Welcome to the Feisty Heroines author interview where you can get to know some of the authors of this amazing collection.
It was just Keira and her little boy, alone against the world. Everyone else had disappointed and deserted them. But now it’s time for her son to start school. How could she trust these strangers with her child, a boy who doesn’t speak, a little boy with autism? She’s been everything to her son – had to be. Jake Dean is a cop; his mission is to serve and protect. With Keira and Daniel, he’d like to do this and more. So much more. When her worst fears are realized, can Keira let down the barriers and allow someone in? It’s a matter of trust.
Sharon A. Mitchell
What makes your heroine feisty?
She’s a single mom, deserted by her son’s dad. While others have forsaken her, she will never, ever give up on her son. when he learned that their child had autism.
Why did you pick the setting you used for your short?
It’s contemporary. One in 56 American children has an autism diagnosis – more than at any other time in history.
What is the sexiest trait of your hero?
I love the fierce protectiveness of this young mother. She is all her son has and she is enough. It took a lot for her to let someone else into their lives.
What is your favorite scene/moment in your story?
When Keira allows Jake to read her son a bedtime story – something that before was solely her role.
Tropes get a bad name, but they’re often the biggest draw for readers. What tropes do you love to write and read?
Well, HEA, of course, or at least happy-for-now. I also enjoy the struggles with allowing yourself to be vulnerable and to risk the possible rewards.
What are your favorite genres/sub-genres to write in? Are there any you love to read but cannot write in?
Contemporary, for sure – it’s real-to-life and most relatable.
Which do you love to write best: dialogue, setting, action, love scenes, or other?
Actions, plus character conflict and growth.
Which do you hate to write: dialogue, setting, action, love scenes, or other?
I think it would be love scenes. So far mine all occur behind closed doors.
Excerpt from A Matter of Trust
“I was all alone when they gave me the news that my child is autistic. It wasn’t really a surprise; I’d known something was different, more than just me being an anxious, first-time mother.” Her expression became fierce. “But when I told Ted, he held up his hands and said,
‘That’s it. I didn’t sign on for anything like this.’ He packed a suitcase and left.”
“But he still supports you and his son, doesn’t he?”
She went rigid. Had he pushed too hard? Time to back off before he lost too much ground. “Would you care for more coffee?”
She looked like her first instinct was to bolt, but then he could see her relax. She reached into the purse that was lying on the floor and pulled out her wallet. “My treat this time,” she said.
Knowing better than to argue, he smiled his thanks.
When she returned with their refills, he again broached the subject of child support. It was a father’s obligation, after all.
“No, we’ve never heard from the sperm donor since the day he left.” Could her body language get any feistier, Jake thought?
“But we survived,” Keira continued. “We do just fine, Daniel and me. If it’s us against the world, we’ll take it on.”
“Do you have family who helps?”
Okay, then. Jake reached across the table to give her hand a squeeze. When she didn’t pull away, he left his there, engulfing her smaller, clenched fist.
He gave her hand a squeeze, running his finger over the smooth skin. He noticed that her thumbnail was bitten to the quick – just that one nail. As he brushed that abused nail, she tucked her thumb into her fist.
Would this push her away again, or should he give it a go? “And then there’s me. I can be in your court also.” He felt her hand pull away but he held on. “Only in ways that you want. Maybe you could use a friend sometimes?”
Her hand relaxed and she gave a faint nod. He caught the faint sheen of tears in her eyes.
“Friends?” He gave her what he hoped was his most charming grin. It worked. She smiled back – a genuine smile that turned her face from interesting into beautiful.
Dr. Sharon Mitchell has been a teacher, counselor, school psychologist, district consultant and autism consultant for decades. She has presented to thousands at conferences and workshops on ways to successfully include kids who learn differently. She teaches university classes to wanna-be-teachers and to school administrators on inclusion strategies and students who learn differently.
She the author of 5 novels, each portraying an autistic child and two nonfiction books on autism.