Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Holy Hot Flash, Batgirl!

Well, it happened. My first, official hot flash as I enter unchartered territory. How is this related to writing, you may ask? It’s all about relating. My target audience is a combination of middle grade and young adult (10 years and up), plus any adults I can entice along the way. Hormonal and body changes, fitting in, figuring out, stretching limits, making decisions, rebellion and finding your place, your personal power in this world are challenges we all must endure as we grow and change. And many of those changes suck. Like periods and hot flashes. Not to mention hair growing where it shouldn’t. Like on legs or upper lips. Yeah change!

 This brings me to understanding what kids (target audience) are going through as they hit puberty. It’s a scary, emotional ride. The good part is that it does end. And how you adjust to those changes is reflected in the person you’ve become when you finally do break out of your adolescent cocoon. The best part about being a parent of a child going through the motions of puberty is being there, being present for him/her. Reinforce their self-esteem whenever possible because parents know puberty can be a bumpy ride. Don’t make it about you, it’s about the kids. Parents have been there and done that, children haven’t. Puberty, like menopause, is a tough gig.

The best part about being a writer is that you get to create a character, give him/her background, weaknesses, strengths, problems to struggle with and finally solve. My goal is that they’re characters kids (and adults) can relate and connect to. Actions speak volumes and writing about how my characters react in the external world I create is a gift I love to share – my connection to all of you by sharing my most meaningful experiences.

So bring on the hot flashes, I’m ready for change!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Salute to Lady 'O'

It’s tough saying goodbye to someone who has graced your living room for the past 25 years. But that choice wasn’t ours – it was hers. I’m talking about Oprah Winfrey. Yesterday, Lady ‘O’ did her last show – her ‘blog’ to her millions of viewers – a testament of a life well lived. She told us to find our platform, our purpose, then go out and do it! She’s right. The world would be a better place if we all listened to our hearts.

About 15 years ago, my heart started ‘speaking’ to me. Quietly, at first, then it got louder. “You can write”, it said. At first, I didn’t believe it. Then, the Universe showed me ways to learn. A course on planning your novel, followed by a course on writing your novel, plus many how-to books on writing gave me the basics. Slowly, I learnt how to write a book. It took me about three years from seed idea to a final product. But that wasn’t the end of it. Rewrites, proofing, more rewrites, more proofing, letting it simmer for a while, then more rewrites and proofing. Finally, I decided to have the book professionally edited. It was the best money I’ve ever spent.
This whole process taught me about being professional. About giving my best, and being true to myself. It’s one thing to listen to the whispers of your heart. It’s quite another to prepare yourself for what your heart is suggesting. We make plenty of mistakes along our ‘Yellow Brick Roads’ (truthfully, there are no accidents), but as long as you keep learning, the better you will become.

Oprah has said many times over, ‘When you know better, you do better.’  

I plan to heed her advice. I hope you do too.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

A Character Interview ... Meet Amanda Sault

SHARON: Good day to all! I’d like to introduce Amanda Sault – one of my protagonists from my ‘Last Timekeepers’ series. She’s the ‘Scribe’ of the group. Say hi, Amanda …

“Wait, wait, I’m not ready! I’m trying to get this poem … oh crap, forget it!” Amanda slams her notebook shut. Her nostrils flare. She rubs the tip of her nose to halt a sneeze. “Uh, yeah, hi.”

SHARON: Hmm. Did I catch you at a bad time?

Amanda shrugs. “Sort of. Look, can we just get this interview over with? I still have to study for a math test, and you know how much I suck at math.”

 SHARON: I totally get it. Okay, tell the readers what subject you do like.

“That’s easy – gym – especially if we get to go outside. Unfortunately, living in White Pines where winter feels longer than summer, doesn’t always allow for that.” Amanda kicks at the ground, her sandal flies off. Sighing, Amanda retrieves her sandal. “I also love, no wait, breathe poetry. It’s the one thing I shine at. I’ve even been published in the town paper, the White Pines Weekly. I guess that’s why I was picked over the others to be the Timekeeper Scribe.”

SHARON: Slow down, Amanda. You need to explain to everyone what a Timekeeper is first.

Amanda arches her chestnut brows. “Sorry. My bad. Okay, make yourselves comfortable, and I’ll try my best to explain.” Amanda walks over to a towering oak tree situated at the boundary of White Pines Elementary School and squats down underneath it. She lets her body relax against the gnarly bark, kicks off her other sandal and pulls her long, single braid away from the back of her neck. “Comfy? Good. What I’m about to share with you is a secret, so you can’t tell anyone. Not that anyone would believe time travel is possible, ‘cause I sure didn’t. That is, I didn’t until it happened to me. Yeah, you heard right, I’m a time traveler – er, correction, I mean I’m a Timekeeper. That’s a little different.”

SHARON: Really? How?

“I don’t get to go into the past whenever and wherever I want. I’m summoned, along with four of my classmates, the local white witch and a history professor, by a time portal we dug up called the Arch of Atlantis. BTW, you’ll get a chance to meet the other Timekeepers all in good time.” Amanda grins. “Pun intended.”

SHARON: Don’t get cute. Continue please …

Amanda clears her throat. “Okay, here’s the skinny version, a Timekeeper’s job – our prime directive – is to protect the past, keep it from changing, no matter what. Even if you don’t like how it ends up in the history books. And that’s the hardest part. Not interfering. Just keeping history as real as it was written. And sometimes that sucks.”

SHARON: So, tell us what being a ‘Last’ Timekeeper means.

“It’s not as ominous as it sounds. We’re supposed to be Earth’s last chance to restore the balance in the time period where this evil douche-bag named Belial chooses to slither in. Lilith told us that we don’t accomplish our mission – in the form of a riddle written by yours truly – then all of what we know will be rewritten the way Belial wants. And that’s the scary part. Evil would triumph over good.”

SHARON: Hold up, Amanda, explain who Lilith is, please.

Amanda sighs. “We met Lilith when we were pulled through the Arch of Atlantis by a radiant light. Believe it or not, she exists in Atlantis, or what’s left of it. She’s the guardian of the seventh Arch of Atlantis and Fiftieth Magus of the Arcane Tradition. I know it’s a mouthful, but that’s what she told us. And who’s gonna argue with a 12,000 year old woman? Lilith also said that we’re to be part of a greater good – whatever that means – to secure hope for a new tomorrow. Yeah, right. No pressure there.”

SHARON: Ha! I bet that upcoming math test trumps being a Timekeeper!

 “I wouldn’t say that.” Then Amanda grins. “Now, if only there was a way to ditch Jordan Jensen in the past …”

Monday, 16 May 2011

Premise for The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis

Here’s my pitch:

“Children are the keys to our future. And now, children are the only hope for our past.”

Here's the premise:

When five classmates are caught in a major food fight at school, they are given the choice of suspension or yard duty. It was a no-brainer. A two-week crash course in landscaping leads the kids to discover a weathered stone arch buried in an overgrown backyard. Instead of a forgotten lawn ornament, it turns out to be an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis. Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers – legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from an evil force known only as Belial – the five children, along with two offbeat adults, are sent on the adventure of their lives to save the Earth from an uncertain future.

The Timekeeper’s first mission lands them in 1214 England during Mayday, where they must find an adolescent Robin Hood and his band of merry teens before history is turned upside-down. Learning to trust and use their unique talents and abilities, the Timekeepers must right-wrongs and clear the way for Robin to become the heroic longbow man he is renowned for.

That’s the gist of the first novel in my Last Timekeepers series. It was fun doing all the research because I’ve always been an avid fan of the legend of ‘Robin Hood’. And really, who knows the truth about how this legend originated? From a poem? Chronicles? Engravings? Rumors? We’ll probably never know. The only thing I know for sure is that I had a blast incorporating my characters into this timeless story.

In my next blog post, I’ll introduce you to my first character, Amanda Sault.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

An Offer You Can't Refuse

What does an author have to offer?

Good question. I guess it depends on what the reader is looking for. Of course, that’s different for everyone. Some readers love romance. Others are hard-core sci-fi, fantasy or horror fans. Mystery grabs many readers’ attention, while graphic novels are being slowly digested by the thousands. Readers are diverse and story-tellers need to have a wide assortment of books to meet their appetites. So authors offer what they know. It’s as simple and as complex as that.

Sometimes authors dip into their past lives and pull out nuggets of wisdom. Some delve into the unknown. Others shine light into subjects so dark and ominous it forces people to look at things differently. Authors experiment constantly – ‘what if’ becomes their staple thought, the start to a good story or the birth of an unforgettable character. Observation becomes the writer’s super power and sometimes their kryptonite.   

So what do I, as an author, have to offer?

That’s easy. The sum total of my experiences presented through my imagination.

Monday, 9 May 2011

You Have Children To Lose Them ...

This blog follows on the heels of Mother’s Day. It was a bitter-sweet Mother’s Day for me. My son is doing his co-op for his engineering degree and is working away from home for the first time. He starts today. It will be a summer without kids coming over unexpectedly, bumming food and drinks, and just hanging out. It will be a huge change for hubby and me.

My grandmother once told my mom, ‘You have children to lose them.’ Too true.

So what does this blog have to do with writing? That way I see it, every character I create is a child to me. I nurture them, dress them, feed words to them, and then throw them into stories to challenge them. Hopefully, like my flesh and blood children, they’re prepared enough to take on the world, fight the good fight, resolve their conflicts, and live happily ever after. This is what parents do. Or try to do. This is how my children have prepared me for the world of writing.

And I thank them.  

Thursday, 5 May 2011


I am a dinosaur. I freely admit it. No, no, not the kind with fangs and scales – although my kids may have something to say about that – I’m talking about keeping up with the times. Technology is my biggest and scariest hurdle. It is harsh, unknown territory, and yet without computers, the internet, social networks, texting – I could go on, but you get the drift – there would be no growth, no challenges for our wonderful evolving lives. And let’s face it technology DOES make our lives a heck of a lot easier! Dinosaurs had to make way for humanity (actually, they had no choice in the matter), and so, I too must bow to the changes and challenges technology offers OR become like the scaly beasts of the past and disappear forever.

Enter this blog.

In some future blog posts I’ll give one of my characters this platform by interviewing them – even the evil ones – so you get to know and understand what makes him or her tick. I intend to self e-Publish in the near future, so you’ll be able to upload my first book, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS AND THE ARCH OF ATLANTIS on your e-Reader if you enjoyed what you’ve been perusing on this blog. There will also be a print-on-demand option for those who’d rather read a traditional book. Other titles in my time travel mystery series will follow, as well as titles from my teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS.

E-Books seem to be the new wave of publishing and today’s youth are crazy-mad for the next electronic gadget or techno device that enters the market place. So it’s time for me to grit my teeth and take that leap of faith into the future. After all, if my characters aren’t afraid to travel into the past or deal with mysterious ways, then what’s stopping me from moving forward?

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

All Systems Go!

May the 'Fourth' Be With You!

Sorry. I couldn’t resist. After all, it is Luke Skywalker Day.
First, let me introduce myself – my name is Sharon Ledwith and I write young adult fiction. My genres include: time travel mysteries (kind of like a mesh of fantasy with a splash of sci-fi meets Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys), as well as paranormal stories where teens deal with psychic powers like psychometry, telekinesis, animal communication – stuff like that.

My intention of this blog is to:

 #1 Get you to know me as a writer, and post my experiences as an indie publisher of eBooks.

 #2 Introduce and showcase my stories and characters.
In a nutshell – market myself and promote my work.

That’s it really. You see, writing is all about the reader. My goal is to influence and empower today’s youth – the next generation – through the stories I create. I believe everyone is here at this time with a mission and a purpose, and every child has something to add to our evolutionary advancement. Children truly are the keys to our future. It is my hope to unlock this portent.