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Monday, May 20, 2019

Guest Blog: Sharon Marchisello



Guest Author Interview




I am happy to have Sharon Marchisello as my guest today. Thank you, Sharon, for joining me on my website.



Author Sharon Marchisello

            Author Sharon Marchisello




Sharon, can you tell us about yourself and your background? What do you currently do outside of writing?




I was born in upstate New York, grew up in East Texas, earned a B.A. in French and English from the University of Houston, spent a year studying in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship, and then moved to Los Angeles to attend graduate school.


Although I've written fiction all my life, I never managed to get anything published until I was well into adulthood. I was a bit more successful with travel pieces and the occasional nonfiction article. I earned a Master's in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California, but apart from having a few screenplays produced for "deferred pay," I didn't make much use of my degree professionally.


After I finished graduate school, I snagged a frontline job at Western Airlines that did not even require a college degree. But I was drawn to the travel benefits; traveling the world is my passion. I met my husband at Western. In 1987, Western merged with Delta Air Lines, and I eventually ended up working at the headquarters in Atlanta, via a six-year stint in Seattle.


At the Delta headquarters, I did a lot of corporate writing: customer correspondence, internal communications, project management, and mainly, training documents for airport customer service personnel. I took an early retirement package in 2008 but went back four times after that to work as a contractor in various capacities involving writing.


Now that I'm really retired, I write a personal finance blog, Countdown to Financial Fitness, https://sharonmarchisello.blogspot.com/ and do volunteer work. My husband and I completed the Master Gardener course in 2014 and we both help with projects for the Fayette County Master Gardener Extension office. I've also been very involved with the Fayette Humane Society for the past decade, and I've served on their Board of Directors since 2011.


And of course, we still love to travel.




What books have you written, and what are their genres? What audience are they aimed at?




Going Home by Sharo MarchiselloLive Well Grow Wealth by Sharon Marchisello

             "Going Home: A Novel"                                      " Live Well, Grow Wealth"






Going Home – Sunbury Press 2014 – murder mystery (Adult fans of whodunnits and women's fiction.)



Live Well, Grow Wealth – personal finance (Young people just starting out, or anyone who wants to get back on track financially.)



What prompted you to write what you did? [or Where do you get your writing inspiration?] What message(s) do you want readers to take away?


"Going Home" was inspired by my mother's battle with Alzheimer's disease, which prompted me to wonder what it would be like to interview a witness or crime suspect who could not rely on her memory. The story opens when the protagonist (baby boomer Michelle DePalma) goes to check on her elderly mother, Lola Hanson, and finds her hovering over the bludgeoned body of her caregiver. Lola is unable to give a straight answer about what happened. Since she was alone in the house where the crime apparently happened, she becomes a suspect. Michelle is forced to remain in the hometown where she grew up and step in as caregiver, while trying to prove her mother's innocence.


Fortunately, the events in my novel are fictional, but Lola's behaviors and many of the conversations between Michelle and Lola are based on my interactions with my own mother.


I'm amazed at how many readers tell me they can relate to Lola's character because they've known or lost someone to Alzheimer's disease. I guess the takeaway is that they're not alone, and, as a society, we need to keep striving for a cure for this horrible disease that robs people of their personalities.


My writing about personal finance, "Live Well, Grow Wealth",  came from my own experience of living frugally, saving and investing, and retiring early. I thought my financial habits were commonplace, but after talking to so many people my age earning similar salaries who were struggling to make ends meet, I decided I might have some advice worth sharing.




Do you write short stories, articles, or have a blog? Where can we find them?



I write a blog about personal finance called, Countdown to Financial Fitness, https://sharonmarchisello.blogspot.com/. I occasionally write short stories. My most recent one, "The Wrong Coffee Shop" was published in 2018, in an anthology by Darkhouse Books, Shhhh… Murder! https://www.amazon.com/Shhhh-Murder


I've also done a number of visitor blog posts/author interviews, and I write book reviews for Killer Nashville online magazine.




What do you find the hardest about writing? The easiest?



The hardest thing for me is avoiding distractions, particularly email and the internet. I tend to procrastinate and knock out other tasks instead of focusing on my writing.

The easiest part is when it's flowing, and I'm entertaining myself. And it seems like editing a completed draft is easier than forging ahead on a blank page.




What’s next for you after [Your Book]?



My next, not-yet-published novel is called Secrets of the Galapagos. It's a psychological suspense story about a young woman who goes on a luxury cruise of the Galapagos with her grandmother and encounters murder, mayhem, and a scam involving a famous giant tortoise. The setting was inspired by my own trip to the Galapagos in 2014.





What special thing about yourself would you like to share with readers?



I used to be terrified of speaking in front of a group. Even going to a meeting and having to introduce myself was intimidating. When I worked at Delta, I joined a company Toastmasters Club that met once a week at lunchtime. Toastmasters is an international organization that helps people build speaking skills in a supportive environment. I plodded diligently through the program and eventually earned my DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster), the organization's highest recognition. I still don't consider myself a good speaker, but at least I am competent now.




How can we follow or contact you?












Where can readers buy your books?



Sunbury Press: "Going Home"


Sharon Marchisello.com


And ask your local bookstore and/or library to order them!




Awards / Recognition


Every year for the Alzheimer's Walk, I sell copies of Going Home at fundraisers and donate all the proceeds to the Alzheimer's Association. My team, Bernie's Babes, has been the top fundraiser every year. (Bernie, who has Alzheimer's, is the husband of one of our team members.)




Book Fans:


Until September/October, this will be the last in the series of guest blog author interviews. I will writing monthly updates as to the progress of my forth coming novel, "The Emperor's Hand", and various notes on Roman history, books, etc. 




Until next time, Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!






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