Sharon Stevenson describes herself as a “supernatural storyspinner” and “the twisted mind behind The Gallows Novels and the After Death Series”. An accomplished writer of horror and fantasy, this Scotland based author is addicted to reading and to writing and is a new and interesting talent in the horror and fantasy genre. I asked her if I could interview her about her writing following her week as a featured author on Goodreads recently and she was kind enough to give me the following interview.

1. When did you first discover you had a talent for writing?

It was more a case of realising how boring and ordinary real-life was and how much fun it was to make stuff up to relieve the boredom. I was about five years-old when I started making up stories so I wouldn’t call it discovering a talent, I was just a weird kid with an overactive imagination discovering a cool new way to have fun and express my creative side.

2. Of all your novels, which is your favourite and why?

I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite but I’ll tell you how I feel about the first book I published. ‘Blood Bound’ was a real accomplishment for me because it was the first full length novel I properly plotted from start to finish and it’s my debut novel. I thought it turned out pretty well but had no idea what readers would make of it, so when the first stranger who read it thought it was good enough to be traditionally published I was ecstatic.

3. Which writers do you enjoy most reading?

Simon Green and Kim Harrison are two of my favourite writers. I find Simon Green endlessly inventive and insanely entertaining. Kim Harrison’s Hollows series is full of brilliant characters and her world building is phenomenal. I also read a lot of indie books and have come across a lot of new favourites. I could write a list of authors I like and it would be as long as a novel.

4. Who are the main influences on your writing?

Anything that captures my imagination has an influence on my writing. A lot of different things influence me. I watch a lot of TV and movies and read a lot of books in the fantasy, sci-fi and horror genres. My family have always been supportive of my writing but I wouldn’t say any person or writer in particular influences me.

5. Do you believe that books should entertain or educate – or is a bit of both?

I’m an escapist so I think fiction should be entertaining. There’s a time and a place for educational books but when I pick up a book to read for pleasure I really don’t want my escape to be interrupted by the appearance of factual information.

6. If you could choose 10 books to take away to a desert island, what would they be?

That is truly an impossible question for a book addict like me. I don’t re-read a lot of books; I prefer to read new ones as often as possible. If I could instead have a perpetually-charging Kindle stuffed with hundreds of new fantasy, sci-fi and horror books that would be heaven!

7. Do your characters speak to you when you write?

No. I see scenes in my head and it’s kind of like watching a movie.

8. Why do you think people enjoy reading your novels?

I aim to be entertaining so hopefully it’s because they’re being entertained!

9. What projects are you currently busy with?

I’m currently writing the fifth Gallows novel, the second part of ‘Raised’ and a novella that is a Gallows spin off. I’ve got half a dozen other projects on the go but I’m concentrating on these three at the moment.

10. In short, can you tell us a little about your background and your aims as a writer.

I’m pretty much addicted to reading and writing and have been from a young age. I aim to keep entertaining myself and hopefully others with my stories for as long as I possibly can.

As a writer of fantasy novels myself, I really like Sharon’s attitude to fiction. The world needs more writers like Sharon who seek to entertain their loyal readers with imagination, action and escapism rather than bore them with dull soap opera type non-stories that are so widespread these days…