Let’s talk a little about your book.
What is the meaning of the title?
Malakh--or mal'akh, as it's properly formatted--is the word for "angel"
in Aramaic, Ethiopic, and Arabic. In modern Hebrew, it takes the expanded meaning of "messenger of God." Although
the story deals with two angels (plural of malakh is malakhim), Icarus is the only one introduced until the very end of the
story. So the title is actually referring to him. And despite the fact that the story is narrated by Suzanne, Icarus is actually
the focus of the story.
Your characters have a strong voice, and they
are what drive the storyline; how do you come up with these wonderful characters? Is it difficult to keep
their voices straight in your head?
One thing I've never had any trouble
doing is keeping my characters' voices straight. Characterization is where I excel in writing, and my stories are almost
always character-driven rather than action-driven. While writing action is challenging and can be fun, I'm more fascinated
by the workings of the inner self, the motivations that make people do the things they do. When I conceive a story idea and
begin to cast the characters, they generally spring into being with personalities intact. I simply attempt to capture it on
page. I have a very personal relationship with each of my characters, which makes me able to write their flaws as well as
I do write most of them with a strong voice--I'm a strong person myself, and I have
little patience for weak or codependent characters, which is why I had trouble reading that I-will-not-mention-the-name vampire
series. I don't understand codependency, and have trouble accepting characters with that trait.
The only time I've had to be very careful with my character's voices was while writing my third novel (my
second women's fiction novel), The Secret Dreams of Sarah-Jane Quinn. Both it and its predecessor, Office Politics, are
written in first-person present tense, and giving Sarah-Jane a unique voice after penning a character like Frannie Freeman
(the main character in Office Politics) was pretty challenging.
Will you be publishing more of your stories in the near future? NL Gervasio
is also a writer; will we be seeing any of her stories published through RIP?
As a matter of
fact, I'm editing one of Nikki's books right now for publication. She has another one waiting in the wings, as well.
As for my work--yes, I believe by the end of this year you'll see both of my women's fiction novels for sale. And
once those are released, I'll be working on edits for my paranormal series.
Running Ink Press currently looking for writers to publish? Will you focus on established writers, or new
be looking for writers eventually, but probably not this year. We have an anthology slated to be released soon, plus Nikki's
and my other work, and possibly a novel from another author we solicited.
we've established ourselves and found our rhythm, then we will open up for submissions. We agreed early on in the planning
stages that we're going to take chances on new writers. One of the reasons we decided to start our own company is to publish
ourselves. It's not that we shun the Big Six publishers, but rather we realize there is more than one way to attract their
attention. We also agreed that we will take chances on stories that don't necessarily fall within the strict confines
of specific genres. We like to cross those lines ourselves, so it would be rather hypocritical of us to hold our authors to
a different standard.
Something that should please anyone considering submitting to us in the future: we will
not be asking for synopses, and we are not limiting the genres we publish. We will ask for query letters, but I'm going
to make it clear that no one is to agonize over them. Just tell us what your book is about so when we read the sample chapters,
we know what we're dealing with. Simple as that.
In our interview back in 2009 you stated you will keep submitting both short stories
and novels until they are accepted. Is that still true, or will you exclusively publish through your own
I intimated above, there's more than one way to attract the notice of the Big Six. My own work is under our standard contract
of two years. We feel that's an adequate time to build a readership and start a buzz about your work--a buzz that could
garner the attention of a traditional publisher. We aren't discounting NY at all, which is why our standard contract is
only for two years. If after the two years pass, our authors find themselves being approached by a traditional publisher,
we want them to have that chance and not have their opportunities limited.
take a trade publisher contract would depend on how sales are for RIP--I have to make sure my company is taken care of--and
what's being offered by the publisher. Money has never necessarily been my main goal for writing; it's more like a
What’s next for Running Ink Press and its talented owners?
working on Nikki's first release. We have an anthology coming up, as well as my two women's fiction novels, as I mentioned
earlier. Nikki has another one in the works as well. The first of my paranormal series is patiently waiting to be edited;
the second is patiently waiting to be completed; and the third is being planned. I'm casually writing on the third women's
fiction. All of my work--and possibly Nikki's, as well--will be released first by RIP and we'll see what happens from
busy, busy! Here at SilverthornPress we are rooting for your success. It's a wonderful thing to see a new
publishing company that's out there to make a difference for writers and the writing world. Thank you for taking
time out of your busy schedule to sit down and chat with us!
Sharon's book Malakh can be purchased from the following websites: