7 Questions with Shah Wharton

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…

Assorted Pics 696Horror, 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.

A Monday for Anything: A Guest Post with Shah Wharton

Today I have the wonderful opportunity to feature a guest post with the lovely and talented Shah Wharton in support of her debut book, Finding Esta. I have known Shah for a fairly long time and was lucky to be on the beta readers on her fantastic first novel. So without further ado I give you Shah…

Thanks for letting me on your blog Julianne. Great to be here!

Cornish Ghosts & The Supes Series

Shah Wharton

I love ghost stories; I’ve seen several ghosts during my life, and completely believe humans leave an energy force behind when they die.

Finding-Esta-hardcover-3DFinding Esta is the first book of The Supes Series, and when Luna Dukes, our psychic heroine, sets out to find baby Esta, she travels to Esta’s former hometown of St Ives, Cornwall to begin her search.

I chose to set this part of the series in Cornwall because I spent a lot of time there as a child, and know it to be a beautiful, spirited, historic place. My Nan (on Mum’s side) was Cornish, which makes me proudly ¼ Cornish!

As children, my brother and I played crazy golf, went fishing in our Great Granddad’s boat, and scoffed afternoon teas (cream and jam on scones, with cups of strong tea) in local teashops. We eventually grew tired of this type of family holiday, as teenagers do, but I remember them with nothing but fondness when I look back.

brian & sharon 006Everyone English (or International if you surf) knows about Newquay in Cornwall, but I chose to feature St Ives instead. It is a magnet for bohemian types, allowing Luna to finally fit in, and I could escape the preconceived idea of Cornwall as,  ‘All about the surf, Dude!’

Also, my Great Granddad had a lovely big house with a huge garden in St Ives, where he kept goats, grew strawberries, vegetables, had fruit trees. It led into a cove off the ocean, like a secret haven only we knew about. That’s where we played on the row-boat, and I made up stories up in my head. Special times.  It’s great to go back there with my characters.

brian & sharon 004Luna’s only friends are ghosts (called Shadows in the book), and because I like to support the fantasy with a dash of reality, by using true legends or established ghost stories where possible, it’s fun to use a spooky town as one location.

Besides, who doesn’t love a ghost story?

One St Ives ghost story is The Ghost of the White Lady with the Lamp. 

Many years ago, a young woman and her baby waited for rescue on a ship in St Ives Bay. The winds were high on this stormy evening, and as one of many others desperate for safe transport, she longed to make it home alive. No matter who tried to assist her, she stubbornly held onto her child during the rescue, and while crossing from the ship to the rescue boats, the baby fell from her arms into the raging sea, never to be seen again. The heartbroken mother died shortly after this nightmare, but spent everyday and night between her baby’s loss, and her own demise, searching the shoreline with a lamp, for her lost child.

Ever since her death, sightings of The White Lady, still searching the shoreline with a lamp, have spooked and entertained the citizens and tourists of St Ives ever since.

In fact, so often seen on stormy nights carrying her lamp, climbing over rocks, “Lamp Rock” takes its name from this poor ghost.

Introduction to A Creepy (funny) You Tube Video & the Spookilicious Bodmin Jail

The guys in the video take us on a tour of Bodmin Jail, supposedly super haunted, which isn’t surprising as it is the home of 55 executions by hanging, for crimes such as rape, murder and even the lowest levels of theft. Of these executions, 51 were open to an adoring public, thousands of whom travelled to witness these events. For example, a staggering twenty thousand people squeezed into Bodmin in 1844, just to watch Mathew Weeks plunge through the trap door to his death, for the murder of his girlfriends, Charlotte Dymond.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love me some horror, but it sickens me to think I might have been one of those hungry spectators. Eek.

The last public hanging to take place at Bodmin Jail happened as recently as 1909!

It was also the first jail to feature separate “cells,” which included enforced isolation, and each small chamber no doubt has a macabre story to tell. With so many deaths, and a dire life in prison for those who escaped the noose (disease, starvation, segregation), it’s unsurprising that Bodmin Jail is now such a haunted hotspot.

Lot’s of peeved dead criminals make one hell of a haunting!

Enjoy the following video. It’s funny, and a little creepy, but also shows the inside of an extremely popular haunted attraction in Cornwall.

*Check out the ghost hunter’s Cornish accent too. My Nan spoke like that. Lurrrvely!

QUESTION: “Who here believes in ghosts?”

Thanks for having me, Julianne. Hope you enjoyed a little haunting. 🙂


1555349_636202196447176_1421090709_nABOUT THE AUTHOR – Shah Wharton is a speculative fiction author. Find her mind twisting over keyboards, her heart weeping for her characters, her watching you…closely.

She also writes poetry – two published in anthologies, and short stories – one published .

Shah lives in Dubai with her husband and Bobby, their beloved German Shepherd, but originates from the West Midlands area of the United Kingdom, and misses the cold, the rain, and her extended family, every day.

Author Blog: http://shahwharton.com/

Sunday Spotlight: Finding Esta by Shah Wharton

Finding Esta by Shah Wharton

Paranormal mystery with an urban fantasy twist

Finding-Esta-hardcover-3D‘Finding Esta’ is the tumultuous tale of one extraordinary woman’s journey of self-discovery within a supernatural underworld.
Luna has never been very popular, in fact, even her parents loath her. She can hardly blame them; her psychic issues do make her at little odd, and her only friends are dead yet live in her troubled mind.

Although the normal world is all she knows, it’s a place where she’s never belonged, nor been understood; for her it’s not a matter of living and succeeding, but surviving the grind of each day.

Her main passion is following hot on the heels of injustice, and her work as a journalist leads her to investigate the disappearance of baby Esta, snatched from her home over twenty years earlier.

Soon, Luna stumbles upon a series of revelations that blow apart everything she has ever believed: including a clandestine realm of vampires and weres, magic and alien supernatural creatures that all make her oddities appear perfectly banal in comparison.
Her hunger for the truth drives her forward, but it’s the supernatural blood in her veins, the psychic gifts she’s always hated, and an ache to belong that force her to make discoveries about herself she never could have fathomed.

Ignorance may be bliss, but the truth will set Luna free, if she can face it.


Click on the cover to be taken to Amazon!

New Release: Finding Esta by Shah Wharton

Finding Esta Christmas Giveaway Banner

Finding Esta Christmas Giveaway Banner

Welcome to the

Finding Esta‘ Launch Christmas Giveaway!

Yes – it’s finally here. After three years of writing, re-writing, beta readers, editing, cover designing, book trailers, yet more edits and many agonising hours of formatting, the first instalment of The Supes Series is ready and finally up on Amazon! There are five e-copies (you choice of file: ePub/Mobi or PDF) up for grabs, so please have a go and get Finding Esta FREE for Christmas. It’s $2.99 on Amazon, and will be for sale on Smashwords and Kobo in by February, and in print shortly after that.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is the fabulous cover – Like it?

BRIEF Blurb: A young journalist sets off to find Esta, but is unprepared for all she finds, and soon realises it’s a journey from which she may never return. This is a new adult, urban fantasy about one woman’s struggle to retain her identity while everything she knows crumbles around her. Finding Esta is the first of an Urban Fantasy/New Adult Series

Please enjoy the book trailer

Yeah, But What’s The Book About?

An unusual young woman and fledgling journalist, Luna has various restrictive oddities, all of which prevent any kind of physical intimacy. Abusive parents take pleasure in Luna’s misery and isolation, yet Luna strives to make them proud, to finally earn their elusive love – something she craves almost as much as the painless touch of a lover.

When she learns of a tragic story involving the kidnap of baby Esta, she jumps at the chance to investigate, dragging her Shadows along for the ride within the murky depths of her mind.

Meanwhile, a dark stranger visits Luna’s dreams and stalks her reality. In lieu of the real thing, their intimate moments excite rather than terrify. Nestled within his presence, she begins to sense an urgent message of danger – a message she struggles to interpret, until they finally meet….

Her investigations lead Luna to a vibrant seaside town, hiding copycat aliens and an underworld of Supernaturals. Here, she comes face-to-face with her own, terrifying identity. Confronted with life-changing decisions and the harshest of truths, Luna questions her sanity, searching for logic, feeling deceived by both.

Is Luna trapped in a newfound supernatural world, or within her own delusions? And will anyone care enough to save her?

Author Biography

Shah Wharton

Shah Wharton

Shah began meeting authors and bookworms galore when she began blogging back in 2010. She’s learned a lot about blogging and writing on her adventure, mostly from the awesome advice of her online peer-group.

She uses her imagination to write short stories as well as the poetry, but stumbled into her first novel, but falling in love with the character Luna in a short story she wrote 2010. It became grew into Finding Esta, the beginning of Luna’s journey to self-discovery. Finding Esta is her début novel and the first of The Supes Series.

Her passions include blogging, writing, reading, movies, photography and picture enhancement, music, theatre, travel, and fine dining. Her qualifications include BSc(Hons) psychology, counselling, mentoring.

She also has one short story published The Dead Party & two poems published in anthologies.

Her favourite genres include anything dark with fangs and/or that will make her squirm or jump or scream out an expletive. She is an avid Kindle abuser and adores the indie writing community and being part of the e-publishing revolution.


Get Social With Shah



Praise to…Derek Murphy at Creative IndieCovers who developed the incredible book cover

& AubrieAnne at Who’s Your Editor? who did the final edit

Shah would also like to add…

Huge thanks to all the beta readers, patient and enduring online friendships,

and to the mass of wonderful writer resources, all of which took me from thinking,

“Could I do that?” to “Hell yeah, I can do this!”

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For more on Shah’s other writing, inc. poetry and short stories,

try Shah’s Scribbles.

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