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Author on the Couch: Sheridan Jeane - Abbie Roads
Author on the Couch: An Intimate Look Inside the Minds of Our Favorite Authors Today I have a session with Sheridan Jeane GIVEAWAY! Sheridan will be giving away an ebook copy of IT TAKES A SPY… (Book 1 in her Secrets and Seduction Series). At the end of the post I’ll tell you how to enter Sheridan’s giveaway. Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life. Sheridan: Oddly enough, I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot lately. We’ve had to relocate a couple of times for my husband’s job as a hospital executive, and the first move exacerbated some problems my two sons were having. My youngest son started having severe anxiety attacks and social phobia and could barely be tempted to leave the house. Although I had intended to resume my career in the computer field at that time, I had to put that plan on hold so I could help my son. We moved again, (which was a blessing since both my sons were unhappy in that last school district), and at around the same time my son was diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger’s, and severe anxiety disorder. It was quite the cocktail of problems. Me: Just one of those diagnoses is tough to manage, but all three is downright daunting. Sheridan: The next two years were difficult, and I still wasn’t able to resume my career. My husband was working long hours and would be gone from 7 am to 7 or 8 pm most days. He loved his new job, but we barely saw him. My son had so many panic attacks that even though he had a full-time aid at school, I ended up spending 3-4 hours a day 3-4 times a week sitting with him at school while he tried to calm down. Our hours after school were filled with doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions. I barely had time for myself, let alone for a job. I desperately needed something for me since so much of my time was being consumed in taking care of someone else. I needed something I could control. Something that provided self-actualization, so I turned to my first love…writing. It was the best decision I ever made. I had wanted to pursue a career in writing, but my parents talked me out of it because it was a risky career path. Me: Good for you! Recognizing that you needed your own time. Too often I see Mom’s in my office who have gave it all and have nothing left. They didn’t recognize the value in taking time for themselves until they crashed and burned mentally. Mom’s are the glue that hold families together and a happy mom usually means a happy family. Sheridan: The great part about writing is that I can control my hours, I can write anywhere as long as I have my laptop, and when I have to drop everything to deal with an emergency, I can. There isn’t a thing I’d change about my life. I love my kids, I love my career, and I love writing books. If I hadn’t been forced to make this change I’m certain I would have stayed working in the computer field, but I never would have been as happy and felt as fulfilled as I do writing books. My son helped me find this path, and I’ll forever be grateful to him. (And my son is doing great now!) Me: Yay! Glad to hear your son is doing well. Let’s talk about your personality. What trait of yours helps you most an author? Sheridan: Determination. I stick with something until it is done. Me: And in this industry that’s an important trait to have. What personality trait of yours hinders you most an author? Sheridan: Perfectionism. I’m never content with “good enough.” It needs to be excellent. Me: What was your high point as a writer? Sheridan: Ah! That day when I got a call from Cherry Weiner and she told me she wanted to be my agent. I was absolutely over the top with joy! I was so excited I could barely talk. And she was wonderful. She’d made that sort of call many times in the past so I wasn’t her first speechless author. Thank you again Cherry! Your faith in me gave me the confidence I needed. Me: So now I have to ask, what was your low point as a writer? Sheridan: Although my agent shopped my books and they received some strong nibbles, she wasn’t able to sell them right away. And then tragedy struck. While my agent was on a cruise ship she had both a stroke and a heart attack. She was flown to a hospital and they saved her life (hurrah for doctors and helicopters!), but her doctor insisted that she quit work. She grumbled, but finally agreed. She ended up keeping a handful of her older, establish authors, but she got rid of the rest…including me. At first I took it as a sign that I should give up, but then I thought “sign-schmign. No sign is gonna tell me when to stop! Only I get to do that!” Me: No sign is gonna tell me when to stop! Only I get to do that! Yes! Yes! And yes! That all goes back to you being determined too! How did you know you wanted to be a writer? Sheridan: It seems as though I always wanted to be a writer. My problem was self-confidence. When I was a little girl I read constantly. I’d go straight from one book to the next, and I constantly carried a book with me. My parents supported my love of books, and one year while I was at summer camp my dad built and entire wall of bookcases in my bedroom. They were packed with books from floor to ceiling, and I had them all in alphabetical order by author. I wrote lots of stories, but …