Interview With Sharleen Scott, Author of Tangles

Tangles, a contemporary fiction novel by Sharleen ScottI’m delighted to welcome Sharleen Scott for an interview and a look at her new contemporary fiction novel, Tangles.

Hi, Sharleen, so glad to have you here today. Tell us a little about Tangles.

Blurb: Can tragedy mend a wounded family? While faced with the challenge of his mother’s escalating Alzheimer’s disease, Logan McKinnon discovers secret journals that leave him questioning everything he knows about his family. With no one to ask, Logan must find a man mentioned in the journals to discover a truth he may not want to know.

What inspired this story?
I wrote Tangles while my family was in the grip of the disease. With my mother-in-law’s diagnosis, my husband and I joined a community of people isolated by the task of caring for a loved one and needing more information. We found ourselves in impromptu mini-support-group meetings in grocery stores, movie theater lobbies, and restaurant parking lots. Everywhere we went, we found people whose families were caught in a similar struggle. I noticed a similar theme in these conversations—no one knew what to expect with this disease. No one anticipated the emotional and physical toll of caring for a stricken loved one. The idea for Tangles was born, and with it, I hoped to show the realities of living with the disease within a fictional framework. I don’t believe information dissemination needs to be boring.

What are you working on now?
I’m writing book three in my romantic suspense series, Caught in Make Believe. The characters from books one and two will return to Oregon’s Angel Beach for a story starring Sweet Stuff Bakery manager and budding author Samantha Dylan and returning native son Jace Colton.

How do you come up with ideas?
Ideas are everywhere. The difficult part is deciding which ideas are the good ones and letting them develop.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love creating complex characters and watching them deal with the roadblocks I place in their way. I give my characters tormented histories and flaws, balanced with big hearts and incredible talents, and see what happens.

Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?
I have a full-time day job, so my favorite time to write is whenever I can sit at my desk.

Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
My favorite characters are always in the book I’m currently writing. The process of discovering who the characters will be is engrossing and I tend to set the others aside for a while. That said, I do have a fondness for Harlie Cates from Caught in Cross Seas. She has survived so many bad situations and has become a dynamic woman because of her experiences. She runs a business, devotes herself to helping the homeless in her area, and makes one of country music’s biggest stars work to win her heart…all while wearing plaid Converse All Stars.

Where is your favorite place in the world?
I was a travel agent for twenty three years, so a wild and exotic location is probably what is expected. But no. My favorite place is the Oregon coast. I love the rugged coastline, the beaches, and the laid back atmosphere. And the chowder. I can’t forget the chowder. My affection for the Oregon coast is why I set most of the books in my CAUGHT series there. Each time I craft a scene, I get to visit my favorite place—even if it is in my head.

What is your favorite food to cook or eat?
It’s become a standing joke in my house, if mom is cooking dinner, we’re having spaghetti. I told my husband I cooked for the first twenty five years. He gets the next twenty five or more years. He’s a much better cook, so it’s working out well.

These are few of my favorite things:
A day off with nothing to do
Page one of a good book
Homemade macaroni and cheese

Excerpt:

Logan exhausted the file cabinets by 9:00 p.m. and still hadn’t located the insurance policies. Thinking there could be more files in the closets, he poked around until he found a locked box marked Personal in the top of the guest room closet. It was heavy and locked. He didn’t find a key, but rather than give up, he jimmied it open with a screwdriver. Hoping to find file folders, he was disappointed when the contents were books and notebooks, all numbered and dated.

He sat on the floor and selected a white book marked Number One. He opened it to the first page and was stunned by what he found. The first entry, with its childish scrawl and misspelled words, made him smile.

April 1936

Dear Jurnal, My name is Lois and I am six. Mama says girls like to rite stuff so she gave you to me. I hope we can be frends and I can tell you my secrets. Love, Lois

July 1936

Dear Jurnal, Larry called me a bad name today. I dumped mud on his head. Daddy spanked me. It hurt. Big brothers are icky, and I hate him. Don’t tell anyone. Love, Lois

Logan doubled over with laughter as he read his mother’s diary. He knew it was wrong, but he couldn’t stop. The entries were short but telling of Lois’ early life, and he found himself engrossed. Hours passed as he read the entries detailing her fights with her older brother, Larry, stories of her cat named Puffpuff, a dog named Hunter though he was gun shy to the point of terror, and he sniffled when he read about the day she stopped hating Larry.

April 1939

Dear friend, my grandpa died today and I’m sad. When Mama told me, I ran to the barn and cried until my stomach hurt. Puffpuff tried to make me feel better but it didn’t help. Larry found me and I yelled at him to leave me alone. He said he was sad, too, and wanted to cry with me where no one would see him. Boys aren’t supposed to cry. He held my hand and we cried together. I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone he cried. I think Larry is an okay brother after all, but don’t tell anyone I said that. Love, Lois

Logan placed the journal in the box and closed the lid. He stared at it, debating if he should return it to the closet where it belonged and leave it alone. His curiosity won, and he shoved the box in a corner and covered it with a blanket. The late hour caught up with him, and he stripped off his clothes and climbed into bed. Blissful sleep came quickly.

Buy Tangles at:

Amazon Kindle and PaperbackNook | iBooks | Kobo

Sharleen Scott, author of Tangles, a contemporary fiction novelBio: Romantic-suspense author Sharleen Scott is taking a brief detour from her CAUGHT series with the release of Tangles, a novel dedicated to her mother-in-law who succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease. Sharleen lives in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Brett, two college kids, and two spoiled cats.

You can find Sharleen at:
www.sharleenscott.com

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