Thursday, October 25, 2012

Interview with Sharon Fisher + Giveaway

Please welcome Sharon Fisher to Short & Sweet Reviews. Sharon Fisher’s debut novel, Ghost Planet, a Science Fiction novel will be published next week on October 30, 2012.

Hi Sharon! Welcome to Short & Sweet Reviews blog, thanks for being here today.

Thanks so much for having me! I love the way you’ve decorated the place – very mysterious and otherworldly.

Can you give readers the elevator pitch for Ghost Planet?

This never got used in an elevator, but came in handy for queries (and blog interviews J)…

Psychologist Elizabeth Cole is about to discover three facts that will change her forever: She died en route to her new job. She’s been reincarnated as an alien. She’s symbiotically bound to a man who believes she’s his enemy. 

Where did you get the inspiration/idea for Ghost Planet?

The title is what came to me first. It made me ask, “What would be the story behind a world called “ghost planet”?

Then I had the idea of a symbiotic bond between two people -- a man and woman who had not chosen each other, yet could not get away from each other. As a writer drawn to speculative worlds, romance, and science, that idea was fascinating to me.

Finally, I saw the film Sunshine. I loved the slow-building tension in that film, and the focus on the psychology of the characters’ motivations. Also the physicist hero, played by Irish actor Cillian Murphy, inspired GHOST PLANET’s hero, Dr. Grayson Murphy. 

Is Ghost planet a stand-alone or a start to a new series?

I didn’t write it with the intention of writing a series, and currently I’m working on something unrelated. But I do have ideas for a short story and a second novel based on the GHOST PLANET world.

What is your writing routine like?

This varies so much from day to day, it’s probable I don’t HAVE a true routine. There are a couple reasons for this – (1) I have a young child. (2) These days my writing is frequently interrupted by promotional activities, finding/reading reviews, and keeping up on social media. (In addition to being necessary activities, they also make really awesome distractions when you reach a stuck spot in your book.) So I may write very little one day and crank out 15 pages the next.
What type of research did you have to do to create the world and characters of Ghost Planet?

Most of my research focused on symbiosis – specifically, the work biologist Lynn Margulis did on symbiogenesis and Gaia theory. This research was critical to my world-building and character development. When I say “character,” I include the planet itself, because I feel it has a character-like presence in the story. 

Besides that there was therapy. J Seriously, seeing a therapist is great research, whether or not you’re writing about therapists.

Tell us three interesting things about yourself that can’t be found in your biography section.

Well of course I put all the interesting bits in my bio! Okay, I can do this.

1) I have little premonitions. I sometimes dream about things that happen the next day. They are always very mundane things. Nothing useful, like winning lottery numbers. For example, recently I dreamed I was walking down the street and saw a crocodile. I wasn’t at all scared of it. The next day I walked into a restaurant bathroom (a restaurant I was visiting for the first time), and there was an old freestanding tub with a big plastic crocodile in it.

2) I grew up in Oklahoma City, but was very close to a cousin who lived in a rural area in the southeastern part of the state. His dad once killed and cooked a rattlesnake and served it to me for dinner, telling me it was fish. It tasted all right but boy was it tough.

3) I should have been born Irish. I love Irish tea. Irish bread. Irish accents. Irish humor. Irish films. Irish pubs. Irish rock bands. IreLAND. And Cillian Murphy.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what 3 books would you want with you?

JANE EYRE, the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy (it’s not cheating! they were meant to be one book, right?), and OUTLANDER.

Having said that, I might want one of the three to be a book I’ve never read. Or perhaps something that has to do with, oh, you know, surviving on a desert island.

Who are some of your favorite writers or books?

In addition to the above, Richard Adams (especially WATERSHIP DOWN), Anthony Trollope, Jane Austen, HP Lovecraft, Samuel Richardson, JK Rowling. As a child I read A WRINKLE IN TIME more than a dozen times. I absolutely love this little book called PLAINSONG (Kent Haruf), and this collection of stories by Irish writer Claire Keegan, WALK THE BLUE FIELDS. I’m currently really enjoying WOOL by Hugh Howey. This is a pretty stream-of-consciousness list -- there are many more.

What other projects can we look forward to reading from you in the future?

My second book for Tor, working title THE OPHELIA PROPHECY, post-apocalyptic bio-punk romance. A twisty tale with lots of color and texture, science, politics, and adventure.

Hopefully a short or two in the interim -- a story set in the earliest days of colonization on Ardagh 1 (the “ghost planet”), and this unrelated zombie romance thing I’ve had simmering.

I also have another RWA Golden Heart finalist manuscript (ECHO 8) that I’d like to polish up and submit in the near future. It’s a sci-fi/paranormal blend about an energy "vampire" from an alternate Earth, the FBI agent intent on destroying him, and the parapsychologist caught in between.

Do you have any advice to aspiring writers?

Anyone seen Galaxy Quest? “Never give up. Never surrender.” Giving up is the only thing you can do that will ensure it never happens. You have to hold onto that dream for dear life, no matter what.

Finish this statement: You’ll enjoy Ghost Planet if you like…

Mystery, science, romance, sex, and adventure all rolled up together in a tight and twisty plot.

**Lighting Questions**

Facebook or Twitter?
I didn’t think I had a choice! Facebook.  

Favorite junk food?
Those fried, electric-orange, processed cheese food thingies. I will leave out brand names since I at least try to get the all-natural ones.

Coke or Pepsi?
I don’t really drink soda, but on a sunny beach south of the border nothing tastes better than a classic Coke with REAL sugar.

Favorite Paranormal Creature?
Fairies. Not the cartoony ones. The mess-with-us-and-we’ll-make-you-sorry Celtic variety.

E-reader or physical book?
E-reader. New convert. I really miss books, but it feels like magic that I can have this whole library riding around in my purse. Even if I forget my reader, it’s right there on my phone.

Favorite season?
September. I know, not a season. But it’s the most glorious four weeks in Seattle, sort of a summer/fall hybrid.  

Star Wars or Alien?
Aw hell. Star Wars. (Sorry, Ripley)

Thanks for being here Sharon! 
Thank YOU, it’s been great fun!


SHARON LYNN FISHER is the author of GHOST PLANET, coming from Tor Books on Oct. 30. The book -- a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist -- is a sci-fi/romance blend that offers a "fresh and fascinating take on the human-alien problem" (says author Linnea Sinclair). She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is hard at work on her next novel and battles writerly angst with baked goods, Irish tea, and champagne. You can visit her online at

 Tor Books has generously offered 3 copies of Ghost Planet for Short & Sweet Reviews readers! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter below.

 MUST be a follower of this blog, 3 winners, US only (shipped by the publisher)

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