INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR SALLY CRONIN!
Please help me welcome, author Sally Cronin, to Jemsbooks.blog Segment, Interview an Author. Sally is a dear online friend who is a kind and generous supporter of her fellow authors. I am thrilled that she accepted my invitation to be interviewed.
It’s wonderful to have you here today, Sally. Feel free to begin and delight us with your books and story of how you became an author. It’s your turn to shine. The spotlight on upon you, my friend!
Please tell us something about yourself.
Thank you so much for inviting me to join you today Janice lovely to be here.
I am an author, blogger, and a nutritional therapist for the past twenty years. Previously I spent 25 years in the hospitality, retail and telecommunications industry. In my mid 40s I decided to retrain in nutrition, which was something I had been very interested in, and I wanted to find something I could do in my 90s if needed. I had always written poetry and short stories, but as I was going through this period of change physically, mentally and emotionally in my life, I decided to write about it in a journal. That became my first book Size Matters in 1998, and I have not looked back since. I love every aspect of blogging, writing fiction and non-fiction as well as supporting other authors. I have lived all over the world both as a child and in the last 38 years of being married to David, and we now are living in Ireland, closer to family.
Jjspina: You have had such a fascinating life with all your traveling. It’s no wonder that your stories are full and rich and delightful!
When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
I can remember thinking in my early teens, as I devoured the books by authors such as Nevil Shute, Wilbur Smith and Stuart Cloete, that one day I would love to be read by others. At that age I was not sure how to make that happen, but I was an avid reader, absorbing as much as I could, by reading the best of classic and modern writers. It took me another 25 years to make it happen, but it is never too late to start.
jjspina: Yes, it’s never too late, Sally.
How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
Usually I am triggered off by an image, but it also might be something that I live with every day. For Tales from the Garden, it was the statues that we inherited when we bought our Madrid house in 1999. In 2013 when we put the house on the market, we realised that most were too heavy to take with us. I wanted to have a record of them that was fun for children and adults alike, and the stories were the result. I might also see a headline that grabs my attention, and I usually copy and paste some of the story, keeping in a digital folder for future reference.
Jjspina: I loved your Tales from the Garden! I felt like a kid again reading about all the magical tales.
What do you expect to accomplish in 2019?
Online I would like to increase the level of author and blogger promotion on Smorgasbord. My café and bookstore is an important aspect of that, and I am planning a revamp in the New Year to bring in more elements to encourage readers to buy the books. I am also looking to add more specific columns to the blog, contributed by others who are knowledgeable about various aspects of health, writing, lifestyle etc. Offline we are looking to finish our two year renovation project on the former B&B we bought, with a view to having it ready to sell when the market is favourable. It is too big for us in the long term although we love the house and the area. We would like a smaller place eventually with a view of the sea. One thing is for sure…. I fully intend to be doing what I love, on and offline.
Jjspina: Wow, I can’t imagine doing more than you already do, Sally. You are amazing in so many ways. I wish you luck selling your place and finding a smaller one.
Please share your books with us and a synopsis of each.
Size Matters – Especially When You Weigh 330lb – written between 1996 and 1998 this charted my weight loss project to lose 150lbs. It was not just about the physical causes of my obesity, but the mental and emotional triggers that encouraged me to overeat. I revisited my childhood and young adulthood to discover the reasons that I might have fallen into bad habits. It also includes the programme that I still follow today to be healthy.
Just an Odd Job Girl – 2003 – I had a great many temporary jobs as we were often on the move, and I was regaling guests at a dinner party with some of the stories, and they suggested that I write a book. It became my first fiction release and is a romantic comedy. Imogen is early 50s and her husband goes off with a ‘Fast Tracker’ a younger woman not interested in doing the tougher years and likes her husband ready-made! Imogen revisits the jobs she has done in the past, leading to a new life and romance.
Just Food for Health is my only book not in eversion as it is too big with a great many illustrations. It followed on from my monthly newsletter, and covers the body and major organs, their function and potential health issues. I share the nutrients and foods that are necessary to keep the body and those organs healthy. It was intended at a manual for my clients, but it is also a guide to family health.
Flights of Fancy is a short story collection. Ghosts, romance, friendship of all kinds and revenge form the basis of this collection of short stories. Ghosts hint at a chance of coming back to say goodbye, exact a little payback, or simply to help someone else carry on living. Romance is not just for the young and nor are second chances. As for revenge, well… Never underestimate a group of elderly ladies with contacts from the past.
Forget the Viagra, Pass me a Carrot is a men’s health manual, written in response to the selling of Viagra online, and the health risks to taking it without being examined by a doctor first. It also covers all aspects of men’s health from heart disease to prostate cancer. Plus the nutrition required for men over 50 in particular. It is even more relevant now that Viagra is being sold over the counter in the UK for the first time.
Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story is our Lassie collie’s life story and his adventures in Ireland and in Spain. He covers his introduction to cats, human language, traveling in a car and favourite treats. Also the best way to manipulate your human! My most popular book and I am so pleased that he continues to steal people’s hearts even after all this time.
Turning Back the Clock is an anti-aging programme to ensure that our middle and later years are illness free and that we review our nutrition and our physical, mental and emotional well-being regularly. It covers the various issues that we might encounter and provides a nutritionally balanced eating programme to stay fit and healthy.
Media Training was a short book that I wrote for training programmes that I ran for businesses and charities, to ensure that they were making the most of the social media and press opportunities. I have updated since with a free pdf specifically for authors that is available by contacting me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Tales from the Garden in English and Spanish) is a fairy story and fantasy short story collection about the various stone statues in our garden in Spain. For all ages from 5 to 95 and introducing Queen Filigree, her court, and the Guardians who protect them all from humans and danger. There is romance, evil witches, a despotic winter fairy and fire breathing dragon.
What’s in a Name Volume One and Two – Short stories based on the alphabet with names from A – Z. There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.
Tales from the Irish Garden
A magic garden in the depths of the Emerald Isle becomes home to a Spanish fairy queen and her court that are in need of sanctuary. They face challenges and adventures as they encounter the folk and the creatures of the garden and the surrounding forest. Everyone with a story to tell in this fantasy fairy story.
Jjspina: I’ve read most of your books, Sal, and thoroughly enjoyed them. They are entertaining and are eclectic in nature. I look forward to reading your new book, Tales from the Irish Garden.
Please share your links and where to purchase your books.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2
What advice would you give prospective authors?
Be a reader first, especially of the genre you are planning to write about. Then have a basic plan of how you are going to get from start to finish, before sitting down to write a draft version. Then go back and read and rewrite, read again and again until you feel as good about your writing as you do about the books you have read. Spellcheck and then pass on to another few pairs of eyes, especially avid readers and ask for constructive feedback. If your book needs the attention of a professional for editing and proofreading, consider it a good investment. Whilst that is all going on, develop a platform from which to launch your book online – blog – social media etc. Above all else enjoy the experience.
Jjspina: Excellent advice from someone who knows. Thank you, Sally.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I would like to extend an invitation for any author reading this, who would like to benefit from free book promotion in the Café and Bookstore. I keep the authors to around 150 so that I can share news, reviews and new releases on a regular basis. Each post is promoted on my blog; and on my social media platforms, where most of the connections are authors and more importantly readers. My email for promotions is email@example.com – together we are stronger.
Jjspina: How kind and generous of you, Sal, to offer this to authors. I hope they contact you. They will benefit greatly from your promotions. I know I have.
Thanks so much Janice for your hospitality, it is much appreciated.
My links for the blog and social media.
You are more than welcome, Sally. It was a pleasure to learn more about you and your fabulous books and to share them with my readers. I wish you much success with all your books. Please feel free to come back again to share new books. Congratulations on the new book today, Tales from the Irish Garden.
Here is one of my reviews of Sally’s wonderful book, What’s in a Name?
(Format: Kindle Edition). See all 8 reviews
What’s in a Name? Book 2 is a wonderful collection of short stories that will touch your heart. You will find romance, tragedy and heartache. Each story is titled with a male or female name which continues alphabetically from Book 1.
Sally Cronin is a consummate storyteller who has the innate ability to weave a fascinating tale that grips the reader from the first sentence. This reader felt lifted when the characters were exuberant and crushed when they had heartache. If an author can enable a reader to feel the joy and angst along with the characters she has created, she is an exceptional writer!
My favorite was the first story about Kenneth. This story touched me deeply as Kenneth watches the love of his life dancing on New Year’s Eve. I don’t want to give anything away by saying too much. Each story tells an unforgettable tale with a twist at the end. Surprises and twists abound in these fabulous stories. I couldn’t put the book down.
Sally Cronin has many other entertaining books to offer. Several of them I have read and highly recommend them all.
Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read about this lovely and talented author. Please check out her links and books. You will be delighted as I am by her books.
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