Saturday, June 29, 2013

Salt Spring Island Friends trilogy by EC Sheedy: Spotlight


Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

This is such an easy question for me, because I dream of traveling everywhere. I think travel is the second most romantic thing in the world, second only to the romance of falling in love with that special person you hope to spend your life with. And when it comes to travel, I've been fortunate enough to visit quite a few countries, a lot of Europe (I'm mad for Italy!), China, Japan, Thailand, and the U.S. I'm a Canadian so I'm lucky to live next door, two hours by ferry, to a fascinating country that offers a million things to see, do, and learn. The only problem with the U.S. is it's so big, I can't hope to see it all.  One thing I want to do is walk under those moss-dripping trees in the deep South...

Does travel play in the writing of your books?

Probably not as much as it should. I've used London as a setting for A Man Called Blue and Overkill, and Paris for  A Man for the Morning, but other than that most of my books are set in the Pacific Northwest, both the US and Canada. I live in a beautiful part of this world, and it offers me everything I can hope for as a backdrop for writing romance, the mystery of the ocean, the endless green of mighty trees, small intimate islands, or sophisticated multi-cultural cities.  The Pacific Northwest has them all. Plus rain. You can't ignore the rain if you live in this part of the country. And while we complain about the rain, it does offer its own delights. It drives us indoors to read or write, get toasty in front of a fireplace, or sip hot chocolate while watching silver rivers course down our windows. (And wonder why those rivulets never run straight and insist on zigging and zagging across what we see as clear flat glass...) When it comes to rain, I think John Updike said it best. "Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life."

How do you react to a bad review of your book?

This is a good question to ask writers. And my answer would be that it depends on how bad the review is and how I'm feeling on the day I read it. Reviews are something that slot into a life in motion, with all its ups and downs. So if it's already a blue day, for any one of a number of reasons, or the new writing is going badly, a poor review stings more than it should. But in the end, getting such a review is just one of many times in the writing life when those "big girl panties" come in handy. (I wonder what the guys do...) I'm just grateful to any reader who takes the time to share an opinion on one of my books. And I try to learn from them.

What are the most important attributes for remaining sane as a writer?

Several serviceable sets of those "big girl panties." LOL 

I'd say one way to remain sane is to find your own course, and not lose your way by listening to the thousands of discordant, confusing voices on the internet whispering—shouting!—in your ear about what you must do to succeed as a writer.  They tell you:  you must publish traditionally, you must not publish traditionally; you must promote your work endlessly, you must not promote your work endlessly. You must write a series; you must write at warp speed and produce a book a month. You must write in a genre that sells and be present on every social media platform in the cyber universe.

The advice is endless and the voices are seductive, because inherent in them is the promise that if you do this, that or the other thing, you will be read and you will sell your books. Or worse they make you feel overwhelmed or defeated before you put so much as a finger to a key to begin your work. It's the voices that make you a little bit crazy by taking up the space in your head that's meant for your first love—story. Because if you really want to remain sane as a writer, the critical thing is to stay in love with writing. That love can easily get lost among the host of incoming must-haves and shoulds.

Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?

In 2006 I read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, and I've been awed by this author ever since. Absolutely adored that book! I wait, not breathlessly, because that would have killed me by now, for a second novel by Ms. Setterfield and still see none on the publishing horizon. But she's still my idol.

Also a huge fan of Courtenay Milan. She writes such intelligent characters.

Why should we read your books?

Because I'm polite and say, "Pretty please—with sugar on it?" I honestly don't know why anyone "should" read one of my books or what I can say to tempt them. It's all been said, right? But if you like romance with a side order of smiles, a dash of sexy, great heroes, maybe a tear or two,  and a guaranteed happily ever after ending, you could do worse than give one of my books a try. (Just check with me to see what kind of day I'm having before you write a bad review, okay?)

Currently working on? The last book in my Salt Spring Island Friends trilogy, due to be published in the fall. It's tentatively titled A Man for Grace, and follows California Man and Man for the Morning, both currently available on Amazon. All my books and novellas are listed here:

Relationships don't come easy when you're too shy to love...Quinn Ramsay is facing the biggest decision of his life, whether or not to sell his hugely successful sports conglomerate. His schedule has been insane for years, an endless series of trains, planes and automobiles. Even so he's not so sure he wants to give it up. For what, he keeps asking himself. Where would he go from here? What would be his next step?

With those questions in mind, he heads to a friend's house on Salt Spring, a small island in the Pacific Northwest that promises solitude and uninterrupted time to think and plan.

Not in his plan is meeting Emily Welland, the shy owner of the local bookstore. She intrigues him as no woman has in years--more so when he sees how determined she is to avoid him.

Emily is timid, insecure, and introspective--and she has her reasons. She's read about Quinn Ramsay, the brilliant and handsome celebrity entrepreneur, and she's seen pictures of him in the tabloids, always with a stunning model or actress on his arm. She knows he walks red carpets with the same ease that he hosts charity sporting events and fund raisers. His glittering California life is the polar opposite to her quiet, safe, and reclusive life on Salt Spring Island. And when he starts to show an interest in her, her initial reactions are disbelief, fear--and panic attacks. None of which she can control.

All of which makes Quinn more interested than ever.

A couple of reviews:

"The slow steady, buildup of sensuality without being overly sexual made this book hard to put down." Affaire de Coeur

"An exquisitely sensitive love story featuring appealing characters with a wonderful chemistry between them." RT Magazine

Kindle   Goodreads

One damaged heart. Two weeks in Paris.

Single mother, Lynn McDonald, has left her Salt Spring Island home to take the trip of a lifetime. She's in Paris! And she plans to see and feel everything that's wondrous in the incomparable City of

Cool, jaded--commitment phobic--Paul Severns, an acclaimed film director, is in Paris helping a colleague with her directorial debut and taking a break from Hollywood's glut of egos and ambitions.

A friend brings Lynn and Paul together.

The attraction--between a wary man who won't accept that love even exists and a spirited woman whose life has been shaped by unselfish dedication--is immediate. And completely unworkable.

They only have days to cover the vast emotional distance between them. Lynn has reason to believe that anything is possible, but Paul's unyielding defence of his thrice-hurt heart proves to be her ultimate test.


 Coming this Fall......... 

Here's the emotional starting point for Grace Whitby, a hard-working, sensible, normally light-hearted woman who's been on the singles sideline while both her friends found the love of their lives. It truly is past time for a man for Grace...

Tentatively titled  A Man for Grace

Being lonely sucks. 

A new tenant would take over Emily’s bookstore any day now. Workmen had been in there for the past couple of weeks, stripping out the bookshelves, dry walling, painting, getting it ready for its new occupant. All of which made her feel worse.

Admit it Grace Whitby you’re flat-out lonely.

That was all she could think to call her current state of blue. Lately it was as if her chest had been hollowed out and her heart light set on dim.

Both of her best friends were married and gone. Well, not gone, gone, but off Salt Spring Island more than they were on it these days, and the Island, small to begin with, was positively claustrophobic without them.
Odd how you took your friends for granted, when they were close by or a local phone call away. Friends filled in all the fissures and cracks in your life, smoothed them over. Those cracks yawned like bottomless chasms when there was no laughter, lunches, and woman-talk to help you cover them up.
Still… Life might not be perfect, but it was good. She had no right to complain.

Maybe she should stop dreaming about him—her very own perfect man. Just because Emily and Lynn had won the male lottery didn’t mean she’d have the next winning ticket. She needed to get real and stop feeling gloomy and down about something she had no control over.

But that stop dreaming thing? She had trouble with that. Dreams kept her motor going, kept her up and doing, kept a smile on her face on those days when what she really wanted to do was pull the covers over her head and stay in bed.

Dreams were her only antidote to this…thick gray soul-creep she’d been feeling lately. Stop dreaming, you stop living.

Trouble was sometimes you were lonely even in your dreams.

I live on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. It's where I write, avoid housecleaning, try not to eat too much, walk my dog, and plot out more love stories than I'll ever find time to write.

My life is filled with the usual (and unusual), suspects: family--husband hero, two grown sons, a brilliant daughter-in-law, and beautiful twin granddaughters; animals--Zuke the Ridgeback, Mary, the borderline feral cat, and sea lions and eagles outside my office window.

I take writing seriously, myself not so much. And the only word I hate is "hate."

Social Media links: 

Twitter @EC_Sheedy

  On my to-do list to update. (Hangs head in writerly shame)

Blog: This is a group blog with four author friends, currently lying fallow, but due to be resurrected this fall.
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