Monday, June 22, 2015

SHARON TREGENZA, THE SHIVER STONE, #giveaway, #free ebook

NOTE:  Sharon would like to send a copy of her latest book THE SHIVER STONE to one lucky commenter.  Please be sure to leave contact information so Sharon can get in touch with the winner.

BUY LINK: UK --  (Paperback and Kindle)
US --  (Paperback and Kindle)

1.     Please tell us about yourself.

Hi, I’m a British children’s author. I’ve lived in several countries and in many counties of the UK. I’m now in a converted Chapel in a village called Box near the historic city of Bath. I have a terrific family, some super friends and a neurotic dog called Reilly.
2.     What inspired you to write your first book?

I’d been writing and publishing children’s magazine stories for years but wanted to up the ante and try a book. I decided to go for the Kelpie’s Prize (a competition in the UK, for a MG book) I won. My MG Mystery “Tarantula Tide” also won a second award.

3.     Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned loads: I learned NOT to leave things to the last minute. I learned (for me) plotting is a must or I quickly get bogged down. I learned I can’t work without buckets of coffee and a bag of brazil nuts.

4.     Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?

The publisher for my last book, Firefly Press, is in Wales and as my book “The Shiver Stone” was set there it seemed an obvious choice. They’ve been a real joy to work with – enthusiastic and helpful. There’s a party coming up soon and I’ll meet their other authors in person.

5.     What are your current projects?

I recently completed a second Masters degree -- this time in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. The book for my dissertation, another MG Mystery called “The Jewelled Jaguar” has been taken on by an agent and will be sent to publishers. I’m also working on two more MG mysteries.

6.     What do you plan for the future?

I plan to write more MG mysteries. I love the genre -- the plotting and layering with clues and red herrings adds another dimension. They’re so much fun to do.

7.     What are your thoughts about promotion?

I know it ‘s a necessary part of being an author these days but to begin with I found it hard, embarrassing even. Now I enjoy social media, especially Facebook, and the interaction has been fun as well as useful. I’ve “met” so many interesting authors of all genres. I’m going to a convention next month to learn a little more.

How can we find you?

1.     Why do you feel qualified to write a children’s book?

As I’ve already mentioned I wrote children’s magazine stories for years so it was a natural progression to write books. Also I think my reading brain was at it’s height when I was around 12. I read compulsively and the enchantment of that time has had a huge influence on my work.
2.     Do you outline before you write?

Yes. I have cork tiles stuck on the wall of my study -- they’re numbered to represent the chapters. It gives me the freedom to juggle and jiggle scenes before I write them down.

3.     What comes first the plot or the characters?

For me, as a mystery writer, it’s the plot. It has to have twists and turns and be strong enough to carry the story. 

4.     How do you decide how your characters should look?

This is an interesting question and I’m not sure I have an answer. I do make extensive character charts and through this the physical features emerge almost on their own. Charts help me establish a character’s idiosyncrasies too.

5.     Did your books require a lot of research?

As I love the odd and unusual all my books require a lot of research. For “The Shiver Stone” I looked at ancient standing stones, fox hunting and whelk fishing. For “The Jewelled Jaguar” the book I’ve just completed – historical workhouses, sinkholes, and Aztec sacrificial knives. I do enjoy a bit of research.

What books have most influenced your life?

“The Phantom Tollbooth” -- when I first discovered words could be twisted and turned, muddled and mixed and buckled and bent out of shape – wonderfully.

“Holes” – to my mind the most perfectly constructed book for kids and YA - ever.

What seven words would you use to describe yourself?

FUNNY (Well, I think I am – others may differ)

Reviews by other children’s authors:

An unusual and original novel which hooks you in from the start. Young readers will enjoy this mysterious, lyrical adventure with a dark secret at its heart. -- Steve Voake

A heart-in-the-mouth adventure story, presided over by the mysterious Shiver Stone, with the gentle swoosh and crackle of the waves as its soundtrack. -- Sue Purkiss

Beautifully crafted, with a plot that perfectly balances family drama with mystery. The beaches of Pembrokeshire are a wonderful backdrop to adventure! -- Elen Caldecott

Review by one of Amazon’s top Children’s book reviewers:

Spirited twelve year old Carys endeavours to reveal the identity of an elusive visitor, who leaves intriguing sculptures on the beach overnight.

Yet, under the watchful eye of the Shiver Stone standing proud and mysterious on a cliff top overlooking the sea, she and her new friend, Jago, discover even more secrets and danger along the way. With an adorable Yorkshire terrier called Tia in tow – what more could anyone want!

This quickstep of a story offers a real adventure for children, there’s plenty going on from the moment you open the cover. It’s easy to conjure an instant picture in your mind of each character, which made this book a delight to read - and the ending was perfectly crafted.

An altogether great read.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you're really busy! Book sounds interesting!