Interview on Book Marketing BuzzBlog

Sharon K. Miller fell in love with words at a young age, and writing became a big part of her life from that moment on. Her fascination with the archaeology and history of the Sonoran Desert and the Indigenous cultures who left their stories etched on and buried in the land inspired the books in the Clay Series—the interconnected tales of three women separated by centuries.

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Many thanks to Brian Feinblum for posting my interview on his blog. http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2017/11/interview-with-author-sharon-k-miller.html

Interview With Author Sharon K. Miller

The Clay Sustains [Book 3 in the Clay Series was published in September, 2017]

Clay Series Box Set.pngSharon K. Miller fell in love with words at a young age, and writing became a big part of her life from that moment on. Her fascination with the archaeology and history of the Sonoran Desert and the Indigenous cultures who left their stories etched on and buried in the land inspired the books in the Clay Series—the interconnected tales of three women separated by centuries. She lives beneath the back range of the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona. See: http://www.sharonkmiller.com

  1. What really inspired you to write your books, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a series? There is a state park not far from where I live near Tucson, Arizona, and in the park is an interpretive trail that winds through the ruins of a prehistoric Hohokam village which was inhabited from approximately 200 BC to about 1450 AD. At the same site are the remains of a nineteenth-century homesteader’s house. Signs along the trail describe how the Hohokam lived and farmed the area and how Francisco Romero brought his wife there in the nineteenth century to establish a cattle ranch. The first time I walked this trail, I wondered about Victoriana Romero’s life in this lonely place where Apaches stole their cattle and did battle with her husband, threatening their very existence. My first inclination was to write her story, but I discovered there was very little in the historical record about her. I decided instead to write about a fictitious woman, Esperanza Ramirez, who finds an ancient pot and makes a connection to the Hohokam woman who made it—a connection that helps her deal with loneliness and threats from those who would do her harm.

For the rest of the interview, go to http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2017/11/interview-with-author-sharon-k-miller.html

Author Spotlight: David Neilson and the Sophie Rathenau Vienna Mysteries

If he were to fail to meet her standards, she just might pull her gun on him—a gun she carries primed and loaded in case she needs it in a hurry. But David knows to follow her lead.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that a man can’t create a living, breathing, believable female character. I am continually astonished at the sensitivity with which David Neilson builds his main character’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. I think Sophie truly does live in his head, and she directs the stories he writes. If he were to fail to meet her standards, she just might pull her gun on him—a gun she carries primed and loaded in case she needs it in a hurry. But David knows to follow her lead.

In an online interview, he tells us that Sophie does, indeed, resonate in his head. “She knows she’s the star turn and she doesn’t tolerate rivals. I can catch her sometimes thinking whether she’s tough enough in one scene, or vulnerable enough, or self-righteous enough.… the best moments for me come when Sophie says or does something outrageous, for example, getting to get into a ball for free by pretending that a non-existent husband will pay, or trying to con a Jesuit rector into believing she’s a rich patroness.”

Who is this woman, you ask. “An investigator in Mozart’s Vienna, she’s tousle-headed, modest of bosom, large of hand, acid-tongued, and inclined to be self-righteous. Getting involved in the direst conspiracies of her day, she needs all her wits to come out in one piece.” That’s how David described her in an interview with Sue Seabury on her blog, The Technopeasant. Mozart’s Vienna in the 1770s hardly evokes a society in which a liberated woman might thrive as a private investigator. But Sophie manages to be the woman all women want to be.

The Prussian Dispatch and Lay Brothers, books one and two of the Sophie Rathenau Vienna Mysteries, bring you the adventures of this remarkable woman. In the first, Sophie is caught up in an international conspiracy when she is hired to locate a missing government dispatch sent from Prussia to Vienna. To complicate matters, she must keep a vengeful Chancellor at bay and deal with a past that threatens to engulf her. In the second, she’s managed to escape to Munich where intrigue comes in the form of a request from a friend who needs help finding a missing priest. In searching for him, she raises the ire of the increasingly corrupt Jesuit Order whose efforts to silence the priest turn deadly.

I promise you that if you love strong women characters and historical fiction at its finest, you will fall in love with Sophie Rathenau and the stories she drives David Neilson to tell. Visit Sophie’s website, which is a treasure trove of information about Vienna in the 1700’s, the politics, the people, the architecture, and the fashion.

Visit David’s Pinterest page, another place to see images of the people, places, and fashion of Sophie’s world. You can also view the trailers for each book:

The Prussian Dispatch

Lay Brothers

The third book, to be released soon, is Serene. In it we will find her protecting the rebellious Austrian Archduchess Isabella in Venice, a place Sophie had been warned never to return unless she is prepared to die. If something happens to the Archduchess and Sophie manages to escape Corona Mundt’s threat, the Austrian Chancellor will exact his revenge. It’s a lose-lose situation. Having had a preview of this third book, I’m eager for it to be published.

5 Questions Book Bloggers/Reviewers Should Answer on Their Websites

There is a lot to love about being an author, but there are a number of frustrations that have nothing to do with actually writing. It’s the marketing and promotion that get to me. Currently, on the top of my list is the challenge of finding reviewers or book bloggers from whom I can request a review.

Navigating book reviewer/blogger sites

I’ve spent hours going through website after website of reviewers from Amazon’s Top Reviewers using Amazon’s website as well as this site, which makes it a little easier to find and check the reviewer out. Or you can go to Twitter and do a search for “book reviewers” or “book bloggers,” adding your genre as part of the search terms. No matter where you go to find potential reviewers, you will follow the same procedure once you’ve found a website link for them. Continue reading “5 Questions Book Bloggers/Reviewers Should Answer on Their Websites”

“Solving” an Archaeological Mystery in Fiction

As I near the end of my current work-in-progress, The Clay Sustains, the third book of The Clay Series, I have arrived at the chapter wherein I will “solve” one of the greatest archaeological mysteries from the Hohokam era in the Tucson Basin.

In 1949, a man by the name of Ray Romo was hunting in an area of what is now Catalina State Park, near Tucson, Arizona. When the ground collapsed beneath his foot, I can only imagine he knelt down to examine the resulting hole and “peered into the past” (Swartz and Doelle, “The Romo Cache and Hohokam Life,” In the Mountain Shadows, 27:1, Archaeology Southwest, 1996 and 2013).

What he found was an ancient Hohokam pot cupped over a larger Hohokam pot containing a most exciting and intriguing treasure. Inside were 25 copper bells and 100,000 beads. That’s right. You read that correctly: 25 copper bells and 100,000 beads! romerocachediscoverysitebackgroundsstif

https://southwestphotojournal.com/category/prehistoric-pit-house-construction/

Continue reading ““Solving” an Archaeological Mystery in Fiction”

What Makes a Book a Keeper? Part 1

booksSome books are meant to pass time on my shelves before getting swept into the donation box for the local library or the thrift shop. Others have the distinction of permanent residency on what might be dubbed my “shelf of honor.” Those books are the ones that have somehow made a difference in my life. Maybe they were books that left a profound impression on me through their content and the author’s craft. Or they might be personally and professionally important–those that I had the honor of editing and designing for publication (or even writing), for example, or one that marked a life-passage for me. Continue reading “What Makes a Book a Keeper? Part 1”