An Interview with Shar Dimick

Please help me welcome Shar Dimick to my blog today. She’s given me a wonderful interview and is doing a giveaway, too. Shar will give a print set of both her books, autographed by her (print mailed to US addresses only)

timecoverart200X300_2Tell us about yourself?

Besides writing, I also love to read. I read all genres of fiction (except horror or I can’t sleep) and non-fiction, but romances are my favorites! In my free time I also enjoy photography, running 5Ks, flower gardening and spending time with my family. I live on a small farm in Northwest Ohio with my husband and daughters ages, 11 and 6.

Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?

I’ve always been a writer. In the past I’ve worked as a reporter for a community newspaper, wrote marketing pieces for a bank and wrote cellular phone user guides! I’ve also published several articles on technical communication. Before I graduated from college, I worked in a frozen yogurt shop, a pizza parlor and in the shoe department of a department store!

Are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?

My day job is writing user guides and training materials for a software company that specializes in software and services that run agencies support individuals with developmental disabilities.

What genre(s) do you write in and why?

I write contemporary romances that are more sweet than steamy. I’m a push-over for a happy ending. Even more than reading them, I like writing them.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

I have written two novels: Take a Deep Breath and Take Your Time. I have a hard time picking a favorite. Take a Deep Breath is dear to my heart because it’s my first novel and the main character deals with anxiety and panic. This is something I too have dealt with over the years. While, Take Your Time is also special to me as it is the book I just finished and is still fresh in my mind. Currently, I’m working on a third novel, Take My Hand, so I’m sure that will be my next favorite!

Tell us about your current series/WIP.

My current series is called “Lake of the Pines,” because that is where the stories take place. This fictional lake is where four sisters vacation with their grandparents as children. The first book, Take a Deep Breath. is about Liv, the second to youngest sister. She’s recently divorced and reconnects with an old crush. The next book, Take Your Time follows the youngest sister, Maddy. She’s a recent college graduate, who didn’t date much. She shy and unsure of herself. Deciding to take a risk, she goes on a blind date with her old roommate’s older brother. The third book, Take My Hand is the one I’m currently writing and is about Jen, the second to oldest sister. Jen is an interior designer and feng shui expert. She recently bought an old house near Lake of the Pines. The last thing she wants is to fall in love, but the younger landscape architect that lives next door has other ideas. The last book in the series, Take My Home, will be about Lisa, the oldest sister.

What is your favorite part of writing?

My favorite part of writing is when I’m in muse mode. I’m thinking about the characters and plotting out the story in my mind. I also like to revise.

What is your least favorite part of writing?

Writing the first draft is the hardest part for me. I really have to force myself to get on a schedule to get it out!

How does your family feel about your writing career?

While my daughters aren’t old enough to read my novels (while they are sweet, they aren’t entirely chaste), the are very proud of me. My mother and sister read and proof all my drafts. My mother is a former librarian and my sister is an all-around brainiac (merit scholar finalist!). They both read romances too. I couldn’t do what I do without them! While my husband isn’t into romance novels, he too is supportive of my writing career.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?

My experience self-publishing has been awesome. I’ve gotten dozens of wonderful, encouraging emails from readers. In addition, I’ve also gotten 74 five and four star reviews on Amazon. I entered my first book in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and it was a quarter-finalist. I’m selling around 40 books a month, so while I’m nowhere near a millionaire, I am satisfied with how my books are doing.

What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?

My advice is to not give up! If you have a story to tell, do it! Just make sure you have it edited well and a professional looking cover!

What was the hardest thing you’ve found in the process of self-publishing? What was the easiest part of self-publishing?

The hardest part of self-publishing is definitely promotion. I have a really hard time with that. It’s pretty much trial and error. Finding the time to promote is hard too, especially when I’m working on a new novel, want to get in my daily run and spend time with my family after working all day.

Where can readers find you?

Twitter: @shardimick

Where can readers find your books? Print/Ebook?

Both eBooks and Print books are available from Amazon:
Take Your Time:
Take A Deep Breath:

Shar Dimick started writing stories and poems as a grade-schooler. Her passion for writing continues to grow. Whether writing, a blog entry, a software manual or a chapter in her next novel, not a day goes by where she isn’t writing something. Cousin to her love for writing, Shar’s also an avid reader of romance novels from contemporary to historical. Drawn to the genre from an early age, it seemed natural that her first novel, Take a Deep Breath, be a contemporary romance. Many readers emailed Shar how much they enjoyed Take a Deep Breath and asked for more. Writing in the early mornings and late evenings with a push from the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), she pushed ahead and wrote her next novel, Take Your Time, the second book in what is now the “Lake of the Pines” series. She is currently at work on the third book, Take My Hand. Shar holds a Master of Arts in English from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Shar, her husband and their daughters live in rural Northwest Ohio.

Excerpt from Take Your Time:

Maddy scanned the horizon and the surrounding boardwalk with her zoom lens. She snapped a photo of a sailboat skimming the water. A few seconds later a pair of seagulls dipping into the water filled her frame. She panned over to the docks and the line of boats tied to it. Sail boats, speed boats, jet skis, row boats, pontoon boats and even a canoe were moored to the three long wooden piers that jetted out into the lake. A small houseboat made its way into one of the open spaces on the pier closest to Maddy. She saw a golden colored dog sitting on the deck of the boat. She zoomed in a little closer. The dog sat perfectly still except for his wagging tail and panting tongue. The dog stared straight ahead as if guiding the boat into place. The boat bumped the edge of the dock and the dog didn’t flinch.

Maddy watched as a man joined the dog in her view finder. She sucked in her breath at the sight of him. He wasn’t wearing a shirt and his well-muscled back glistened with sweat. Unable to turn away, she snapped a photo as he turned toward the dog. The man bent down and reached to pat the dog’s head. He had a broad smile across his tanned face. Just as the man scratched the dog behind his ears, the dog turned and flicked his tongue right into the man’s mouth. Maddy giggled to herself as she continued to snap a series of photos as if on autopilot. The man quickly stepped back and wiped the back of his hand over his mouth on reflex. He wagged his finger at the impish dog and gave him a mock scolding, before scratching his ears again, this time with his mouth closed. Maddy adjusted her camera to see if she could zoom any closer and caught the sun in her lens. She could see the glare as it flashed across the man’s face. Crap. So much for blending in.

The man looked up and out toward the beach and Maddy. She quickly dropped her camera back around her neck as she felt her cheeks grow hot from being caught watching the man and his dog. She’d been so mesmerized by their interaction that she couldn’t help herself. The photos were for her personal collection and wouldn’t be sold, so there was no real harm taking them. With more people now dotting the beach, he probably hadn’t even realized she’d taken his photo. She was worrying for nothing. Maddy waited for her heart to start beating normally before she looked up and glanced over toward the man again. He seemed to be watching her, studying her. He must see someone he knows, she thought as she continued to stare at him. He wore a pair of faded cut-off jeans that hung off his slender hips. His dark eyes caught and held hers a moment as he slowly brought a smile to his lips. Maddy felt her cheeks burning again. He’s not looking at you anyway. So why are you blushing? She chided herself. He raised his hand and waved. Maddy quickly turned to look behind her. He surely wasn’t waving at her. Her imagination must be playing tricks on her again. She swallowed and glanced back to the pier, but both the dog and the man were gone.

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