Welcome to the last – but not least, edition of my Q & A for 2020. I’ve been saving this spot for quite some time now for one of our most starred bloggers and author of our community – Sally Cronin. Yes, Sally has worked diligently to get her #NewRelease out – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries, before this year ended, and this spot was awaiting her visit. So without further ado, I’m beyond thrilled to be featuring one of my dearest friends and author who knows how to touch hearts with her words – Sally Cronin. Today we’re going to learn a little more about Sally in some Q & A, and get a glimpse into her new release, which I will be featuring my review for this Sunday on my Sunday Book Review, so stay tuned!
About Sally Cronin
I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another thirteen books since then on health and also fiction, including five collections of short stories. My latest book is a collection of verse and speculative short stories titled Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet
I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.
As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.
New Release Fresh Off the Presses!
Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet is a collection of short stories with scattered poetry, reflecting the complexities of life, love and loss.
The stories in the collection dip into the lives of men and women who are faced with an ‘event’ that is challenging and in some cases life changing.
Even something as straightforward as grocery shopping online can be frustrating, and a DNA test produces surprise results, the past reaches out to embrace the present, and a gardening assistant is an unlikely grief counsellor. Romance is not always for the faint-hearted and you are never too old for love. Random acts of kindness have far reaching consequences and some people discover they are on a lucky streak. There are those watching over us who wish us well, and those in our lives who wish us harm.
Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2020
I’m a fan of Cronin’s short stories and snagged this anthology the day it came out. The author describes it as a collection of short tales that reflect “the complexities of life, love, and loss.” That’s a fit description. There are stories of kindness, family, grief, courage, and second chances. The characters are ordinary and relatable, but they’re also extraordinary in those moments that define who they are as people.
The first story in the anthology, The Weekly Shopping, is hilarious if not a little ominous, but the rest of the selections are touching. Many are heartwarming, and I wanted to hug the characters. I enjoyed the whole collection but my favorites were: The Scratch Card, The Charity Shop, The Date, and The Gardening Assistant. Between the stories are selections of syllabic poetry. A crown cinquain entitled The Birds was just beautiful. I highly recommend this anthology to anyone who loves well-written short stories about life.
Anyone who knows Sally’s writing knows how her stories and words tug at our heartstrings – that is of course, if she isn’t writing a health and wellness article which she is also known for her expert advice in the world of natural healing, among many other topics, as Sally is often quite the Jill of many trades! So let us dive into more wonders from the indelible Sally Cronin.
Thank you so much Debby for inviting me over today and some great questions.
Thank you Sal, let’s get this party started!
What is your favorite social media network as an author, and why do you find it effective?
I keep an eye on my blog stats regularly to identify where the traffic is coming from, and the biggest referrer by a huge margin is WordPress Reader. This is followed by Facebook and then Twitter. I also have a LinkedIn account but it is not in the running as far as referrals. I am not on Instagram or any other platform, as I don’t have the time to deal with any more. It already takes at least three hours throughout the day to respond and promote on the ones I do maintain (you know all about that and must spend longer), so I spend the time available on platforms that offer the best referral rate.
At the moment, I would be hard pressed to call any of my social media my favourite, as they have all undergone facelifts this year, and have the appearance of being injected with too much Botox, filler and have lost their character in the form of their functionality.
They are however necessary for bloggers and authors to get themselves out there. From that perspective I would say that Twitter has the biggest reach as far as potential readership is concerned. It can become very time consuming keeping up to date, but it has to be worked like a muscle to keep it functioning and effective when promoting your own books or other authors.
Despite my misgivings about the Disneyland format of Facebook, and its draconian Bots, who you have come across Debby, I would miss friends and family who I keep in touch there, some going back nearly ten years. I also find the groups very useful for specific posts, particularly when sharing book related links.
These days the majority of authors are also undertaking their own book marketing. It is tough enough as it is, without having some online presence. As a book promoter I notice the difference in the level of response to posts for authors who are not on Twitter in particular, and if I was to recommend one platform that would be it.
D.G. – I would certainly take that as expert advice Sal, because as you know, we tend to travel in same circles. Thanks for the kudos, and yes, sharing and promoting is time consuming, but something that comes naturally to both you and I. We learn the ins and outs and circumvent where appropriate, lol. You know I’m 1000% with you on the Facebook front – so not my fav, but where the writers hang out, and a place to keep connections with readers and the people in our lives.
What can you tell us you’ve gained from blogging as an author?
I have never taken for granted the special nature of the blogging community, and the relationships I have formed over the last seven years. This includes you Debby and the level of support that you offer to so many of us, including today’s Q&A.
This last nine months it has become clear how special the connection and support the community provides is for us all. Especially for authors who have struggled to launch their books without doing book fairs, readings and other events. The blogging community has stepped up, and it has made an enormous difference.
WordPress is another platform that is determined to give us a futuristic interface, but whilst I don’t like the new block editor, as it does not fit my needs, I still believe it is the most effective blogging platform available. I doubt that I would have sold a quarter of the books I have without fellow bloggers who are also my readers. If every author who blogs did an analysis of where their sales came from, I am sure that like my statistics, they come from bloggers or their support in promoting our books to their own readership in combination with Twitter and Facebook.
D.G. – Thanks for the kudos Sal, but you are the rockstar! And as usual, I agree with you on all you said from Facebook interaction to our blogs. In fact, I’ve read quite a few bloggers posting on how their best audience comes from blogging. I have to agree. What would we be without community? Like the old saying goes – ‘It takes a village’. And our community is blessed to have you. ❤
What would you like to see change to make the world better?
Oh my Debby, how much time have you got lol? I would say that I have a long list of small changes in mind that taken as a whole might just make the world a better place. At the heart of it is the fundamental necessity to communicate. People are shouting, at each other, over each other and about each other. And nobody appears to be listening to anyone. It happens in families, in communities and in countries. The shouting needs to stop and we need to sit down calmly and agree that history cannot be changed, but the present and future can. Everyone has an agenda and we have become a ‘MeMe’ and ‘MeToo’ culture. All we are going to end up doing is going around in circles, and without the leadership at the top showing an example of how these changes can be accomplished, things will remain the same. There has to be a shift in the language we use with each other so that it becomes ingrained.
‘What changes do WE need to make?’
‘How can WE work together to make sure WE ALL have a better future?’
Going back to the question about how I have benefited as an author from blogging, there is no doubt I have also benefited as a person. I have met so many people from around the world who go out of their way to help, counsel and support their fellow bloggers, irrespective of culture, religion or race. If we can do this and maintain positive communication, collaborations and courtesy, the surely those in the wider world can too.
The last nine months have been unbelievably tough for most sectors of the populations in our individual countries, and for many the isolation would have been unbearable without this blogging community, and I for one am very grateful to be a part of it.
D.G. – Amen to all you said Sal. Our online community and friends have definitely helped to maintain my sanity! And you have spoken the words I mumble to my hubby daily – the world has grown to greed by the higher ups and big corporations. Wherever they can take more from us they will – cost of living, food, taxes and more. It’s time THE WORLD relearns compassion! ❤
Sally is sharing an excerpt with us from one of my favorite stories:
Elsie Windsor was just about to sit down to eat her sausages, mash and baked beans for her supper, when the phone on the wall by the kitchen door rang. She counted to ten, but when the ringing didn’t stop, she pushed herself upright and crossed the tiled floor to grab the receiver off the hook, betting it was another scammer. ‘Who is it?’ she barked down the line. She counted to three as the silence was a sure sign it was some automated solicitation call.
‘Hello Mrs. Windsor.’ That stopped her in her tracks, and she decided against using her favourite swear word and slamming the phone down just yet.
‘It might be,’ she said hesitantly.
‘My name is Antonio Carlucci and I am your date for Saturday night.’
‘I beg your pardon, but you are no such thing young man,’ highly indignant Elsie firmly put the caller in his place.
‘I assure you Mrs Windsor I am, you won me in last Saturday’s tombola at the church fair.’ She had to admit this Antonio did have a rather pleasant voice.
‘Young man, I am 95 years old and have not dated since 1945 when I met my late husband Frank, and I certainly am not going to start again now.’ She tried to remember back to last weekend when she had gone to the church fete with Ethel, her best friend. . .
D.G. Says: Get this book and find out how ‘the date’ went – I think it’s my favorite story! 💕
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Thanks so much Debby for being such a wonderful friend to us all and for such a lovely boost to get the new collection of stories on its way… 💜💜
It was my absolute pleasure to have you and your lovely new book over here today Sally. You never disappoint and I loved, loved your book! ❣
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