Scarberryfields: Can you tell us a little about your nationality/ancestry?
Zoë Sharp: I’m a Brit with all the usual mongrel ancestry, I think — Scots and Irish and Welsh all mixed in. Much like my accent, which is also a mishmash of bits and pieces from all over the northern half of the UK.
Scarberryfields: When you finished your debut novel, did you miss the characters?
Zoë Sharp: Yes I did. Maybe that’s why I started on a sequel almost right away, and I’ve now just finished edits on book ten in the Charlie Fox series, DIE EASY.
Scarberryfields: While writing, if you need help with punctuation, grammar, etc., where do you turn?
Zoë Sharp: I usually muddle through, mainly because I use punctuation for its original purpose, which is to tell the reader where to pause. Therefore, I write with a definite rhythm in mind and try to use punctuation to give the reader that same rhythm as they read the book. However, if I’m really stuck I turn to my father, who was a technical editor and learned Latin. His grasp of the rules of grammar are far superior to mine.
Scarberryfields: With the number of hours spent writing, do family members support you or complain about the time spent away from them?
Zoë Sharp: I think the people around me accept that being a writer is as much a part of who I am as my height or the colour of my eyes. Some things are just hard to change and you simply have to accept them.
Scarberryfields: Does writing benefit you in any way and if so, how?
Zoë Sharp: In one form or another, I’ve made a living from words since 1988, so that’s been a huge benefit, of course! But, more than that it’s an outlet for my creativity and my imagination. What’s that saying? “The biggest journeys a man can make are inside his own head.” That about sums it up for me. Even on the most frustrating days, I wouldn’t contemplate doing anything else.
Scarberryfields: When you’re writing, do you shut-off all social networks?
Zoë Sharp: I try not to, but inevitably other things tend to be a little neglected when I’m in the throes of a book. If it’s flowing, then I want to keep writing. And if it’s not going well I don’t feel I can stop until it is. Real Catch-22 situation.
Scarberryfields: Did you use any family members as Beta readers for your debut novel?
Zoë Sharp: Yes, and I still do — the ones I know will be absolutely ruthless and give me a totally honest opinion, even if it makes me mewl a bit. No point in them reading it otherwise.
Scarberryfields: Do you read ebooks? If you do, and write reviews, do you have any special process you use to write a review?
Zoë Sharp: I do have a Kindle, which I bought when I was converting my backlist for that format and wanted to make sure it would read without coding errors. And although I still prefer the ‘dead tree’ version, I do read and increasing number of ebooks. I occasionally post reviews on Goodreads, which copy through to Facebook, but only of books I like or really like. There are enough critics in the world and if I don’t like something I’d rather not say anything at all. I try to pick out the elements that most appealed to me, without giving away any plot spoilers.
Scarberryfields: What is the last book called that you completed and published?
Zoë Sharp: Hmm, well, edits are done for DIE EASY: Charlie Fox book ten, which will be out in the UK in October and US in Jan next year. The previous book was FIFTH VICTIM: Charlie Fox book nine, but I also have a standalone crime thriller that will be out later this summer called THE BLOOD WHISPERER, and short stories in ACTION: Pulse-pounding tales edited by Matt Hilton, and this year’s MWA anthology VENGEANCE, edited by Lee Child.
Scarberryfields: Where can readers go to find your books?
Zoë Sharp: Bookstores, the libraries, or online, particularly on Amazon. The full list is on my website — http://www.zoesharp.com — with links as appropriate.
Scarberryfields: I want to thank you, Zoe for taking the time out from your very busy schedule to answer these questions. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better and again, I am very impressed with your writing.