Sunday, November 30, 2008

Meet Sharon Poppen

Sharon Poppen is joining us for a couple of days this week. Her book After the War, Before the Peace is in print and available on most on-line booksellers and at Xlibris.

Hannah'is available right now as an ebook at and will be available in print early 2009.

Now, let's learn more about Sharon.

Sharon, What inspired you to write the book?

I’ve always been fascinated with the stories about the U.S. Civil War. For years the story of four brothers circled around my imagination. Slowly, the characters began to individualize themselves to the point where they almost seemed like a memory rather than a fiction story. When that happened, the story of their search for peace after the war literally typed itself.

What are your future goals?

My goals are simply to write every day, publish as often as possible and to enjoy life every moment.

Do you any future books planned?

Yep, I have six books and one novella completed and ready for publication.

The main characters of my first novel After the War, Before the Peace are members of the Farrell family. I’m finding that various members of the family are interesting enough to be the ‘star’ in a sequel, so I see many more books to come.

In additional to the Farrell sequels, I’ve a novel completed about an Irish girl in the Yukon, another one about a straight man and a gay man who fall in love in the 23rd century and another about three American children caught up in the French orphanage system.

I have an ebook western Hannah that is going to print around the first of the year and a story about a returning Vietnam vet finding love. I have over 300 short stories, many of which beg to be expanded into a novel. So yes, I have future books planned.

Do you see a purpose in your book?

The purpose in my book(s), is enjoyment – for the reader and for me.

What writer most inspires you?

Leon Uris inspired me the most. His characters are so very real.He deftly uses plot to move his characters along, but it is his ability to write characters that can make me laugh, cry, love, and hate, that draws me to his books and his style.

The same can be said for James Michener, Alan Drury, the very early Harold Robbins and Ayn Rand.

When you reach ‘The End’ of the books by these authors, you cry because these ‘characters’ are going out of your life and you will miss them.

How do you define your writing?

Character driven.

In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

Sharon Poppen’s writing brings her readers into contact with characters, places and situations that ring true and enable the reader to ‘participate’ in things the reader never dreamed possible.

How did/does your history and home background affect your writing?

As a young child, I favored the cowboy movies and TV shows. Hopalong Cassidy was my hero. When I was about ten, someone did a genealogy study of our family and came up with Wild Bill Hickock and Robert E. Lee as distant relatives. I studied both of them and found I enjoyed reading about that era.

I do write in all genres, but the period of 1850 to 1900 makes me feel 'at home' when I write about the characters and times of that period.

Tell us something about your educational background that has made you a better, or more caring, writer.

I have always 'written' stories, but they were for my eyes only. It was only after I was lucky enough to be granted an early retirement from the communications industry that I found the time to go to college. I was blessed to encounter professors who said I had a knack for writing and encouraged me to work at it. With their guidance, I learned the important basics, then was encouraged to submit my work for publication, and it happened!

Authors are often asked when they started writing or what triggered their interest in writing. I like to know that, also, but I would especially like to know what keeps you writing.

What keeps me writing? The characters and plots in my head tell me such interesting stories that I don't believe I could stop. In addition to that, I've met so many fellow writers and formed close ties with many of them. I have 'friends' in India, Australia, Canada, Mexico and all across this country. They are creative, exciting, positive and callenging folks that make my life so very interesting

Please give us any links for ordering your book, for your personal web site, and for your blog or blogs.

My website, blog and publication sites are

Sharon's website
After the War, Before the Peace
Lake Havasu City Writer's Group
My Blog

Cross posted on Vivian's Site

Visit Vivian's Mysteries



Morgan Mandel said...

I think it's marvelous to get a series going. I wish I could think up enough things about characters to do that. Usually, I run out of imagination and start a new book instead.

Morgan Mandel

Jean Henry Mead said...

Sounds like a fascinating tale and one to add to my ebook collection. My father was born in a farmhouse on the Antietam Battlefield, the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civl War, so I've always been interested in that era. Standing on the battlefield was an eerie feeling, as though I could hear and feel the cries of dying soldiers. Did you experience that while researching your book?

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

This book sounds so interesting. The Civil War period was such a tumultuous time - a period inwhich even brother might be against brother. I'm looking forward to learning more about Sharon Poppen.

Thanks for the great post, Vivian.

Karen Cioffi

Vivian Zabel said...

I'm glad everyone seems to enjoy the post about Sharon. I don't know if she plans on stopping by or not. She seems a very interesting person.


Joyce Anthony said...

Several of these stories sound interesting-but I really want to read After the War, Before the Peace!! Thanks for the great interview, Ladies!

Suzanne Lieurance said...

I love stories about the Civil War. This one sounds interesting.

Vivian Zabel said...

I thought Sharon left a comment, but guess I misunderstood.

It's a privilege to host her this week.

I enjoy visiting Revolutionary War places and Civil War places for some reason, all except Chatham in Virginia. I could sit or walk in the back garden and feel nothing but peace, but the front of the house toward the river -- I couldn't get away fast enough. The horror that gripped me was terrible.

Sharon Poppen said...

Hi Vivian,
I want you to know how much I appreciated your coverage and presentation of my books and my writing in general. Very nice and most appreciated. As to your comment about being interesting, it is actually the voices/characters in my imagination that are the interesting ones.
Jean asked about my feelings when I researched 'After the War, Before the Peace.' I felt awe, sadnes and appreciation for that horrible conflict that pitted brother against brother. I once visited the Shiloh battlefield and it left me in tears.
Thank you, one and all, for your nice comments,
Sharon Poppen

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Anyone that has the passion to write historicals is a hero in my eyes. I know the research involved and perhaps that's why I tend to stick to fiction that doesn't need more than susense.

Great interview.

Katie Hines said...

Nice interview. I like these that don't ask the "regular" questions; to learn a bit more about the author herself rather than simply the book.

Katie Hines said...

Nice interview. I like these that don't ask the "regular" questions; to learn a bit more about the author herself rather than simply the book.