Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Elizabeth Sharp!
Elizabeth Sharp is the pen name used by Donna Dull. A full-time mom and part-time dreamer, Donna is addicted to Dr. Pepper and Facebook. A self-proclaimed techno geek, she loves cell phones, computers, tablets and all things technological. The internet has to be the greatest invention since the wheel, in her opinion. She lives in a quiet subdivision with her husband, young son, three cats, and far too many electronics. It’s quite possible she has some raccoon in her DNA, because she loves glitter and anything that sparkles. The artist behind Sharp Cover Designs, she is in love with all things creative. She enjoys making jewelry and costumes. Halloween is her favorite holiday since it’s the one day of the year that you can be whatever you want. But her first love will always be writing. Otherwise, hearing voices in her head would make her feel schizophrenic.
Without further ado, here’s Elizabeth’s interview…
I love reading the bios of authors. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Have you always wanted to be a writer? Yes. From the time I was eight years old I would tell people I wanted to be a mommy and a writer. Check and check.
Why did you choose to write YA Paranormal? I didn’t really choose it, it is just what comes out. I write fantasy, both paranormal and high. I tried writing a contemporary and a demon popped up. [laughing]
What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written? Bullying and body image (The Dark reflections series). I showed both sides of the spectrum, since even the pretty popular girls get bullied.
What are you currently working on? A New Adult Dystopian called Decayed Horizons. A girl from our time is transported fifty years into a future where humanity has died off, and the survivors are altered. [Can’t wait to read this!]
What motivated the plot of Decayed Horizons? I was driving one day and it just kind of popped in my head, probably because of the time travel theme of a major conference I was attending. I tried to ignore it because it scared the bejesus out of me—time travel and Dystopian are sooo not my thing usually—but I believe if it doesn’t scare you at least a little it’s too safe.
What was the hardest story for you to write? Skin Deep because so much of me and my own personal experiences went into writing it. I became so enmeshed in Bethany I had a hard time extracting myself when the time came.
Overview of “Skin Deep”
****This book contains sexual content, explicit language and intense situations of domestic violence. Recommended for mature teens or higher***
Book One in the Dark Reflections series. *While this series is told through three separate POV’s and take place in the same timeline, they are each unique and very few scenes are repeated.*
Being a teenager is hard. Being an overweight teenager is even harder.
Bethany Watson has tried to accept herself, but being either bullied or ignored by her peers leaves her feeling she has nothing to contribute. Worse, just as the feelings for her best friend begin to blossom into something else, another girl sets her eyes on him—someone she can’t compete with.
She discovers a host of problems bigger than her social life and waist size when she comes face to face with a creature hell bent on destroying anything that gets in its way. An unwilling recruit in the fight against the darkness, Bethany is torn between what is right and what is easy.
What process do you use to plan your novels? Generally a scene or a character pops in my head and I write it down to set aside. It grows from there, slowly taking over until it has to come out. Then I open Microsoft One Note and start plotting. I figure out the big scenes that need to happen, ask myself a ton of what if questions and come up with a list of wild cards I can throw in when I need to shake things up. Often the big scenes demand to be written first, but I’ve found since I started actively outlining that’s happening less and less.
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? Xander. He is so sweet and funny, and such a badass too. That’s why he’s getting his own book (Bloodfire, scheduled for early spring 2016).
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? They all do to some degree, some more than others. Bethany, obviously, the most. But there’s a little bit of me in each of them.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? Not really. I believe that writer’s block is either the author not wanting to do something or trying to force something that doesn’t fit the story. Generally taking a step back and figuring out which it is fixes the problem. [A different way of thinking about it!]
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? I’d like to write a high fantasy.
Which authors inspire you? Sooooo many. I tend to admire authors I’ve met personally, but there are some big names on that list. Of course I have the names you’d expect too, like JK Rowling and Amanda Hocking, but my friends and Utopia family do so much that inspires me daily. And that list is way too long to give here.
What novel would you read multiple times? If I could only pick one I have decided it would be to Kill a Mockingbird, because there are so many layers to that book you can always find something new. But the list of books is truly endless, since there are so many to choose from.
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? I’d love to meet JK Rowling because even though she’s a household name and a hero to many of us, she’s so damn down to earth and refuses to be pressured when her ideas don’t fit conventional ideas.
What is your favorite quote? “All it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing.” -FDR [Love it!]
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? The phoenix, because not only is it beautiful, I love the metaphor it represents.
What is your favorite color? Purple.
When you’re not writing….First and foremost, I’m mommy to a rambunctious three year old, but I’m also a cover artist and I’m in training for web design with the fabulous Chelsea Starling. [Very cool!]
Look for Elizabeth online:
Thank you so much for being a part of my Center Stage Moment! Join me next week as I feature author Komali DaSilva!