Today we’d like to introduce you to Sharon Elliott.
Hi Sharon, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My love for reading and writing started when I was a child in elementary school, 2nd grade to be exact. Our teacher took us to the school library and allowed us to check out one book. I checked out a mystery, loved it, and each week we returned to the library, I checked out another book by that same author until I had read her whole line. Then I started reading a new author. At the same time, I started writing little songs because I was learning how to play the piano. The songwriting led to poetry, which is just lyrics without music, and the poetry led to short stories.
As I matured, my interest in reading never waned, and as an older teenager, my writing advanced to longer and longer pieces based upon my study of the Bible. After college, I continued my writing and one day in 1991, a friend told me my study on the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 would make a good book. I had never before considered joining my love of reading with my love of writing. Soon after her comment, I heard a radio announcement about a writers’ conference that would be held at Biola University, my alma mater. I attended and discovered, not only did I like to write, but I was a writer. This new appellation put identity to my heart’s desire.
At that first conference, my eyes were enlightened to a whole new world – that of publishing. I began to learn the lingo and go through doors that opened. I met a gentleman there who was publishing a new magazine. After discovering I was an English teacher, he invited me to work with him to correct the problems in the articles he wanted to publish. Unbeknownst to me, I had just landed a job as a magazine editor. That association and my teaching ability made me eligible to lead workshops at future writers’ conferences. Invitations to be on writers’ conference faculties began to arrive. I also met a woman at that first conference who taught speakers to speak with more accuracy and flair. I joined that organization (C.L.A.S.S.) and soon became a teaching staff member there.
In the midst of all of this, I was continuing to write my own books. After self-publishing my 1st and 2nd books, I starting to receive royalty publishing contracts. My 13th book (Didn’t See That Coming: When How They’re Living’s Not How You Raised Them, Elk Lake Publishing Inc.) is due for release in early 2022, and the first book of my 7-book children’s series (Why I Get Into Trouble) releases about the same time. (I self-published “Why I Get Into Trouble” for a while as a test run, but now the series will be published by Elk Lake Publishing Inc, a royalty publisher.)
In 2008, I wanted to start paying it forward. I started AuthorizeMe, my company through which I taught writers how to become authors and enter the publishing world by completely storyboarding their books and crafting a professional book proposal. AuthorizeMe continued in that form until the pandemic hit. Two big changes then took place. First, I retired from my 35-year teaching career. Second, I expanded AuthorizeMe into my current LLC, AuthorizeMe Consulting, Coaching & Editing Firm, and Literary Agency. Through 12 masterclasses, I now take author’s past storyboarding and book proposals to branding, website needs, organization of their writing office, understanding of the industry, and planning beyond their current book idea. I am now a full-time entrepreneur, working on my own clock as an agent, consultant, editor, and book developer with many independent clients and nearly 40 clients signed to my literary agency.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The main struggles I encountered had to do with running the business and writing while I still taught high school full time. I couldn’t actually participate on the faculties of as many conferences as I wanted because of my teaching obligations. And I spent lots and lots of late nights writing to get my own manuscripts polished, submitted, and promoted after long days with my students and grading their papers.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
The tagline of my brand is “Live Significantly!” My business exists to help authors express their thoughts in meaningful ways to the largest audience possible. In this way, their words will make a significant impact and difference in the lives of their readers, and they will be living out their calling. I specialize in one-on-one help. You will not sign up for what I’m teaching and get a recording of a class. In the AuthorizeMe Academy Premiere Masterclass Series, you participate with others in online classes in which you work with your specific book project while interacting and forming bonds with other like-minded individuals. If you choose to be a private client, you still work with me one-on-one.
I am known for being a straight-shooter with a knack for seeing what my authors are saying many times before they see it themselves. God has gifted me with a love of words and the ability to communicate ideas so they sparkle. I am most proud to see my authors holding their “book babies” in their hands because those books represent dreams come true.
Of course, I’d like your readers to know I am here to help them bring their positive message books to life. My website, www.AuthorizeMe.net, contains all the details. However, I’d also like your readers to know two other things. First, they can do what they diligently set their minds to do as they follow God’s leading. Second, entrepreneurship is the way to go when you have a service or idea that will better or help other people. We are on this planet, not for our own good alone, but to serve God and others. Both of my sons, Matthew Jones (who Voyager interviewed previously), CEO of Rainbow Creative; and Mark Jones, CEO (and a trending presence on TikTok, 2.1 million followers) of Blue Street Pools, have caught the vision of service to others and now own and operate their own businesses as well.
Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
Helping others is the key to great reward.
- AuthorizeMe Premiere Masterclass Series = $850.00
- AuthorizeMe Individual Client Masterclass Series = $1,700.00
- Individual AuthorizeMe Masterclasses = $125 ea.
- Email: AuthorizeMeNow@gmail.com
- Website: www.AuthorizeMe.net
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/AuthorizeMeNow/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaneWriter/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/sharonnorrisellvideo/videos
- Other: TikTok: tiktok.com/@sanewriter