Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Interview with Shari Richardson

What inspired you to become an author?

I have loved books and reading my entire life. The best day ever for me when I was a kid was the day the box showed up from the book clubs my mother subscribed to for me. I would get the books out and look carefully at each one until I decided which one I was going to read first. Then I'd find a quiet spot and read until I fell asleep. That love of books became a burning desire to tell tales when I was in high school. I wanted to give to others the joy I had experienced as a reader. It wasn't until much later in my life that I actually found the courage to be an author.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I'm not sure how to define my writing style. I tend toward minimalism in a lot of areas. You won't read much about what someone is eating or wearing unless it pertains directly to the tale being told. What you will find is a heavy emphasis on relationships and connections. I want my characters to live and breathe for the readers as much as they do for me. The only way I have found to be able to do that is to tell the tale of how they love and live.

Do you write in different genres?

I do. I have written non-fiction, erotic fiction, and romance in addition to the young adult paranormal. But the young adult fiction is definitely my favorite. I enjoy the same freedoms I have in many of the other genres, but I get to take things a bit more gently than I would in mainstream fiction. I don't have to dumb things down, but I can go a little slower, touch a little lighter on the heaviest of subjects. I like that lighter touch.

Do you title the book first or wait until after its complete?

Titles are a funny thing for me. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with them. Sometimes the titles come first. Other times they don't come until I've started working on the outline of the book. I almost always have a title before I start writing, but the title doesn't always stick. I try to treat titles as I treat outlines. They're helpful, but if the tale goes somewhere else, they're not set in stone.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Though I wasn't aware I meant to leave a message for my readers in these books until I had finished book four, the theme has been a part of the saga from the beginning. The message is simple: All of God's creatures have free will. Who you are is your choice and is not determined by what you are. No one is inherently evil. It is a choice to be good or evil.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

Several authors over the years have influenced me, some more than others. Stephen King has always been my go-to author for how to scare the pants off someone. Often it's what isn't written--the part of the story left untold--which is scariest. James Patterson taught me to write characters people can love or hate. It didn't matter which, as long as the reader was invested in the path the characters travel. Laura Antoniou taught me that it is okay to love and live a little differently than others, and that those differences can be written about in a way that readers will relate to.

What book are you reading now?

I usually have a couple of books open in my Kindle app on my phone. I'm actively rereading The Hunger Games right now. I had been reading The Stand (for the upteenth time), but the themes at the end of that novel are a little too heavy for my current state of mind. Plus, I like to read in the genre in which I am writing and I'm working on something new for young adults.

What books are in your to read pile?

I'm kind of indiscriminate in my choices of what to read next. I am awaiting the release of Laura Antoniou's The Reunion in eBook so I can re-read it. She also has a new book, The Killer Whore Leather, coming out soon, so I'm  waiting for that as well. I have a couple of biographies--Rick Springfield and Michael J. Fox--on my Kindle app that I haven't read yet. I also always keep old favorites around. I'm never without a book and I can't tell you how glad I was to be able to get the Kindle app on my first phone several years ago and stop carrying around big purses to accommodate the library I now have in my pocket.

What is your current work in progress or upcoming projects?

I have to admit that there are an awful lot of works in progress on my iPad right now. The one I'm most excited about is a new young adult paranormal romance with some time travel thrown in. I also have a few WIPs that are close to completion and I still have to rewrite the final book in the Highland Home series. I hope to have Two Suns completed next summer.

Nine Lives: The Fifth Highland Home Novel
Shari Richardson
Highland Home, Book 5

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Publisher: Astral Plane Publishing

Date of Publication:  September 2012
ISBN: 978-1461070092

Book Description:

I felt a familiar ripple and knew it was too late for me. I saw her, so tiny, so perfect and I knew that I could die content. When Xavier admitted his love for me, I was complete.

Kerry Cote's story may sound familiar, but it's not. Sure there are a lot of unmarried, pregnant teenagers in the world, but how many of them know the child they carry is a miracle? How many have a vampire body guard? How many are alone because the mother of us all and the father of all vampires has a jealous daughter who covets the baby's father? Kerry must survive to bring her child into the world, for if she fails, humanity may not survive.

Mourning Sun

I should have known when he walked into my life that things would never be the same. Hadn't I dreamed of him and the things he'd done before I was born? If only he weren't so fascinating, so beautiful, so much more than any other guy. Maybe then I could walk away.

Mairin Cote is a magnet for weird. Her dreams come true, she can see auras and her mother is in love with an angel. Now the monsters are finding her too. Vampires, demigods and werepanthers have flocked to this small town girl who must find a way to keep her family safe, love the man of her dreams, and navigate the shark-infested waters of Highland Home High School.

Captured Sun

My first kiss was going to be my last, but it was worth it. His cool lips, his sweet taste, they were my salvation. I would never regret it, no matter what happened.

Mairin Cote thought loving a vampire was hard, but losing him to others of his kind was worse. When the death toll in East Hampton points to a rampaging vampire, the vampires and werepanthers must form an uneasy alliance to stop the destruction. To save the love of her life, Mairin must decide if living life without Mathias is worth risking an eternity with him.

Seven Days

The pain was sharp and deep, but it was nothing compared to the anguish in Xavier's eyes. I wanted to tell him I would be okay, but the words wouldn't come. The pain kept them at bay and even if I could have spoken, I knew the words would be a lie.

Kerry Cote has a pretty normal life for a teenager. Of course normal is a relative term. Her sister dates a vampire and her boyfriend turns furry once a month, but that's not the problem. It isn't until she meets the father of the man she loves that her whole existence narrows to a mere seven days.

Banished Sun

Eternity. How many times since Mathias came into my life had I considered it? Had I not taken risks that would have left us together for eternity? What I hadn't expected was to have the choice taken from us. Vampires are independent creatures and the old ones definitely don't like being bound to a human. When an ancient vampire comes to Highland Home bent on Mairin's destruction so he can free himself from his bond to her, Mathias is forced to choose between what he is and who he wishes to be.

About the Author:

Shari Richardson holds a master's degree in English Education and has spent much of her life teaching students the joy of reading and writing. Her love of writing began when she was in elementary school and has carried through her entire adult life. Shari lives in Pennsylvania with her two Chihuahuas.


Shari Malin said...

Thank you for the opportunity to share some of myself with your readers. I hope they enjoy the books and check in with the other stops on the tour.

Shari Richardson