As Thanksgiving nears, I’ve been thinking about the many blessings in my life. One of them is being part of a community of writers. It is always such fun to meet fellow travelers on this journey and get to know the people who write the books I love. One of my favorite authors has always been Sharon Sala.  She writes romantic suspense and I started reading her books because of the dedication she includes in the front of every book.

I fell in love with her stories and later got to know her through Facebook. And was even more impressed. Her mother, who has dementia, lives with Sharon. Almost every day, Sharon shares stories of her adventures with “Little Mama,” –stories that make me laugh and cry, and always leave me inspired and encouraged. The grace, humor and patience Sharon demonstrates show not only her love for “Little Mama,” but her gentle heart and enduring strength.

I want to be like Sharon when I grow up. <grin>

Before Angel Falls was released, I contacted her and asked if she would read it. Her endorsement of my book means so very much. Last weekend, I got to meet her in person at the Ancient City Romance Author’s Conference in St. Augustine Beach. I can tell you she’s even more delightful in person than she is online. It was such a pleasure to get to know her better.

She led several workshops: on imagery, self-publishing and “10 Things I Wish I’d Known Sooner About the Business of Publishing.” She’s a great speaker and her info was excellent, but here’s the one statement that will stick with me:

“I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to trust my instincts.” – Sharon Sala

What a huge encouragement to know I’m not the only one who struggles with this. I am learning to trust my instincts, to listen to that gut check that says, “Um, no. Not right for you.” Or to step out in faith and do something, despite what “everyone” says.

Thank you, Sharon. For your encouragement, your example, and your friendship.

With Sharon Sala at Ancient City Romance Author's Conference

With Sharon Sala at Ancient City Romance Author’s Conference

What about you? Has someone inspired and encouraged you along the way? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

By the way, if you’re not familiar with Sharon’s books, you are missing a treat! Head to her author page for more information.