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Sharon Maria Bidwell
Lastest work(s): Calm and Chaos: Hard Pressed
Last work(s): Seduced by a Legend; A Fistful of Dust, Space: 1889 and Beyond
A writer from the UK, Sharon doesn't get out much these days. She's too busy creating vibrant worlds and characters to share with others. She still writes darker stories (although feels her romances can be quite dark at times) but equally loves the romance industry, which allows her to work with the type of cross-genre writing she favours. She's called her website Aonia because in Greek myth that is where the muses lived, and she's delighted and grateful for each and every idea that comes to her.
Sharon was born in London on New Year’s Eve. She has always followed many creative pursuits. Eventually her love of books, and a wild imagination compelled her to focus on writing. The first short story she submitted — Silver Apples of the Moon — was accepted by Roadworks Magazine. The editor announced her as “a writer who is going places” and described the story as having “both a Sci-fi and horror element,” and being “strong on characterisation, and quite literary, in terms of style.” Subsequently, she was approached to write all reports and publicity material, including a piece for translation into Braille for The Really Wild Nursery and Arthritis Care Breaking Down the Barriersgarden project, which took place at the Malvern Spring Show.
Since then, her work has appeared steadily in both print and electronic publications, such as Midnight Street, Aoife’s Kiss (Sam’s Dot Publishing), Night To Dawn, and Radgepacket (Byker Books). Her short story — Bitter and Intoxicating — was snapped up for inclusion in the anthology Red Velvet and Absinthe. This compilation, edited by Mitzi Szereto with a foreword by Kelly Armstrong, was designed to evoke the romantic ethos of classic Gothic fiction with a serving of eroticism. With a repertoire of twisted tales and a love of cross-genre writing, it surprised everyone (including herself) when she branched out into erotic romance. These works have been critically acclaimed and often described as ‘deeply passionate’. She is the author of the best-selling gay romances Snow Angel and the sequel Angel Heart.
She was propelled into the universe of Steampunk as one of the writers for Space, 1899 and beyond, winning the approval of series creator and award-winning game designer, Frank Chadwick, with two books in season two, one of which was co-authored with editor (and writer) Andy Frankham-Allen.
Sharon’s worlds are vivid, unexpected and sometimes intensely magical. Sharon writes whatever her warped mind can come up with. Although her longer works to date mostly involve a variety of wonderful men finding true love…or at least some loving, she’s quite capable of writing something darker, grittier, and even outright twisted.
She currently lives in a house with a few art-Deco original features and a Harry Potter cupboard under the stairs. Watch one of the films -- that's her cupboard. Sometimes she dreams of clearing it out and hiding away in there, seeking some magic and ‘sinspiration’.
When people ask me to explain my work, only one word springs to mind: Diverse. I've written fact and fiction in almost any genre. So far, I've been extremely lucky in that I have had the opportunity to do this, but I've also, often, had the pleasure of crossing genres. Thus, crime, horror, fantasy, action, adventure, fairy tales, gothic, erotica, non-traditional romance, and slipstream, are themes I've use in any combination.
Not so long ago I was asked a question -- to explain why I write. I replied that there's a simple answer to why writers write: because they have to. To some, it is simply like breathing. Deep down, I've never wanted to do anything else, but as well as an art form it is a process whereby you are constantly learning, improving, and ever seeking out new challenges.
Most of us write at some stage in our lives -- whether it is the day-to-day record in a diary, a carefree note to a friend or even a necessary but unhappy letter of complaint. I believe the ability to read and write are our most basic and necessary skills. Reading and writing opens a door of discovery, access to knowledge, an ability to express ourselves, to communicate and educate. The purpose of storytelling is not solely one of entertainment, though pardon me for shocking anyone if I say I want to do that too! I grew up reading horror. I admit I was reading books for age-groups long before I should have done sobut I'm grateful for it. Whenever the world around me let me down in an odd way those books kept me sane. They were pure escapism and at heart, I still just like to tell a good story.
I think some stories can be life-altering, but I see nothing wrong with just being entertained. Life can be wonderful; for all of us it can be hard. It can be miserable at times. It can be dull at best. Stories have never failed me. Ideas, opinions, glimpses into another way of life -- all these things and more can be expressed in even the most simple or the most outrageous of stories. Many writers have been visionaries.
Hard Pressed (Calm and Chaos)
A Fistful of Dust (Space, 1889)
Mistletoe and Whine (sequel to Hounding the Beat)
Acting Out (Calm and Chaos)
On the Web:
There are more general comments as well on my website.