I want to thank you first of all for your readiness to be part of this interview and permit me to publish it on my blog. I did choose you because I have heard of you before and would like for other people to know you and your writing better.
Thank you, Raani, for this wonderful opportunity to share writing tips/ventures with others. It is through opportunities, such as yours, that each of us can share our knowledge and experiences while learning from others at the same time.
Would you explain what made you write in the first place?
A mathematician by nature is a strange beginning for a writer of poetry. Born into a family rooted in the field of education destined my life’s profession to becoming a teacher. The atmosphere of a small town kept families close and the importance of school was instilled at an early age. Mathematics became the challenge, and never did I envision that one day I would become a writer.
Simple rhyming lines always seemed to find a place even when composing mathematical problems, but still the vision was not there. I found the smiles heartwarming when I left little expressions of love in my children’s lunch boxes or on their pillows at bedtime. Yet the best were those I left for my husband, written from my heart to his, which touched my soul as I watched the love from his heart resolve in a peaceful tear.
When did you feel the need to write?
One day an angel rested on my shoulder and began whispering in my ear. Days and nights ran together as the words poured from my thoughts onto paper. I kept a notepad on the nightstand beside my bed. I still remember the mornings I would awaken and examine quizzically the notes scribbled during the night. The challenge was deciphering each message and connecting that which needed to be brought together. This was in 2004. To this day, I am ever so thankful to the Lord for this bountiful gift.
What is it you like to write the most? Are we talking about articles, short stories, novels… Please tell us about your writing.
In the beginning and for years following, my only interest was in writing poetry, which became a way of expressing my innermost thoughts to touch the heart and soul of strangers, as well as those I love. To me, poetry is the personification of freedom epitomizing expressions of inspiration generated from random thoughts, something someone said, an image portrayed or imagination reflecting feelings to warm the heart and lift the spirit. Then, I acquired an avid interest in history, especially American history. That led to my transition from inspirational poetry to historical poetry through which I support our military: those who have served in the past, presently serve, or will serve our military forces in the future.
Within the past year, I have ventured outside my poetry box writing short stories and participating in free writes. Of course, both of these were initiated via the blogging world. I have now become an avid blogger maintaining Awakenings (historical) and catnipoflife (inspirational).
We all hear about the changes in the publishing world. Old publishing companies are extending their offer from traditional publishing to self-publishing. How do you assess the market in the future?
With more and more writers appearing on the scene, the market should continue to expand offering new opportunities for self-publishing. Such avenues are usually more affordable, which is an added plus in an age of already overwhelming rising costs.
Would you mind becoming really famous with your writing – like Stephenie Meyer with her Twilight Series or J.K. Rowling with Harry Potter?
Don’t see that happening with my poetry. . .but you never know! To touch the heart of one touches the hearts of many for that one who is inspired inspires others. No one knows within whose heart the right words will find the right place and rest.
Do you see any kind of “danger” within this kind of fame – for a writer particularly?
The answer here depends upon one’s viewpoint of “danger.” Life = Risk: There is danger in merely crossing a street but only if entered into without an eye of caution. With fame comes change – physically, mentally and emotionally – so if the risk is taken, err on the side of caution. Be prepared for little or no privacy, demanding expectations, and the possibility of family impact.
I personally think by today’s kind of electronic communication many children and young people forget how to write properly. How do you see this?
E-communication has definitely increased collaborative writing but at what expense? The quantity of writing may have increased but concern rests on the quality of writing. Short, catchy blurbs, such as Tweets, have their place in promotions and marketing. E-mail discussions offer a conversational style of writing. However, the question remains, how do they translate into formal prose? Each of these styles lack substance when it comes to writing formally.
Is there any advice you would like to give fellow authors?
Read, read, read! Write, write, write! As with any talent or venture, the more practice the better you will become. Make yourself known and be active among various social media networks. Have others read your work and accept criticism constructively.
Sharla Shults is a semi-retired educator whose classroom is now the online environment. Her expertise spans a broad spectrum from mathematics to reading to ESOL training. Truly unique are the instances when her former classroom students once again cross paths with her for they have become teachers themselves working toward additional certification endorsements.
Sharla’s passion for writing is poetry: Historical and inspirational. Become acquainted with her writing by visiting http://sharlashults.com/ where links are accessible to her books and blogs.