A while back I put out the word that I wanted to add a summer feature to my blog called “Focus on Creative Energy.” I stated that I would like some guest blog posts that focus on other bloggers, writers, and artists. I listed three questions you could pick from which are:
- How long have you been a writer and/or artist
- What do you like to write about and/or create?
- Who has been the greatest influence in your creativity? (This could be someone you know or someone you admire but have never met.)
If you are interested, there is still time. I will have this feature every other Monday beginning today. I have since found a few people who expressed interest in being featured here. My first guest is a writer named Sharon St. George. You can find her online here::http://www.sharonstgeorge.com/
My husband and I met Sharon in our town in Northern California, at a local writing group called The Writer’s Forum. She is the Program Director of the group. She contacts guest speakers and schedules them to present at their monthly meetings from September through June each year.
In 2015 my husband bought her first book that was published that year called “Due for Discard.” He has since bought all of her other books pictured below. Here is Sharon’s story. Enjoy!
Many years ago, when my children were old enough that they no longer required my constant attention, I decided it was time to do two things I’d been wanting to do for a decade. First, I got myself a cat. Second, I signed up for a fiction-writing course. I’ve been writing ever since, and I’ve always had a cat.
From childhood, animals have played a significant role in my life. I had my own horse and dog as a youngster. And there were always multiple cats on the little farm where I grew up. So it’s no surprise they’ve been part of the cast of characters in all my novels. My first fiction attempt was inspired by a race that pitted a young man in post-Civil War California against the father of his sweetheart in a race from a town similar to Redding to the town of Eureka and back. The catch was that the young suitor was on foot, and the father of the girl was on horseback. Needless to say, the horse came in second and true love won the day.
In my current Aimee Machado Mystery series under contract with Camel Press of Seattle, I chose to write from a hospital-based perspective, because that is where my professional background lies. Having worked in medical offices, hospitals and libraries before I began writing the series, the field of medicine, and particularly the behind-the-scenes intrigues involving the hospital’s administration and medical staff organization provided me with enough inspiration to write an endless number of books. My background in library work gave me the experience to make my protagonist a forensic librarian.
But how to combine medicine with my love for animals? That combination led me to create a setting where my hospital’s forensic librarian protagonist lives in a converted bunkhouse apartment over her grandparents’ llama barn. Aimee’s corporate pilot boyfriend has a drug-sniffing dog, her grandmother has a temperamental cat, her grandfather raises turkeys and keeps a pet king snake, and, of course, there are llamas.
Could any of the mysteries in the first four books in the series have been solved without the help of the animals? Of course. (Well, with one minor exception involving the dog.) However, none of the animals communicate with Aimee telepathically, nor can Aimee talk to the animals à la Dr. Doolittle. (My books are sometimes described as cozy, but they’re not that cozy.) Animals may not be essential to the plot, but because of the rural Northern California setting, it seemed they would add texture and realism to the world Aimee inhabits.
The result is that each of my Aimee Machado Mysteries combines animals, a hospital, a librarian, a mystery, and an evolving romance. And I should mention that I had immigrant grandparents on both the maternal and paternal sides of my family, so I’ve always been fascinated by people with a multi-ethnic or multi-cultural background. Even better, my grandkids are part Asian, so the icing on the cake for me is that my protagonist is half Chinese and half Portuguese. Oh, and she just happens to be a black belt in jujitsu. But that’s another story.
Thank you, Sharon, for being my first guest blogger! I enjoyed reading your story, and I am sure others will as well.
Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂