This is a re-blog from https://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/welsh-wednesdays-interview-with-sharon-tregenza/ to introduce participant Sharon Tregenza. Sharon will hold a writing workshop at the Llandeilo Book Fair for young children and their parents. To secure a space, please comment or use any of the other ways to contact us.
Welcome to Welsh Wednesdays and my interview with Sharon Tregenza. Thank you for participating, Sharon.
You’re welcome, Christoph. Thank you for the opportunity.
First up, please tell us about your connection to Wales.
I lived on the Llyn Penensula for two years and then moved to Pembrokeshire – for seven. I loved living in Pembs – it reminded me of my native Cornwall. I did my first MA (in creative writing) at Trinity St Davids and made some great writing friends there. My last book “the Shiver Stone” is set in Saundersfoot.
Tell us a little about yourself as writer and as a person.
As a writer? I’ve loved writing since I was a kid. As an adult I began writing stories for magazines and particularly enjoyed the children’s writing. It was fun and I enjoyed the freedom to play with words. A book was a natural progression and when my debut novel won the Kelpies award I was hooked.
As a person? I’m a happy soul with two amazing grown up children, two grandchildren and a spectacular array of interesting friends. I live in a converted chapel on the top of a hill with a demented yorkie called Reilly.
Tell us about the concept behind your books.
I’ve always been a fan of magical realism and mystery. I bring that to my children’s novels. Quirkiness too – I like to play against stereotype. I use the mythical quality so prevalent in Wales to enhance the story too.
Which Welsh person would you like to invite for dinner and what would you serve?
Could I have a few? I’d sit Anthony Hopkins next to me so that I could wallow in that beautiful voice. Tom Jones could tell us some of his celebrity stories – bet he’s got some good ‘uns. Rhys Ifans for the comedy value and Katherine Jenkins could sing. Should be quite a night.
I’d serve them a big pot of gumbo and plenty of wine. I could make the gumbo in advance and then enjoy their company
Who is your favourite Welsh author?
Dead – Howard Spring.
Alive – either Owen Sheers or Ken Follett.
What are you working on now?
My publisher, Firefly Press, is currently editing another children’s mystery of mine called “The Jewelled Jaguar” so I’m waiting to see the edits on that. Also my agent has sent out a picture book. I’ve started another mystery too. Oh, and I’m rejigging a trilogy of chapter books for younger children. As you can tell I enjoy working on several projects at once.
What is your favourite book?
Oh dear. You might wish you’d never asked me that. I rabbit on to anyone who’ll listen about this book I love it so much. It’s “Holes” by Louis Sachar. I ADORE it. It’s a master class in layering and control and suspense in the best possible way. It expertly combines myth, mystery and modern drama. It’s the book I wish I’d written. If you haven’t already read it – please do. Okay enough…
What book are you currently reading and in what format:
I’m reading Jon Ronson’s “The Men Who Stare At Goats” I think he takes quirky to a whole new intelligent level. Love his work. And as to how I read – I have to admit, although I’ve got a kindle and use it on holiday, I prefer the tactile, corner-folding friendliness of the paperback.
What is your advice to new writers?
I think this is the easiest question – it’s “Don’t give up”. Simply that. Don’t give up. Here’s a cutesy owl meme to say it better than I can.
BIO: Sharon Tregenza was born and grew up in Penzance, Cornwall. She travelled widely with her husband and two children living for many years in Cyprus and the Middle East where she worked in the American School of Dubai before returning to the UK to study at the University of Bristol.
After moving to Pembrokeshire she completed her MA in Creative Writing at the University of Wales – Trinity St David. More recently she acquired a second MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University.
Her debut children’s novel TARANTULA TIDE won the Kelpies Award and the Heart of Hawick Prize. Her second book THE SHIVER STONE is published by Firefly Press.
Sharon now lives, and writes, in a converted chapel in the village of Box, just outside of the historic city of Bath.