Author: Sharon L. Higa
Books/SS: Number 6, The Dam, ‘Where The Dead Have Gone’ in the Anthology Mental Ward: Echoes of the Past and coming soon-several short stories to be published in JEA Press Anthologies – ‘Dreaper’, ‘Here Kitty Kitty’, ‘Funeral Parlor Blues’ and ‘Dare Ya’.
Links to author pages and websites and Amazon page: Can be found on Amazon.com under Sharon L. Higa or on Facebook and Twitter as Sharon L. Higa as well as currently having a website designed. (Getting a website is still on my to-do list at some stage- Sparky)
What genre(s) do you write in and why? I write horror, drama, supernatural thrillers, fantasy/action and suspense. That’s what generally flies through me at any given time.
What inspired Number 6? This story was actually based upon a real murder which occurred in California in the 1970’s. It was unsettling to me on an emotional level, as well as giving me the concept of the spirit of a victim exacting revenge.
Who is the main character? Ida Moreno – a cross between myself and my best childhood friend.
What was difficult about penning this? The rape scene in the story.
What is difficult for you as a writer? Finding enough time in a day to write. (I can entirely sympathize with this! - Sparky)
What is the best part about being a writer? The never ending flow of material that seems to come at me on a daily basis.
How did you begin your career? I began verbal ‘story telling’ when I was seven years old, started writing down my stories my sophomore year in high school and finally, in my ‘older years’ am able to indulge in my ‘ideal dream calling’ on a more permanent basis.
What advice do you have for new writers? Keep at it – never give up – even if you feel you are writing for no one but yourself – It is truly a calling, not a job or a career.
What writer(s) inspire you and why? Stephen King, because he takes the normal and gives it that incredible ‘twist’. Edgar Allan Poe – he never gave up his writing, no matter what tragedies happened to him throughout his life. Robert R. Mccammon for his deft twisting and twining fantasy/action and last but not least, Jefferson Bass for the ‘Body Farm’ novels.
Do you write for yourself or for readers? I write for both. If I’m not happy with the outcome of a story or novel, how can I expect my readers to like what I write? I guess I’m my own worst critic.
Do you ever use dreams/nightmares as a basis for writing? Most definitely. My novel, ‘Rose and Steel’ was based entirely on a particular dream I had every other night for six months. It drove me crazy until I actually sat down and started writing it. Also, another outline I have that I am working on is based on my life in Europe. I was nine years old, my brother was seven when we moved overseas for three years. My parents not only took us to see the art galleries and cathedrals, but they also took us to the concentration camps, major battle grounds and Holocaust museums – Living nightmares that sadly and sickening as it was, actually happened and inspired one story I am currently working on forty two years later.
What is entertaining/scary/ exciting to you? Whether in book or movie form, I would have to say suspenseful horror; thrillers that keep you on the edge of your seat, and page turning/heart stopping action!
What is difficult/frustrating about writing or being a writer? I sometimes start with the end of the story, then flesh it up; other times I actually have the beginning in mind or the middle pops up first; it is just frustrating and exciting at the same time not knowing which way the story is going to go until I get the idea down on paper.
What work of yours was enjoyable to pen? I honestly have to say that everything I’ve written so far has been enjoyable in a good, mentally challenging way.
What 3 words describe your writing? Folksy, direct, sharp.
Which actors/actresses would you love to see in a movie version of your works? Jim Caveziel, Gary Oldman, Piper Perabo, Jessica Chastain.
What is a genre you will never write in and why? I can never write what my grandmother used to call ‘Bodice Rippers’, or what is commonly known as Romance Novels. I’m a tomboy at heart, and just cannot wrap my head around kissy-kissy books (Apologies to the fans of such out there ahead of time!).
Do you like to write a series or stand alones? Why? It depends on the story. My soon to come-out book ‘Rose and Steel’ will definitely be a series – how many books, I’m not sure yet; but my book, Number 6, was definitely a stand alone. I think it really depends on what the story itself dictates as it unfolds.
Who, of your characters do you most want to hang out with? All of them! *Laughing out loud*
How did Number 6 get its title? Number 6 got its title due to the fact that the Number, ‘6’ is an integral part of the story and I did not have the title until I got to that particular spot in the book.
How do you pick names for characters and which ones are you fond of? It’s weird, but they simply come to mind as I’m developing the character. I’m pretty fond of all of them – The names fit the characters and that satisfies me to no end.
Have you ever written real people into books? Most of my characters are compilations of people I have met and/or known throughout my life.
Do you outline and plan or wing a book? My books are pretty much winged. I hit an idea or a thought, write it down immediately and start working on the book, or within a few days, start on it with a few more concepts floating in my brain – and before you know it, the story is born.
Which of your works ended differently than you anticipated? Both Number 6 and The Dam. (I've not gotten around to The dam yet- Sparky)
Do your covers matter? Yes. I have a wonderful illustration artist and she works with me on my concepts for my covers – I usually have an idea as to how the book cover should look, and she has always been able to make it happen.
Does art/ music influence you? I use music and art to relax and take a break when I’ve had a long bout of writing (I have written at times for nine hours straight – except for bathroom breaks). It’s kind of a ‘mind cleanser’ for me and helps me to refocus once I go back to writing.
How do you begin a novel? That’s hard to answer. Usually a phrase or an image of how I want to start simply pops into my head and off I go!
Do you get “writer’s block”? I haven’t as of yet – knock on wood – stroke lucky rabbit’s foot – rub my husband’s ‘Buddha belly’.
Will you be prolific/ are you? Yes – I have an insane amount of ‘ideas’ for stories – shorts, novels, novellas already and I’ve only just begun to put pen to paper!
What is your goal? I want to get my books out to the public, and make a modest income. Let’s face it, if anyone says they’re not interested in making some money, they are living in their own fantasy story!
Do bad reviews bother you? Don’t know, I haven’t had a bad review yet. But I truly don’t think they will – even bad reviews can be good insight as to how I can improve my writing – after I get over the initial sting, that is. *Chuckle*. (Do you want me to write a bad review for you and break your cherry? Only joking- Sparky)
DO you research books? I always research. Even though my books are works of fiction, any facts within the story have to be true – otherwise you lose the complete integrity of the story and will then lose your readers.
Which books have been grueling to write? The anthology I am currently working on right now. It’s a bugger, but man, it’s going to be good when it’s done!
Thanks Sharon and, of course, thanks as always to Catt dahman for providing the interview questions...