Thursday, May 15, 2008

Q&A with...Isabel Sharpe!!!

Give a warm welcome to Isabel Sharpe! I love reading this author. She writes sexy and funny stories for Harlequin Blaze and her latest, INDULGE ME is currently out.


Darcy Wolf is finally free. After spending the past several years caring for an ailing father and ex-boyfriend, she can finally spread her own wings and leave her too-familiar hometown far behind. First, however, she has some single-woman fantasies to fulfill.

Tyler Houston can hardly believe what he's seeing through the bedroom window of the house he's painting. With an invitation like that, he can't get down the ladder and up the stairs fast enough. But once he's gotten a taste of Darcy, he'll do anything to keep her from flying away.

You can read the RRT review by clicking here.

Without further is Isabel Sharpe!

1. Tell us about your current release

I have a Harlequin Blaze out this month (May 2008), titled INDULGE ME. The book was a lot of fun to write (I know authors always say that, but the truth is that some books are like filling out tax returns for four straight months). But this was a "gift" book, meaning that the writing was a real pleasure. One of the reasons I think it was so enjoyable was that I ditched any angst and let the book be a real comedy, which is where I got my start in publishing, with Harlequin’s now-defunct Duets line.

My heroine Darcy Wolf, finally free from years of heavy responsibility, is ready to take her hometown by storm. She has a series of fantasies involving men that she wants to act out before she leaves to take on the rest of the country too. Her first fantasy is fulfilled beyond her expectations—whew, and how—by the very sexy Tyler Houston, and Darcy finds it harder and harder to stay with her wild plans, and more and more tempting to stay with him.

2. Do you like writing stories with humor in them?

To be honest I can’t write a story without humor because it’s how I look at the world. I read an article once about how important it is for people to try to laugh every day and I was flabbergasted. Try? Every day? How about every hour? I can’t imagine not seeing something to laugh at in just about everything. How dull otherwise. I’m raising my boys the same way, and we giggle together constantly.

3. What’s a typical day for you?

Ha! Okay, well, there’s the honest answer and the Good Little Author answer. Guess which one this is: I get the kids to school, come back to my computer and goof off for at least an hour on e-mail. Then I make my bed and tidy a little. Then I yawn and stretch and scratch and work until lunch. Then I goof off some more by reading the comics and Dear Abby and doing more e-mail, then work until the kids get home. After that, I either work out or hang with them, cook elaborate dinners or do errands. After dinner I supervise homework, put the kids to bed, and then read. (In the Good Little Author version, I work a feverish eight hours every day without fail, and doesn’t everyone?)

I can work at a much faster pace than this and do when deadlines are looming, but I find I stay fresher and do better with intensely productive work in small bits rather than chaining myself to the computer all day. I also have fewer repetitive-use injuries, which are more common than one would think in this profession, and I’m convinced I’ll live longer with lower stress.

4. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I am a total foodie and love to read cooking magazines, cookbooks and of course, to cook. I also read novels, I knit, I sew, I work out, listen to opera (to my kids’ horror), and grow vegetables all summer. Away from home, I like to go out to eat and to symphony, opera and broadway performances. I spend a lot of time on house and yard maintenance. Oh wait, you said things I like to do. Scratch that last one.

5. What friends or authors have influenced or inspired you over the years?

I’m not sure I can point to any one or even any few. I’m sure in my work you can find bits of authors I’ve read over the decades, but I’m not conscious of their influence. Sad to say, since I started writing I don’t read books with the same enjoyment I used to because I’m always analyzing. Most of the "favorites" I start listing are books I read as a girl.

6. Do you have any advice for writers who have not been published yet?

Probably nothing they haven’t heard, but I’ll try.

1. Join RWA and make sure you are part of a (trusted) critique group at least for a while until you sort of feel you know what you’re doing.

2. Accept the fact that you will never completely feel you know what you’re doing.

3. Learn about other processes, but trust in your own. If anyone says, "This is how you do XX," they’re really saying, "This is how I do XX." If you do it differently and it works for you, don’t listen to them.

4. Make sure you’re open to criticism, but confident enough in your work that you can reject comments that don’t make sense.

5. If everyone makes the same comment, have the humility to admit that maybe they do make sense.

6. Only write stories you’re excited about.

7. Don’t whine or indulge in negativity except around one or two absolutely trusted friends. Aim for an author persona that is above the fray, gracious and dignified. After a rejection whine for only a little while, then get over it. Stop writing and do something else for a while if you need to rejuvenate. Then revisit number 6 before you go back to it.

8. Accept that the business is completely crazy, often counterintuitive, unfair and infuriating and that no one knows a whole lot more than you do about what will sell and what won’t. Learn to love that insanity or you’ll go insane yourself.

7. What’s coming up in the next year for you?

In July comes my second women’s fiction release from Avon/HarperCollins called AS GOOD AS IT GOT, about a coastal Maine retreat for "suddenly single" women. Then another Blaze in January 2009 (one of those tax form books I was telling you about), as yet untitled, about a reporter out for the interview of her life who is stranded at her sexy millionaire subject’s mansion during a snowstorm, and then starts to suspect he’s someone else entirely. Finally in May 2009, also from Harlequin, I have a story in a Mother’s Day anthology called YOU BELONG TO ME, about a super-directed woman who reconnects with her birth mother and the man she never got over, and learns a lot about taking live easier.

I’m always happy to hear from readers or anyone with questions. You can e-mail me through my website at




Anonymous said...

Hi Isabel,

Loved your interview and of course now I just can't wait to read your latest release, Indulge Me.

Hmm. Maybe I could get my hubby to indulge me a bit?

Thanks for making me laugh...

Anonymous said...

I love your books and am always impressed by the story ideas you come up with. How do you get ideas? And how much of the book do you plan out before you start writing? Do you ever get sidetracked by new ideas for the plot and wish you hadn't? Thanks for writing such fun books to read!

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge fan of Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough. Can't wait for As Good As it Got.
You're a fantastic writer--witty and funny. Thanks so much for your books.


Anonymous said...

I just read INDULGE ME, and it was a hoot! A very fun read. I'll be looking forward to AS GOOD AS IT GOT. I love your wicked sense of humor, Isabel. Keep the books coming!


Anonymous said...

Isabel, I loved Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough. You draw such engaging, memorable characters, and you've got a wonderful narrative voice. I'm really looking forward to As Good As It Got.

-- Carrie

Isabel Sharpe said...

Hi all, thanks for commenting!

Anonymous who posted at 10:17, ideas for books are always floating around my head. It's a form of mental illness I think.

I always plan out my books. That way I know where I'm going and that I have a well-constructed book with enough plot!

And no, I never jump from one project to another. I'm consumed by whatever I'm writing.



Anonymous said...

Hi Isabel,

I love your sexy, witty stories. Can't wait to read Indulge Me and am looking forward to As Good As It Got. With titles like these and Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough, I'm curious. How do you come up with such dynamite titles?

Isabel Sharpe said...

Hi, Carol! Both my books for Avon are variations on movie titles. For those I check out Netflix and see if anything lends itself to a pun or play on words. For my Blazes, I usually just sit and think until something good comes.