Stuart Sharp Interview…
Please welcome Stuart Sharp to the blog! 🙂
Stuart is a ghost writer and he let us send some questions his way. Come and join us today, have some chocolate eclairs and a coffee, and check out the interview! 🙂
1. Tell us a little about yourself. Where you come from, what do you do when you are not ghost writing, any hobbies?
I’m Stuart Sharp, I’m from Beverley in East Yorkshire, and when I’m not ghost writing I can probably found working on my own books, doing horribly violent things to strangers or playing the guitar. Generally not at the same time. Oh, and reading. Which is sufficiently obvious that I forgot about it, but it’s important, so it’s worth mentioning.
2. How long have you been ghost writing and how did you become a ghost writer?
I’ve been ghosting since January 2010, when I finished a PhD in medieval history, realised that I probably wasn’t going to get a lecturing job, and had to look around for something else to do. Since I’d written a couple of novels by then, writing seemed like the obvious choice. Getting into it was the hard part. I started out on a lot of freelancing sites doing SEO and rewrites until I was able to build up enough of a reputation there to attract clients for bigger ghost writing jobs. Having said that, I should say that the SEO didn’t lead to the ghosting. It was just something to pay the bills until my fiction samples caught someone’s attention enough.
3. I know you can’t give specific details but can you tell us what you ghost write – fiction or non-fiction?
I’ve done both. I’ve worked on memoirs about the first Iraq war and quite light, funny romance novels. I’ve produced sci-fi and fantasy, historical work, chick lit, YA… you learn to be flexible, and that a lot of the principles of writing cross over to most genres.
4. What advice would you give to writers that are thinking of becoming ghost writers?
Build client relationships. All the clients I’m currently working with are ones I’ve worked with before, and it can add an element of stability in an uncertain field. Perfect the craft of writing. If you write purely from inspiration, then you aren’t offering a lot to someone who has an idea already, but not the skills to finish it in a reasonable timeframe. Remember that it’s a business, and charge what your time is worth. You may have tell a few people that you can’t spend a couple of months of your time writing their novel full time for two hundred pounds, and that may seem awkward, but it seems to work out okay in the end. Certainly better than if you spend months of your time working for less than you’d get flipping burgers.
5. Do you ever get annoyed that you can’t openly claim the work as your own?
There are plenty of cases where I have been given credit, often on more genuinely collaborative endeavours like the novels Witchy Business, Witch and Famous and Witch Way Out, which I worked on with Eve Paludan. Generally, I’m fine with not getting the credit though, because I’m not the one taking the financial risk. My rule of thumb for what work I’ll accept is always ‘does it matter whose name is on this?’ so I suppose that has inured me to the sensation.
6. Have you written anything under your own name?
There are three novels out there under my name alone. Searching and Witch Hunt are urban fantasy novels I put together at university. Court of Dreams is a more recent comic fantasy novel from Pink Narcissus Press, about which the nice people at Shiny Book Review were kind enough to say ‘not only is this book not just another fantasy novel, it is probably one of the best books I’ve read this year.’ Oh, and I’m just in the middle of working out what to do with another (sort of) comic fantasy novel, The Glass.
7. What is your fuel to keep you going on a typical writing day?
At the moment, raspberries from my back garden and the cricket on in the background.
8. If you could live and write anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I live and write on a small farm in the Yorkshire countryside. It’s hard to think of many better places. Frankly though, even there I don’t look out of the window as much as I should, because I’m took busy looking at things in my imagination.
Okay, quick-fire round!
Email or letter?
Email. My handwriting is, as befits someone with Dr in front of their name, awful.
Coffee or tea?
Tea. Generally Assam. How people drink Earl Grey is beyond me.
Pepsi or Coke?
Neither. Probably lemonade. Even in the pub while all around me are downing pints.
Stephen King or Dean Koontz?
Well, I’ve watched more films based on King’s writing, so probably him.
Edward Cullen or Lestat?
Lestat. Although I suppose I owe Edward Cullen a little for the slew of YA vampire knock offs I got paid to write once upon a time.
Vampire or werewolf?
Vampire, and thinking about it, one day I may even fix my vampire infested sequel to Court of Dreams.
Keep the One Ring or destroy in Mount Doom?
Lose it in the back of a small curiosity shop where the thought of having to deal with an owner who habitually wears carpet slippers means no one will ever find it.
Harry Potter or Frodo Baggins?
Frodo. Because his standard item of invisibility might be vaguely wearable with a normal ensemble. Aside from the temptation towards evil thing, obviously.
Cool! That was fun! Thanks so much for stopping by Stuart! 🙂