About Sharlene Almond:
I live in Auckland, New Zealand with my two dogs. Although I have had
training in Beauty and Spa therapy, editing, journalism, animal behavior and
photograpy, criminology and counseling, my main interest lies in writing
novels which allows me to explore and learn about other eras and countries,
creating characters that have deep rooted flaws, but uses those to achieve the
end goal. My inspiration for novels came by accident, when finishing writing
my first novel and starting to edit it, I stumbled across a conspiracy theory, in
which some believed the Freemasons were involved in the Jack the Ripper
murders. From there, the historical aspect took shape, continuing throughout
all the novels I write. I hope that each novel I write doesn’t necessarily cause a
person to believe in the conspiracy or myth, but challenges what they really
believe could be possible. To everyone reads my books, I hope they can
transport themselves back in time, learn more about the world around them,
and maybe even question certain things they believe in.
As an author of historical/present day international thrillers, my books can challenge readers, as well as taking the reader on a journey throughout Europe and abroad.
Having studied in Criminology and Neuro Linguistic programming, in addition to doing a diploma course in body language, enables me to give an authentic feel to my characters, and the crimes committed. Because I’ve always been fascinated with human psychology, especially criminal psychology, I always include that element in every book I write.
My books don’t just cover the crimes committed, but what drove that person to commit those crimes? Examining their history, their weaknesses, childhood; all building up to why some of the most infamous crimes were perpetrated.
What inspires you to write?
Writing isn’t just something that I hope to get money out of one day. It’s a hobby, a passion, a learning curve, a chance to experiment, think outside the box.
Writing allows me to leave the world I live in and go into another world. See things through my characters’ eyes.
With my writing, all my novels include both true elements in history, as well as being based in Europe and beyond.
It’s easy for me to write, because each chapter easily connects to the next.
Tell us about your writing process.
Firstly, research, research and research. I try to get as much information as I possibly can about what I want to write about.
I am an outliner. I will write brief to one page synopsis of the overall plot, and the main characters. From there, I use word excel to write out the chapter outlines.
At the top of the spreadsheet is the chapters, underneath each chapter I write a brief description of what I want that chapter to contain.
From there, I start writing. Throughout the process, I will keep on researching and adding to the spreadsheet. Chapters usually starting at about 30 chapters, but quickly expanding the more I write.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Especially for my main character, I imagine myself as her. What would I do (or like to do)?
Each character I try to get a feel for what they look like. By creating background profiles for my characters, I can get a sense of what they have been through, and why they are like they are. Learning more about them as I keep on writing.
What advice would you give other writers?
Never give up. Do what you love. Don’t write something that you might think is popular, write what you enjoy writing about.
It’s easy to get complacent when you have published. But there are thousands of books out there, don’t allow your books to get lost among them.
Have a strong online presence. Continuously promote your book and get reviews. Regularly send out tweets. Join groups on LinkedIn and Facebook to connect with others.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self-published before, but currently with Start Publishing. I personally prefer going with a traditional publisher, mainly because of the cost. They cover the main overall expenses, you just need to market like crazy.
I’ve also found, that reviewers and the like are more likely to consider you if you have gone with a traditional publisher over self-publishing. Although perhaps untrue, some assume if you have self-published, it’s not any good.
However, self-publishing helps get your foot in the door. Allowing you to promote your work and get reviews, while still contacting other publishers.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Soft-cover or e-book. Both have a place in the market. E-books are more convenient, but a true book-lover loves to have the actual book in their hands.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: international suspense, historical fiction and non-fiction, psychological thriller
What formats are your books in?: eBook