About the Novel:
About the Author:
She is also a university professor and an on-line creative writing instructor.
She shares a cottage with her two cats, Matt and Cinders, in a small lake-side community near Fort Worth Texas and is finishing her second novel in the Brands Crossing series, Whatever Goes Around, which will be available in March of 2012.
Sharon Own on the WEB
Sharon on FACEBOOK
What book are you reading now?
The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes, I have been very impressed by Susan Bischoff, Jessica Park, Ann Summerville, Joanne Faries, Arly Pineo, Bonnie Pemberton and Rich Ochoa.
What are your current projects?
I have just published Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series) and am currently completing the second book in the Brands Crossing Series, Whatever Goes Around. It will be published in March.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My reading/critique group Trinity Writers Workshop (http://trinitywritersworkshop.com) has been the greatest source of support and inspiration outside my family. It is made of talented writers who are publishing in all genres and give positive, constructive critiques on fellow-members’ manuscripts. I have also been fortunate to have several beta readers from this group who helped me in the final stages of the revisions.
Do you see writing as a career?
I absolutely do see it as a career. I also have a teaching career as a college English professor and an online creative writing instructor.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
You know, I really wouldn’t. I’m sure there may be a few proof-reading issues I missed and I am grateful to readers when they point them out so that I can correct them. But other than that, by the time I finished my final edits and revisions I felt that I had done the best job I could in getting my vision of Kate’s journey down on paper. I hope my readers agree.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t creating stories to entertain myself. Of course, I was always the star of these productions. I come by this naturally as my grandfather was a great story teller. He also passed along to me his love of reading. So, from an early age I was a book worm and a day dreamer creating my own stories. As an adult, I began writing down the stories I carried in my head. I hope my readers are as intrigued, inspired and entertained by them as I still am.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I would love to.
Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series):
As a child, KATE O'DONNELL spends summers at her grandparents' estate in Brands Crossing where she and her girl cousins battle make-believe monsters, rescue endangered victims and a save a mythical kingdom. At twenty-five Kate is a singer/songwriter living in Nashville and pursuing a promising relationship with computer game designer PHILLIP NORWOOD. There, her only battles are fought in Aidenne's Revenge, Phillip's online fantasy game based on her childhood adventures. With her grandfather's sudden death from injuries he sustained in a suspicious car crash, Kate is forced to make a choice. Will she remain in Nashville to focus on Phillip and her music career? Or will she move back to Brands Crossing and honor the promise she made to her grandfather that she would investigate the mystery surrounding his death? Family trumps career and romance and Kate heads back to Texas where the monsters, victims and endangered kingdoms are all too real. In an attempt to protect Kate from danger, Phillip joins her quest and helps her search for incriminating documents, investigate a centuries-old family feud and confront an anonymous rose-bearing admirer who stalks Kate in both real and virtual universes. Thicker Than Water is the first in a series of novels set in Brands Crossing, Texas. It chronicles the lives of the Kincaids, a prominent family in this mythical town, and focuses on a mystery that extends back to the mid-eighteenth century and the young Texas Republic.
Here is an excerpt from the novel:
Brands Crossing Texas
Like a modern Persephone, eight-year-old Katy O'Donnell sprinted out of the woods with her rescued victim and called out for justice from a higher power.
Will Kincaid heard her shout and rushed out the front door.
"Grampa Will." She gasped for breath before continuing, "those yellow-belly Teagues are poaching on our property."
Leaves and twigs tangled in her red hair and dirt covered most of her freckles. Her grandmother's pizza pan was fastened with Will's red suspenders across her scrawny, heaving chest and showed new battle scars. Yet, her hands and eyes were steady as she held out the shivering, wounded rabbit.
Will Kincaid dropped to his knees on the cobblestones and grabbed her shoulders. "Are you hurt?"
Katy shook her head vigorously. "We have to defend our kingdom from those suns and beaches." Her green eyes sparked with righteous indignation. Instead of the imaginary monsters she and her cousins usually battled in their make-believe games, she'd discovered a real villain and demanded justice for his victim.
"Whoa, now, Missy. Your grandma would wash your mouth out with soap if she heard you slandering our neighbors that way. Where'd you hear such talk?"
"You said …."
Will puffed out his cheeks before exhaling his breath. "If I ever said that, and I'm not saying I did, mind you." He took a moment to swallow down a lump of bile-covered pride, "If I said that ... I was wrong."
The shocked look on Katy's face might have made him chuckle if he'd been in a laughing mood.
"The land by the lake isn't our property. It belongs to the town of Brands Crossing."
"My great, great grandfather founded the Crossing and gave it his name, that's true." Will continued. "But Lucas Teague received an adjoining government land grant that same year. They were both heroes in the Texas War of Independence with Mexico."
Gently nudging her face up with one finger, he forced Katy to meet his gaze. "We only visit in the summer, but the Teagues live here year-round and hire local folks in their factory. For that alone they deserve our respect." He tapped the cleft in her chin. "Understand?"
"Bradley.” she insisted. "He had a gun.”
"I'll check into it," Will promised. "But without evidence to back them up, you gotta be careful making accusations.
The stubborn angle of her jaw indicated her desire to continue the argument but, after a moment, she nodded and dropped her gaze to the floor.
Will creaked his way back to a standing position and took the rabbit from her. "Let's see if we can patch up your little friend."
On the way into the house, he ruffled his granddaughter's already tangled hair. "I tell you what, Katy-Belle. If our kingdom ever does need defending, you'll be the first one I call."
Brands Crossing Texas
February 13, 2010
For a change, the Channel 4 weatherman called it right: freezing rain mixed with sleet. Since temperatures had hovered in the twenties over the past couple of days, Will Kincaid wasn't surprised to find an accumulation of frost on his windshield when he left his late-night meeting at eleven o'clock.
Allowing the defroster to do its job, he let the engine idle and turned his phone back on to check for messages. He listened to a couple from his youngest granddaughter, the last acknowledging receipt of the Fed-ex delivery. He gave a sigh of relief after that one. The contents of those boxes insured safety for his family if the folks he'd just met with called his bluff.
A vivid image of a little red-haired girl fighting for justice crossed his mind. Who knew that one day he really would be calling on Katy to save his kingdom?
Remembering his wife's chilly response when he called to say he'd be late, he expected an ass-chewing when he got home. Maybe he deserved it.
He was getting too old to handle all the details by himself, too old for midnight drives on icy roads, too old to face enemies alone. The important thing now was to get that tired old ass back to the house. He was definitely too old to spend what was left of the night in the truck if he ran it into a ditch.
Consequently, he eased up on the accelerator as he approached the bridge. The sudden flash of two sets of high beams —one in front, one behind—made him hit the brakes and jerk the steering wheel.
The next moment, he felt the sharp impact on his back bumper and the beginning of the skid.
Praying for a miracle, he watched the hood of his Dodge pickup plunge with grotesque grace through the guardrails toward the dark, frigid water below.
Belle was bound to give him grief over this.
A few miles away the first person heard of the incident. Standing by the window, staring at the freezing rain, he listened to the ominous report.
"What do you mean ' a kind of accident? he asked. Either it was or it wasn't."
"Jackson may have tapped his bumper but the old man lost control."
"And why were you following him?"
"Because the old bastard wouldn't listen to reason. He disrespected all of us. He needed to know we wouldn't tolerate that."
The listener shook his head. He was dealing with idiots. "Are you sure Mr. Kincaid was killed?"
"Yes …. No," the speaker whined. "How the hell do I know?"
"Christ." The listener rubbed his fingers against his throbbing temple. "Hold on, I'll call it in."
"Call what in? The accident? Are you crazy? If he's not dead already he soon will be."
Wincing at the caller's callous words, he pushed the hold button to cut them off, grabbed a pre-paid phone from the desk drawer and dialed 911. "Accident on North Shoals Bridge," he shouted in a voice-disguising falsetto, "Truck went right into the water. God, it's bad. Send an ambulance."
After yanking out the battery and tossing it and the cell phone into the trash, he returned to his previous conversation. "Did you talk to Jackson?"
"Yeah, he's already hightailing it south with his chica."
"Fine. Make sure he stays down there until further notice. You're sure there were no witnesses?"
"No way. You know this hick town rolls up the sidewalks by nine o'clock. 'Specially on a night like this."
"We can hope. Where are you now?"
"Just pulled into my garage."
"Is your wife there?"
"No, she's in Dallas this weekend."
"Fine. Go inside, make some calls, send some emails."
"Establish an alibi.
"Hey, I didn't do nothin'. It was Lee." After a moment he continued. "This wasn't s'posed to happen. But—"
"For once, you're right." He wondered how a simple plan could go so wrong. As much as he might regret the injury—possible death—of a good man, he had no choice but to protect the unholy alliance he'd joined.
He returned the portable phone to its cradle. Soon enough, it would ring again and he'd have to put in an appearance. For now, he could do nothing but wait.
Restless, he sat down in front of his computer and logged into Aidenne's Revenge. His pulse quickened when he saw Flamesdancer on the friends-list of current participants in Aidennne's Revenge. Although he always looked for Kathleen O'Donnell's avatar there, he seldom found her in the game this late in the evening.
Using coordinates, he found her in a cave near his castle, slashing monsters. He armored up his own character and rushed to her assistance. Side by side, they battled the forces of darkness, joined in mind, emotion, spirit.
When the call came, he cursed the interruption. Cursed his partners' bumbling ineptitude and the continued impediments to a physical bond with Kathleen.
But duty called.
After two deep breaths, he picked up the phone and reached for his gun.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The blank page is always somewhat intimidating. Therefore, I do a lot of pre-writing: developing characters, defining the world of the novel and exploring possible situations in which those characters can interact in that world. By the time, I actually start writing the story I have a lot of ideas in place and they begin to flow onto the computer screen.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Nora Roberts is my favorite writer. She is a fabulous story teller and, despite the fact that she publishes several books a year, her novels are always fresh and exciting and interesting. I think her greatest strength is her ability to create fascinating, believable, three-dimensional characters who live on in the readers’ minds after they finished the novel.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I have not yet done much travel in connection with my book(s), but I hope to do so. I would love to speak at conferences and workshops and also attend book signings.
Who designed the covers?
Courtney M Sikora designed the cover for Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series) and did a wonderful job presenting the essence of the book. The cover for Whatever Goes Around has not yet been designed.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part was focusing on what it was really about. I created a very complex world and cast of characters. I had to discover what Kate O’Donnell’s (the protagonist) story was all about and take away any extraneous material. This led to the decision to create other novels in the series to tell the other stories.