Monday, December 22, 2008
Sharon Tregenza - Author Interview
I am happy to post my Email interview with Kelpies Award winning Author Sharon Tregenza. Her latest book, Tarantula Tide, can be found on Amazon. and here
Thank you for your time with this interview. You are one busy lady. I loved the way you plotted the suspense in Tarantula Tide.
Hi Carma, yes it’s been an exciting end to the year. Lets hope it continues through 2009 and 2010 and . . . . I’m glad you mentioned the suspense in Tarantula Tide it was probably the toughest thing to get right. I knew I needed highs and lows to keep the action bubbling along and I made a lot of changes before I was happy.
What came first? The title or the story?
Usually, for me, it’s the title first. I love titles and have a huge list of them. This time it didn’t come so easily, though. I knew I wanted TARANTULA for its dramatic imagery and it’s importance to the plot, but I couldn’t come up with a satisfactory second word. It was a friend who suggested “Tide”. I knew immediately it was perfect.
How long did you work on Tarantula before you submitted to a publisher?
Hmmm, there’s a story to this answer. I was halfway through Tarantula Tide when I spotted an announcement for the Kelpies Award for a contemporary children’s fiction. I already knew of the Kelpies, of course, but further reading showed I already had the makings of a very suitable contestant in my book. But, and it was a big but, I had to complete it in a month to meet the deadline. I worked like crazy and more frantically as the deadline grew closer. It was touch and go and, for the last chapter and final edit, I worked for thirty-six hours straight. I posted the manuscript with only half an hour to spare - came home flopped into bed and slept and slept. Bliss.
Who did you pattern your characters Jack and Izzie after?
Because it was written in first person I have to admit that there were elements of myself in both Jack and Izzie. Mostly thought they are truly fictitious. You know when some writers say that their characters take over? Well it’s true – it really happens. I’d wake up with fragments of their conversation going through my head.
Who or what has influenced you the most in your career?
I had that all important special English teacher many years ago and then favorite writers. I still get that real “stomach kick” feeling when I read an author who excites me.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I think the dream was always there floating around in my subconscious. I come from a very small seaside town though, and the only options, when I was a teenager, seemed to be teaching or the local shoe factory. I didn’t fancy either. Life with marriage, children, and travel intervened and it wasn’t until about fifteen years ago I sent off my first (very amateurish) story. But the monster was unleashed.
What are your future goals for your writing?
Lots more children’s books. I’ve got a wealth of ideas for picture books, children’s poetry and at least two follow up novels to Tarantula Tide.
Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If so, what seems to work for unleashing your creativity?
Nope. Writers block has never been a problem for me. Occasionally, I wish it was when the constant stream of ideas, characters and dialogue keeps me awake at night.
What makes up a typical writing day for you?
There isn’t a typical day. I just get to my computer as often as I can. I’m passionate about what I do and would quite happily spend all day, everyday, writing. There is life outside fiction though and there are other things that have to be done and people to consider.
Tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?
Happily. My website is www.sharontregenza.com there’s a special site for Tarantula Tide too at www.tarantulatide.com. I’d love people to contact me. I’m on facebook and myspace as well.
Are you working on any new titles now?
Yes. I’m busy with the next adventure for Jack and Izzie. This time the mystery is set in Jack’s city of Edinburgh in Scotland - a fascinating place with a dark and bloody history. This book is called “Scorpion Sky”. Hope you like the title.
What advice would you give to aspiring children’s writers who are trying to break into the field?
Do it! Do it! Do it! And more importantly KEEP doing it. It’s hard and sometimes demoralizing sending manuscripts out to publishers. But if the writing itself is fun what have you got to loose? And then one fine day . . .
Is there anything you would like to add?
Just a big thank you, Carma for setting up this interview. Oh, and the warmest of wishes to you and all the readers of your website. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a happy and successful New Year. Bye.
Bye Sharon, and thanks again.