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.

Biography

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 https://soundcloud.com/sallycronin

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


Links

Website/Blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B003B7O0T6


Books and recent reviews
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019-2021/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58

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Allow me a small promotion of my books available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble http://goo.gl/xUZfk0



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 

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