Today I have the distinct pleasure of featuring an interview with Shah Wharton, author of Finding Esta. If you’re not quite yet acquainted with Shah, here’s a little bit of an introduction into her world…
Horror, paranormal mystery, dark fantasy, and sci-fi are Shah’s favourite genre, although she also enjoys dark comedy, some romance, and an occasional young adult fantasy.
She also writes poetry (two published in anthologies), short stories (one published), and she ghost writes as a freelancer.
Shah is a psychology graduate, trained in hypnotherapy and counseling, and enjoys theatre, movies, varied music, travel, and fine dining.
Her father taught her to appreciate the written word, and you’ll usually find her immersed in story, while slurping tea and cuddling up to her little family.
Shah lives with her huge German Shepherd and husband in Dubai, but originates from the West Midlands area of the United Kingdom and misses the cold, the rain and her extended family every day.
Welcome Shah! Now let’s delve into the questions… Using ten words or less, tell me about your book.
Um. Something like, “Psychic journalist loses herself in Cornish supernatural underworld.”
I’d say that’s pretty spot on Shah! What song would you want to play during the opening credits of your book were it made into a movie? Why?
Love this question! Off the top of my head – R.E.M.’s version of ‘Mad World.’
Great song choice! What is your writing process? Are you a planner or a pantser? Do you prefer to hand write your works or type them directly into your word processor?
I’m a panster who longs to be a plotter. Of course, bipolar disorder does have a huge say in how things progress with my writing process. If I’m a little manic, I can write so much more and juggle so many ideas all at once, so notes aren’t even needed. But when I switch to a much lower mood, those ideas became like sludge and I find it difficult to get much done.
I’m still very much learning my craft and it changes all the time, but one thing seems unchangeable–I write the first draft without a plan, directly onto my MAC, and add layers with little notes scattered about. I have never been organised, unlike my family. I try, but it’s just not how my head works.
What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself: something you wish you knew then that you know now?
Don’t rush. Be the turtle not the rabbit. This is another issue with my moods. The low mood Shah is cautious and slow, but the manic me is like a bull out of the gate.
I published Finding Esta December 2012, but s changed so much since then because every time I re-read it, I improved it. It wasn’t ready then, I think it is now, hence marketing it as a second edition. I’m trying to convince Amazon to email those who already bought it, to inform them there’s an update. If that’s you, go update the file. 🙂
If not, it’s discounted at Amazon right now at £1.99. I have no choice about this discount and no idea when it will end. Sigh!
Another tip is to really think about which publishing route you would like to take. I chose to self-publish, partly through lack of confidence but plenty of ignorance, and partly because it seemed the easier route. WRONG! It’s a lot of hard work, and it takes commitment. Essentially, unless you have a lot of money to throw at it, you are on your own. Self-publishing the first of the Supes Series means I have also scuppered my chances of publishing the rest of this series through a publisher.
I now wish I’d taken my time, and my chances, but hey ho. I can always try my luck at publishing something else in the future.
Also, I highly recommend you work with critique groups and beta readers. Julianne was a superb better reader for me on the original version of this book. It’s been a long process, hey Julianne? 🙂 I’m still trying to build those relationships, and envy those who already have consistent support with their writing and craft improvement. This is a big issue for me out here in Dubai. I feel cut off from resources, like critique circles, book clubs, writing groups. Thank heaven for the online writing community!
Writing a book is a long process regardless of how you undertake it and it only serves the book in the best way to take you time and ensure you do it to the best of your abilities. And if you find areas to improve, even after it’s published, do it! What are the three books that really inspired you to become a writer?
Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Most of Charlaine Harris’s True Blood. Stephen King’s On Writing. There are loads more, but these popped into my head, first.
Now it’s time for the Rapid. Fire. Questions.
- Coffee or tea? Tea
- Cats or dogs? Dogs
- Snow or sun? Snow
- Print books or eReader? eReader
- Nachos or potato chips? Pot Chips
- Baked or fried? Baked
- Candy or chocolate? Dark Chocolates
- Comedy, Romance, or Horror? Horror
- Action, Science Fiction, or Animated? Action & Sci-Fi
- Classics or Modern? Both
- Old World or New World? Both
- Sweet or spicy? Spicy
- Comfort or Speed? Comfort
Great questions Julianne! Thanks for letting me visit me at your blog. 🙂
You’re very welcome Shah! If you’d like to connect with Shah, you can find her on Twitter, Google+, her Amazon Author Page, Facebook, or her blog.
Now let’s take a look at Finding Esta… Don’t forget that clicking on the cover will take you straight to Amazon!
For Luna, each day is not about living and succeeding, but about survival.
Luna has never been popular, in fact, even her parents loath her. She can hardly blame them; her psychic issues do make her a little odd and her only friends — Flo and Ada — are Shadows who exist inside her troubled mind. Although the normal world is all she’s known, it’s a place where she’s never belonged, nor been understood.
For Luna, each day is not about living and succeeding, but about survival. That is, until her work as a journalist leads her to investigate the disappearance of baby Esta, snatched from her home over twenty years earlier. Soon, our psychic heroine stumbles upon a series of revelations in a clandestine realm of vampires, weres, and magical alien-supernaturals. Revelations that make her oddities appear perfectly banal in comparison, and obliterate every preconceived idea of the normal world.
Her hunger for truth drives her forward. Yet, the constant physical changes, the undefined blood in her veins, the heightened power of psychic gifts she’s always hated, and an ache to finally belong somewhere, to someone, all force her to make discoveries about herself she could never have imagined.Ignorance may be bliss, but the truth will set Luna free, if only she can face it.