I’m so happy to present to you Sharla Shults and her new book Awakenings. She is an amazing poet and loves the historical little facts that some of us may not know.
Sharla has also been kind enough to offer her book as a Kindle Giveaway to one lucky commenter! Yippee!! :-)
Sharla and I met through this wonderful world of blogging. Her blog is Awakenings
Please provide a brief synopsis of your book.
Title: Awakenings from Then ’til Now
Genre: Historical Poetry
Awakenings from Then ’til Now is reflective of America’s history over a span of five centuries (17th – 21st centuries). It is written in poetic verse for the nature of history itself is extremely poignant. Within its pages are accounts of extreme sacrifice and heart-rending emotion from the time the first immigrants set foot on the shores of America to present day.
We seek to find knowledge that identifies who we are. Ignorance of the past leaves us naïve in the present and stagnant in our images of the future. In an endeavor for each reader to identify from whence he or she came with an understanding of tremendous sacrifice, intermittent reflection pages afford a time for personal connections. Whisperings from the past activate this time inciting discovery and inquiry directing energies toward understanding one’s America heritage.
Poetry is the icon of freedom, but freedom is not free. The cost of freedom is priceless with payments being made every day through undying devotion and sacrifice. Readers are invited to indulge themselves in the reading of historical events presented with poetic finesse. It is America’s story, it is their story.
What is the ‘back story’ to your book cover and title?
There is an immediate need for a wake-up call ensuring the principles and honor upon which America was built remain steadfast. Thus, the title: Awakenings from Then ’til Now. Our life’s blood stems from our fathers whose fathers’ fathers lived and died to make this country free. And, their mothers endured pain and suffering beyond our imagination. Thus, the book cover, which is depictive of quilting reflective of each person not as isolated individual but a thread binding together with countless other threads to create a rich and colorful tapestry of life.
Click on the book to be taken to Awakenings on Amazon
What made you want to become a writer? (What was you motivation and inspiration?)
Through the years leading up to the publication of my first book in 2004, I never envisioned myself as a writer. I was a loving wife and mother devoted to family (still that today!), mathematician and educator, content on teaching and working in various arenas with youth in middle and high school. I enjoyed writing little poetic notes and wrote my first poem to my husband (Jim) on his birthday in 2004. That was the beginning! From there, I began to challenge my students: creating curriculum that went outside the basic equation into the realm of creativity. Have you ever been given a poetic math challenge? My students were given just that: a challenge where imagination reigned and creativity soared. As a result of that unusual beginning, I am now on the verge of publishing my third book…WOW! Number three! As I look back to my writing’s inception, I realize more and more what a gift I have been blessed to share with others. It comes by way of poetry: a way of transcending the boundaries of conscious thought where, like my students, imagination reigns and creativity soars. 188
Did you employ an editor for the storyline, proofreading or editing?
I did not employ an editor since this service was furnished by my publisher.
Are you self-published or traditional/ Why did you choose to publish this way?
I had two manuscripts accepted by a traditional publisher. My knowledge of independent publishing was non-existent at that time.
Do you have any hints or tips that you have found in marketing?
Distributors and bookstores respond to demand. There will almost certainly be hiccups in supply from time to time. A book may disappear and reappear on certain sites from release date on, depending upon whether or not the distributor has books in stock. This is normal. It can be frustrating, but it is a normal part of a new book’s life.
What was your most amazing moment in writing your book?
There were actually several. Since my book is of a historical nature, it required quite a lot of research. In doing so, I expanded my own knowledge back beyond just the surface of knowing an event happened. I learned why it happened and the impact it had on making America what it is today.
If your novel was to be made into a movie which actor would you like to play the leading role?
Since my writing reflects poetry, inspirational and historical, I would not categorize it as movie material. However, within the poetic writings of Awakenings is story after story that has already made it to the silver screen or perhaps is in future movie making. There is a lot of warmth and compassion within the writings of Awakenings and begs the question, “What story has ever been written or produced without some connection to the past with words of a poetic nature?”
If the occasion ever arose for an actor to read or recite some of the poetic writing, it would have to be someone with a strong voice capable of showing extreme emotion, happiness, sorrow, joy, pain, sacrifice: maybe Gary Sinese.
Is there a sequel forthcoming or any new book in the works?
Yes, there are actually two more to complete a total of five volumes of poetry. The fourth volume is catnipoflife: Observe life at its best, listen to life’s songs, embrace life’s bounties, breathe the breath of life and savor life to its fullest! The fifth is Reminiscent of Chocolate: Nourishment for the mind, body and soul with whispers of yesteryear! This last volume is to be co-authored by my husband, Jim. He is the chef!
Do you have an inspirational, motivating or funny anecdote you would like to share?
“An invincible spirit lies in the whisperings of past events. Within surmounting challenges are whispers that keep the heartstrings taut, the mind sharp, and the soul forever nourished.”
You can find Sharla at:
Facebook: Sharla Shults