Monday, December 11, 2006

Cobwebs Of The Mind Blog Review: Sharon Maas's "Down From the Garrett"

Sharon Mass Down From the Garrett, - A Tale of Two Novels (and a couple in between)" is a kind of different blog maintained by Sharon Maas, accomplished and published author, though she may be. The word "accomplished" here is not meant as a stretch of the imagination either. Sharon has three published novels under her belt, and all of them have been translated in quite a few languages. And it is a pleasure to do a review for such an accomplished author.

And to be honest the list of books that Sharon sent me took me by surprise. I know Sharon as a somewhat regular at Absolute Write and due to her usual modest and unassuming nature I really never knew she was an accomplished and published author. On the other hand, Sharon will stand up for others and certainly demand truth in any conversation. I have seen Sharon's comments in various threads and sometimes when others use a flippant choice of words or simply try to present themselves as "professionals" (happens, sad to say, way too often at times) Sharon is quick to make it clear that she will accept no BS from anyone.

Sharon is serious about life and serious about writing. And she has had to work damn hard to get where she is today as well. Below is a small excerpt from Down From the Garrett on how she started off in writing.
"Ten years ago I wrote my first novel. Up to that point I’d never thought I could do such a thing; reading had always been my passion, and making up stories my hobby, but only in my head. I’d never imagined I’d ever have the discipline to actually sit down and put those stories to paper. The very thought of planning a full-length novel gave me a headache, and short stories just didn’t interest me."
Sharon was born and grew up in Guyana, lived in India, lived in Germany, now living in Germany and England. (She is an absolute sucker for anything Indian btw!) Her interests travel the spectrum from spirituality, (especially Eastern Cultures); good novels; traveling; and finally nature. She is a devoted wife and mommy of two children as well.

Down From the Garrett tells the story of how Sharon first started writing, landed her agent, and moved on to publish her books. It is written intermittently from two perspectives. The past and the present. It also has the occasional rant here and there. (But I should warn you it is usually going to be a rant about cars, tickets and driving. Seems Sharon gets speeding tickets for driving at 35 mph. - and thus is known as the "speed demon" at AW).

What is unique about Down From the Garrett is that Sharon has no pity on herself. She does not paint any rosy pictures. She tells it just like it happened. All the good and the bad and all the tears that she shed in the process. In that alone Down From the Garrett would be a plus for any beginning writer to read.

And here is another interesting description, something which all beginning writers dream about and Sharon describes for us the first time she went to see her editor with her agent.
Soon after accepting the deal I was summoned back to London. My agent and I went to meet my editor at HarperCollins. My head humming with awe, I trod into those hallowed halls at Hammersmith as if entering heaven, which, of course, figuratively, I was, for this was the shrine at which my writer alias worshipped. A shrine dedicated to Mammon, of course, appropriately brash and bold and shiny.
Down From the Garrett is a story and a dream and a nightmare and all the reality of what real life will hold for the author. This is a blog well worth the read if only once so as to get an idea just what you will be up against from a "personal" point of view.

If Down From the Garrett is the personal, the real, the private Sharon Maas then the professional author comes out in the web site - appropriately called Sharon Maas. Here you will find her novels, her interviews and the author Sharon Maas. And here you will discover Sharon's books have been very well reviewed and accepted.

One of the top 10 Amazon UK reviewers has this to say about Sharon's book, The Speech of Angels.
Most of us are much more comfortable giving gifts to others than receiving them. Sometimes the gifts we receive are puzzling. What are we to do with what we did not expect? In other cases, the gifts are overwhelming. Where will I put that? Yet at other times, we are unsure how to express our appreciation. What karmic debt have I incurred if someone spends their life savings to give me a gift? In any event, we often feel the need to reciprocate... as soon as possible!

How does all that change when the gifts are not material... but spiritual? Ah! That's the beauty of Sharon Maas's latest triumph, The Speech of Angels.
And you can read the rest of the interview here.

Go read Down From the Garrett and take a look at the web site for Sharon Maas. This is well worth the time and effort. The two facets of an author are laid bare. The personal side and the professional side. Sharon does a masterful job with both. And if we can just keep her from speeding on the roads I know we will soon see a fourth and fifth and sixth book as well.

Sharon Maas - wife, mother, writer, author. And damn good at every one of those things and a fine person to boot.

The Speech of Angels Peacocks Dancing Of Marriageable Age

Books by Sharon Maas:
  1. Of Marriageable Age
  2. Peacocks Dancing
  3. The Speech of Angels

Cobwebs Of The Mind Blog Reviews are posted from time to time based on blogs that are serious endeavors on the part of their owners in writing. For those of you who wish to have their blog reviewed at Cobwebs Of The Mind please email me by using the GMail Icon below. Members of Absolute Write (AW) who wish their blog reviewed please go to the following thread and read the instructions in the first post in the thread.
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1 comment:

Sharon said...

Dearest TeddyG, thank you so much for this brilliant review; I'm quite flabbergasted that it turned out so well. The Speeed Demon is speechless with gratitude!

ps word verification: smokr. Hmmm. Interesting. Does that refer to my wild and wilful days, my sinful past?
oops. Didn't work. Now the verification is:
fyukjet. It sounds like something dirty you do in a plane.