Jewel of the Month 

Sharon O. Willis 

Author

August 2019

MS. SHARON O. WILLIS

DANA PRINCE,  Author - Sharon O. Willis

YOU, ME, & HE,  Author - Sharon O. Willis

Ms. Sharon O. Willis is a gifted author and novelist, business professional, and the mother of an incredibly intelligent and talented young man.  She began to nurture her love of writing while her son was away at college and has since completed two successful novels.  As a secure, financially independent woman, she could have easily relaxed into life and allowed her innermost passion to lie dormant in her spirit, but instead she stepped out and BOLDLY claimed her dream of becoming a published author.   Despite facing unimaginable tragedy caused by the untimely transition of the love of her life, Sharon pressed on to raise her son, watched with pride as he successfully graduated college, and continued to chase her dreams right along with him.  Her words of wisdom and encouragement will propel you to revisit your own life and wonder:

 

"What dream inside of ME has been patiently waiting to come to life?"

Interview with Sharon O. Willis

Jeanette's Jewels:  Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to learn more about your life's work and passion for writing.  I have to get my chance now because when the world gets word of your books, I may have to chase you down for an interview!  Your talent is so refreshing in the literary world, and your stories give me such a Terry McMillan vibe.  When did your love for writing begin, and did you immediately know this would be your life’s work and passion?

Sharon O. Willis: 

I have loved writing for a long time. But it wasn't until I was a teenager that I started thinking about how I would have done things differently for a story if I had written it. I always wished that I could write for a living, but until now I really never thought that it could actually happen.

Jeanette's Jewels:  

And now you know that ANYTHING is possible, right? I'm so glad you are pursuing something that brings you authentic JOY.  Most writers are also avid readers and from your last response, I can imagine that you have read many books written by women your lifetime. What women, either in the literary field or your personal life, were your biggest inspirations during your journey to becoming a successful author?  In what ways did they inspire you?

Sharon O. Willis:  

My mother was my biggest inspiration. I admired how she was able to produce something out of nothing and how it would turn out well. That's how I write. I have a thought and write it down, put it away, come back to it and flesh it out, something out of nothing.  As for authors, of course I like Toni Morrison, Lorraine Hansberry and Maya Angelou.  Each of these ladies showed me that telling a story that everyone can relate is the best kind of story. When you are able to pull the readers into the story with you to the point that you have them emotionally bound to you, you have done your job.

Jeanette's Jewels 

Aren't mothers amazing?  I think she put that same "I can do anything" spirit into her beautiful daughter as well.  And you definitely have some of the most incredibly gifted writers of all time as your inspirations.  Someday a young woman will add YOUR name to that list!  I've followed the lives of each of those phenomenal women and for all their undeniable talent, each of them definitely had to conquer many obstacles throughout their lives.  What obstacles have you faced during your journey and how did you overcome them to achieve your success?

Sharon O. Willis:  

Regular life was the obstacle. While being a wife, mother, and working, it was hard for me to find time to write like I wanted. Regrettably, my biggest supporter, my husband Jon passed away in April 2017. After he passed, I threw myself into finishing my first novel Dana Prince. I felt like he was guiding me to help me finish. When it was finished and published and I was looking at the first copy of it, I felt like he, my parents, and my in-laws were in Heaven cheering for me.

Jeanette's Jewels:   

I believe they are ALL smiling down on you and loving you just as they did when they were here in physical form.  Spirits are eternal so the beautiful blessing is that they will NEVER leave you.  I know they are so proud of their baby girl!  Your strength in the face of your loss has motivated me personally to just LIVE and I know your story will inspire others as well.  As creatives we both know how much of a release writing can be and I imagine that must have given you some relief when you were creating these amazing characters!  Even though your genre is fiction, I have received some pretty important life lessons woven into your stories.  What do you hope women will take away from your novels that they can incorporate into their own lives?

Sharon O. Willis:  

Real life happens. And while it's not always the best time, you will come through and you will survive.

Jeanette Jewels

Amen to that! We are all living testimonies to that sentiment and thankfully with the resurgence of the women's empowerment movement, there are many women telling their stories via fiction and non fiction works to help another sister on her own journey.  I also love that women are re-thinking their lives and stepping out of the norm to chase the dreams they may have created years ago. What advice would you give to a woman who is taking the first steps to pursue her dream of writing her first fiction novel?

Sharon O. Willis:  

Write about what you know about. In both my books, there are real life incidents in them. I know everything is on Google now but for me, real life experiences plus a vivid imagination are priceless.

Jeanette's Jewels:  

More true words have never been spoken!  That is what makes us curl up with a book and keep our nose in it for an entire weekend! And that's exactly what I did with both of yours!  What inspires you to create the interesting, realistic, and entertaining characters in your books, and what is your creative process?

Sharon O. Willis  

As I have said, real life. I ride the train to work, and I have seen some very interesting characters on the train. I will jot down some notes, sentences, etc. go back later and flesh them out until the story develops. 

Jeanette's Jewels:   

There are probably a few books AND a screenplay's worth of material on the train in Atlanta!  Well I know I speak for your devoted fans when I say we hope you keep riding the train and creating your entertaining, real, and if may say so, "hot and heavy" novels!  I am enjoying watching your journey and reading the incredible stories your genius imagination creates.  For all the women reading this article, what is the most important message you would like to leave for anyone following your life’s journey?

Sharon O. Willis

Literally and personally, you are the author of your own story.  The pen is in your hand.  You can write your own destiny.  I didn't think I could have a published book and now I have TWO.  The only thing stopping you is you.  Don't talk yourself out of it.  At minimum, write it down.  Any idea, thought, or sentence, write it down.  Then go back and flesh it out and go from there.  You will never know if it can be done until you try.  Everyone has a story to tell.

Truly words to live by!  Jeanette's Jewels is honored to feature the amazing novelist, Sharon O. Willis as August's Jewel of the Month.  

 

To purchase Ms. Willis' books, Dana Prince, and You, Me & He, please visit Amazon.com. 

To connect with her on social media, please visit her Facebook author page at: Author-Sharon-O-Willis

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