Welcome to the New Author Spotlight Feature!
Every fortnight, I will be placing an author under the spotlight. Don’t worry, it’s a lovely shiny light designed not to burn retinas.
The writing community is fabulous. Many authors have supported me and continue to do so. Now I’m giving something back.
Make sure you’re following my blog so you don’t miss a single author. So many lovely books and brilliant authors just waiting to be discovered.
Sharon Maas and Her Darkest Hour
Sharon is an author of historical and women’s fiction. Her Darkest Hour is Sharon’s tenth – count ’em – novel! It’s released on 22nd May.
In the small French town of Colmar, swastikas hang from lampposts, tanks are lined up outside the town hall, and twenty-one-year-old Marie-Claire is in love. She will do anything for her childhood friend Jacques, including spying on her German boss, Dietrich Kurtz. Anything to make Jacques see her in a new light, as something more than just a silly little girl.
But when Jacques rejects her, everything changes. Mortified and stung, Marie-Claire feels the need for revenge. She turns her back on those she loves and is catapulted into a new life.
Her little sister Victoire is aghast at her sister’s traitorous behaviour, not least because Marie-Claire is endangering Victoire’s own life-threatening mission, hiding Jewish refugees in their mother’s wine cellar. And when Marie-Claire marries Kurtz, Victoire knows her relationship with her sister has been poisoned for ever.
But when Victoire learns someone she loves is in terrible danger, her only choice is to trust the sister who betrayed her. Kurtz, Marie-Claire’s cruel and heartless husband, has key information and Victoire must persuade Marie-Claire to obtain it, even if it means risking Marie-Claire’s life. As secrets come to light and close bonds are broken, will the sisters be able to heal old wounds?
An unforgettable and unputdownable story of two sisters ripped apart by World War 2. Fans of The Nightingale and The Ragged Edge of Night will fall in love with Her Darkest Hour.
Let’s Place Sharon Under the Spotlight!
Tell us a little about yourself and your books, including the genre(s) you write in.
Her Darkest Hour is my tenth novel, and my third Second World War novel. Before this, I wrote historical novels set in Guyana (British Guiana) as well as three set in India. My genres are historical fiction, women’s fiction.
What project are you working on now?
I’m just about to start a new Second World War novel, to be published early next year.
How do you choose the genre(s) you write in?
From the start I wanted to write stories set in my home country, Guyana, as I felt there just wasn’t enough of these and it is a fascinating country. Then, my publisher suggested WW2 and since I love reading about it, I was ready to plunge right in.
Is there any particular author or book that’s influenced you, either growing up or as an adult?
Oh, many! I think I first became interested in writing about India through the books of M. M. Kaye, who writes such delicious sagas set there. I love books set in the Raj. As a child, though I loved Enid Blyton – all the usual books.
Is anything in your books based on real life experiences?
Yes, the settings in my Guyana books. I always wanted to share my wonderful memoriews of growing up there with the wider public. The same with India. I spent a lot of time there and fell under the spell of that country back in 1973. It has never let me go, and that too I wanted to share through stories.
How do you come up with your titles?
The only title I came up with is Of Marriageable Age! My publisher chooses my titles. However, I do have one self published book, a new rendition of the Mahabharata, and to that I added the title Sons of Gods to distinguish it from all the other Mahabharatas.
Do you have any hidden talents?
No! All I can do is write. I have practiced meditation for many decades, though, and have gained some strength in that. Is it a talent? I don’t think so. I think it’s natural!
You’re hosting a literary dinner party, which four authors would you invite (alive or dead)?
M. M. Kaye, Mary O’Hara, Mikhail Naimy, Rosamunde Pilcher (too many living ones to count!).
What are four words that describe your writing process?
Steadfastness, regularity, silence, faith.
Which would you rather do: Never write another story or never read another book?
Never read another book! I am already retired, and after I’ve finished writing everything that’s in me, I’m ready to just read once I turn 72.
What is the funniest typo or error you’ve ever written?
In a historical novel, I misdated a bottle of wine by a century – in the future!
How do you come up with names for your characters?
I look at lists, conjure up the character, think of names that suit; ones I like for nice characters, ones I dislike for nasty ones.
Who is the most supportive person in your life when it comes to your writing?
Other author friends. Non-writers in my life don’t really “get” it. Though I do have one or two friends who love my books and keep asking for more…
What is your most favourite word and why?
Arunachala. It’s a place I visit in India, where I always find new strength and inspiration.
What is your least favourite word and why?
Can’t. My dad always used to tell me there’s no such word, and I guess it stuck!
You can find Sharon in the following places:
Facebook: Sharon Maas Books
Twitter: Sharon Maas Twitter