Interview with Sharon E. Cathcart

Published 2016-12-19.
Where do you get your ideas?
The truth is that they can come from anywhere. Inspiration has come from songs, news stories, books I've read, or even a phrase that occurred to me. As a historical fiction author, I'm always looking for ways to show the human face of actual events.
When did you first start writing?
I don't remember the time before I started writing, to be honest. Even in elementary school I was writing little stories and plays to share with my friends.
What was your first published book?
Back in 1995, I was working for the Dept. of the Army as a newspaper editor. The three-star command where I worked was scheduled for inactivation, and I was given an assignment to write a souvenir book about the unit's history. It was a great opportunity to delve into four decades of photojournalists' archives for photos and first-person stories.

It wasn't without its challenges; I ran into a couple of "hitches" in the process and mentioned the issues to a colleague. He was a military historian by hobby at that time (he is now a military historian by profession), so he co-wrote a couple of the difficult pieces with me.

I remain grateful for this project, which became "Born of War ... Dedicated to Peace: A History of Sixth US Army."
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. I wrote a lot when I was growing up because it rained so much, to be honest; it gave me an escape.

Interestingly enough, only one of my tales, "The Rock Star in the Mirror (or, How David Bowie Ruined My Life)," takes place in the Pacific Northwest.
What's the story behind your latest book?
"Bayou Fire" is my first full-length historical paranormal. The two protagonists have had recurring dreams since childhood about a fire ... and once they meet, all the pieces fall together.

The inspiration was an actual historical event: the LaLaurie mansion fire in New Orleans, which happened on April 10, 1834. I'm really enjoying the research and writing on this one.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I like the idea of controlling the whole process, from story ideas to genre, even down to the cover art. There are so many great stories to tell, and the Big Five don't always seem interested in making sure that they see the light of day.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I cannot say enough good things about Smashwords. I came on-board in 2009, before the extended distribution/Premium Catalog was even available. I sell more books through the Premium Catalog than any other outlet.

I love that Smashwords is so easy for authors to use, which encourages me to publish more works.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Bringing new characters and situations to life!
What do your fans mean to you?
I am grateful to each and every reader ... each and every fan on my website or Facebook page ... all of you! Knowing that my stories make a difference in your lives makes me smile every single day.
What are you working on next?
I've just released "In The Eye of The Storm," the sequel to "In The Eye of The Beholder," and my first Regency novelette, "Clytie's Caller." The next items in the pipeline are an eBook "box set" of my paperback, "Brief Interludes," which is a collection of my short fiction, and an omnibus edition of the "Seen Through the Phantom's Eyes" series.
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Latest books by This Author

Hard-Boiled Blues
Series: Pocketful of Stories. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,040. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Two dead bodies. Two policemen, one in New Orleans and one in Memphis. Not all crimes have easy solutions in the Jim Crow South. It's enough to make you sing the blues. Grab the final entry in "Pocketful of Stories" today!
It Happened in Memphis
Series: Pocketful of Stories. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,790. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Alternative history, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Evie Boudreaux has a knack for seeing history in action. Why? Because she sees ghosts. Come along on a visit to Tupelo and Memphis, and see the earliest days of rock music through Evie's eyes! Buy "It Happened in Memphis," Pocketful of Stories No. 7, today!
Flowers of Europe
Series: Pocketful of Stories. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,240. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk, Fiction » Historical » Victorian
Thaddeus Flowers, American inventor and charming rake, is chasing adventure and romance across Europe. English scientist Arabella Abingdon is always one step ahead of him. Join the excitement in these steampunk-tinged historical tales that take you from Hyde Park to the Place des Vosges.
Two Days in June
Series: Pocketful of Stories. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,350. Language: English. Published: June 5, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Starvation. Fear. Fighting in the streets. It's June 1832, and Paris is once again at war. The students of the Sorbonne rise up against those in power, believing that right and the people are on their side. But King Louis-Philippe has other plans.
Down on the Corner of Love
Series: Pocketful of Stories. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,920. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Being a civil rights activist isn't easy in rural Louisiana. Raine's found herself ostracized and alone because she's a woman who speaks her mind. Fed up, she leaves her country world behind for beautiful San Francisco. There, Raine meets a new best friend, Jo, who is free-spirited and living life to the fullest. But Jo's in more danger than Raine realizes, "Down on the Corner of Love."
A Light Across the Lake
Series: Pocketful of Stories. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,900. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Victorian, Fiction » Historical » General
Return to Paris' glamorous Opera Garnier, and the world of the award-winning "Seen Through the Phantom's Eyes" series! "A Light Across the Lake" is the tale of apprentice set builder Lucien Dubois, who is determined to see what lies in the fifth cellar. Will his exploration raise the ire of the infamous Opera Ghost?
Yellowjack and the River Man
Series: Pocketful of Stories. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,820. Language: English. Published: October 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
Yellow fever. Voodoo queen Marie Laveau. A long-lost relative's homecoming. The Underground Railroad. All of them are part of Alcide Devereaux's ("Bayou Fire") continuing story. See what adventures come his way in "Yellowjack and the River Man."
Last Stop: Storyville
Series: Pocketful of Stories. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,220. Language: English. Published: September 10, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Riding a New Orleans streetcar is an everyday occurrence for Tulane freshman Jimmy Arceneaux ("Bayou Fire"). But one evening, things are different. Find out how in "Last Stop: Storyville."
Music, Mayhem, and Bad Decisions
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,580. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Music, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
During her teenage years, award-winning author Sharon E. Cathcart dreamed of working in the music business. She lived that dream for seven years, beginning at age 18. Unfortunately, she learned that dreams can turn quickly to nightmares.
Bayou Fire
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 48,420. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Historical
(5.00 from 1 review)
Diana Corbett’s childhood was plagued by unceasing dreams of smoke and flames. The nightmares went away, until the noted travel writer’s first night on assignment in Louisiana … when they returned with a vengeance. Could the handsome Cajun, Amos Boudreaux, be the key to unlocking the secret of BAYOU FIRE?
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