Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Meet Sharon Donovan!

And the WINNER IS:  
Linda Swift - Congratulations Linda!!

     I'd like to welcome everyone and thank you so much for joining us! Today I'm proud to introduce you to Sharon Donovan and her new psychological thriller. She and I have become close friends even though we are fifty states apart! I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Sharon on her blog site yesterday and the interview is still up for those who'd like to pop over and read it. Sharon, you are a delight to know and talk with; I'd like my visitors to know you as well. Thank you for taking the time to be with us today.
Sharon: Thank you for having me on your blog today, Deanna! It’s a pleasure to be here.

Deanna: Tell us a bit about you as a person that our readers might not know.

Sharon: I’m blind. I lost my vision ten years ago after a long battle with diabetic retinopathy.

Deanna: What happened in your life that made you want to become a writer?

Sharon: Prior to the loss of my vision, painting was my passion, my life. Devastated when I could no longer pursue this dream, I needed to channel my creative muse elsewhere. Here’s a brief background. I began hearing the frightening phrase diabetic retinopathy at the age of six when I was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic. During a routine visit to Children’s Hospital when I was twelve, a doctor predicted I would be blind by time I was twenty-five. His harsh words echoed in my head to the point of obsession, affecting every major decision I made for years to come. But even though these words haunted my subconscious, I never spoke them aloud. Then they might come true. The closer I got to twenty-five, the tighter the noose around my neck, sucking the life out of me like a garrotte. I worked as a legal secretary at the Court of Common Pleas where I prepared cases for judges in Family Court. But painting was my passion. I spent my weekends painting picturesque scenery, the ruins of ancient Rome and reflections on the water. Through my artwork, I escaped to a place of peace and tranquility. No more heartache. No more pain. But one day while painting a Tuscan landscape, I had the first bout of blindness. And for the next two decades, my vision came and went. Now you see it—now you don’t. And after a rocky road, ten years ago, I lost the battle, losing all hope and my will to live. But through an organization for the blind and visually impaired, I found the courage to face a sighted world I was once part of. Some of the curriculum I endured for eight grueling hours every day for sixteen weeks was mobility training with a white cane, group therapy to deal with anger issues and the use of a computer with adaptive software. It was a heart-wrenching journey filled with endless challenge. Part of the reason I was reluctant to enroll in a program for the blind and visually impaired was because I thought clients would be uneducated. I was a professional, after all. What could I possibly have in common with “Those people?” I was wrong. I met doctors and nurses, teachers and engineers, all with one common thread. We were all facing vision loss due to circumstances beyond our control. Some had the extra burden of facing a marital problem because a spouse could not or would not accept the blindness. We laughed and we cried. We connected in a way words could never express. I was one of the lucky ones. What didn’t kill me made me stronger. And after a long and winding road, a new dream resurrected. Today, instead of painting my pictures on canvas, I paint my pictures with words.

Deanna: Is there a certain type of character that is easier to write than another?

Sharon: First of all, let me explain to the readers that I write in two completely different genres: Sweet Inspirationals and Suspense. Given all I’ve been through in my life, I feel the need to inspire others through my writing by offering hope. I live by this motto: “Never give up on a dream”. Go after your passion with both barrels blazing. On days when I’m feeling Less than inspirational, I simply run out and kill someone in the wonderful world of fiction. LOL To answer your question, Deanna, I find romantic heros the easiest to write about. What woman doesn’t want to be swept into a happily-ever-after? We all love a good romantic read and I’m no exception.

Deanna: Do you have a favorite type of character that you enjoy writing about?

Sharon: Indeed, yes! I love to write about characters with psychological disorders. I took psychology classes for this very reason, to study the complexity of the mind. It can bend. It can break. It can snap. Why? This inquiry mind wants to know. I have the insatiable need to dig deep and uncover the layers that would cause a person’s psyche to crack and unravel to such extremes.

Deanna: Can you tell us about one such character?

Sharon: I’ll be happy too. In my newly released psychological thriller, Mask of the Betrayer, Michael DeVeccio is the most complex character I’ve written about to date. He’s a cold-blooded serial killer and has been getting away with murder for years. Outwardly, Michael is devastatingly handsome, 180 pounds of raw, sexual energy with brilliant blue eyes that have a hypnotic affect. He is suave and debonair and is sole beneficiary to a billion dollar enterprise that builds luxury resorts all over the world. He manipulates and controls people by zeroing in on their Achilles heel and using it for his own gain. In a word, Michael is a sociopath. Even though he is highly intelligent and charismatic, he has a chronic inability to feel guilt, remorse or anxiety for any of his actions. The end will always justify the means because he is  a master at the game.

Deanna: Why would such a character interest you?

Sharon: I’m a huge fan of profiling. What is it about some of the serial killers of our time that fascinate us? Take Ted Bundy, for instance. Or Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer. What could have happened in their lives to make them do such heinous crimes with no remorse or regret? According to psychologists, something so dark happened in their childhood, causing them to dissociate in order to block out the incident. But the inner demon continues to peck away at the subconscious, causing the victim to strike back in unspeakable ways. But even though I like to explore these inner demons in my books, never fear. I always have a romantic hero come to the rescue to save the heroine of the book. In Mask of the Betrayer, Margot is the heroine and Diego Santiago is the hero.

Deanna: Tell us a bit about the heroine and hero of Mask of the Betrayer?

Sharon: Margot Montgomery is head curator of a art museum in Chicago. She is pretty, with high moral standings. When she meets Michael, she is swept away in a heartbeat. She marries Michael after a whirlwind romance. But shortly after a romantic Tuscan honeymoon, Michael shows his true colors. He demands she give him a son to propagate his family name and business. And if she doesn’t, she may become the next victim. Margot realizes a little too late, she has just married the serial killer stalking the foothills of Red Rock Canyon. Diego Santiago, a streety homicide cop with a “don’t mess with me attitude,” is the officer investigating the case. As he and Margot work together in close contact to trap a killer, they fall in love. But before they can find their happily-ever-after, Margot must face the man behind the mask. Will Diego save her in time? Well, I guess you’ll just have to read my book; Mask of the Betrayer is on sale for the entire month of May at Whimsical Publications:

Deanna: What are your hobbies?

Sharon: I love to collect things, including legends and superstitions from different cultures. Being a wee bit Irish, I’m extremely superstitious. For instance, I wear a pink tourmaline gemstone ring because it is said to stir the creative muse of the writer. Laugh if you will, but one week after I bought it and rubbed the stone, I got my first contract with Wild Rose Press.
Another passion of mine is collecting face masks. Masquerades fascinate me. I have a Cleopatra mask, a red feathered mask, a purple peacock, a gold butterfly, and a black and white pearl face to name a few. I also have a full feathered headdress. I love masquerades so much that I wrote one into Mask of the Betrayer, and a lot of my masks are featured in the chapter. Zoro is a big part of the suspense, and you guessed it! There is a murder at the masquerade and Zorro is found dead in a makeshift coffin in an upper wing. Who did it? The serial killer, of course. The woman portraying Zorro is Michael’s ex-wife.

Deanna: Where can readers find you?

Sharon: My website where you can sign up for my newsletter. Right now, I have a Zorro Contest running. I’m giving away a deluxe Zorro cape and jeweled clip to one lucky winner:

My blog where I do author interviews on Wednesday Spotlight. If you haven’t met my sexy cyber butler Oliver, you are in for a real treat. Talk about eye candy!

Or write to me. I love hearing from readers!

Deanna: And once more, where can we purchase Mask of the Betrayer?

Sharon: Mask of the Betrayer is on sale for the entire month of May at Whimsical Publications. Now is your chance to purchase it at a discount.

Thank you so much for having me as your guest today, Deanna!

I'd like to let our guests know that by leaving me a comment on today's interview or my book, will put them into the drawing for a print copy of  Mask of the Betrayer! The drawing will be Friday or Saturday and I'll email the winner so be sure to leave your email addy. Thank you all and good luck. I look forward to answering all the comments I can.

Deanna:   Sharon, it's been a true delight having you here and again, thank you so much for talking with us today. Readers, if you'd like to leave a comment for Sharon, she is still around to answer questions today. Thank you to each one of you for joining us today! Remember, by leaving a comment and your email address, you'll be entered in the drawing for Sharon's new book!