Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Writing Buddy Wednesday: Shona Husk

Today on Writing Buddy Wednesday, I have the very amazing Shona Husk. I've known Shona online for many years (especially via the paranormal group and being a blog team member of the DarkSide DownUnder blog. I also have designed three covers for her as HelzKat Designs - see end of post). 

I finally met Shona in person this year at ARRC2013 and she's just as amazing in person.

Let's meet Shona...

Your most recent release is Ruby’s Ghost. Can you describe this book for us?

Ruby’s Ghost is one of those stories that took me a long time to write as it kept getting put aside for other projects (contracted books and editorial deadlines always come first), yet I kept going back to it because the idea of being caught between life and death, the past and future was really interesting. Because the characters are at college they are also on the cusp of becoming an adult and making decisions that will affect their lives. For Tate quite literally after he is involved in a car accident.
It is probably my least paranormal story and probably the trickiest to write, what does it feel like to be kissed by a ghost?

You went the novella route initially. Can you tell us why you chose that path to publication.
I was made redundant in the GFC and around that time I’d had the epiphany that if it took me a year to write a novel it would take me a long time to get my craft right and get published. I’d been reading a lot of novellas at the time from various publishers and I decided that I’d give writing them ago. Write shorter gave me the opportunity to play around with different characters and plots and find my voice faster. Once they started selling was able to use what I was learning by working with editors in my next novel (The Goblin King) and it sold. The thing to remember is that novellas and novels are different beasts structurally, but character and voice and dialogue and conflict and setting can be learned by writing short.

What attracted you to the paranormal genre?
I grew up reading fantasy novels and discovered romance in my mid-twenties. Paranormal romance seems like the perfect blending of real world, fantasy and hot heroes :) From a writing perspective I love making stuff up.

Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in between?
Plotter. I need to know my characters and the big turning points of the story before I start—that said my characters and still take unexpected turns.

You are a prolific writer – how do you balance life, work and writing?
I work part time ;) I have 2 days a week where I get to write while the kids are at school. The other days I write for at least an hour, if I’m on a deadline sometimes more, but I do it after the kids are in bed. I’ve also developed ways to help me write faster. I spend more time plotting and mapping out the book as it saves me time when writing (and also editing as I often restructure during that mapping stage). I think some of this stuff comes from practise and learning how you work and how to make you work more efficiently. 

What are you working on now? And what’s in the near future for Shona Husk?
I’m working on Lord of the Hunt (Annwyn #2) and Annwyn #3 (#1 The Outcast Prince comes out in July) as well as a couple of sci fi romances for Ellora’s Cave, the first of which Lunar Exposure comes out May 10. 

What is your favourite part of the process of writing?
I really like plotting when the idea is shiny and new, but I enjoy the writing as well and even the edits which make the story shine. The bit I don’t like is reading the final page proofs as it’s a combination of being sick of the story and anxiety because it’s the last chance to find any typos.

What are you currently reading?
I’ve just finished The Lone Warrior by Denise Rossetti (book 3 in the four sided pentacle series) and started The Risk Taker by Kira Sinclair (M&B Blaze which was in the ARRC goodie bag— Blaze is my favourite line, plus it has a military hero so I was thrilled to find it in my bag).

What would be you ultimate research trip? ;)
One that was all expenses paid:) I’d love to go to Europe or South America.

Thank you, Shona!

You can catch Shona at her website, the WINKgirls blog, the monthly What We Are Reading posts on the DarkSide DownUnder blog, Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook.



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