I proudly present a guest post on Sally Cronin. Here are her answers to a questionnaire I submitted to her.
She kindly did a five star treatment on my five books, particularly ‘A Twist of Fairy Tales’. If anyone hasn’t seen the blog here is the link. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/five-star-treatment-a-twist-of-fairy-tales-by-k-j-rollinson/
1. Please tell us something about yourself.
I was in a number of industries including hospitality, retail, advertising and telecommunications and by the time I was 43 I was at a crossroads. I decided to retrain in something that I was very interested in which was health and nutrition and for the last 18 years I have been working in that field. To ease the frustrations of self-publishing we formed Moyhill Publishing back in 2004 with the aim of working on a one to one basis with other authors too. We currently live in Madrid and write about health and good food on my blog, articles and on my blog. When we return to the UK or Ireland once we have sold our home I intend to go back into practice again.
2. When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
I have always written poems, songs and short stories from an early age and when I became more interested in health and nutrition I sort of fell into my first book. I lost 11 stone (badly needed) and kept a journal of my progress and more importantly how I found the answers to why I had become so unhealthy. That became my first book in 1999 although after a year of my agent doing the rounds of publishers etc it was 2001 before it was self-published.
3. What conditions do you need in order to write?
I love the process and because I have a number of projects on the go at any given time I tend to just sit down at my desk and get on with it. I prefer it to be quiet so rarely have music on in the background. If I get stuck I move onto something different for a time and that seems to do the trick. I usually have two books on the go at the same time for that purpose one non-fiction and the other fiction.
4. Please share your books with us and a synopsis of each.
As I mentioned my first book was Size Matters and was the story of how I reached 24 stone in weight and discovered the key to losing the weight safely. The first part of the book is my story and the second is the programme that I designed. That later became the basis of my work with obesity clients in my diet advisory centre in Ireland.
My second book was Just Food for Health and resulted from a monthly online magazine that I published of the same name. It meant that I was committed to writing 25,000 words every month and that added up to a 300 page A4 book. Primarily as a reference book for my clients but it ended up doing well enough retail too. It covers the human body including major organs and the foods and nutrients needed for the body to be healthy. It is the only book that is not yet in E.version because it is very long in that format and illustrated with quite a few graphs.
My next book was Just an Odd Job Girl and was the result of a rather festive dinner party where I was regaling our guests with stories of my temping jobs. Someone suggested that I should write a book on the subject and I really enjoyed the process. It is about a woman whose husband trades her in for a younger model. She has been at home with their children and at age 50 is terrified of entering the job market. She builds up her courage by reminding herself of her temp jobs from the past that reassured her that she was still more than capable… It is a humorous look at life after divorce.
Media Training the Manual is guide to building a relationship particularly with local media. Aimed at smaller businesses, charities and individuals such as authors who do not have a huge budget but want to take advantage of a niche market locally. Apart from working in advertising I also spent several years working as a presenter on radio and as a station director for an Internet television station. This involved news gathering and reporting so I have been both sides of the equation when it comes to getting publicity.
Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story was inspired by our Lassie collie Sam who entered my life at three weeks old. We had some adventures and he certainly made every effort to communicate in one way or another. Over the years we took hundreds of photographs and it sort of evolved. Of my books in E.version, Sam’s has been the most popular. There are millions of dog lovers around the world and I am trying to reach them all!!
Turning Back the Clock is an anti-aging programme that I originally devised for radio. There are some key elements such as keeping a healthy immune system, cooking from scratch and also exercising for both physical and mental health. So important to stay engaged with the world and other people so that you remain stimulated and excited with life.
Flights of Fancy is a collection of my short stories and includes a novella called The Sewing Circle. Sometimes I get the need to sit down and write a story that begins and ends on the same day rather than have a book that might be years in research and preparation. The stories tend to have a rather other world touch about them. Ghosts, psychic parrots, revenge and of course romance.
Forget the Viagra, Pass me a Carrot is a men’s health manual and covers not just the working of the human body with a focus on the male physical specifics but also the diseases that a man is most likely to suffer from. The working title was prompted because at the time the patent for Viagra was lost by Pfizer in 19 countries. This meant that the sale and use of the drug was becoming deregulated and availability online greatly increased. Since heart disease is still one of the top killers of men and taking this drug without being prescribed by a doctor could increase that risk the working title stuck.
5. How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
To be honest many of the fiction stories stem from people or events in my life. Or I might see a news item or come across some photographs that spark off a train of thought. With the non-fiction I am using my experience and background to create what I hope are informative and commonsense approaches to health and nutrition.
6. What projects are you currently working on?
I am just putting the finishing touches to a People Management Training manual which I first wrote 28 years ago when I was freelancing as a business consultant. I have updated and adapted for every company I have worked with since and when I return to the UK or Ireland I intend to add to the other training courses that I offer such as Media Training and Health topics. The title is yet to be decided. The other project is non-fiction too and it is a guide to elderly care in the home. Aimed at individuals who want to stay in their own homes but also for families so that they can contribute and support their parents or other elderly relatives in that plan. I lived with my mother for the last few years of her life and she died at home at age 95. There are challenges and many of those stem from services that under-funded and under-staffed who want to centralise operations into care homes.
I am also continuing to develop my blog which covers a number of topics including health, music, nutrition, humour and author promotion. I am slowly making changes to the format in the next year to include more author and blogger focused features.
7. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I have spent the last 18 years working with activities that bring me great pleasure. I have no intention of retiring even though I might slow down a bit towards 100 perhaps! I know that for many people making such a huge change in their lives is not always possible but it is the 101 small changes that you make that can provide the most success. Whatever your circumstances you can make those small changes until they add up to a complete change of direction.
Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – http://youtu.be/B_ZV9fWzPLA
Size Matters – http://youtu.be/Yll_WSB6vvU
Blog – https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com
Blog Trailer – http://youtu.be/3uRuQ6okQ1g
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/30254656-sally-cronin
Moyhill – http://www.moyhill.com/sm/author.html
Facebook authors page – https://www.facebook.com/sallygeorginacronin
LinkedIn – http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1
Twitter – https://twitter.com/sgc58
Google + – https://plus.google.com/+SallyCronin/
I gave Sally a five star review on her short stories ‘Flights of Fancy’. Here is what I said.
Flights of Fancy. I fancied the cover!
By K.J.Rollinson on May 3, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
I enjoyed the narrative style immensely, some parts of the short stories have an almost poetical quality. I enjoyed ‘Curtains’ , told in the first person, with some conversation. The story goes over the life of a lady, who remembers different curtains at her windows, and recollects her life at the time. A delightful collection of short stories.
See Sally’s author’s page for all of her books. Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/author/sallycroninbooks