Hi! To start off, please tell us your name, where you’re from, and what you write.
Thanks for having me here today, Carissa! My name is Sharon Wray and I’m a Jersey girl who now lives in Virginia. I write the romantic suspense Deadly Force series about Kells Torridan, and his team of ex-special forces soldiers who got caught in a shadow war, between a psychotic arms dealer and a secretive Black Ops army of assassins, only to be accused of vicious crimes and dishonorably discharged.
Alone and with little money, Kells’s men run a cheesy, pirate-themed gym in Savannah, GA while they fight to prove their innocence before their enemies come after them again. But as these men struggle to rebuild their lives and redeem their honor, it’s the smart, sexy women they love who teach these alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.
In the process, each story redeems one of Shakespeare’s greatest love stories.
Every Deep Desire, the first book in the series, is a contemporary romantic suspense retelling of Romeo and Juliet. When Juliet Capel, a woman determined to protect the life she’s built for herself, becomes the target of an arms dealer who believes she holds the key to a 17th Century secret, her only chance to stay alive rests within the arms of Rafe Montfort, her ex-Green Beret husband who abandoned her eight years earlier.
These sound excellent!!! I love the Shakespeare concept!
How did you become an author? Please share a bit of your journey with us.
I’m a librarian and also a wedding gown designer. But after I had my twins, my library closed and I gave up my wedding gown gig. It didn’t take long to realize I needed a creative outlet that let me stay home with the kids. It was through the Artist’s Way that I realized my love for books, reading, and journaling might translate into writing novels.
Although I knew nothing about how to write a book, I joined RWA and took some classes. It took me a long time to figure it out, but a few manuscripts later I found my agent. And then, a few more manuscripts later, (ten total!), I sold my romantic suspense series to Sourcebooks.
What are you working on now? Do you have a recent or upcoming release?My first book, Every Deep Desire, came out a few months ago (March 2018), the second book in the series, One Dark Wish, comes out January 1, 2019, and I’m currently working on book 3 in the series.
Every Deep Desire is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. One Dark Wish is a redemtion of Othello and Desdemona, and the third (poor as-yet-untitled Deadly Force 3!) will be a RS twist on Hamlet and Ophelia.
What/who do you like to read and do you have a favorite genre/author?
My favorite genre is a tie between paranormal and romantic suspense, I think because both of those genres depend upon world building and larger casts of characters. Suzanne Brockmann is my favorite RS author and is the reason I started writing in the first place. (Well, Suz and Buffy!). My favorite paranomal romance authors are JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Christine Feehan. Not just for their wonderful stories and large bodies of work, but because they, along with Suz Brockmann, have been incredible role models for me. Their dedication to their craft, their respect for their readers, and their powerful work ethics are three things that I strive for in my own career.
Awww. I know exactly what you mean. Role models are so important.
Please share one piece of advice to aspiring authors - what do you wish someone would have told you? Or, what did someone tell you that you’d like to pass on to others?
I have a few pieces of advice for aspiring authors. :) First, finish whatever current WIP you’re struggling with. Even if you think it’s horrible, finish it! You can’t edit, query, sell, publish—whatever—something that’s not finished. And if, when it’s done, you truly hate it then start something else immediately.
Second, never stop studying and learning your craft. Writing is an incredibly nuanced artistic endeavor that demands attention and time. Learning your craft is the best way to make each one of your books better.
Third, never never never never give up. This career takes persistance both before and after publication. Writing will never be easy and there will always be someone who has more accolades, readers, money, etc. than you. But you have to tell yourself now that, regardless of what happens, good and bad, you won’t ever give up. The world needs all of our stories.
Dark chocolate, light chocolate, or white chocolate?
Alpha, beta, or both?
Cowboy boots, biker boots, or flip-flops?
Cake, cookies, or crumpets?
Biceps, abs, or buns?
I just wanted to thank Carissa for starting Love Romance Reads. It’s so wonderful to spend time with authors and readers who love the romance genre as much as I do. Thank you!
You're welcome!!!! I feel the same. LoveRomanceReads has been an adventure and I hope it continues to grow because that feeling of community is so important.