Autumn With An Author: Sally Cronin

This coming fall I will host quite a number of successful authors, whose colorful writing I admire. We will be in the company of their thoughts and what drives them to write. We will also get to know their characters as people.
Without further ado, here is beautiful Sally Cronin from Ireland.

Author Sally Cronin

1. In your writing you often ponder on life’s events and situations. Life’s Rich Tapestry, Life Is Like A Bowl Of Cherries, Life Is Like A Mosaic have a common denominator: the harmonious rhythm of life. Tell me your thoughts.       

There is a rhythm to life and everything in this world from weather to the smallest creature. There are highs and lows within that rhythm, and whilst we may like to think we are in control, it is only partly true.  If lucky we survive the lows and learn from them, and appreciate the high points even more because of it. I know from my own lifetime there have been some extremes that were tough to weather, but I did and they have made me the person I am today.
I made a decision a long time ago to accept the past and move on and the only way I could do that was to have hope for the future and what might be, not what had been. 

The world’s tragedies are only too present in the images and words we see each day, such as in August with the devastation of the evacuation and surrender of Afghanistan and its population to a very uncertain and probably hazardous future.

Just because I write with hope about the harmonious aspects of life, does not mean I do not see and hear what is going on around me in the world.  My writing is a way of coping with this environment of fear that has been created about the future and offers me comfort and I hope those who read the poems or stories

2. Do your books tell the stories of people you know? If yes, do they recognize themselves in the stories? 

I have definitely included characters based on those I have loved and encountered, but usually wait until they are no longer with us. The stories may not mirror their own lives but elements will creep in, especially if they are memorable moments. Certainly my mother has slipped in and out of my stories and I did this when she was alive and she got a great kick out of it. I hope somewhere she knows she is still being thought about with love and humour.

I will admit to dropping some less fondly remembered characters I have come across in sticky situations….and some of them might not have made it to the end of the story!!

3. Do you consider your writing realistic?

Most of my writing is based on my own experiences in this world and therefore I hope comes across as authentic. I have dabbled in fantasy and also the future which is great as you can make up quite a bit when creating stories about fairies and talking animals, and this is an area I plan on exploring further in upcoming projects.

I also write non-fiction and that needs to be much more grounded and researched especially the health books and I love that equally.

4. Have you encountered in a hard scene or situation to write about and did it anyway?

My twenties were pretty much a disaster until I got to the age of 27 when I met and married my second husband. Those years were very difficult to talk about, and even today there are scars physically and emotionally that will always be with me. Later on in life I found it therapeutic to write about them in the third person, although it was hard to do initially, and it took a great many revisions until I felt I had created a different outcome to the story.

Changing the outcome of traumatic events in your mind is an accepted form of therapy and utilising writing in this context certainly worked for me. I can look back to over forty years ago far more dispassionately, and much of that is down to tackling the issues in my stories.

There is still a legacy attached to these events however, and I do find it has given me an appreciation of how those characters in a story would react under similar experiences when I do write about challenging situations.

5. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

I think we all have characteristics that those who know us well will recognise, and also a form of code that we share will those close to us. I also suspect that those that have known me all my life will also recognise situations and events, not just in relation to the previous question but some of the fun stuff too. We tend to insert our favourite food, music, fashion items (shoes) etc. into our stories and particularly online friends who follow my blog etc. will immediately recognise I am referring to my own vices!

6. When did you realize words are powerful and if are not written down, perhaps in a book, they will go in the wind?  

That had me thinking Valentina and it actually took me back to my first year in primary school so between four and five and we used slates and chalk to write on. At the end of the lesson we would rub them clean and the words we had created so laboriously were gone…

I loved it when I got my first lined exercise book and I practiced day and night to get those letters right. I kept those exercise books for years and even now I have files of handwritten stories, poems and research notes that go back over 40 year, even though most are now in print or digital formats.

This is why I also love working in audio as it captures the spoken word. Words are usually lost as soon as they are uttered. In fact I am in the process of sharing a series of radio broadcasts I made sixteen years ago on my podcast and I hope they will be enjoyed.

7. You say: “The world around us is an amazing playground (…) as well as sensory experiences that bring wonder into our lives.” Does a view of something, a person, an encounter, a situation always prompt you to write perhaps the next book? 

I try not to miss any opportunity to capture a moment, an experience or an interesting character if I can avoid it. This includes the natural world which over the last 18 months has certainly been a lifeline as we have faced numerous lockdowns. Watching the birds in the garden has resulted in a number of stories and poems that will be part of my next collection later in the year. 

This is where keeping notes as things happen or as a thought or even a dream comes to you is so useful. If only I could read my own handwriting which has deteriorated considerably over the years of using a keyboard! 

8. Do you write when the inspiration comes or is writing an everyday thing you enjoy doing?

I tend to be writing every day whether it is a poem, new story or blog post. I work a couple of weeks out on the blog and so that keeps me pretty busy. As far as fiction goes that usually follows either a memorable moment or a browse through my notes I have made. 

I love it and so grateful that it is something I can do hopefully until I am very old and doddery.

9. Most artists like to be creative in their arts and don’t like to market their work. 
How do you feel about marketing and selling your books? 

Today there is no choice but to market your own books, and one of the reasons that I created a book marketing platform on the blog over the last ten years, is because of my experiences of being an indie author and publishing books for twenty years, I know how tough it is. 

We now have the ability to market our books on a global scale, unfortunately so do billions of other authors. There are around 20,000 new eBooks uploaded to Amazon each week and standing out from the crowd is challenging.

There is an elite group of authors who only have to publish their book and immediately it hits the bestseller lists, gets reviews in the leading newspapers around the world, and they let their publishing company spend thousands in promotions.

For the majority of us it is not the case. Instead of readers falling over themselves to buy our books, we have to go out and grab them.

To be honest… that is part of the writing process I enjoy the most. I know without a shadow of a doubt that you cannot get your books noticed without engaging in self-promotion and interaction with the writing community online.

Importantly, there are so many marketing opportunities that are free it is crazy not to take advantage of them.

10. If you wanted to leave a message for posterity in one of your books what would it be? 

Another interesting question Valentina. We have no children, and certainly the clutter that we have collected over the last 40 plus years will be of no interest to anyone. We don’t intend to leave much money if we can help it, as apart from our upkeep and wellbeing in the future, and with appalling interest rates offered by the banks, we might as well have a good time with it as long as we are able. 

So what does it leave as my legacy? I like to think that whilst print copies might circulate in used book shops and still be enjoyed, the digital copies will remain available for generations to read online, provided you have made provisions in your will for the estate to manage your Amazon account!!  It would be wonderful to think that long after I am gone, someone will do a search using key words that are connected to one of my books and read stories of a fairy queen who lives under an Irish magnolia tree, or a rough collie called Sam who had a mind and a voice of his own.

Thanks very much Valentina for letting me share my thoughts and responses to your questions and hope I have not talked for too long!!

Sally, I am in the same boat, I have no kids and no one to leave my belonging to, hopefully my art and my writing will remain for people to appreciate. It was a pleasure to have you as my guest.


Sally Cronin is the author of fifteen books including her memoir Size Matters: Especially when you weigh 330lb first published in 2001. This has been followed by another fourteen books both fiction and non-fiction including multi-genre collections of short stories and poetry.

Her latest release, Life is Like a Mosaic: Random fragments in harmony is a collection of 50 + images and poems on life, nature, love and a touch of humour.

As an author she understands how important it is to have support in marketing books and offers a number of FREE promotional opportunities in the Café and Bookstore on her blog and across her social media.

Her podcast shares book reviews and short stories

After leading a nomadic existence exploring the world, she now lives with her husband on the coast of Southern Ireland enjoying the seasonal fluctuations in the temperature of the rain.

Books by Sally Cronin



Amazon Author Page:

Books and recent reviews

Goodreads –



Allow me a small promotion of my books available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer/consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She writes about many subjects. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. She has conceived a few new books to be published in the immediate future to which she is working simultaneously. Amazon Author’s Page 


98 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Teagan Riordain Geneviene
    Sep 07, 2021 @ 23:32:43

    Lovely post ladies. Hugs all around.

    Liked by 2 people


  2. Marcia
    Sep 02, 2021 @ 12:54:32

    Lovely interview, and wonderful to get to know Sally a bit better. She’s an exceptional writer, blogger, and supporter of other authors, and I’m personally grateful for all she does! Thanks for having her as your guest, Valentina, and Sally, as always, YOU ROCK! 🤗💗

    Liked by 2 people


  3. Claire Fullerton
    Sep 02, 2021 @ 05:23:54

    Sally Cronin is always an interesting person to interview, but these questions are extraordinary and have given those of us who have followed Sally raptly for years further insight to the woman behind the magic! I enjoyed this interview very much, for the thought provoking questions gave Sally the chance to do what she does best: appear in print as one of the most authentic writers I’ve ever had the good graces to read! Thank you, Valentina! Well done, Sally.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Valentina
      Sep 02, 2021 @ 05:46:14

      I got to know Sally a bit better with this interview. I appreciate your visit and your comment @ClaireFullerton.

      Liked by 1 person


    • Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.
      Sep 02, 2021 @ 08:21:29

      Thanks so much Claire for the lovely comment. One thing about being part of an online community is that you probably don’t usually reveal as much as you would in a face to face relationship. Partly because of privacy issues with the whole world listening in. But Valentina’s questions were great at getting me to open up a little more.. Looking forward to read future interviews.. love and hugs Sally..x

      Liked by 1 person


  4. Miriam Hurdle
    Sep 02, 2021 @ 04:22:30

    I enjoyed this interview, Valentina and Sally. I resonated with your answer to Q1, Sally. My writing is mostly positive and uplifting, it does not mean I don’t recognize the negativity near and far. I could identify other answers also. Thank you for the thoughtful questions, Valentina!

    Liked by 2 people


  5. dgkaye
    Sep 02, 2021 @ 02:45:43

    A most terrific interview. Great questions and answers. I loved Sally’s explaining of her style of writing: “My writing is a way of coping with this environment..” So true, as writers we all choose our styles of storytelling and whatever genre we write or read in is how we all individually cope in ‘this’ environment. Hugs girls. ❤ xx

    Liked by 2 people


  6. petespringerauthor
    Sep 02, 2021 @ 00:10:33

    Very good questions, Valentina. I enjoyed reading Sally’s responses. She was one of the people who took me under her wing a little over two years ago when I started blogging, so I have nothing but respect for her. The one answer that Sally gave that would be different from most authors is how much she enjoys the marketing aspect of writing. It’s often the thing I hear most writers lamenting about.

    Liked by 3 people


  7. robbiesinspiration
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 18:48:04

    Hi Valentina, this is a lovely author interview with Sally. I am always interested to read more about her life. Her comment about spending all her money made me laugh. I always tell my sons I’m going to have a pyramid and be buried with my dolls, my books, and my money.

    Liked by 2 people


  8. Stevie Turner
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 17:35:51

    I agree that writing about traumatic events and even disguising them in a story is therapy indeed. I’ve often done this myself.

    Liked by 1 person


  9. Liz Gauffreau
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 15:40:33

    Thank you for such a thoughtful (and thought-provoking!) interview with Sally. I enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person


  10. D. Wallace Peach
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 14:23:14

    A lovely interview, Valentina and Sally, and some unique questions. I was especially captivated by #4. I also think writing is therapeutic, and we invariably work through old situations and choices, explore feelings, and sometimes write different endings. I have learned from my characters and know that I’ve worked through something when I can view it “dispassionately” in context. Wonderful share. Thanks to both of you.



  11. Jacqui Murray
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 14:21:02

    I love your answer to Q1–about the rhythm to life. That is peaceful, calming, knowing what is meant to be is. And I love your answer to Q5–about hiding secrets only a few will understand.

    Excellent interview. Lots I didn’t know about you and am proud to learn.

    Liked by 1 person


  12. John W. Howell
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 12:55:38

    An excellent interview, Sally and Valentina. Thank you for the opportunity to know Sally a little better.

    Liked by 1 person


  13. Jan Sikes
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 12:46:38

    This is such an insightful interview with Sally! I love and resonate with what she said about not being blind to the horrible things going on in the world around us, but writing as a way to cope. Thank you, Valentine, for hosting her today!

    Liked by 1 person


  14. Mary Smith
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 12:27:23

    Great interview with Sally. You asked some interesting questions, Valentina.

    Liked by 1 person


  15. allan hudson
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 10:42:47

    A terrific interview with engaging questions. I’ve known Sally for some time, albeit online, but there is always something to learn about this lovely lady and her generous heart. Hats off to both of you.

    Liked by 1 person


  16. alexcraigie
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 09:50:54

    This was a really enjoyable exchange, Valentina. I’ve just finished Life is Like a Mosaic and love it.

    Liked by 1 person


  17. OIKOS™- Art, Books & more
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 09:41:53

    Thank you for another interesting interview, with Sally! Every interview with her that I read brings something new. (Maybe I just understand more and more English words! Lol) But one thing is fascinating about Sally: She always has a positive attitude, and this is reflected in all of the books, I have read so far. xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person


  18. OIKOS™- Art, Books & more
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 09:39:08


  19. harmonykentonline
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 09:32:53

    Wonderful interview, ladies! It’s lovely to learn more about Sally and her books 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  20. Books & Bonsai
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 08:44:55

    A lovely and interesting interview, Sally. You answered some tricky questions with style!

    Liked by 1 person


  21. Marje @ Kyrosmagica
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 08:08:26

    Lovely to discover more about Sally via your wonderful questions Valentina. Great interview. Shared. ❤

    Liked by 1 person


  22. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 07:48:07

    Thank you so much Valentina for your thoughtful questions and I do appreciate your lovely welcome and feature very much.. ♥



  23. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.
    Sep 01, 2021 @ 07:40:05

    Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    I was very honoured to be invited by interior and fashion designer Valentina Cirasola to be her guest in her new series of author interviews. Valentina asked some interesting and thought provoking questions and I look forward to meeting her other guests in coming weeks. Please head over to read and also find out more about Valentina’s work and her books promoting colour in our lives. Thanks Sally.

    Liked by 1 person


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