Interview with Sharleen Scott

CAUGHTINTHESPINCOMPLETE_ebook_cover_jpegHow did you get started writing? I’m an avid reader and always thought I’d like to try writing a novel. I had an idea for a story and when it wouldn’t leave me alone, I sat down and started writing. The first attempt was a time-travel romance written on yellow pads and it was terrible. I came up with another idea and began again. I bought some writing books, took online writing classes, joined a local writing group, bought more writing books, joined RWA, and bought more writing books. I read the writing books in the evening and applied what I learned to my manuscript the next day. My friends (a proofreader and a former journalist) read my work and offered critiques. I rewrote until I had something I could be proud of.


Tell us about your current series. I have two books published in my Caught Series (romantic suspense). Caught in Cross Seas is set in Angel Beach, a fictitious beach town on the Oregon Coast. This story features Harlie Cates, a bakery owner and homeless advocate who wears plaid Converse All Stars, Clay Masterson, a country music superstar who is searching for his missing father, and a serial killer. Book two, Caught in the Spin, was released November 2. It’s set on a cattle ranch outside Nashville and features Clay’s best friend and foster brother, former bull rider Tom Black, and single mom on the run, Tallie Peters. I’m currently writing book three.

Some of the characters in this series are a bit quirky. There is humor, sexy romance with some hot cowboys, and a few serious issues for the reader to chew on. Caught in Cross Seas tackles homelessness, alcoholism, and societal pressure on women. The characters in Caught in Spin deal with domestic violence. Book three (untitled at the moment) will explore survivor’s guilt.


Tell us about your hero. Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses. In my latest release, Tom Black, the hero in Caught in the Spin, is a former champion bull rider. His strength is his competitive nature. When he sets a goal, he goes after it. This is also his weakness. Injuries from a bull riding wreck ended his career and Tom has difficulty dealing with his failure. Twelve years after the accident, Tom still doesn’t want to be reminded of who he was back in his glory days.

Tell us about your heroine. Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses. Tallie Peters, the heroine in Caught in the Spin, is a single mom who is an assistant to one of Nashville’s leading music managers. Her strength is her love for her son. She’ll do anything to protect him from his abusive father. Fear is her weakness. She knows what her ex-husband is capable of and is terrified he will kill her and take her son.


What is your next project and when will it be released? My next book is a stand-alone novel called Tangles and I hope to have it released in late spring.


What inspired this book? Tangles is the story of a man who unexpectedly finds himself in the position of caregiver for his mother who has Alzheimer’s disease. The story was inspired by my husband who found himself in a similar situation when his father was diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer and at the same time, his mother’s Alzheimer’s disease escalated. We had young children at the time and his parents required 24/7 care. After a particularly rough day, my husband wondered how he’d keep going without losing his mind. He loved his mom but was having difficulty dealing with the disease. I asked him, “Can you imagine being in this situation with someone with whom you didn’t have a good relationship?” and Tangles was born.


How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book? Not likely at all. I may use characteristics of someone I’ve met, but I’d never base a character on a real person. I don’t want real people inhabiting my head for the length of a novel.


What are you reading now? Working Stiff by Annelise Ryan. I love her sense of humor and how she’s created a realistic female sleuth—body image problems and all.

Excerpt | Caught in the Spin

Tallie and Harlie rounded the end of the barn and stopped in a huge pole building bursting with activity. A flatbed hay truck sat alongside the building where a man on a boom truck operated a motorized hook swinging hay bales between the truck bed and barn. Men on top of the haystack caught the bales against their chaps-covered legs using large hooks and set them in place. Tallie watched the hay fly through the air and cringed as the empty hook swung back, sure someone would get hurt. Several moments passed before she realized one of the guys on the stack was the man she needed to see. Clay Masterson was bucking hay.

Despite the shed’s open-air construction, the space inside was stifling and Tallie fanned herself. The truck was almost empty when she caught sight of another man working the stack. With an effortless toss and a push with his thigh, he stacked a bale weighing a hundred and fifty pounds or more, flexing well-formed shoulder muscles. The job completed, he chucked his leather gloves aside and ran his hands through his straight, midnight-black hair, pushing it from his face. Even though he was sweaty and covered in chaff, Tallie couldn’t stop staring—maybe even because of it. His damp shirt stuck to the angles and lines of his body. The temperature around Tallie jumped a notch and she couldn’t blame the weather.

Clay grabbed a handful of hay and dumped it on the man’s head, causing him to utter a few good-natured expletives. Clay laughed and dodged before his smiling victim could retaliate.

“That is the finest-looking man I’ve ever seen,” Tallie said with an appreciative sigh. Harlie laughed and Tallie covered her red cheeks with her hands. “Did I say that out loud?”

“You did. Which one are you talking about?”

Tallie looked up, her eyes drifting back to him. “The dark-haired one. Not that I don’t think your husband is handsome,” she quickly added. “But I’m not ill-mannered enough to drool over him when I’m standing next to you.”

“It’s okay if you did,” Harlie said with the smile of a confident woman. “I’m getting used to it. And I agree with you that both of them are enjoyable to look at. I’ve often wondered if Montana produced any ugly boys.” She laughed. “It looks like they’re done with the truck. I’ll introduce you.”


Amazon Link for Caught in the Spin:

Amazon Link for Caught in Cross Seas:

**ON SALE NOW** Caught in Cross Seas Kindle version is currently on sale for .99 cents


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