Author Interview with Sharon Marchisello

20 Questions
(Author Interviews)

Brought to you by
Debby P. 

1.Tell us about your current project.  
My 70,000-word mystery/thriller, Secrets of the Galapagos, opens with the 25-year-old heroine, Giovanna Rogers, snorkeling in Gardner Bay, off the coast of EspaƱola Island. She and another cruise passenger, a tortoise researcher named Laurel Pardo, become separated from the group and Laurel is apparently left behind. No one on board the ship will acknowledge Laurel is missing.
Giovanna came on the luxury Galapagos cruise with her grandmother, Michelle DePalma, to decompress from a broken engagement and a business venture derailed by an unscrupulous partner. But she quickly becomes embroiled in a murder investigation--led by an attractive local detective--and a scam involving Tio Armando, the most famous Galapagos giant tortoise since Lonesome George and one of the major tourist attractions in the archipelago. When Giovanna shares what she knows, she finds her life in jeopardy.

2. What sparked the idea for this project? 
A cruise I took to the Galapagos. I actually had a scare while snorkeling, like the heroine experiences in the opening.
2a: When can we expect to see this project? 
I'm currently shopping for an agent. So who knows?

3.  How do you choose your book covers? 
My last book cover (for Going Home, Sunbury Press, 2014) was done by a graphic artist employed by my publisher. She asked me for a list of covers by other authors that I admired, and then, within a week, designed one that I liked very much, with very little tweaking needed. An eerie coincidence: I later learned that the colors she chose for the cover are the Alzheimer's colors: purple (someone who lost a loved one to Alzheimer's), yellow (a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's), blue (a person living with Alzheimer's), and orange (a supporter of the quest to find a cure). Going Home was inspired by my mother's battle with Alzheimer's, and the Lola, the mother character in the book who is the main murder suspect, has Alzheimer's.

4. Music seems to influence a lot of authors, what are your musical influences, if any? 
Jackson Browne, Shake Russell, the Beatles, Stevie Nicks, Joan Baez

5. How do you handle "writers block"? 
I don't suffer from "writers block" but I do know how to waste time. The worst time sappers are email and Facebook. The best time management trick is to start writing without going online. Once I get on the internet, I have to check my email, and then I see something from Facebook.... before I know it, an hour or two is gone.

6. Who has been your greatest influence? 
Probably my parents, whether I like it or not!

7. Do you or have you ever had a muse?

8. What one subject is TABOO in your writing? 
Killing an animal (especially "on screen").

9. What do you do when you aren't writing? 
I love to travel, and I also do volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society.

10. If there was one book you wish you'd written, which would it be? 
The Great Gatsby

11. What is your greatest passion? 

12. What one word best describes you? 

13. If you could change places with one of your characters, would you? 
Which one and why? Giovanna Rogers, heroine of Secrets of the Galapagos. She's young, and she has her act together much better than I did at age 25.

14. Is there one, current, tv show that is "can't miss" for you? 
Thanks to the DVR, I don't have to miss any show I want to watch. Current favorite is "Madame Secretary."

15. Money is no object, where do you go? 

16. Tell me, please, the first two books on your TBR list.
 A Taste of Blood and Ashes, by Jaden Terrell; A Wee Dose of Death, by Fran Stewart

17. How do you choose character names?
 I notice odd names I come across in life. For example, I met a girl named "Putt" on the Alaska Railroad, and I used that name for a character in a novel. Another character, Tripp Hart, was inspired by a sign I saw on a law office. I try to give secondary characters names that are different from each other (for example, start with a different letter, different number of syllables, etc.) so the reader doesn't get them confused.
17a: Are you any of your characters inspired by someone you know in "real life?"
 Many of my characters are composites of people I have known, with a little bit of me thrown in. Lola, the mother character in Going Home, who has Alzheimer's, was based on my own mother (who also suffered from Alzheimer's).

18. Tell us one thing we may not know about you. 
I spent a year living in France on a Rotary scholarship.

19. What do you want to be when you grow up? 
A rich, famous author whose books have been made into films.

20. Of the 7 Deadly Sins, which one have you committed most recently? 
Envy (of those rich, famous authors whose books have been made into films!)

Sharon Marchisello earned a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. She has published several travel articles, and she also writes fiction. As an employee of Delta Air Lines, she wrote training manuals and other professional communications documents.
Sharon became interested in personal finance at an early age and was a long-time member of the Marathon Investment Club. She loves animals and spends many hours doing volunteer work for the Fayette County Humane Society, to which a portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated.

Going Home

Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy

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