Today I have another Brain to Books Cyber Convention author feature. Remember, this great event for authors and readers alike is coming to Goodreads this April, on the 8th, 9th and 10th. Be sure to check out all the details and pertinent links for the event here: http://www.angelabchrysler.com/brain-to-books-cyber-convention-2016/
Now on with the main event, our latest Brain to Books author feature. Today I have a great interview with YA fantasy author, Shari Tapscott. Enjoy...
Interview With Shari Tapscott
Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.
When I’m not writing or reading, I love to garden, make soap, and pretend I can sing (I can’t). In the summer, my family enjoys camping and hiking, and the settings in a lot of my books are inspired by our nearby mountains.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?
My newest release is Seirsha of Errinton, the third book in The Eldentimber Series. Each installment of the series focuses on a character we met in my first book, Pippa of Lauramore, and this time, the story is set in the kingdom of Errinton. It was a unique writing experience for me. My other books are lighthearted, but Errinton has fallen from its former glory, and it’s in a dark place. In the book, we meet Seirsha, only daughter of the cruel king. After living in the shadow of her father, she’s learned to keep herself distant from those around her. But after the untimely death of the heir to the throne, a man from Seirsha’s childhood steps back into her life and threatens to crumble her carefully constructed walls. Though darker than my previous novels, at its heart, the book is a story of love and hope.
Of all the books you've written, do you have a favourite?
It seems whatever book I’m working on at the moment is my favorite! Looking back, I would have to say it’s probably Pippa of Lauramore. It was my first published novel, and Pippa was just so much fun to write. That, and I have such a soft spot for Archer.
You write in several genres. Do you have a favourite? And if so, why?
I’m going to compare my genres to desserts. The humorous contemporaries are like cookies—they are quick, sweet, and a fast fix for a sugar craving. Fantasies, to me, are like a really good cheesecake. They’re rich and decadent and so much more satisfying. I write contemporaries to clear my head. I write fantasies because I adore them.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was in fifth grade, I started writing stories in spiral notebooks. All of my “books” seemed to be about horses—though I’d never ridden one at that point (I blame the embarrassingly extensive collection of Saddle Club books I had at that time). As the years went by, I continued to write, but I exchanged my notebooks for Microsoft Word. As an adult, I took a few writing courses focused on children’s literature. Most people thought I planned to submit a story here and there, maybe write a picture book. I never admitted to anyone how badly I wanted to write adult and young adult novels. Finally, after I finished Pippa of Lauramore, I decided to go for it. I’ve never looked back.
Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine?
I’m not certain where the ideas come from, but once they’re in my head, I begin to plot them. I’m an obsessive outliner, and nothing makes me happier than taking an idea and expanding on it until I have a story. As for the actual writing process, I’m usually at my kitchen table. I don’t have any specific routines, but I do like to get ready for the day, eat breakfast, and make a fresh cup of coffee before I get started. I can write in a messy house, but for some reason, I can’t write with messy hair.
What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
I struggle with balancing my days. It seems that between writing, taking care of my kids, maintaining the house, and planning meals, something always falls behind. That something is usually eating at home. Writing is my work, but I enjoy it so much, I tend to feel guilty when I let it take over, even if it’s only for a few days.
What do you like to do when you're not writing? Any hobbies?
As I mentioned earlier, I make soap. It’s a crazy process, and every time I pull on my goggles and gloves, I feel like a mad scientist. There is just something so satisfying about watching a liquid go through a natural chemical change and become something solid and bubbly. And there is nothing as luxurious as cold process soap. My family’s favorite is a citrus blend with dried lemon peel. You just can’t help but be happy when you smell like an orange.
Are you working on another book?
I actually have three projects going right now, and they’re all in different stages. I’m writing the fourth book in my Eldentimber series, editing a steampunk fantasy, and outlining the second book in the Cabin. Coffee. Love. series. I’m not sure how I ended up with this many books going at once, but it seems to be working just fine.
Shari L. Tapscott writes young adult fantasy and humorous contemporary fiction. She lives in Western Colorado with her husband, son, daughter, and two very spoiled Saint Bernards.