Thursday, August 18, 2011

Vintage Thursday - Romance Writer

Welcome to Vintage Thursday. Today, we're going to hear from Sharon Earls of Romance Writer.

Romance Writer on
 1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a writer who lives in beautiful Tennessee. I have had a few short stories published, including one in Chicken Soup for the Soul. I am currently working on three Romance Novels, but to date I have not submitted a novel to a publisher. When writing I use old photos to help develop my characters and to correctly describe settings, clothing, hairstyles, and other criteria from days gone by. I’m a hopeless collector of Vintage and Antique photos and magazine ads.

2. What first sparked your interest in vintage items? Have you always loved them, or did something in particular cause your interest in them?
Since childhood I have fostered a love for “old” things. When younger I would often make up stories about a particular rock, photo, or card I happened to stumble across. Being a lover of history, I just naturally gravitate towards anything reminiscent of the by-gone eras. About twenty years ago I began researching my family’s genealogy. As I dove deeper and deeper into the history of who I was and where I came from, this driving need to put a face with a name began to grow deep inside me. Finding old photos of my family and being able to look at the face of those ancestors who had came before me, offered me a sense of completeness, thus my journey into collecting old photographs took root.

3. How long have you been selling Vintage?
 Back in 1999 Ebay set up shop and people began talking about it. In Feb. of 2000 I opened my first shop and started listing a few of the treasures I had stashed in the house. Ever since, I have been an avid on-line seller of Vintage and Collectable Items.

4. Do you have a particular time period, style, or type of item you prefer to focus on?
In the beginning I would list and sell anything “old”. But now I prefer to deal primarily in Vintage and Antique Photographs, Vintage Magazine Ads, and Vintage Sewing Patterns.

5. Do you have any advice for people interested in collecting vintage items? Such as: How to know the difference between something truly vintage vs. new but made to look vintage; Where to find information about vintage items; How to care for vintage items; Sizing on vintage clothing, if that's your specialty -- basically, if there's a question people always ask you about your items, that would be a good thing to answer here.
The items I list are fairly easy to recognize as authentic vintage. Most photos were dated by the original owner, sewing patterns typically have a copyright date, and if not, you can tell by the style of clothing what era it came from. Plus, newer sewing patterns have a UPC barcode, which vintage patterns do not have. As far as magazine ads, well that’s fairly simple to determine. Back in 1960 there weren’t any ads for Dish Network or Comcast – so magazine ads will proclaim their age by the content and clothing and hairstyles of those included.

6. What's your favorite item for sale in your store right now? 
 My favorite item I currently have listed:
Vintage Photo of Two Young Couples Sitting on Steps
Vintage Photo of Two Young Couples Sitting on Steps

This photo is so carefree and fun loving. When I look at this photo I wonder if those pictured were engaged, married, or just friends. Did they become husband and wife? If so, did they have children? Where did they live? What types of jobs did they have? What was the craziest thing they ever did? What was their most shameful secret, their happiest day? What was their favorite color, their favorite food? The list could go on forever. And then since I don’t know the information, I begin to make up my own story and tell their lives the way I hope it turned out.

7. What's your all-time favorite vintage item you've ever owned, whether it's one you sold or one you kept?
My all time favorite Vintage Item is three snapshots taken at a Country Fair in the early 1950’s. They are as follows; a 2 3/8 x 3 1/8 snapshot of Hank Williams, a 2 ½ x 3 ½ snapshot of Smiling Jack and his car, and a 3 x 4 3/8 snapshot of Cowboy Copas giving an autograph. These were most likely taken on the same day and they came from the same collection. I cherish these photos because I am a huge Country Music Fan.

8. Is there anything else you want us to know about you, your store, or your items?
I love meeting new people, interacting with buyers and sellers, and basically making the shopping experience a pleasant one for everyone concerned.

9. Please list all the sites where you sell. You're welcome to list sites where you sell other than vintage, but please specify what you sell on them (ie, handmade quilts, jewelry supplies, etc.)
You can find more great Vintage Photos at, Vintage Sewing Patterns at, and Vintage Magazine Ads and other wonderful Vintage Goodies at

10. Please list all social media sites you're on, so that people can find you. (Facebook, blog, twitter, flickr, pinterest, stumbleupon, myspace, whatever)
You can find me on Facebook as Sharon Rosenbaum Earls.

Want to see some of the other great stuff in Sharon's Artfire store? Have a look:


  1. What a lovely story! Thanks for sharing, and great old photos.

  2. Well now I feel that I've "met" Sharon. Wonderful interview.