Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Sally Cronin

Conversations with ColleenThe December Edition

Hello everyone! This week I’m happy to bring you an author we all know and love, Sally Cronin.

Sally is a fixture in our blogging community who supports authors in every stage of the game. Her blog, Smorgasbord Blog Magazine, is a blog magazine for lovers of health, food, books, music, humor, and life in general.

Here are a few of the features you will find in the Smorgasbord Blog Magazine:

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – FREE Book Promotion

Writer in Residence- Paul Andruss

Carol Taylor’s Food and Cookery Column 2018

Smorgasbord Health Column – News, Nutrients, Health Conditions, Anti-Aging

The Travel Column with D.G.Kaye

Guest writer Linda Bethea

And, these are only a few of the highlights offered on Sally Cronin’s blog. You will definitely want to stop by and have a visit. Her blog is a virtual magazine filled with love, humor, and music! There’s something for everyone.

 With the Christmas season well underway, it occurred to me that one way to thank Sally for everything she’s done for our writing community is to share more about this lovely lady. When I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE, she willingly complied. I didn’t have to beg or anything! Now, that’s a true friend! ❤

Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin – Author & Blog Community Organizer

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another ten books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

REVIEWS are so very important for an author and I am very grateful for the feedback that my books receive. If you have purchased or been gifted one of my books I would love to hear what you think about it.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

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Thank you so much, Colleen, for inviting me over to visit… particularly at this special time of the year.

I love visiting with you, Sally. I’m thrilled you’re here. I’ve been meaning to ask you… What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

When writing about the opposite sex I believe the most difficult thing is getting emotional interactions right. Men are just as emotional as women but usually show it in a different way. Not all men are emotionally demonstrative, telling you they love you all the time and wanting to hug every five minutes. They tend to show you how much they love you by actions rather than words. It is useful to remember that telling a man you have a problem prompts him into immediate action to solve the issue.

When two women get together, they talk out the problem and come up with a solution that usually does not require calling out the National Guard or dismantling half the kitchen. If you get my drift? This does require some careful thought about how your lead characters are going to react.

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However, it is fun to create that spark between two people or to create a male character that is not stereotypical and who approaches both females and other males in a unique way.

That’s fabulous advice. You know, I think you’re a prolific writer. So, what does the word ‘retirement’ mean to you? Do you think writers ever retire?

I think that women never retire anyway. And these days even men approach it very differently than even 10 years ago. Our middle age has spread (not middle age spread) between 50 and 70 now and our attitudes are different.

There is still work to be done, whether it is taking care of the three main investments in life such as our body, the roof over our heads or the next generation. With the cost of elderly care, and in a lot of cases the quality of care offered, staying in our own homes, as healthy as possible, is a full-time job in itself. At least you can put off the day you have to leave as long as possible and have sufficient equity in both body and home, to end up somewhere that offers us a chance to end our lives still being stimulated and well fed!

I’ve had the pleasure of reading a few of your books, and have loved each of them. Which of your books would you want to be adapted for the silver screen?

I am hoping you mean one of mine… as I would love to see Just an Odd Job Girl made into a film. I am biased of course, but because most of the stories about the jobs are based on my own experiences, it would be great to see on the big screen. It is not a bestseller by any means, but it has romance, humour and seems to touch people. Who knows?  What it needs is for me to get off my backside and finish the screenplay that I have started.

Sally, I’ve learned a lot about self-publishing from your blog. How do you think concepts such as Kindle and e-books have changed the present or future of reading?

I love print books and have far too many to read again in my lifetime on our real bookshelves. However, I do believe that e-books that are available on all devices, encourage all ages to read more.

Young people have access to books for learning purposes as well as in so many fiction genres, with most suitable for younger age groups.  The vast majority of books will broaden your mind in some way; they make you think and use your imagination, and that is part of the learning process.

Travel these days is so different to only 10 years ago when I used to cart five of six books away with me on trips. Today there is barely room for a change of underwear in the luggage allowance, so my Kobo is my most treasured travel companion.

My mother stopped reading books when she began to suffer from cataracts, and even after the two operations, she still found it hard to focus in poor light and with small print. And I notice even with reading glasses, that the print in my older books is so small, that I have to resort to wearing two pairs at a time… Not a good look, especially in public. The varying format function on e-book readers is an absolute boon.

There is, of course, the question of cost too, that makes e-books so much more available to nearly everyone. Whilst as an author, I do think about the months, years, toil and strive that went into writing the book, placing a much higher value on them as a commodity. I do love it that more people can enjoy.

I know you blog, Sally. Can you explain how blogging helps you to sell books?

Do I blog?… Do I ever, and according to some, far too frequently to be effective or healthy. Firstly, I am not particularly keen on the term hobby blogger. For me, and for many who spend as many hours putting together posts and promoting them, as they did in any full-time job, this is work. And yes, I doubt very much that I would have sold any of my books if it was not for my blogging.

It is every author’s dream that readers will rush to buy their books, but unfortunately, with millions of titles per year being published, it takes quite a bit of effort to get your own noticed.

“It is a cliché, but we do need to build a brand that brings us up in searches and a platform to market ourselves and our books.”   ~ Sally Cronin~

Blogging is the heart of social media and offers an opportunity for writers to showcase their creative skills, even it if is a post on the weather. It fixes them in the minds of their readers and when and if they publish a book, those readers are far more likely to buy it.

You cannot blog without linking to social media. To be honest I find it easier and more effective to focus on just three social media sites and build them over time to be effective carriers of the message you want to spread.

My blog is my testing ground for my books, it is a way to share the knowledge I have gained in the last twenty years as a nutritional therapist, and is also a watering hole where other writers and importantly readers can meet, discuss and share.

I love the fact that I have followers from around the world and I can be chatting to someone in India in the morning and in California a few hours later. I adore reading their posts and am only sorry that I don’t have enough hours in the day to read more. The generosity of the blogging community is legendary and I am privileged to be a part of it.

This time of year in the run-up to Christmas is magical in Blogland, and I am looking forward to discovering even more talented bloggers in the next few weeks.

So be prepared… I intend continuing to break the rules for many years to come…

I have one more question. I just finished reading “Tales of the Irish Garden. “You’re an Irish lass (I think)… What was your inspiration for the fairies and the fairy kingdom? Do you have a connection to the good neighbors? If so, I would love to hear that story.

I am Irish on my mother’s side and it turns out way back on my father’s too. My husband is Irish from Waterford and also Wexford and with family in Dublin and surroundings we decided to settle back in Wexford after our travels. 

The original story of the fairy court set in our Spanish garden was triggered by a couple of incidents. One day I was sitting on our back terrace by the Magnolia tree, which happened to be in bloom at the time, and I suddenly saw movement in the blossoms. I went closer and discovered it was bees who were very excited by the nectar from these short-lived flowers. It made the tree come alive.

The second reinforcement was the arrival of a very special moth which looks a little like a hummingbird but much smaller. When I researched it, I discovered it was in fact called the Hummingbird hawk moth. It too would visit the magnolia tree every evening and it looked like a fairy from a distance as it flitted around the leaves and flowers.

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The Hummingbird Hawk Moth image free commons en.wikipedia.org

It all happened in the space of the same week and, I decided to build a palace in the roots of the tree with fairies who lived off the honey the bees collected. 

Thanks for sharing your inspiration, Sally. I adored the Tales from the Irish Garden. Check out my review HERE.

Thank you so much, Colleen, for allowing me to spout on my favourite topics and I wish everyone a fabulous Christmas however, or wherever you choose to celebrate this time of year.

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How to contact Sally Cronin

Amazon Author Page : https://www.amazon.com/author/sallycroninbooks

Blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58

k luv u bye Thanks for stopping by to meet Sally. She is an inspiration to us all. Please stop by her blog and say hello. ❤

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