Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Interview with HALLMARK Author Sheila Roberts

Sheila Roberts

Sheila Roberts!  I am so excited to have you here with us this morning.  I LOVED The Nine Lives of Christmas.  And the Hallmark Channel Original Movie was excellent.  What else have you written?
I’ve written about thirty novels and seven devotional books, all under different names.

What is your favorite genre to write?
I love writing women’s fiction.

Favorite food.
Chocolate (also known as “Vitamin C”)

Tea or coffee?
Both! I love a nice cup of tea, but I’m also a latte girl (coconut or caramel, please). How could I not be, having grown up in Seattle, home of Starbucks?

Pizza or ice cream?
I’ll have both. Chicken Alfredo pizza and ice cream for dessert. Make it a pumpkin Blizzard.

Where would you like to visit?
Someday I want to cruise the Greek Isles. And I’d love to ride the Orient Express!

Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What?
I’m very fond of The Band Perry and Jamie O’Neal. Also love Linda Ronstadt and Sting. When I’m writing I usually listen to orchestral music or movie scores with no vocals. Otherwise I get distracted by the songs and want to sing along instead of working on my story.

What makes you laugh?
Goofy things my husband says, funny movies, books by Kristan Higgins or Donald E. Westlake.
I love Donald Westlake.  Remember BANKSHOT?  Favorite work of art or sculpture.                    
I love all those charming cottage and village paintings of Thomas Kinkade. They’re so cozy and comforting. We own a knock-off and I love it.

How old were you when you started writing?
I think it the third grade (or maybe fourth) when I began my “career” – my poor grade school class, they were always being subjected to hearing my read my latest creation. I had a very encouraging teacher who looked for talent in her kids and made it her mission to help them develop it. How cool is that?

Describe your perfect evening.
A party with lots of friends and parlor games.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Anywhere and everywhere. When I wrote my novel, ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS it was inspired by my husband’s naughty lack of enthusiasm over having to spend yet another Christmas with my large, loud, fabulous, chaotic family.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I rarely get that. I did once, when I went to my new publisher. They took me on without a project in hand and I had to come up with an entire book series. I went into panic mode and that turned off the creative faucet. Once I got past the panic and had the germ of an idea I was fine.

Who is your favorite author?
I have two. Oh, wait, no, make that three. No, four. Hmmm. How do you pick a favorite author? Here are some I love: Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, Donald E. Westlake, Kristan Higgins, and Susan Wiggs. Oh, shoot, and I also adore John Grisham.

Best book you ever read.
Georgette Heyer’s THE MASQUERADERS and Jane Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

Last book you read.
THE KABUL BEAUTY SCHOOL. Got it out of our condo library. Fascinating reading – made me so thankful that I live in the U.S.!

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
Be a songwriter. That was what I was trying to do when I first stumbled into my writing career. I still dabble in it. A friend and I wrote a song as a bonus for my novel MERRY EX-MAS and made a music video. It’s called MERRY CHRISTMAS MAMA and you can find it on Youtube. We had so much fun doing that!

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My mother. She was an amazing woman – creative, clever, godly – and a fabulous mother. And she sure knew how to throw a party.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Jesus Christ. I’d love to have been one of the women in his close circle of friends!

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?

Learn all you can about the craft of writing. Read books on writing and study the authors you admire. It’s so easy to self-publish these days but resist the urge to throw up the first thing you urp up. Take some time to grow as a writer. Your early work may not be your best work. That probably lies ahead.

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