April 19, 2019
Welcome to the Winner's Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we are celebrating published author Sharon CassanoLochman!
What are the names of your books? Who is the publisher?
Published through Ontario Shore Publishing, LLC (My own publishing company):
Stranded on Thin Ice
Man with the Sand Dollar Face
Spiritual Verse Today God’s Light Volume 1
Spiritual Verse Today Heart and Soul Volume 2
Spiritual Verse Today Gifted Time Volume 3
Published through Lighthouse Publishing:
Room for Grace
Tell us a bit about your path to publishing, from idea to submission to published book.
I began Stranded on Thin Ice as ICL's assignment #10. I knew I wanted to write a novel and took full advantage of my advisor's input and direction. I graduated from ICL with the first few chapters completed and the outline for the remainder of the manuscript. I worked through the first draft and attended a novel revision workshop. I continued with revisions in conjunction with writing picture books and a spiritual blog. When I had taken the manuscript as far I could on my own, I hired a professional editor. I savored her recommendations and completed Stranded on Thin Ice in September 2016.
Somewhere in the middle, I attended a webinar with Katie Davis on Self-Publishing, and I decided to give it a go...but not just self-publishing. I started my own publishing company in January 2017 and vowed to release well-written works of fiction. My second novel Man with the Sand Dollar Face was released in December 2017, and three volumes of Spiritual Verses followed in 2018. I entered Stranded on Thin Ice in ICL's First Page Novel Contest and placed fifth. I was overwhelmed with joy. My self-esteem was at an all-time low, and the recognition came at a critical moment.
How long have you been writing?
I began writing in 2013. It was like I was knocked on the head and dragged to a blank page.
What's your favorite genre to write and why?
My favorite genre to write is fiction because it allows me to soar through my mind's eye over icy lakes or across time. I can be a small child or an old woman. I can live and breathe the experiences of someone else. I can hear the crackle of a warm fireplace or feel intense sorrow. I love writing fiction because I can travel across the dips and furrows of a blank page.
What ICL courses have your taken?
I am a graduate of the ICL. I attended the self-publishing webinar with Katie Davis and also her Video Idiot Boot Camp.
How has taking our course helped your writing and/or career?
I pushed through the ICL program as quickly as possible inhaling tags, descriptions, paragraphs, and dialogue. It was an intense—but necessary—learning curve. I learned how to write, format, and query. It was an amazing program and I am forever grateful for the training and background provided by ICL.
Have any of your class assignments been published? If so, where and when?
Yes, several. It is my goal to have each assignment published. In addition to Stranded on Thin Ice, several of the nonfiction articles that I wrote as homework
assignments have been published.
Do you have a favorite writing tip you'd like to share?
The best tip I could give is to WRITE! Write when you're first learning with the understanding that eventually your writing skills will catch up with your imagination. Those early writing attempts can be revised later when you have the vision not only to see the unfolding of a story but the natural sense of timing and writing logistics.
If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of writing advice, how far back would you go, and what would you tell yourself?
I would go back to the age of thirteen when I first felt the nudge to write. I would tell myself to be gentle and loving with all my creations; be it on canvas or paper.
Please tell us the best or most valuable thing you learned from your experience with ICL.
The ICL writing program provided me with a solid foundation on which to build a writing career. I became a magician creating new world by shaping adventures and heartfelt situations. I write in all genres and for all ages because I know how to write.
I would tell ICL students opening their binder for the first time, read every word. Pay attention to every dot and dash. Everything in your manual is there for a reason. Study the examples and take the input from your advisor in the spirit in which it was gifted. Leave your ego behind and learn from this amazing one-on-one experience.
What will be your last spoken words?
"I can't go without my pen and paper."
Sharon Lee CassanoLochman is the Award-Winning #1 Best Selling author of Stranded on Thin Ice, Spiritual Verse Today, Man with the Sand Dollar Face, Room for Grace, Bea’s Beautiful Garden, Homemade Yogurt, Wildflower Warfare, and My Sidewalk. To learn more about Sharon CassanoLochman, please visit her website at www.sharoncassanolochman.com.To start your own path to the Winners' Circle, show us a sample of work and let us help you become the writer you want to be. Click here.