A huge fan of the paranormal romance genre, Sharon Lipman started writing in her teens. It wasn't until she was in her thirties that she found a story she was desperate to share and House Blackwood was born. Her debut novel, Bound to Blackwood was published in 2015.
She was born in west London and grew up in leafy Surrey in south-east England. A lover of all things British, except the weather, she now lives in a tiny mountain village in Almeria, southern Spain with her husband and an ever-growing collection of dogs.
Look out for more of House Blackwood, coming soon
This interactive author interview was conducted by the very lovely and very talented, Kelly Blanchard in the summer of 2015.
Kelly sat near the front window at the coffee shop sipping on the lemonade she had purchased. She never came here for coffee and it was too hot for hot cocoa, but she was here to meet with someone. She watched as people meandered by in the small town square, and a few students entered with their backpacks—already complaining about the first weeks of school.
Kelly ignored them all and went back to work on her laptop until the door chimed again, and this time a woman walked in. The two locked eyes, and Kelly smiled as she rose to her feet, reaching out her hand to shake. “Sharon Lipman? Great to meet you! Would you like to get something to drink before we begin?” She motioned to the front counter. “Or we can just sit here and chat.” She grinned.
"Hey, Kelly. Great to meet you too," Sharon replied after shaking the woman's outstretched hand. "I'll grab a coke please," she said to the passing waitress as she took the seat opposite Kelly. .
She eyed Kelly's lemonade. "You don't drink coffee either then?"
Kelly smiled at her and closed her laptop, so she could focus, and she shook her head at the question. "Nope. Can't stand the smell. Glad to meet another writer who doesn't like coffee either." She grinned. "So, Sharon, tell me about yourself. What is it that you do?"
Sharon had to laugh. Although she actually liked the smell of coffee, it was the taste she couldn't stand. Her other writer friends often questioned her sanity for being able to write without it, like being a coffee-aholic was a prerequisite for writing. She pondered Kelly's question. "Well, the short answer, apart from writing of course, is 'I work in marketing for professional services.' It's a far cry from my writing world, I can tell you!"
The waitress arrived with her drink and she nodded her thanks as she cracked open the can.
"But then your marketing skills should be very helpful when it comes to marketing your own work," Kelly pointed out. "Or is it entirely different?" She furrowed her brows then sipped on her lemonade.
"I certainly hope so. On the surface, it is pretty different from what I'll need to do to market my own book, but it does give me a great understanding of things like the power of social media. Most of what I do is on a one-to-one basis, though, so it's not entirely relevant."
"Ah, I see." Kelly nodded as she sat back in her chair. "So, what inspired you to write, or have you always been a writer?"
Sharon took a sip of her coke and wrinkled her nose as the bubbles threatened to make her sneeze. "I've always been pretty creative though it was always painting, digital art, sewing - that kind of thing. I've only really been writing for the last three or four years to be honest. I've been an avid reader since I can remember, though. The more I read, the more I was inspired to tell me own story."
"That is so interesting!" Kelly leaned forward, setting her elbow on the table and her chin in her palm. "So what do you write? And what's the story you're mainly focusing on now?"
"I write paranormal romance. I've always loved the paranormal, even though I'm a complete wimp with scary things. I find the whole idea of other worldly beings fascinating. The book I've recently finished is called 'Bound to Blackwood.' It focuses on a group of Vampires who are trying to earn the right to go back home - to Faerie. Of course, it’s a romance, so there's quite a bit of steam along the way." Sharon looked down at her lap. Why did she always feel awkward talking about her work? She chanced a look back at the other woman and cool relief washed over her. Kelly looked genuinely interested in what she had to say.
Kelly smiled. "Vampires having to earn their way back home? That sounds fascinating! Different from the usual vampire stories, but I like it! So, who are the main characters and the main conflict they face?"
Sharon grinned as she nodded at Kelly. "I wanted to write about vampires, but with so many vampire tales out there, I wanted to put my own spin on it. My Vampires are Fae and were responsible for guiding human souls to the afterlife. That was until one vampire decided to keep a soul and 'Fell.' The entire race was banished from Faerie and now lives on earth, in England, actually. The problem is, they've been here so long, their magic is waning and unless something drastic happens, they might be lost forever. This story centres on Thorn Blackwood, King of the race and leader of House Blackwood, and Lena, a Warrior in the Order of Blackwood. He bears a heavy burden of watching his race dwindle. Lena, on the other hand, is more of an act now, think later kind of girl."
Sharon paused to take another sip of her drink and checked to see if Kelly was still following. The other woman gestured for her to continue. "Well, when the Commander of the Order is seriously injured because of Lena's stupid, selfish mistake, she and Thorn are forced to work together to settle an unpaid honour debt. She's avoided Thorn most of her life because she doesn't trust her own reactions to him. Now, she's stuck with him and she has no idea how to handle it."
"Since the Commander of the Order is also Thorn's best friend, more like a brother really, he's furious with Lena and thinks making her work with him and take some responsibility for her actions will teach her a lesson. He doesn't realise that she's also got a thing or two to teach him." Sharon finished, flashing a grin at Kelly.
Kelly laughed. "This is awesome! The characters sound so real!" And then she shifted to get a bit more comfortable to listen to more of the tale. "And what's their main conflict? Each other? Or other vampires? Or a main antagonist, or what exactly?" She furrowed her brows as she watched Sharon.
Sharon leant forward, encouraged by Kelly's enthusiasm. "Well, Lena's biggest challenge is certainly Thorn. She senses changes in him that scare her. She feels his hunger for her soul and given that there is nothing more precious than a soul, she's frightened of what it means. Thorn is equally scared of his own, unexpected reaction to her. He's never experienced this before and doesn't understand what it all means. But, with the Commander still out of action, they still have to work together to find a missing vampire youngling. The child has been missing for nearly two hundred years and her father has finally asked for help. He is an honourable man, and they cannot refuse him. Thorn suspects the Fallen of taking the child. All they know is that she's still alive."
"A child missing for two hundred years??" Kelly's brows arched high. "Okay, so maybe for immortal vampires that isn't very long, but still!" She then sighed. She wanted to know all about this story, but unfortunately, their time was coming to an abrupt close, and she saw back in her chair with a frown. "As much as I'm loving this conversation and would want nothing more than to continue, time is escaping us. However! Before we go, tell me the title of it again? And are you working on publishing this one?"
Sharon felt her shoulders slump, saddened that their time together was nearly over. She took a deep breath, still grateful that Kelly wanted to know more. "I'm starting the final edit in the next few days. I hope to have it published in November. When it is, you can read all about it and find out exactly what happens to Thorn and Lena. If you want, there's a teaser on Wattpad. It's the first chapter."
Kelly grinned. "I'm going to be sure to read it! What was its title again? I know you told me, but I was so engrossed in your story it's slipped my mind!"
Sharon laughed. "Oh yes! Sorry - I got a bit carried away! It's called 'Bound to Blackwood.'"
"Gotcha! This was awesome. I can't wait to read it. Thanks so much for meeting with me and telling me all about it." Kelly rose to her feet, slipping her laptop into her computer bag. "Keep me posted on when you're publishing it, okay?" Kelly raised her brows. "I'd love to know when it's released."
Sharon rose with the other woman, collecting her handbag. "Of course! Thanks ever so much for this. It's been great to talk about the book, and, of course, to meet you." She offered her hand to the other woman.
Kelly shook her hand and smiled. "I hope you the best with your endeavours!" And with that, the two walked out of the coffee shop and went their separate ways.