blood that was very different from the dark, which was the comedy. Talk about how you felt that they celebrated your introduction of comedic writing into such a dark collection.
It’s always gratifying to have readers connect to my work. It’s especially gratifying when they get the humor of a piece, because I don’t really consider myself a comedic writer. That said, I do think I am somewhat funny in real life, and that does sometimes port over into my writing in an entertaining way. So, when my beta readers were laughing in the right places and enjoying the humorous aspects of some of my stories like, A Day in the Life of Kel-Fazz, it told me I had been successful in intentionally adding humor to the work, which is an awesome feeling.
Q. Blood is your second book released in 2022, since we did not get to interview you for the first release this year, talk a bit about Lostuns Found and why readers should dig into it.
Yes, 2022 has been an exciting year for me with two new books out in the world. Lostuns Found, which released in April, is a middle-grade novel. It’s a mash-up of Oliver Twist, Peter Pan, and steampunk. I had an incredibly fun time writing Lostuns Found, and I think it shows. The book got a wonderful Kirkus review, and the reviewer really picked up on what was attempting to accomplish with the work , which makes me very seen. It’s fun. It’s adventurous. It’s got lots of Easter eggs in it for anyone who is a big Peter Pan fan, and it’s a romp of a story that I think readers will really enjoy.
Q. Do we see any of the pieces from this collection blossoming out into their own full length properties?
I hope readers will want to hear more Kel-Fazz and Harb, because I love them and want to spend more time in their world. They are just so interesting and entertaining. So, I have plans for additional stories. Maybe, hopefully, enough for a book of their own.
Q. Share a little of your TBR pile and what you’re interested in reading these days.
I have been and will always be a voracious and eclectic reader. Because I read for so many different reasons, my TBR pile continues to grow daily, no matter how much or how fast I read. I read for pleasure, for research, to stretch myself, to stay abreast of what’s being published, to help my book coaching clients find good comp titles, and to explore formats and structures for future work. Right now, I have an idea for a new story that feels like it might be a fit for a graphic novel, so I have added a number of graphic novels to my TBR pile. Here are just a few of the titles sitting at the top of my TBR pile today:
• They Called Us Enemy (Graphic Memoir) by George Takei
• Ghosts (Middle-Grade Graphic Novel) by Raina Telgemeier
• Small Spaces (Middle-Grade Action/Adventure) by Catherine Arden
• Putting the Science in Fiction (Writing Craft) by Dan Koboldt
• The Goblin Emperor (Fantasy) by Katherine Addison
• The Unteachables (Middle-Grade Contemporary Humor) by Gordon Korman
• Child of the Civil Rights Movement (Non-Fiction Picture Book) by Paula Young Shelton, Illustrated by Raul Colón
• Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky (Non-Fiction/Art History Picture Book) by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, Illustrated by Daniel Minter
Learn More . . .
Blood From a Rose is available now from Brick Cave, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Bookstores nationwide. It is available in paperback format. Sharon can be found online at her author website or her website for book coaching.