So, okay. I was a notional writer before I could even form letters with my pencil. So what happened to all that creativity? Why did I take a thirty-year detour into a career as a CPA and business exec before circling back to my first love--storytelling? I suppose the honest answer is that life intervened. I wanted financial security and stability for my two kids. But the dramas in my head didn’t go away. They reemerged as bedtime tales for my own children.
Stories, I realize now, that were more likely to keep them awake or give them nightmares, than put them gently to sleep. Fortunately, my son and daughter grew up into well-adjusted adults, apparently unscarred by their mother’s bizarre, wandering imagination. At least, I hope they’re unscarred. But what about my internal writing demons, raging to get onto paper? Well, a few years ago, I fortuitously sold the company I had built to an international staffing company. My release was intense; the words seemed to tumble out of me and I wrote my first novel. Unfortunately, I learned there’s a big difference between telling a story and writing a book that anyone’s interested in publishing.
My first novel was about an evil international staffing firm. (That’s right—write what you know!)) Well, this staffing company murdered its temporary employees, then extracted their pituitary glands to make an anti-aging formula, which the company used in attempting to take over the world. What do you think of that for a plot? Not surprisingly, agents and publishers didn’t like it either. And I realized that success in business didn’t necessarily prepare me for a successful writing career.
I began reading books on the craft of writing and attended a writing workshop at the University of Miami. And I was lucky. I had a neighbor, a creative writing professor, who spent almost a year of Sundays teaching me the basics of creative writing. But that still wasn’t enough to get published. So I attended writers’ conferences, read more books on writing, and asked other writers for criticism and feedback. But the main thing I did was write. Practically obsessively, novel after novel. I wrote eight novels over an eight-year period, as well as at least a half dozen books that I started and haven’t finished. Almost a million words. The ideas came to me from my own experiences—often something traumatic or deeply disturbing.
Sharon Potts is the award-winning, critically acclaimed author of three thriller novels.
A native of New York, Potts graduated from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Before migrating to Miami, Potts worked in public accounting. In Miami, Potts served as a managing director of an international staffing company and president of an executive search/accounting recruitment firm.
Pott’s is member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.
Her career as a mystery/thriller writer began with In Their Blood, winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award and recipient of a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly, followed by Someone’s Watching and now, The Devil’s Madonna.
Potts lives in Miami Beach with her husband, Joe, and Australian shepherd, Gidget.