Author, Sharon Boyce has had multiple picture books published. She loves camping, adventures, animals and reading. I’m lucky to have been in a critique group with Sharon some time ago. Let’s
welcome Sharon to the blog!
Andrew: Hi Sharon, thanks for coming for an interview! Can you introduce yourself to us and for a
bonus point, include a fun fact that most people don’t know about you.
Sharon: Thanks Andrew. In addition to what’s mentioned above, I live on a couple of acres in the Maitland area, not too far from Newcastle. I love the peace and quiet of the countryside, the wildness of a rugged coastline and the majesty of mountains. Ideally, I’d love to live where I had all three. My house would also be in a forest, and I would be friends with all the wildlife. Perhaps I need to live in a fairy tale! 😊 I love cuddles with my cat Millie and enjoy getting together with friends to play board games. A little known fact – I lived in Papua New Guinea as child on two separate occasions. The first time when I was 4-7 years old, and the second when I was 9-12 years old.
Andrew: Do you have a special writing place?
Sharon: I have learnt that I can write anywhere. I do have a desk with a view out the window
into my yard, but I’m just as likely to write on the lounge with my laptop on my ahem lap 😊 I have been known to write propped up in bed or sitting on the back deck. Anywhere that’s comfortable really. I also keep a notebook in my handbag for when those little nuggets of inspiration pop into my head.
Andrew: What was your favourite book when you were a kid and why?
Sharon: It would have to be a toss up between The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, and The Tower of Geburah by John White. My father read them to me and my sister when we were in upper primary school. I loved them so much, I re-read them as soon as he was finished – more than once. I’ve re-read them as an adult too. Both books have an element of fantasy and adventure that appeals to my imagination.
Andrew: You have three picture books out now with Larrikin House including two books with a shark called Seymour who gets in the most unexpected places. What can you tell us about There’s a Shark in the Loo?
Sharon: This is a fun story written in rhyme about a little girl who is helping her parents get
ready for her birthday party and discovers that there is a shark in their loo. Obviously, he
can’t stay there but how can they get him out? And where can they put him? I had lots of fun writing this book. The idea started when our family got home one night years ago and one of our daughters refused to go to the toilet before bed because there was a frog on the toilet seat.
My husband and I got the giggles trying to catch the frog to take it outside. I decided to make the story more outrageous by making the frog a shark and centering the story around a birthday party instead of a child needing to use the bathroom. No toilet humour in this book (although kids do love a bit a toilet humour).
Andrew: And without giving too much away, what kinds of things does Seymour the shark get up to at school in your latest book There’s a Shark in my School?
Sharon: Let’s just say it’s entirely possible the canteen staff still haven’t recovered, and the
classrooms are probably still flooded. The kids have the best day at school ever…but the
teachers don’t agree.
Andrew: What is your favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Sharon: My favourite part of the writing process is when the jumble of ideas I have been mulling over finally fall into place and the story forms. It’s very satisfying. Then begins the editing process- frustrating, as it seems it will never end. There always seems to be something that can be changed or tightened or cut out. The end product is worth it though.
My favourite part of the publishing process (other than when you get that email saying “yes” to your manuscript) would have to be when I get sent through the first lot of sketches that the illustrator has done. It’s a little nerve wracking at first, wondering if the illustrator has envisioned the story the same way as you. I was very lucky to have Suzanne Houghton assigned to my books. She had the same vision as me without us communicating at all. When I saw the initial sketches, I was over the moon. It’s so exciting to see the story come to life. I couldn’t be happier with the way she has illustrated my manuscripts, and we are proud of our books.
The greatest thing of all, is when you get to hold a printed copy of the completed book. Publishing is a very long process. I signed the contract for There’s a Shark at my School in 2019 and didn’t hold the printed copy until 2022. Well worth the wait though.
Andrew: It was so great to have author Sharon Boyce on the blog. Thanks so much for joining us Sharon! Where can people go to follow you and your author’s journey?
Do you think your child, grandchild or students would love these stories? Purchase Sharon’s books on Booktopia from links below or find them in your favourite book store.
Who is at The Zoo
There’s a Shark in the Loo
There’s a Shark at my School
I hope you enjoyed this interview with author Sharon Boyce. Are you loving these interviews and reviews? Read more!