You’ll love the story Sharon Falsetto has. She had a passion for writing at an early age, and found a way to make writing profitable for her before turning toward freelancing. Sharon is a testament to the power of the written word. Enjoy this interview.
First of all, welcome to the U.S.!You moved here from the UK in 2006. What brought you here?
This is a question I often get asked and it might end up in a book of my own one day! I initially came to the U.S. on vacation in the Spring of 2006. I met my future husband when I took a jeep tour of the Sedona area – he was the tour guide! I did return to the U.K. for the Summer but returned to the U.S. a few months later after the transatlantic phone calls were getting too expensive! A couple of months after my return, we got married and that’s how I ended up in Sedona! I just got my permanent U.S. residency this Summer.
What do you love about living here?
I love the sunshine and dry climate of Arizona, although the Summers can often be too intense for me. I love the beauty of the area I live in. I also love eating breakfast out here (although I don’t do it often enough) as I think its the best meal of the day. I also love the diversity of the country as a whole – I live in one small part of it, have visited several other states, but know it will take me a lifetime if I am ever to visit every single state in the U.S : )
What do you miss about the UK?
The thing I miss most about the U.K. are my family and friends. I miss seeing my nephew and nieces (aged 10, 7 and 6) growing up – although the internet is a wonderful thing and I get constant e-mails and photos, its not the same as being there. And the thing I miss most about British food – fish and chips! Although my husband has spent a year trying to master making them for me, British style 🙂
I understand you’ve always had a passion for writing. When did you decide to become a freelance writer? How did it come about?
I used to write wonderful fiction stories as a little girl according to my mom! But I never pursued it as a career. Then, about 18 months ago, I was looking for a way to promote my aromatherapy business on the web and found out that not only was article writing a good way to build your reputation but I could actually get paid for it! I applied to Suite101, was accepted and started writing on a variety of topics, although travel, aromatherapy and plants are my main areas.
You’ve got quite a collection of Editor’s Choice Awards for your articles on Suite101. Share your experience in writing for them. What are some of the challenges and what do you like about being one of their writers?
I never avidly strive to get an Editor’s Choice award – I write about what I know and what I think is interesting. But receiving the Editor’s Choice award always makes me feel that I’ve excelled in some way or another, so its an excellent mark of recognition for writers. I like writing for Suite101 because I can write on any subject I choose, in addition to my feature topic as a feature writer. The challenge for me, personally, is choosing which article to do next! I have lots of ideas racing around in my head, so I bought a notebook to record them all in – but I just ended up with a ton of sticky notes on my desk instead of using the notebook!
Tell us about Sedona Aromatherapie. How was this business enterprise born?
Five years ago, my first husband suddenly died and my whole life changed overnight. I was doing a job which had already caused me time off work on sick leave because of stress. I decided that life was too short to do something I didn’t enjoy any more. I took a year long course in aromatherapy in the U.K. and got my practitioner’s diploma. It was also a form of self healing in addition to learning a new subject. On qualifying, I was deciding where to set up my business, when I took my vacation to the U.S. I had traveled right round the world with my first husband, so traveling alone was never an issue for me. Fate took a hand in meeting my second husband and so when I moved to the U.S. I set up Sedona Aromatherapie, although it took me over a year because of immigration paperwork.
I started out doing local aromatherapy treatments, then added a web store of aromatherapy products and in the coming year I will be adding aromatherapy classes to my schedule.
Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?
Writing was originally secondary to my aromatherapy business but now they seem to run along side each other. This year, in addition for writing for Suite101, I started an aromatherapy blog and got accepted as a writer for both Examiner and Demand Studios.
I have literally just been promoted to the National Women’s Health Examiner from the Phoenix Natural Health Examiner.
In the future, I would eventually like to take a Masters degree in Professional Writing (just to prove to myself I can do it, if nothing else!) and one day publish a book (which everyone keeps encouraging me to do!).
What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?
I’ve read a lot of interesting books but one which sticks in my mind recently is White Oleander by Janet Fitch. It tells a remarkable tale of a young girl whose life is changed by her mother murdering an ex-lover. Her teenage years are impacted by a variety of different foster homes. It demonstrates to me what changes we often go through in life because of other people’s actions.
I also like to read true life stories, as I believe a lot of people have an interesting story to tell.
I don’t really have any favorite authors – I will pretty much try to read anything once.
Book you’re currently reading?
I’m currently reading The Partner by John Grisham. I don’t have much quality time for reading and look forward to our vacations at the beach in California when I can sit down and actually spend time just reading a book. I started this book there and will probably finish it there at New Year!
In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?
Money is the motivation of a lot of people, out of necessity, but I think there are many successful writers out there who are not wealthy. Success is measured in different ways by people and personally I would consider myself a successful writer if people read my work, like what they read and take something away from it.
Advice for other writers?
Keep believing in yourself and keep trying. The writing world is difficult but if you are a true writer and believe in yourself eventually others will start believing in you too. It takes a lot of work but you never know which piece of writing is going to be the piece which gets you recognized.
Where can we learn more about you?
You can visit me at Suite101, at Examiner, at Sedona Aromatherapie and at my new website Chocolate Aromatherapy. I also write Aromatherapy Notes, an aromatherapy blog. In the coming year, I will be adding more aromatherapy web sites but all my new links will be accessible through these web sites.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to thank Cherie for giving me this opportunity to speak about myself. I think she is doing a wonderful job for the writing community! Thank you Cherie 🙂 [Editors note: Thank you, Sharon! Writers need to support each other! BTW, I think you should write that book!]