Today I’m happy to share an interview I had with author Sharon Williams! She shared a little about her career as a writer and about her middle-grade book, Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure vol. 1.
The Book View: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Williams: Actually, I came to the writing game late. In 2009 my husband told a good friend of ours that he felt I wrote good. Of course why tell me? LOL, That friend told me. It got me thinking. I had always thought of writers as special and would place them on a pedestal. How it was reserved for people with talent, skill, and a master of the language. Who was I to think I could write? But hearing what my husband thought I started to wonder what could I write about. I literally looked around my house trying to come up with an idea that might work. That is when I placed my eye on Jasper. He is our rescued and adopted parrot who came home to us in 1999 at the age of five.
Thinking I could write a children’s book for any future grandchildren I decided to go in that direction.
I found out how much fun it was to write and from that day since the stories have continually formed in my head. They are forever begging and screaming to be let out. The fever was in me. I hope it never burns out.
The Book View: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Williams: I have way too many hobbies. But considering how things are nowadays it does help. I have been an avid reader gosh for as long as I can remember. I am also an avid sports fan from baseball, football, hockey, basketball to MMA. I love to go out and take photos. I am always trying to find the shot that all photographers have on their minds. I knit, make jewelry, love to exercise and walk, go to the movies, listen to music, and hang out with my family. I also love to travel. Also, I tend to take a class at the local community college once in the Fall and once in the Spring to keep the noggin going.
The Book View: How did you get the idea for Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure?
Williams: It sounds so corny but as I wrote above I was trying to come up with an idea for my first novel. Something that I had knowledge of and that I could work with. My eyes landed on our bird Jasper. He is a Yellow Cheek Amazon which are in a number of places in the wild.
I have been rescuing birds of all kind since 1998. Jasper came home to us the next year. By the time I started writing in 2009 I had the knowledge and know how to take care of birds. Plus, I had been observing his mannerism and personality from day one.
You see, I have incorporate those into the series which has helped developed the story. I get to live with my main character which makes it a nice leap to the pages.
While I at first started writing about Jasper just due to the fact I knew him and parrots this project has spanned into an Amazon award winning series. Jasper and I are not done yet.
The Book View: What do you most want your readers to learn or get out of Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure?
Williams: I write for children for two reasons. The first is to entertain. The second is to educate them while they are being entertained. The running theme of this series is family, friends, and learning to get along with those different from us. I feel that is something that is sorely needed. Also, I want them to learn about the issues that the Amazon rainforest deals with- the land and the animals.
In volume three, I talk about the logging issues while volume four talks about poaching. I am hoping as I write deeper into this series I can approach more issues to bring to the forefront. My hope is that the children will become engaged enough to want to help and make a change.
The Book View: Do you have any writing advice for prospective writer?
Williams: Believe in yourself and your book. It will take a lot of work and time but it is so worth it. Writing is like magic. You are making up something out of thin air. But again, believe in yourself. There will be days you will be the only one who does.
The Book View: Lastly, where can we buy Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure?
Title: Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure
Author: Sharon C. Williams
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
Publisher: Peculiar Possum Books – A Next Chapter Imprint
Genre: Middle Grade, Fiction