Interview: Sharon Butchbinder

NRR: Can you share with us how you got started into writing?

I have always been a story-teller. As a child, I got into a lot of trouble for “making things up.” Now, I get rewarded for making things up. I love being able create heroes and heroines that people can relate to--even crazy cat ladies, as I did with Catastrophe, my first publication with The Wild Rose Press (WRP). I've been writing fiction since I was in middle school and have the rejection slips to prove it. In high school, I even submitted a script to “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” on yellow-lined paper in pencil. Not surprisingly, that was rejected that, too.  
After I graduated with a BA in Psychology and no job, I realized my dreams of working in the attic writing great prose would have to take a back seat to the simple pleasures of eating, drinking, and having a roof over my head. Fast forward a few decades, and I had a career path that would make all but the kindest say, "What were you thinking?" After working in health care delivery for years, I became a researcher, then an academic. I had it all-- a terrific, supportive husband, an amazing son, and a wonderful job. But that itch to write (some call it obsession), kept beckoning me to "come on back" to writing fiction. In the summer of 2004, I spent one whole month away from Baltimore in Florida doing nothing but writing fiction. The resulting effort was the first of many drafts of my first novel, which is now hidden away in a deep, dark drawer.
As an academic, I published numerous non-fiction article and two textbooks. However, I found the road to publication in fiction to be much harder. After I published some short stories in horror and mystery, my friend, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, recommended I join the Maryland Romance Writers (MRW).  I joined in 2005 and found friendship, support and the opportunity to develop as an author with MRW and the Romance Writers of America (RWA). Since romance has over a dozen sub-genres, I was able to turn my fascination with horror and mystery into paranormal romance and romantic suspense. I was home. 
NRR:What authors/books inspired your career?

I’m an omnivore when it comes to books. I grew up reading Nancy Drew and everything by Heinlein and Bradbury--then I fell in love with King and Koontz. And, then Katherine Neville blew me out of the water with The Eight. I’ve read that book about eight times. Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth is one book I’d take with me on a desert island. I read John Irving’s The Hotel New Hampshire on a Chicago city bus, and laughed out loud so hard, the entire bus was staring at me. Oh and how could I forget Caleb Carr and the Alienist or Angel of Darkness? And Janet Evanovich and all her Stephanie Plum books. And Nora Roberts and JD Robb and Heather Graham and Linda Howard and Lisa Ruff and Kathy Love and Christie Kelly and Nalini Singh and Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krantz…and I should stop now. 

NRR: How were you inspired to write Desire And Deception?

In writing Desire and Deception, I wanted to tell a sexy suspenseful tale about smart, powerful women and the men who love them. I wrote about society’s expectations of what a woman should be versus what a woman wants to be. And since the standing advice to writers is to “write what you know,” I then placed these characters into the setting of a rigidly hierarchical academic world where tenure and promotion are the duo brass rings. With Isabel and Sarah chattering at me the entire time, Desire and Deception is a story that practically wrote itself.

NRR: What is your guilty pleasure?

Any and all CSI, NCIS and Hawaii Five-O episodes are my TV plus dessert treats at the end of the long day. Lots of eye candy on all three of those shows!

NRR: What is in your to be read pile?

LOL! I have an entire room of TBRs--all falling off my bookshelves. I have to go by authors: Kathy Love, Christie Kelly, Rebecca York, Stephanie Dray, Heather Graham, F. Paul Wilson, Nalini Singh…this just scratches the surface of leisure reading. I have four research related books going right now--most related to research for another novel that I’m working on, Kiss of the Virgin Queen, which is the sequel to Kiss of the Silver Wolf.  I’m almost done with Wisdom’s Daughter by India Edgehill, have just started Living with Djinns by Barbara Drieskens and have just finished Warrior Queens by Antonia Fraser and Sheba by Nicholas Clapp. 

NRR: Can you share with us the storyline of Desire And Deception?

Desire and Deception is the story of a driven woman who deceives her boss, her best friend, her lover--and most of all herself in search of her desires.
Isabel (Izzy) Ramirez and Sarah Wright-Rosen are newly appointed assistant professors working toward tenure in the same department. They bond over their desire for promotion and make a pact to help each other advance their careers.  

Driven by voracious desires--ambition and lust--Izzy‘s house of cards is threatened when the department chair confronts her about her transgressions.  Used to getting her own way, Izzy isn’t about to let her boss expose her deceptions.
When Sarah fishes her department chair out of the Florida waters on her overdue honeymoon, she insists on initiating her own investigation--despite her husband’s objections, the possibility of career suicide, and her ticking biological clock. 

A trail of clues leads Sarah outside her dean’s door--and inside Izzy’s home. Sarah is forced to choose between her husband, her friend, her career, and her integrity--and it seems as if no one will come out a winner.

NRR: What is next in the works for you?

Lots of hot paranormals! I’m working on a paranormal romantic suspense novel, the sequel to Desire and Deception. In Desire and Obsession, a recovering addict must team up with a Mexican drug lord to rescue her year-old son from the clutches of a cult leader who believes the child is the Chosen One. One of my critique partners dubbed it Religious Zealots versus Mexican Drug Cartels.  Plus I’m doing research for Kiss of the Virgin Queen, my sequel to Kiss of the Silver Wolf, a paranormal romantic suspense that tells the story of the epic romance between the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon and the effects on her descendent, Special Agent Eliana Solomon, Djinn Hunter for The Science Directorate of Homeland Security. 

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