Monday, February 18, 2013

Author: Sharisse Coulter Interview

I'm pleased to welcome Sharisse Coulter to Books à la Mode today. Hello, Sharisse! Will you please share a brief bio with us?

Sharisse Coulter, originally from Lake Tahoe, started with a smidge of college in Paris (not Texas), a dash in Australia and, voilà! A master’s degree in Anthropology framed and placed lovingly on a shelf, never to be dusted off again. Instead, she took the clear path to success, marrying a musician, becoming his manager and touring the country playing gigs, taking photos, and making music videos. Finally, she had a son (and subsequent identity crisis), which fueled the completion of her first novel, Rock My World. Now at work on her second and third novels, she’s concurrently embarking on A Novel Music Tour: a 5 month 55 city national music/book tour while perfecting the art of Lego and enjoying her addiction to reading novels on her iPhone. It’s a wonderful life for an insatiable wanderluster.

What is your debut novel about?

Page Count: 269
Release Date: 22 January 2013
Publisher: self-published
Genre: Contemporary, Women's Fiction

Jenna Jax-Anders hit rock bottom in high school. Or so she thought. From rock star heiress to knocked-up has been, she turned it all around, marrying the punk rock baby daddy love of her life. The perfect Hollywood fairytale. Until the day she walked in on him kissing her best friend.

As she struggles to find herself and redefine the world around her, she faces the challenges of raising her over-achieving teenage daughter, the heartbreak of losing her best friend (backstabbing aside), and emerging from the shadows of two famous last names to find her own identity. Oh, there’s also the tiny issue of her husband’s record label, backed by an anonymous mogul whose morally ambiguous creative direction may ruin them all.

But she doesn’t know about that yet.

What was the inspiration behind the book?

The story is based in the music industry and, having spent the last 9 years touring and managing my husband’s music career, I certainly have my fair share of anecdotes. We were going through a particularly difficult period—professionally—when I wrote Rock My World and it served as a kind of therapy for me. Mostly though, I have to admit that every day I sat down to write, the characters told me where they needed to go. Hmm, maybe that makes me sounds crazy. Although I guess living in a fictional world is likely to have that effect.

What is your greatest strength as a writer?

Probably my organization. I’m very logical and straightforward so figuring out character arcs and timelines comes naturally. It helps to free up space in my brain to work on my weaknesses, like dialogue.

It's great you recognize both your strengths and weaknesses in order to focus on what needs work. What is the most difficult aspect to writing a novel?

Making the time to do it. It’s so easy to put everything else first, especially when it’s not earning money yet. It’s so simple, and yet it takes incredible discipline to just sit down and write—to write when it’s fun, when it’s hard, to write through the parts you’re sure are terrible—all to get to the good stuff.

What was something penning Rock My World taught you?

The biggest lesson I learned was that there is nothing separating me from my biggest influences other than my own self-belief and determination. They, just like me, had to sit down and do the work in order to learn their stories, characters, and find their voice. It’s a decision one makes—to be a writer, not a predetermined fate.

I wholeheartedly agree and am glad you realized so! What is the message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That you should make the effort to find out who you are. No matter your upbringing or circumstances, in order to be happy, we all have to answer that question, if only for ourselves 

That's lovely advice, as well. Where can you be found on the web?

It was wonderful hosting you for Orangeberry, Sharisse! Thank you so much for joining us, and good luck with the rest of the tour.