It is such a pleasure to welcome a fellow author to Interview an Author on Jemsbooks.blog. Today, please help me welcome talented author/poet/nutritionist Sally Cronin!
Thank you so much, Sally, for coming today to share a little bit about yourself and your lovely books. I am excited to have you here! The floor is yours!
Thanks very much Janice for the invitation to join you today and it is lovely to travel to see you even if it is virtually.
Jjspina: My pleasure, Sally!
Please tell us something about yourself.
I am not sure what nationality I can claim, since I have lived a nomadic existence from childhood. I do think we have finally settled back in Ireland and whilst I am only 26% Irish according to my Ancestry DNA, my husband is the real deal, having been born and brought up here. I was born in England before moving around the globe with my father who was in the Royal Navy, and that early start gave me itchy feet ever since. I have lived in eight countries so far plus travelled to another dozen or so.
I began work at fourteen years old after school and at weekends along the seafront in Southsea in Hampshire, and don’t seem to have stopped since. Even though these days, apart from being delighted when a book sells, I am an unpaid volunteer glued to my computer screen for most of the day.
I spent 25 years in management across several industries including hospitality, retail, advertising, cable television and telecommunications. In my mid 40s and carrying far too much weight, I packed it all in to study nutrition and medicine (from books at the time and later online) to sort my weight and health out. Two years later I opened a diet advisory centre here in Ireland followed by practicing in a number of clinics in the UK and consulting on radio following our move to Spain. This led to me becoming a presenter with my own health and interview shows on local radio for six years in the UK.
Now I write about nutrition in books, and on my blog, as well as exercise my creative brain cells by writing cross genre novels and short stories, with a poetry collection published in 2021.
If I was to define what I am now, it would be someone who is doing what she loves, in the company of someone she loves, meeting wonderful like-minded people every day online. I also consider myself very lucky to have had such an amazing life.
Jjspina: You certainly have lived an amazing, multi-cultured life of travel and experiences, Sally. That is why your books are so rich and varied in their content.
When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
I have always enjoyed creative writing and indulged in teenage angst with poems and then song lyrics that were influenced by country music and shared to gatherings accompanied by my guitar.
Then life intruded as it often does. It wasn’t until I began keeping a journal in the mid-1990s about my journey to obesity, and my subsequent weight loss, that I thought about publishing a book. I got a great reaction to what I considered my one and only book, and then someone, after too much red wine, suggested I should fictionalise my varied job history into a novel. I have loved the process of putting my thoughts and ideas down in writing and releasing it to the world ever since.
Jjspina: Well, that was a brilliant idea to put down your ideas into wonderful books. We are all blessed that you did.
What process do you need in order to write?
I tend to write my books in my head first when exercising or chopping vegetables. Then I get started on first drafts on the computer, without any distractions, not even music. Once I have completed my mind dump… I will spend considerable time reading it over and over, adjusting and finessing before I pass along to other eyes to read and report back.
It is interesting to discover when I revisit older stories and books, how much my writing has changed over the last 26 years. This has resulted in some re-editing as books when they morphed from print to E-books.
Jjspina: That is a good way to write your books but please be careful of the chopping that it doesn’t involve fingers! Yikes! I agree with you. Our writing does change over the years and the many books we write. But, that is a good thing. That means we are improving our craft.
What projects are you currently working on?
I have another collection of short stories interlaced with some poetry due out at the end of the year. I also have a long-term project set during World War II in a fictional village similar to the one where I was born, and loosely based on my mother’s early life. I also would like to expand on one or two of my short stories that readers have expressed an interest in finding out more about.
Jjspina: Sounds like you will have a busy year ahead of you. All this sounds fascinating, Sally! I will be looking for these projects and adding them to my ever-growing TBR list.
What do you expect to accomplish in 2022?
Apart from getting these writing projects completed I would love to read and review more. I have stepped back somewhat from the blog although still posting daily, and have built in more time to enjoy the books waiting for me on my TBR.
Having set up my podcast in 2021, I am embarking on a recording programme of my short story collections to share on the blog, but to also compile in audio format to accompany my books on Amazon.
And like many we are hoping to get some travel in at some point this year, especially to see family.
Jjspina: Looks like you will be busy in 2022 between reading and recording books. I hope we will all be able to get back to traveling soon too. It has been too long with this Pandemic. I wish you all the best with all your projects and invite you to come back again when you have another project to share.
Sally Cronin is the author of fifteen books including her memoir Size Matters: Especially when you weigh 330lb first published in 2001. This has been followed by another fourteen books both fiction and non-fiction including multi-genre collections of short stories and poetry.
Her latest release, Life is Like a Mosaic: Random fragments in harmony is a collection of 50 + images and poems on life, nature, love and a touch of humour.
As an author she understands how important it is to have support in marketing books and offers a number of FREE promotional opportunities in the Café and Bookstore on her blog and across her social media.
Her podcast shares book reviews and short stories https://soundcloud.com/sallycronin
After leading a nomadic existence exploring the world, she now lives with her husband on the coast of Southern Ireland enjoying the seasonal fluctuations in the temperature of the rain.
Please share your books with us and a synopsis of each.
Size Matters: Especially when you weigh 330lbs is the journal I wrote when exploring why I managed to become morbidly obese and unhealthy, and the programme I designed to lose weight and regain my physical, emotional and mental well-being.
Just Food for Health – A family health manual covering the major organs of the body, health issues and the nutrients and foods needed to be healthy. In print only.
Just an Odd Job Girl follows a woman whose husband has run off with his secretary (fast-tracker) and realises that she has devoted her life to his needs and those of her children. Whilst she does not regret the time spent on the children, she does regret being taken for a fool by her husband. She needs to go back out to work and as part of the process travels back in time to all the various jobs she participated in. On the way she finds that life and love are not over just yet.
Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story is the memoir of an articulate Lassie Collie from a few weeks old to being in charge of the garden in a Spanish villa in the mountains, with his adventures and friends along the way.
Tales from the Garden and Tales from the Irish Garden – Fairy tales and humour for ages 5 to 95 set in a Spanish garden and then is a damper Ireland.
Five short story Collections of mixed genres – Flights of Fancy, What’s in a Name volumes one and two, Life is Like a Tapestry, and Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries.
Turning Back the Clock is an anti-aging programme from a physical, mental and emotional perspective.
Media Training Manual… book marketing for authors.
Life is Like a Mosaic – Poetry Collection
Jjspina: I read just about all of these books and thoroughly enjoyed them. You are a talented and creative storyteller.
Please share your links and where to purchase your books.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B003B7O0T6
Books and recent reviews
What advice would you give prospective authors?
Have realistic expectations about publishing books. Yes, there are 20,000 E-books uploaded each week to Amazon, but if you work on the marketing side of the process before publication, and by participating in the online writing community you can get noticed. Even those working with mainstream publishing companies have to be able to market themselves and their books.
Whilst today self-publishing has never been easier, a book still has to be written and edited to reach a standard that meets a reader’s expectations. There is a great deal of competition within most genres. It is well worth reading a great many books within your chosen genre so that you can create a unique element that makes you stand out from the crowd. If anyone would like a copy of two pdfs I have on book marketing and author public relations I am happy to email a copy and just contact me on email@example.com
Jjspina: Wise advice, Sally. If anyone knows how to promote, it is definitely you. You have been such a wonderful support to fellow authors, including me. I am truly grateful for all that you do to help fellow authors spread the word about our books.
Do you have any unusual talents? What are they?
I am afraid I have few natural talents, except perhaps being able to talk a hind leg off a donkey…!
Thank you very much for having me over Janice and looking forward to reading your other author interviews in coming weeks.
Jjspina: You are multi-talented in everything that you do. Thank you, Sally, for coming today. It was a sincere honor and pleasure to have such an immensely talented fellow author and friend here today.
Here is my review of Sally’s book, Life is Like a Mosaic:
Life is Like a Mosaic is a lovely collection of poetry that lifts the heart and the spirit. The author has the innate ability to create beautiful poems, thoughts, rhymes with words as if she has a magic wand.
She weaves ordinary words and creates the extraordinary before our eyes. There are fifty poems to enjoy covering feelings, experiences, hope, love, heartache, joy, friendship among others. She recalls her childhood memories, holidays, friends and other thoughts in flowing and creative rhyming poetry that takes one away to his/her own childhood nostalgically.
The colorful cover tells a tale all its own of life that can be so fractured yet somehow comes together in a beautiful way. The poems she creates give us hope in a troubled world of what is possible if we think positively. As she says in the poem, ‘Hope, Hope still springs eternal’.
I enjoyed all these wonderful poems but especially enjoyed ‘The Sunflower – One, and Sunflower – Two.’ In these two poems Sally expresses her thoughts – ‘Witness the sunflower as she swivels to stare and worship the gold god. Symbol of health and life the sunflower brightens every field that she graces.’
As I read all these poems I felt uplifted and free, all my troubles melted away. It was a beautiful feeling as I traveled along her words to float and flitter, my heart beating rhythmically with her lilting words. I highly recommend this beautiful collection. Thank you, Sally Cronin!
Thank you, Sally, for sharing a little about yourself and your books. It was a pleasure to have you visit today. Please come back again soon to share more about your latest projects. Readers, please check out Sally’s exquisite site with many excellent books to choose from, many of hers and other authors.
Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read this post. Please come back again soon for more interviews, books, reviews and other stuff. Don’t forget to review books you’ve read wherever they were purchased. Thank you, once again, for your support of my fellow authors and me.
Blessings & Hugs! Stay Safe, Stay Well and God Bless!
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Janice Spina aka J.E. Spina
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