Book it for Friday: Curse of the Seven 70s

Today I'm interviewing writer Sharon Anderson whose debut novel, Curse of the Seven 70s, has just been released. Congratulations, Sharon!

“My stories are dark and twisted with a sense of humor, because if you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re already in hell.”

Sharon grew up in a haunted house in the sleepy wilds of Ballard in Washington, where front lawns seemed grander, roads wider, dad’s hands larger, and everyone was a friend or at least a potential audience member. Sharon spent her time daydreaming, making up stories to share with the neighborhood kids. As for the ghost—a less creative person might chalk it up to older house issues and an off-the-charts imagination…
Sharon is the first place winner of 2014 Chanticleer Book Review Summer Short Stories and Novelettes Writing Competition for her short story “The Stone God’s Wife”.  This is her first novel. 

1. What gave you the idea to write The Curse of the Seven 70s? I’ve always been a big fan of old horror movies. There’s a particular movie where a guy digs up a coffin, opens it up, pulls out a stake, and the skeleton becomes Count Dracula! I remember seeing that movie as a kid and thinking, if that were me, I’d put that stake right back in! I’m really glad that I was able to write a story where that could happen.
2.  How long have you been writing? What was the motivating factor that got you started? Great question. I think I’ve been writing from a very early age – ever since I was able to use a crayon. I’ve been telling stories much longer. I saw a meme recently on Facebook that said, “She’s not a schizophrenic, she’s an author!” And every single writer I know gets it. Whatever makes us write, makes us unbalanced if we don’t. We (writers) all have voices in our heads whispering storylines at night, throughout the day, stalking us in the shower, mining our conversations for good, meaningful content. I write because by doing so, it frees something within me, that creative force, and it makes life so much more interesting and vibrant.
3.  What do you want most for your readers to come away with after they’ve read your books? I would hope my readers would be glad that they’ve taken the time to read one of my stories. Life is hard, I write to reflect that or draw out the absurdity of it. After reading Curse, I hope that my readers would enjoy the book enough to pass it along to someone else who needs a good laugh.
4. Tell us about your marketing strategy: I think a lot of writers look at marketing as a necessary evil – something that’s painful, degrading, and probably embarrassing. I’ve learned from listening to Bill Kenower (Author to Author radio blog) that marketing is simply talking about what you love. So, if I’m standing in line at the grocery store and strike up a conversation with the person next to be about the heartbreaking Seattle Seahawk loss, we might get around to talking about what we do for a living… one thing flows into the next and pretty soon I’m giving that person the logline of my novel or script or poem – whatever. I think it might be helpful to have cards made up with all of my information on it, so wherever I am, I can just give someone a card instead of writing my web address on the back of their hands with permamarkers. Also, it helps to have a team on your side, someone to help you create a Press Kit, book readings, bug you about stuff you should have done ages ago, but put off… So, to sum up: Don’t be afraid to talk about your stuff, AND find a really good marketing person to help you.
5.  Name four essential items for writing:  
1) Something with which to write, of course, be that computer, paper & pencil, whiteboard, post-it notes, banana leaf, whatever you’ve got—it ain’t writing unless you put words down! 
2) Then of course a writer needs a healthy imagination, able to ask the big What If Questions, follow a story line from If This –Then That, don’t be afraid to put your characters in peril, and letting their characters come alive through the story.  
3) The ability to not take yourself too seriously – having lots of writer friends helps with this. I find my friends are always willing to poke their noses into my work (which, albeit can be annoying, usually always ends up with a tighter story, a better read).   
Finally, 4) really good butt glue.

Sometimes love proves sweeter than revenge… even for a 15th century vampire.
Heartbroken, hungry, and a little bit drunk, Cassandra soon realizes that just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, sometimes they can get very strange…like finding a skeleton in the basement of her newly inherited cottage.
But when that skeleton suddenly becomes a hot, romantic, and business savvy vampire named Varo…things can get a little better. That is…until his infamous older brother shows up, and their centuries old sibling rivalry threatens her chance at true love.
Can their love survive her conniving ex-fiancé, his vengeful brother, and the Curse of the Seven 70s?