Abigail Sharpe is a displaced Yankee living in North Central Florida. She’s worked as a computer lab operator, a hostess for birthday parties at an arcade, a market researcher, as a lingerie saleslady, a secretary, in a costume shop for Halloween, and as a technical writer. Her stories are full of love and laughter and the ever-important happily ever after. See what’s on her mind at Don’t Hang Up the Quill.
Abigail’s Golden Heart manuscript is WHO WANTS TO MARRY A COWBOY, which finaled in Contemporary Single Title:
Cowboy Riley Pommer lives with his three younger siblings on their pay-to-play-cowboy ranch, helping care for them since the death of their father. After leaving his job as a forest ranger, he’s getting used to living at home again when his sisters decide to bring some happiness into his life. Without telling him, they invite twelve single women from across the country to visit the ranch, hoping one of them can lasso his heart.
Ainsley Fairfax participates in the martial rodeo as a way of escaping her overbearing mother. As a florist, she’s more interested in the ranch’s greenhouse than any smelly cowboy so desperate for a woman that he needs a contest to find a wife.
Ainsley’s misconceptions are shattered when she meets Riley and realizes he’s neither smelly nor desperate. He’s also not happy about the wife wannabes invading his ranch. Neither Ainsley or Riley expect the attraction that develops between them and the other would-be wives take every chance they get to sabotage the new relationship.
And now a little more about Abigail…
1) How long have you been writing?
My first serious attempt at writing was in late 2005 for the National Novel Writing Month. It was a fanfic (though I had no idea there was such a thing) focusing on Mary from Pride and Prejudice and what happens after her sisters’ weddings. After that, I really thought I could do this and started writing in earnest in 2006.
2) Did you always want to be an author or is this something you fell into later in life?
Later. So much later. I used to think people were crazy if they told me they were writing a novel. I always enjoyed writing, though, but it was more along the lines of reports or technical manuals.
3) What do you do in your “other” life? (Day job, family, etc.)
I write technical manuals, and sometimes switching from structured language to creative writing is a huge challenge!
4) Who are your favorite authors?
How much space you got? *laugh* The ones I have practically memorized are Diana Gabaldon, Mark Twain, and Jane Austen. High up on my list are Rachel Gibson and CL Wilson. I’ve been introduced to so many amazing writers that it would be hard to list all my favorites.
5) Do you have an agent?
No, but I’m actively querying.
6) Where do you see yourself in five years?
Writing, writing, writing. Of course I’d love to be published as well and see myself in a book store!
Finally, in Abigail’s own words…
It’s not a good thing when you decide to do a blog post about writer’s block and you have nothing to say. So you procrastinate, hoping something will come to you. Then come the excuses: I’ll feel like writing it tomorrow. I need a break. I don’t have any ideas. It’s not interesting. Please, someone, set something on fire so I’ll have a legitimate excuse to not write anything tonight.
You tell your muse to get back in your head and stop scoping out the cabana boys rockin’ on whatever beach she’s disappeared to. And she laughs at you, and shows you the hunk of man who oozes sexuality like you oozed frosting on the chocolate cake you decorated earlier that day, and she leaves you alone. Now you have no thoughts, no inspiration, and your mind wanders to the ménage à trios you could be having with the men in your life, Ben and Jerry. (And I live near two scoop shops!)
Some things I’ve used with some success:
Take a walk. Close your eyes and take a deep breath, and try to describe what you’re smelling in a new and unique way.
Switch the way you write. If you normally listen to classical music, put on some Metallica or turn off the tunes. Get a pad of paper and pen and write the old-fashioned way. Take your laptop off the desk and into your backyard.
Change what you’re writing. Pen a short story. Write a letter. Do something to take a mini-vacation from your current work in progress.
Give yourself a writing challenge. At the beginning of the year, I challenged myself to write 100 words every day for 100 days. If I missed a day, I’d have to start over. Let me tell you, halfway through I didn’t want to write, but no way was I going to start over.
Hand write a paragraph from your favorite published novel and figure out why it draws you.
Turn off your Internet access or find some place to write that doesn’t have wireless.
If all else fails, do what an RWA chaptermate said to me. Give yourself a choice. Write something, or clean your bathroom. I guarantee writing will win every time.
What do you do? What are your secrets to get those creative juices flowing?