Shah Wharton is a blogger pal of mine. She lives in Dubai and blogs over at shahwharton.com. The second edition of her supernatural novel Finding Esta is on tour at the moment. I asked Shah to join me for a virtual cup of tea and answer a few questions.
Hi, Shah and welcome. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself please? I know you live in Dubai but are originally from the UK. Were you writing before you moved, or was it something that started after?
Hi Emma, thanks so much for having me on your blog
Me? Well, I used to live in the West Midlands area of England before moving to Dubai for my husband’s job in 2010. I had begun to write before Dubai, writing a few shorts here and there, swapping feedback on writing forums. One of those shorts slowly became Finding Esta, the beginning of The Supes Series. But before that I always wrote poetry, loving how closely related words and emotion were, and how cathartic writing them out could be. My father nurtured that feeling in me from an early age, but he didn’t nurture the confidence to express myself, so my words remained hidden, never even dreaming I could make it a profession.
My work history is in psychology and therapy, with addiction, chid abuse and mental health issues.
After years of being ill, on and off, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2005 and haven’t worked since then. At least, not with people away from home. Being an introvert too, people can be a huge stressor for my moods, so it’s become increasingly difficult to find a way of earning a living! I suppose when we left England for Dubai, where I only knew my husband and had no job to make friends, I had to become communicative online instead. I opened accounts on Facebook and other social networks to stay in touch with my family, and started blogging more about writing and books.
I’ve met an incredible writers community since then, and so many awesome book bloggers too, that I started to look at my writing as more than ‘just for fun,’ and I realised I might be able to earn something from doing what I had always loved.
2. I love the online writing community. When I started out, I never expected so much support. Now for anyone who hasn’t heard of Finding Esta, what can readers expect from The Supes Series?
Our psychic heroine, Luna Dukes, has had it hard and at twenty three years old she learns that the world she knew, which was weird enough (she hosts Shadows in her mind and is haunted by horrid issues with touch and sun sensitivity) shatters. Her identity left in tatters, no where to call home, The Supes Series follows Luna as she tries to put the pieces back together, adding more to the crazy picture as she gathers clues.
She’s not what she thinks, and her life will bend and break many times before she finds out what she is, what her purpose is, who her family are, and who genuinely loves her! It’s a riveting good ride.
3. Sounds like it. If you could be any character in a book for a day, who would you be and why?
Sookie Stackhouse: she’s cute, kind but kicks bootie, has the hottest guys drooling over her (in a good way) and well, what’s not to love? Her life certainly isn’t dull! Although, I think after one day of it I’d be quite willing to give it back.
I’d love to be Sookie for day, particularly in the early days. Now for the fun and fast questions:
Tea or coffee? Tea (Detox, Green or Black)
Last movie you saw at the cinema? The Book Thief (and The Hobbit 2 at the IMAX in Sydney) Both awesome!
Favourite poem? Difficult! Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou (my favourite poet) But I could list so many here.
Britney Spears of Christina Aguilera? Neither, I’m really not a POP girl. I’e come up with a clue: if a song needs gyrating tits and arse on it’s accompanying video, I won’t like it. I’d like to blame that on age, but I’ve always been like that. Although, I have nothing against gyrating in general.
Most fanciable guy from a book? Damon Salvator: The Vampire Diaries. Slurrp!
Starter or dessert? Um? Either. I usually share both with my husband. I’m not as pulled to the sweet stuff as him, and as a pre-diabetic, with a deceased diabetic father, I avoid sugar if possible.
Shah first published Finding Esta, book one of her paranormal mystery series, back in December 2012. Since then, she has continuously revised it as she improves her craft. Most recently, it has even changed enough to warrant a second edition. These changes include one whole new chapter and lots of polish.
The giveaway begins Feb 1st 2014 and runs till 31st March 2014 – that’s two months – and offers TEN winners one e-copy of this new edition. Here’s the new cover for the e-books…
“Finding Esta” is the tumultuous tale of one extraordinary woman’s journey of self-discovery within a Cornish supernatural underworld.
Numerous psychic flaws have always cursed Luna, a fledgling journalist. She desired validation from cruel parents, and intimacy without physical pain or mental anguish. But she is denied both. Luna has friends: Flo and Ada. Unfortunately, they have one incredible thing in common: They’re both dead.
Flo lives in Luna’s mind, like house-share. But Ada prefers to kick dark Shadow bootie in the Shadow Lands, like some kind of super-granny.
When Luna investigates baby-Esta’s abduction, it leads her to a Cornish supernatural community, she loses contact with life-long Shadow friends, and soon enough, her fragile sense of identity implodes, as each incredible revelation steers her to a singularly mind-blowing question:
“What am I?”
Twenty-three years left in tatters at her feet, Luna’s mind fractures beneath the weight of grief and lies, all obscured by an innate suspicion of everyone and everything.
Is Luna being called by fate, by the power of the moon, by an alien species, and by a vampire who visits her dreams, to begin her destiny as defeater of evil; the hybrid liberator of all Supes? Will Luna ever find her Shadow friends again? Will she possess strength enough to deal with unearthly creatures, chronic indecision, and a growing dissociation with everything she once believed? And in the end, will she find poor Esta, or live long enough to tell her story?
The answers to these questions are not what you might think!
SOME REVIEWER THOUGHTS
“The true source of her empathy is mind-blowing.” By Book Reviewer: Wandalyn Thomas
“It’s a great tale that’s part Nancy Drew, part Harry Dresden, and part Underworld, with a dash of Weapon X thrown in for good measure.” By Author: Tom Winship
“Be ready for things you will not expect.” By Kathryn Bennett for Readers’ Favorite
“Finding Esta is an urban fantasy tale with a riveting plot that hooked me from the very first page. It is the firs installment of Shah Wharton’s Supes series and cleverly weaves both mystery novel and supernatural tale together. By Valerie S. Fowler: Book Reviewer
“Can’t wait for the next one. Truly amazing story best book I’ve read in a long time I hope the next one comes soon.” By Wrainbeau: Book Reviewer
“Will finding Esta be the beginning of Luna’s
journey, or the end?”
Here’s the new cover for the print edition…