The fourth book in her Dark Forgotten series just released last week. I throughly enjoyed Frostbound and I hope that you will all read the interview and then give the series a try!
Oh and if you want to win a copy of one of Sharon's books then make sure you enter this weeks contest! Winners choice!!
Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about your new release, Frostbound?
Sharon – Vampire-on-the-run Talia finds her human cousin beheaded and guesses that it was meant to be her. Now she’s the prime suspect. Her oh-so-handsome neighbour, Lore, is a hellhound but he’s also the acting sheriff of the supernatural community. He knows the human police won’t give a vampire a fair trial, so he takes Talia captive until he’s sure that she’s the prey and not the hunter. Usually, a beautiful babe handcuffed to his bed would be a good thing, but Lore soon suspects Talia is in even bigger trouble. Evil magic is stalking her, and there are bad guys afoot who threaten to destroy the precarious peace among the non-humans. And of course it all has to happen when he’s in charge!
Amber - Frostbound is part of a series. Can you tell us a little more about 'The Dark Forgotten'. Do you need to read the series in order?
Sharon – My characters live at a historical turning point. The supernatural beings among us have been out in the open since the year 2000, which has created both fascination and fear among the human population. On top of that, an interdimensional prison called the Castle has opened a portal into our world right in the downtown. It’s chock-full of supernatural creatures incarcerated there centuries ago. Who should be rescued from the prison, and who should remain under lock and key? It’s a tough question, because the vampires and werewolves in our world have just made peace with the humans. They don’t want a whole new element coming in and ruining everything they’ve worked for—for instance, Lore and his hellhounds.
This conflict is a great one to work with because it opens the door to all kinds of adventure. You have justice, freedom, heroism, star-crossed lovers, and the occasional dragon to play with—plus the opportunity for some cracking good bad guys.
Readers can expect a lot of action and humour—I like a mix of light and dark in my paranormal. The series does not have to be read in order. An author always wants to build their readership, so each book has to be a satisfying experience on its own. However, there are continuing characters, and someone who has read the whole works will pick up on more backstory.
Sharon – Stories rattle around in my head for ages before they are ready to see the light of day, then something will trigger a chain reaction in my mind. In the case of my series, it was a conversation with a friend about insurance. Suddenly the heroine of Ravenous, Holly Carver, was walking and talking in my head. From there it just started to unroll very naturally. Witch, vampire, hell hole of doom, insurance ... I can see the connection, can’t you?
Amber - What kind of research have you done for your books? Anything interesting or is the research boring?
Sharon - I generally enjoy research, especially about the paranormal—the more obscure, the better. Body snatching is a favourite topic. Phrenology. I’m reading a book about Victorian trapeze artists for something I’m developing. I bet I have the best bathroom reading on the block.
I do rely on a friend with more expertise in tech areas to fill me in about guns, cars and computers. It’s a great advantage to be able to fire off an email to say, “how to I destroy a computer lab?” or “what sort of fragmenting bullet will kill a werewolf?” and get a practical answer.
Amber - How do you pick the names for your characters? Do they have any special meanings?
Sharon – They tell me their names. I don’t choose them. It’s a problem when I don’t like what they come with—there can be a struggle. I keep reminding them I am their goddess, and then they mock me.
Amber - What’s next for 'The Dark Forgotten'series? Are you working on anything else?
Sharon – As I write this, the next thing up for the Dark Forgotten is a novella coming out in the fall in an ebook anthology. It’s a bit of an experiment to see how well that format does for me in reaching readers, and it gives me a chance to bring one of my favourite characters back on stage.
Besides this series, I am working on proposals for several others—one is pure urban fantasy, one is pure paranormal romance and the other defies classification. It’s going to be interesting to see which of these ideas goes the distance. Of course, with the time it takes to do anything in publishing world, it’s a bit like watching a sloth race.
Sharon – I’ve always written supernatural stories and had started writing Ravenous before the genre became so very popular. It was just good luck that publishers started looking for what I had to offer. It was like, hey, finally my twisted mind has a use!
Amber - A lot of authors are writing now in both adult and YA genres. Have you considered writing a YA book?
Sharon – Yes, and I have written some sketches that may grow into a full-fledged idea someday. I don’t want to launch a YA series before I have a solid premise that will be exciting and fresh. Otherwise, I’m just chasing a trend.
Amber - You have been blessed with some pretty cool looking covers so far. How much say do you have in the book publishing process?
Sharon – None, really. The publisher very politely asks for input and then does what it needs to do, and usually that is different from my plan and they’re absolutely correct. I’m a writer, not a designer. The one exception is the cover of Unchained, which matched the description I gave. I guess the Ducati and rifle got them all excited.
Amber - I am sure that being an author has its ups and downs. What
experiences have you had so far?
Sharon – Readers are always the source of my high points. Whether or not your work reaches your audience is always the acid test and, really, they are an author’s greatest sales force. I’m told that word of mouth makes or breaks a book and I believe it.
Getting emails from fans or meeting them at a signing is absolutely the best ego-boost going. It makes all the hours slaving over a hot keyboard worthwhile. The experience I had at the Orlando RWA signing last summer was fabulous—I got to meet a ton of readers. This year, when the RWA conference is in New York, I’m a finalist for the RITA award in paranormal romance. That’s a definite high.
As for the lows, they’re almost always related to the business side of writing. Many decisions are made that are outside an author’s control. Being a published author is tough because it’s all about numbers and dollars, but also all about your emotions, your creativity, and the resources you personally throw into your career.Any success is precarious. Reviews, awards, or quality of writing aren’t as vital as how much revenue you’re bringing in. From the author’s viewpoint, there is no way in which that does not suck.
Amber – Alot of authors have 'soundtracks' for their books. Is there any music that influenced your books?
Sharon – I have fits of listening to one group or recording over and over. I tend to listen to fairly goth stuff alternating with baroque chamber music. Lacuna Coil and Albinoni, for instance. Don’t ask me why, it just works.
I also sometimes gravitate to one kind of wine during a book. There was a place called Monster Vineyards that produced a nice Merlot. I drank the odd bottle of that during Frostbound and snickered at the sea monsters on the label.
Sharon – I’ve been watching Being Human – both North American and UK versions. I actually thought the North American version translated quite well. That doesn’t always work, but they actually improved on some parts, in my opinion. I’ve enjoyed Haven and Lost Girl a lot. I don’t get HBO, so I’ll be catching up with season three of True Blood as soon as it’s released on DVD.
As for reading, I’ve been all over the place. I just started M.K. Hobson’s The Native Star and I think I’m going to like it.
Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?
Sharon – It depends on whose universe we’re playing in! If it’s mine, the werewolf society, although quite hierarchical, would probably be the most practical. They’re a healthy community. The vampire life, while it gets style points, is a bit big on drama for the long haul.
I keep thinking of two vamps meeting on the street and one says,
“I’m darker than you!”
And the other says, “No, you’re not!”
“I’m the darkest!”
“No way, I’m darker than dark! I spit upon your opera cape!”
“No you’re not, I’m the darkity-dark-darkest!”
Give me the puppy pile instead.
Amber - Thanks for visiting Amberkatze's Book Blog again!
Read an excerpt of Frostbound
Watch the video
Sharon is very kindly giving away a book! The winner gets to choose any book in the series so far! So if you haven't started yet you can try the first book. Maybe you are missing one? Or you haven't gotten Frostbound yet? Well here is your chance!
How To Enter
What are your plans for Summer?
No answer = No Entry
Earn more entries for each link you place about this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries! However please do not make individual postings for each entry. Please post all your entries in one post.
Advertise Amberkatze's Book Blog on your site and get an extra entry for this and every other contest!
You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.
Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.
Keep the contests going by using the Bookdepository.com and Amazon.com links/Banners below and around the site!
The contest will stay open until Sunday 19th of June 2011 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.