Thursday, July 25, 2013

Interview with Shah Wharton



I am happy to be featuring author Shah Wharton today for my last interview of the Blogger Book Fair. This has been such fun and I'm grateful to Jeff, Leslie, Cathrina, and Shah for hosting me on their sites and for hanging out with me here this week. But now on to Shah!

Shah is a speculative fiction writer and the author of Finding Esta. She is holding a giveaway as part of the Blogger Book Fair so see below for details on how to win a copy of her book!


 1.    Tell us about Finding Esta.

This is the first volume of The Supes Series and combines a coming of age story with a more literal search for identity through the murky and often dangerous supernatural and alien world Luna finds herself in, while researching the disappearance of baby Esta, who was taken 20 years ago.

Here’s a ridiculously short synopsis:

Psychic flaws curse a fledgling journalist who seeks validation from loveless parents, and peace within a cruel world. When her investigation into child abduction leads her to a supernatural Cornish community, her sense of identity implodes as each incredible revelation steers her to a singularly mind-blowing question: “What am I?”

2.    What genre or genres do you enjoy writing in?

I love horror, satire, humour, supernatural, mystery, paranormal, thriller ... speculative fiction basically.

3.    When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

My father turned me onto writing poetry as a child and generally nurtured a love of words and story. I never dreamed of being a fiction writer, but I did want to be a female version of Bob Dylan. :D I started taking my fiction writing seriously after allowing myself to just try to write a few shorts, and asking for feedback from an online writing forum. I loved it. I haven’t been able to stop since.

4.    Do you write full-time or do you also have a “day job?” If so, what is it?

I have bipolar disorder and stopped working (after a major breakdown post multiple bereavements) 2010. I miss it. I used to work in social work / care/ mentoring / counseling.  I struggle with concentration and focus, and my moods often take over. Sometimes for the better (I become incredibly productive in bouts of hypermania, for example) but then I peter out and it’s like my body and mind slows down, almost to a stop. I get stuff done in the middle of these peaks and troughs though, and mostly, I’m healthy and function adequately. I would return to work, but it’d have to be a solitary job. It is people who make me ill (or rather their effect on me). I wasn’t made for socialisation, especially the dreaded small talk. I think that is why I love writing complicated characters like Luna, and about the darker side of life.

5.    What do you enjoy most about writing?

Seeing a new world come alive on the page ...a world only I can control and only I truly understand. It’s the complete opposite of the world in which I live, where I feel little control, and there is a glaring lack of understanding. These worlds are those I dream about, the characters are no doubt extensions of myself, and I can play out my dreams on paper, to share with others who may feel the same and appreciate them.

6.    Anything you don’t enjoy or struggle with when it comes to your writing?

I so wish I could have a team of super-experienced editors to work with. I see some books on Amazon and look at their editors, such as Rebecca Hamilton who had five editors to work on her Forever Girl novel. I think, no wonder it was well written. How could it not be with all that support and all that experience. That book is well worth a read by the way :D I have to make do with one, and lots of beta readers / critique partners (always searching for new of both if anyone’s interested?), so I’m always reading about how to effectively edit. I have two great books (Editor-Proof Your Writing: 21 Steps to the Clear Prose Publishers and Agents Crave (Great Books for Writers) and  Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print) which have taught me so much, and I use them as a reference as I do revisions.

7.    What other passions or interests do you have besides writing?

I love theatre and movies. LOVE them. Oh and red wine, great tea (black, green and white) and food. Travel is also a big love, as are my most precious husband and dog: Bobby the German Shepherd. He is enormous and 1 ½ years old!

8.    Glass half-full or half-empty?

According to my moods, but my personality is glass half full. I always try to see the best in a person or situation. The opposite makes me ill.

9.    What would you consider your dream vacation?

I had it - Thailand/Phuket a few months ago. DREAMY!  But as we live in Dubai, any trip back home to the UK is ALWAYS wonderful.

10.    Which of your characters would you say you are most like? Least like?

I am very much like Luna, though not in every way. I’m nothing at all like Lucy, and can be a little like Eliza. I’ll let readers work out who they are and which of my traits match (or not). :)

11.    What can you tell us about your next book?

The next book I’m working on is Finding Luna and should be ready to published Spring 2014.

Here’s the working ridiculously short synopsis (this may change).

Imagine a broken young woman whose world is left in ruins. Imagine horrific identities forced violently upon her, to trigger a growing, often frenzied desire for blood, bouts of extreme hirsutism, and (ahem) embarrassing dental issues. Imagine two love interests and the supernatural community insisting she’s not only their prophesied saviour, but also the defeater of Queen Vampire Lucy ...her sire-sister. Then …imagine she is you! What’s your next move?

Thanks, Shah for being here at my site today!

About Shah and The Supes Series:

Shah Wharton is offering a give-away for one print version (available Fall 2013) OR one ecopy, (available now ) of Finding Esta, an urban fantasy, paranormal mystery.
For the Book Blogger Book Fair GIVEAWAY: Finding Esta: #1 The Supes Series
You need to enable javascript to enter this campaign !

The Supes Series - Ridiculously short synopses. 

 

Finding Esta Book Cover

Book 1 of The Supes Series: Finding Esta (Published)

Psychic flaws curse a fledgling journalist who seeks validation from loveless parents, and peace within her cruel world. When her investigation into child abduction leads her to the supernatural Cornwall community, her sense of identity implodes as each incredible revelation steers her to a singularly mind-blowing question: “What am I?” For a larger description, trailer, reviews, images of characters ,and links to various interviews etc, please visit the My Book page on Shah's website.

A FEW BLURBS

Shah pens "Finding Esta" in a well written plot with plenty of twists and turns to keep your interest. Her characters are totally interesting and believable in this paranormal fantasy. I totally loved the book and even with the cliffhanger at the end, now I can't wait for the next book to come. Highly recommended for all adult paranormal readers. My Cozie Corner {Book Reviews}

“Finding Esta is an urban fantasy tale with a riveting plot that hooked me from the very first page. [...] and cleverly weaves both mystery novel and supernatural tale together.” Valerie S. Fowler {Book Reviewer}

" It's a great tale that's part Nancy Drew, part Harry Dresden, and part Underworld, with a dash of Weapon X thrown in for good measure [...] and my favorite line was, "The ego of a God, the wit of a goldfish." Tom Winship, {Author of Vaempires.}

"From the onset of the story, the prose is dripping with the voice of a character I could spend eternity with. The story is laced with beautiful but nicely paced descriptions, and the characters breathe life into the pages." BooksForever {Editor / Author}

Finding Luna (working cover)
Finding Luna (working cover)

 

Book 2 of The Supes Series: Finding Luna (re-writes)

Due for publication early 2014 (this is the working synopsis) Imagine a broken young woman whose world is left in ruins. Imagine horrific identities forced violently upon her, to trigger a growing, often frenzied desire for blood, bouts of extreme hirsutism, and (ahem) embarrassing dental issues. Imagine two love interests and the supernatural community insisting she’s not only their prophesied saviour, but also the defeater of Queen Vampire Lucy ...her sire-sister. Then …imagine she is you! What’s your next move?
  * Interesting fact alert: Shah designed this cover, and the fur texture in the title does have significance. :) This may or may not be the cover used at publication. She'd love your input and ideas.
 __________________________________________________________________________

EXCERPT

From Chapter Two of Finding Esta
When Flo died, she lost her bipolar disorder and found telepathy. Cool swap. I could have asked her to read Helen’s thoughts, to help me locate her, but nothing’s ever that simple. Awkward things like morals came into play. My nosey tendrils liked to seep out, ingesting and reading all forms of emotional energy, unrestrained. It took focus to keep my guard up, to keep them tethered until required, because I’m exposed to the darker side of humanity every day. They’re mostly strangers who I care little about, but my folks are different. When I tuned in to mother-dearest years ago, it felt like swimming through vomit. As soon as I could, I learned how to avoid Helen and Jack’s revolting verves. For my emotional and physical wellbeing, I haven’t read my folks for years. How could I expect Flo to go poking around their minds? People can be terribly exhausting. Having to remove my gloves to conform to Helen’s rigid house rule of ‘no outdoor wear indoors’ meant I had to stuff my hands deep into the pockets I’d had fitted on every all-in-one, sun-shielding outfit I had made. It’s the safest place for them, without gloves. While I searched for vegetables, I touched something, and I should never touch anything. Tsk! “Ouch.” I yelped at the sharp sting. What is that? Must be new. Each object has its own energy and the potential to tell me its history through touch. It's amazing really, but that process feels like significant electric shock from a plug socket, or a nasty paper cut. The pain worsens depending on its age, power, story. Eventually, I adjust to new energies, but have to suffer it first. I therefore avoid touch altogether. Especially people. Touching people hurts most. I fell back against the wall, "Helen only went and got new tea towels, Flo. Duplicates of the old ones. No imagination. When did she get them?” The pain of touch usually comes complete with a vision. This time it brought the overwhelming stench of faeces and sweat, a gnawing hunger, fatigue and melancholia, and the irritation of persistent flies cruising my face. "Doesn’t that witch have a soul?" I waved my hand like an idiot, hissing and wincing to reduce the pain. Never works, but everyone does it. “You all right?” asked Flo. “Yeah." I staggered to the kitchen sink. "If I didn’t know better, I’d say she did that on purpose.” I used my long sleeves like a barrier, albeit a flimsy one, and filled a glass with tap water and gulped it back. “What I’d give for a Merlot.” I staggered to the table and chairs, feeling woozy. Thankfully, my internal flesh is safe from the dangers of touch, unlike the external. I fantasised about being turned inside out, more than once. For a breathless moment, I had to sit, my hands restored safely to their pockets. I gasped and fought back tears for tiny brown bodies, slaving away across oceans, working long hours for scraps. “Remind me to sign up to a charity for kids in sweat-shops.” “You did. Calm down, they'll wanna know whats up if they find you in this state.” "Okay," I snapped, aloud. Really not a good idea. Humanity is a mixing pot of light and dark. A rainbow of auras and emotions continually flow around us and through us, unnoticed by everyone but me. It is both inspiring and depraved. It can also be boring, confusing, and bloody painful.

FINDING ESTA BUY LINKS

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk and internationally.
Draft2Digital distributes to many outlets on all formats, including
Barnes & Noble (for NOOK) | KOBO (for ePUB) | iBOOKS (for APPLE) |


Author Bio


Shah’s father nurtured her love of the written word as a child, although her words remained private until recently, when she decided to apply her imagination to short stories, in 2010. One of which grew into Finding Esta, the beginning of Luna’s tumultuous journey of self-discovery. Finding Esta is her debut novel, and the first volume of The Supes Series. Shah enjoys all good speculative fiction and is an avid Kindle abuser and cinema fan. She adores her fans, the indie writing community, and is thrilled to be part of the e-publishing revolution. She lives between Dubai and United Kingdom with her husband and their beloved dog, Bobby. On her blog, she discusses her writing, publishing, books and storytelling, and supports other authors. She is always happy to accept feedback so please do get in touch.

 

FIND SHAH

13 comments:

  1. Dubai, wow!

    Love that Shah writes short stories and they led to books, so easy to do when the story just keeps going on!

    Good luck Shah, look forward to reading more!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, Shah - I think you just took away everyone's excuses.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well done, Shah, love the way you used the short stories.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, that cover for Finding Esta is so incredibly gorgeous. So fun to learn more about this book and the writer behind it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great interview. I appreciate your candor, Shah. Processing critiques is a roller coaster all its own. I admire you for being able to do that with all you've got on your plate.

    I tried to enter the contest, but I don't do Facebook entries due to real name/pen name complications, so, oh well.

    Good luck with your books! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This looks like an exciting series. I wish Shah the best.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Julie .. good to read about Shah and her books - admirable in the circumstances .. good luck Shah with the road ahead ..

    Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nice interview. Congrats Shah, both the story and covers are amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I LOVE the color sequence on these books, and what an awesome premise! I love the interview--especially the part about self editing. The better we are as individuals, the better we are as beta readers, critique partners, and writerly friends, eh?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love speculative fiction. My most favorite genre. Great to meet you, Shah.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wonderful interview! Those covers are stunning. Congratulations and good luck, Shah!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congratulations, Shah, both on the book and the cover. Your name is intriguing, too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's nice to meet you Shah, and I enjoyed reading your excerpt! Excellent interview Julie!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments!