Interview with Sharon O'Connor

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Western New York. I thought it was a pretty happening place until my future husband visited and called it The Sticks. Weekends were spent riding horses and enjoying the outdoors. Wouldn't change it for anything.
When did you first start writing?
I began copying my mother's hand writing while she was in home Bible studies, before I could read. I filled a notebook with my scribbles, and later learned cursive by copying words she wrote out to keep me occupied. Sometimes I still feel like I'm just doodling, but eventually a story takes shape. I loved writing in journals growing up. Maybe that's why I love the mechanism of blogging. Our lives are the ultimate "story" to capture and tell.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Cancer is the story, but it's not the last chapter. There is so much more ahead! God gives us hope even when life becomes an aching, throbbing, bald-from-chemo disaster.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Does that mean, what made me choose the most affordable publishing option ever? Well, then, the motivation was paying the medical bills by maybe writing a wonderful piece of meshed words that people would buy. Except as a cancer patient, I don't want to charge other cancer patients money to read something that I hope helps and encourages them. So maybe the motivation was really just an excuse to do something I love (writing) to cope with something I dreaded (cancer) and see if something wild (financial freedom) happened too! Financial freedom has proven rather elusive, by the way. But emotional freedom? Priceless!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has contributed to my success by giving me the ability to self publish, at no cost, and share the story God has given me, through the e-book format on every major platform. There simply is no other more cost effective way for me to publish a book until I get (ahem) discovered by a Big Publisher. Wait. I'm already published! Thanks Smashwords.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Telling a story that impacts someone else in a positive, maybe life-changing way.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans? I have them? (Besides my mom, I mean.) Look. Fans are wonderful. I need them to come over and "Like" my Facebook page (SustainMeNotesonCancer) to help spread the word. My fans make me feel like someone cares about what I have to say... when maybe they're just being sweet... but I'll take it. I love my fans.
What are you working on next?
I'd like to create a CD of songs arranged by me for piano. Sort of the musical version of the book - songs to capture the difficult joy and unsettling freedom to accept and live life after encountering cancer.
Who are your favorite authors?
Louise L'Amour (really, that was the first person that came to mind, after God/The Bible!). C.S. Lewis; J.R.R. Tolkien; David Jeremiah.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The fact that God loves me, and that He has a purpose for allowing me to live and to be able to get out of bed each day - that's inspiring. And humbling. There was a time after surgeries (colostomy, then an ileostomy, then a take down) that I wondered if the effort to climb out was worth the pain. It was. It is.
Published 2014-02-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Sustain Me: Notes on Cancer
By
Price: Free! Words: 38,400. Language: English. Published: March 23, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
A well care visit finds a mass that results in a cancer diagnosis, multiple surgeries, aggressive treatment, a colostomy and a new normal. How do you move forward when treatment options seem more fearsome than the disease? When cancer returns? Sustain Me: Notes on Cancer is a collection of thoughts shared with honest emotion, humor and grace from the perspective of faith in God.