I’m delighted to be joined by my second guest of the day, fellow YA author, Lisa Shambrook, as we chat about chocolate, killing off characters, and her latest release. Over to Lisa:
The Fun Stuff:
What part of the world do you come from?
I live in the gorgeousness that is West Wales. I have the ocean in one direction, mountains in the other, and a landscape of lakes, forests and hills – beautiful!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
From a young age I wanted to be a writer and illustrator, the writing took over, though I still have to feed my creative urges with sketching, painting and making things.
List three words to describe yourself.
Dreamer, empath, introvert.
Who would play you in a film about your life?
Emily Blunt, yep, she’s the one!
Do you have any other unique hobbies or talents?
I love anything creative. My daughter and I make bookpage gifts and art created from rescued books in our Etsy shop Amaranth Alchemy. We couldn’t bear to see abandoned, worn and torn books discarded so we found a way to recycle and create beauty with them!
What’s your favourite snack food when writing?
No competition – chocolate wins hands down. Galaxy is my chocolate of choice!
What literary character is most like you?
Lirael from Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series. I loved Sabriel and moved onto Lirael, the next book, eagerly, but was disappointed when it wasn’t about Sabriel – then I fell in love with Lirael as I related perfectly to her. She has magic and adventure at her fingertips…
The Sensible Side:
Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?)
I’ve always loved writing, but it was when my youngest was born that I read Harry Potter and I knew I could do this too. I penned a trilogy of adventures, which were very flawed, but had promise. I honed my skill writing flash fiction and went from there. When I’m not writing I’m often marketing, blogging, reading, or sleeping…lol.
Just as your books inspire others, what authors have inspired you to write?
JK Rowling made me believe in myself, but I am hugely inspired by Garth Nix, Neil Gamain, Patrick Rothfuss and Tolkien.
What was the hardest part of writing your books?
The hardest part of writing is revising where you have to kill off prose, paragraphs, characters and whole chapters. I’ve become more hard-nosed about my work as I go, and the words have to earn their place!
Give us the title and genre of your latest book and a brief excerpt.
My latest YA book is Beneath the Distant Star, the third and final Hope Within novel.
Jasmine feels like the ghost of the sister she can no longer remember and has something her sister never will – life. She fights to become her own person. But her reckless abandon threatens to destroy what she needs most.
An excerpt: Jasmine stared at her mum.
“Get out!” Mum fumed. “Get out, get out of the car. Get out now!”
“I mean it, get out NOW!” Mum shouted, her voice rising with wild vitriol. “I’m not driving any further with you. Get out! Get out, get out, GET OUT!”
Jasmine unclicked her seat-belt with shaking fingers and swallowed her sobs. Her mother’s eyes bulged with fire and fury. She pulled the door handle and let the door fall open. She met her mother’s eyes as she scrambled out of the car.
“Mum…” Her voice was small, lost even.
“Shut the door.” Her mother’s voice was cold and forced.
Jasmine pushed the door closed, and the click, as it shut, echoed in the silence. The engine stormed into life and roared as her mother put her foot down on the accelerator. Jasmine’s sobs choked her, her face wet with tears, and her hands cold and sweaty despite the sun that beamed upon her. She watched with disbelief as her mum and the car sped away, disappearing into the distance.
Tell us a little about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image?
The cover picture on each of my Hope Within books are of the three main characters: Freya, Meg and Jasmine, and each is depicted by my own daughter, Caitlin. I provided all the cover artwork and Blue Harvest Creative put it together and added gorgeous interiors. The images are very much meant to impact the reader as much as the writing.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Right now I’m worldbuilding. Remember that trilogy I spoke of earlier? I am currently, replotting and rewriting almost from scratch my dragon post-apocalyptic fantasy.
Centuries beyond a post-apocalyptic event, the landscape of Wales has turned into a whole new country – and the rumble of dragons have returned…
How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
Facebook Author Page
These are the universal links to my books on Amazon: