Author Interview: Liese Sherwood-Fabre

About the author:
Liese Sherwood-Fabre, knew she was destined to write when she got an A+ in the second grade for her story about Dick, Jane, and Sally’s ruined picnic. After obtaining her PhD from Indiana University, she joined the federal government and had the opportunity to work and live internationally for more than fifteen years—in Africa, Latin America, and Russia. Returning to the states, she seriously pursued her writing career and has published various pieces. Her debut novel Saving Hope, a thriller set in Russia was based, in part, from her observations while in that country. She has recently turned to a childhood interest in Sherlock Holmes for an as-yet unpublished series on Sherlock growing up in a rather unusually gifted family. Along the way she has written and published a number of short stories, garnering awards such a Pushcart Prize nomination. She recently collected eleven of these tales into a volume: "Virtual Harmony and Other Short, Sweet Romances."

What inspires you to write romantic fiction?
I have been writing women's fiction for about twenty-five years and a member of Romance Writers of America for about that long. I enjoy a story where people overcome problems, and in romance, the story always involves a couple – a double helping of inspiration.

I have also written short fiction all along as well.

"Virtual Harmony and Other Short, Sweet Romances" gathers a number of very short stories I authored over time into one volume. All of them examine the connection that sometimes occurs between two people. In some, it is the “meet cute” where a couple sees something in the other at their first encounter—a woman in search of the owner of a music playlist mysteriously appearing on her computer or when strangers sit next to each other at the opera. Others take an existing relationship to the next level such as the temporary employee and her boss who obey company rules about dating between supervisors and employees or two neighbors who meet while one is in disguise. Finally, one shares a couple’s efforts to reconnect on a camping trip.

While all the stories have love in common, they also show how each couple’s story is unique. The spark between them can be initiated by an apparent apartment break-in, a snowball fight, or a flat tire. What follows after is where the magic lies.

Tell us about how you write.
My stories usually begin with a "what if?" that might come from something I've experienced or read or seen in the news. "Virtual Harmony" came from a newspaper article about someone who found an unknown file on his computer. I played "what if?" that file seemed to point to a person with similar musical tastes and the person went in search of the file's owner.

Starting with such a premise, I then weave a story around it, knowing that it won't be easy for the characters to get together.

Do you listen to or talk to to your characters?
All the time. And sometimes they do or say things I never anticipated.

What advice would you give other romance writers?
Keep writing. Join a writers' group (check out Romance Writers of America for the nearest chapter). Be fearless.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
There are some stories or books that just don't appeal to big publishers (they are too short, not the right content, etc.) and may not be profitable for them. Still, they are books that might appeal to some readers and I want to reach them.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the horse is out of the barn when it comes to indie publishing, but there will always be a place for traditional publishing, too. The music industry has survived, but has changed. The same will occur for publishing.

Which romance sub-genere(s) fit your stories best?
Sweet, Contemporary, and Romantic Suspense

My books are available in the following formats:
eBook, Print

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