Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Meet Sharon Ledwith

Today I'd like to welcome author Sharon Ledwith, who has a brand new book out from Musa Publishing, and it looks fantastic!

Sharon – Can you tell us a little about The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis?

Actually, Linda, the blurb says it best:

When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they're given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn't a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers--legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial--Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don't, then history itself may be turned upside down.
I absolutely love this cover, Sharon. Did you have any input with the cover designer?
Yes! My cover design artist, Kelly Shorten is awesome to work with. It was her idea to add the blue jewel (which I call a Babel) in the middle of the cover. I had a marketing company use it to create a branding logo for my website and blog. I suggested using the arch, as Kelly originally had white columns running up the sides. I’d forgotten how fun it was to get back into design since we owned a graphic trade company for over twenty years, which we sold in 2004.

Tell us a little bit about your writing journey. You’re a bit of a late bloomer, like me. How did you end up writing for children?

Sigh. I had a dream in the late 90s. In this dream, I saw seven arches, and there were seven people (five kids, two adults) with crystals in their hands, walking up to these arches. It definitely had an “Indiana Jones” feel to it. At that time, I was writing a paranormal romance (before there was a distinct genre) and had no intention of writing a middle-grade/young adult book like The Last Timekeepers. So, I thought I’d challenge myself and write a novel—a series—that would appeal to my son, who at the time was the target age of my audience. I’ve always loved the time travel genre, so I imagined the arches I saw vividly in my dream as time portals. It was a no-brainer for me.

Do you have a favorite character in The Last Timekeepers? Who is it and why?

This is the second time I’ve been asked this. When it rains, it pours! Okay, truth be told, Treena Mui has a soft spot in my heart. She’s great with the comebacks. She’s a natural when it comes to one-liners and puns. That was me as a teen. I guess I relate to her warped sense of humor.

What was the most difficult part of writing this book?

Hmmm? The rewrite. I had to pull the manuscript apart, on the insistence of my publishing company, Musa Publishing, and make it a stand alone point-of-view in Amanda Sault’s voice. You see, originally I submitted my manuscript with each chapter being in a different character’s point-of-view. My editor loved the core ideas and teachings the book offered, but thought it was confusing. So, I bent to the forces of the universe, and revised the entire manuscript. Easy-peasy. Not. The silver lining is that I get to pen four more novels in the other main character’s point-of-view. Sweet!

Ha! Sounds like a chore! (And people think a writer's job is gravy.) Do you write every day, Sharon, or as the mood strikes? Where is your very favorite place to write?

Pretty much every day. I get up early and try to write at least 500-1000 words. I know that doesn’t sound a lot, but the words accumulate. If I get some time throughout the day, I’ll add to those words. I pimp my wares (and other author’s wares) in the wild world of social media, which takes a chunk out of my writing time. Mornings are sacred to me. I have a writing studio overlooking a forest. It’s a dream come true.

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis came out first as an ebook, right? Do you read ebooks as well as print books? Could you talk about your reading life, and how you feel about the differences, and all the ways people can read now.

I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant with ebooks. I wanted both. Musa Publishing mentions both in their contract, yet they were so new, it was easier and cheaper to go the epublishing route for them. But recently they offered the authors a fab deal – to print promotional paperbacks so authors had them available for signings and giveaways. I really appreciate and admire Musa Publishing for lending a helping hand and putting their authors first. I like the idea of choice. Paperback or ebook? You can carry around a whole library in your ereader. Or if you like the feel of a book, you can have that too. It’s the best of both worlds, this new dynamic.

What’s next on your writing and publishing journey, Sharon? Anything else in the works?

You bet! Currently, I’m working on the prequel to the Last Timekeepers series, entitled The Legend of the Timekeepers. I also have a completed manuscript of the second book in the series entitled, The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, but there’s the fun job of revising it into Jordan Jensen’s point of view. I’ve written a master plan for the series with possible titles and premises, and I’m in the process of putting all this information together in a series guidebook, so I’ll be one busy gal!

And last question: I know that you’re a fellow animal lover. (We have that in common.) Do your books have animals in them? What is your favorite animal?

Yes! The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis has a deerhound named Tuck. The prequel has an assortment of animals, as well as human-hybrids. I try to put an animal in every book I write. It just seems wrong not to. After all, I worked in an animal shelter for a stint. My favorite animal? Wolf, hands down. Domestic – dog and cat.

Sharon Ledwith's middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, is available through Musa Publishing. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, time with family and friends, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat. To find out more, visit her website, her blog, find her on twitter, on facebook, and find The Last Timekeepers on facebook.
You can also find The Last Timekeepers on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and most online retailers.
Thank you so much for stopping, by Sharon! Best of luck to you, in your writing and publishing journey.


Sharon Ledwith said...

Hey, Ms. Linda, thanks for hosting me on your blog today!I appreciate the time and effort it takes to interview and support authors like myself. You truly are a gem in a sea of rocks. Cheers to you and the horse you ride on!

Margaret said...

Sharon, I really liked Treena too. You did a nice job of differentiating the characters and showing their personalities.

Wow about the rewrite. Like writing a whole new book, huh? (I understand. I revised/rewrote my first book four times before submitting my ms. Oh, joy.)

Luckily, it all worked out with your finished product!

Sharon Ledwith said...

Thanks for surfing by, Margaret! Yeah, rewrites can be a pain (like birthing a baby), but the end product looks pretty cool!

Linda Benson said...

Sharon - that admittedly must have been a job, but at least you'll be able to get into the other character's heads in the next installments. I'm in the middle of a sequel for one of my books, and I've considered tossing the whole thing and re-writing from another character's POV. Hmmm. Big Decision.

Vonnie said...

Sharon, that easy-peasy rewrite (NOT) must have been a huge undertaking. All kudos to you that you took advice and did it. And now see what's come of it! Congratulations.

Arley Cole/ Leigh Daley said...

Okay, Sharon, your writing studio has me salivating. Mine is a makeshift standup desk in the living room looking out the window at my front yard! At least I too have a view!

Point of view is so much fun and so much hassle! I am glad to hear you are getting to let your readers into lots of characters' heads.

Great interview, both you guys!!

Sharon Ledwith said...

Vonnie - it totally was, but was well worth it! Learned a hell of a lot! Arley, I have to admit, I'm pretty lucky as far as having an actual writing 'studio' (sounded cool,yet pretentious too), and feel very blessed. As for being in all those kids heads - I'll let you know as soon as I'm released from the looney bin! Grin.

Patricia said...

Hi and thanks for letting us learn more about Sharon. I, too, am a late bloomer and come to the writing table with more life experiences than most. But I think it enhances one's writing and have found in my online writing groups that "we" are not unusual in that.
I love the cover art for your book and the premise as well. Being an animal lover always pulls me toward authors who feel the same way. I'm a tiger lover and wolves come second in line! Good luck with your books, Sharon.

Sharon Ledwith said...

Thanks for surfing by, Patrica! We animal lovers have to stick together. I can't imagine a story without the appearance of an animal. Thank you for your kind words about my cover - wish I could take all the credit for that! As for the premise, I guess I could claim that! Cheers!