Thursday, 18 August 2011

PUSH-UPS: Zoë Sharp

So, what you pushing right now?
A new e-thology – FOX FIVE: a Charlie Fox short story collection. This is my first foray into the scary new world of indie eBooks, and is out there as a taster before I bring the early hard-to-get Charlie Fox books out in e-format for the first time, which should all happen before Bouchercon in St Louis. Hurrah!

What’s the hook?
Five glimpses into the world of ex-Special Forces soldier turned bodyguard, Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox, from her pre close-protection days up to her latest war-zone assignment. Something to whet people’s appetite while I get the next book scribbled.

And why’s that floating your boat?
I’ve always loved single-character anthologies, because they’re nice little bite-size chunks of your favourite flavours. Four of the stories were existing (including Served Cold, which was a CWA Short Story Dagger finalist) and I wrote a brand new 12,000-word tale to round out the collection to five. Intros to the stories, the character, the author (but you can skip that bit) and an excerpt from KILLER INSTINCT. What’s not to like?

When did you turn to crime?
Just to be clear, we are talking ‘in print’ now, aren’t we? Or is this a good time to confess that I discovered when I was about eighteen that the bones in my hands are flexible enough to get out of police handcuffs …?

OK, moving on. I’ve always been a crime nut, right from when my grandmother gave me a copy of one of The Saint books by Leslie Charteris when I was a kid. Still have that book – it’s one that never gets lent out. I wrote my first novel at fifteen (rave rejections but no deal) so I ended up as a freelance photojournalist. I’d been doing that for a year or two when I started getting death-threat letters. Long story, but it revived my interests both in self-defence and writing about wrongs.

Hardboiled or Noir, classic or contemporary?
Erm, yes. Who cares if it’s a good read? The shorts probably have less bad language in them than the books, but neither Charlie nor I pull any punches. Medium-boiled with a kick-ass chilli sauce? Noir? Who knows. Contemporary? Definitely.

And, what’s blown you away lately?
Just finished an advance copy of Lee Goldberg’s KING CITY on my sparkly new Kindle. I’ve always been a huge Robert B Parker fan, and was wondering how the hell I was going to fill the void now he’s passed. Then I read Lee’s book and, damn me if he isn’t channelling Parker with his cop Tom Wade. Read it almost at a sitting. Terrific.

See any books as movies waiting to happen?
Too many to count! Actually, it’s rare that I prefer the movie to the book because the special effects are always better inside my head ;-] But, having said that, sometimes a book does benefit from the inevitable editing process that a movie script imposes. The later Harry Potters, anyone …?

Mainstream or indie - paper or digital?
All of the above. We’re writers, writing for readers. Does it matter how our words reach the people who want to read them, or in what format they do so?

Shout us a website worth visiting …
Well, I’m bound to say Murderati, which is the blogsite I’m a member of. I job-share Thursdays with Aussie writer PD Martin. But also Watts Up With That. If you ever had any doubts about the great Climate Change debate – ie, that it’s just possible we’re being fed a load of dross as an excuse to keep us a) scared and b) taxed into submission, check it out.

Finally, tell us any old shit about yourself …
OK ... I scuba-dived off the coast of Cornwall when I was seven, I once took part in a rodeo, I nearly lost an eye when my sister stabbed me with a pitchfork when we were kids, I can weld and build a dry-stone wall, I hang out of moving vehicles with a camera for my day job, I’m allergic to alcohol, I can navigate by the sun, I love Jelly Belly jelly beans but can’t stand the smell of lilies. Will that do?