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Sharon Lee

answers the Usual Questions

Writer Sharon Lee with Trooper, photograph courtesy of the author; x

Sharon Lee with Trooper

Sharon Lee is a writer of science fiction and fantasy and mysteries, frequently with her husband Steve Miller.

She has written several series including several series, including the Liaden Universe® and the Archers Beach series

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Our fans helped bring us back to publishing life, and it's very likely that I wouldn't be talking with you now if not for their support.

Nutshell Version: In 1988/1989, Steve Miller and I published three science fiction novels with Del Rey. We were then cut loose and wandered in the publishing desert for nearly 10 years. Unbeknownst to us, during that time, our fans were lending our first three books to all of their friends, who then lent them to their friends, get the idea. More, they found us on the internet (not easy to do, as everything takes 20 years to get to Maine, and we were the last authors in North America to achieve the web), sent fan mail, which buoyed us tremendously, started a Liaden Universe® fan listserv to spread the word even further -- and, really, gave us the courage to try to find another publisher, one who would reprint the paperback originals and also publish the seven books we'd written during those 10 years.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

We got fan mail from Anne McCaffrey, telling us in detail how much she loved our work! That stands out...

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

Well. . .Georgette Heyer's regencies are a favorite around the house, as are Dorothy Sayers' mystery novels featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. I'm very fond of Bridge of Birds, by Barry Hughart; and My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett; Hellspark by Janet Kagan gets re-read fairly often, as does The War for the Oak, by Emma Bull...

. . .I'd better stop now, I think.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Daav yos'Phelium, who is unlikely to remain trapped in an elevator (or anywhere else) for very long, which is crucial, since I'm claustrophobic.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Oh, tough one. But do you know? I'm going to have to go with Hercule Poirot.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

Cats, coffee, co-author, laptop, mp3 player, ereader stuffed to the GILLS, my favorite floofy sweater. I think that's the basics.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

Well, a living, obviously. Beyond that, proficiency. I still don't think I've quite gotten a handle on this writing thing, but I'm getting there...

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

Certainly, the satisfaction of knowing you got it right this time isn't peculiar to writing. Nor is being able to work at something one loves. I do love being able to create a story, a world, a person -- and to share it with others. That's priceless.

submitted by Sharon Lee

6 September 2013

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Just the facts:
Born: Baltimore, Maryland USA
Resides: Maine, USA
Bibliography/Awards: The most up-to-date bibliography.
Awards...In 2012 Steve and I (that's Steve Miller, my husband and my frequent co-author) received the Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction, which is usually referred to as The Skylark Award, for obvious reasons. The award is given by the membership of the New England Science Fiction Association for lifetime achievement. Previous winners included Anne McCaffrey, Sir Terry Pratchett, Jane Yolen, and George RR Martin -- and it means quite a lot to us.
Balance of Trade received the Hal Clement Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of 2004, given by the Golden Duck Awards for Excellence in Children's Science Fiction Literature.
Back in 2002 Local Custom placed second for the Prism Award (given by the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapter of the Romance Writers of America). Scout's Progress took first place that same year, and also was named Best Science Fiction Novel of 2002 by the Reviewers of the RomanticTimesBookClub.

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