Huge congratulations on winning your Chill Award! You must be so happy that your work has been recognised in this way. Now, before we carry on, would you please introduce yourself to my readers, just in case they don’t know you already …
I live in New Zealand and work as a technical writer and instructional designer developing workshops and training courses for companies.
So, your book has been awarded with a Chill with a Book Readers’ Award, what inspired you to write this story?
A number of years ago I watched a television programme about how a person’s birth place in the family (oldest child, middle, youngest etc.) can affect their character and personality. This interested me along with the idea that we think we know our friends and family well and yet they are sometimes capable of doing things that surprise or shock us. Lies of the Dead came from a mix of both those ideas.
What does the award mean to you?
I love the magic of getting lost in a great book. When I write it’s always with the hope that readers will find that in my books. Winning a reader’s award is huge as it means that people read Lies of the Dead and liked the characters, setting and plot, and hopefully lost themselves in the story while reading.
What other titles have you published? Tell us a little about them …
I’ve written three other novels and a selection of short stories. The novels are in a variety of genres.
Still Death is a murder mystery. The protagonist, Lexie Wyatt, is the only person who believes Patrick has been set-up for the murder of his girlfriend. There are too many accidents to be a coincidence and they’re all linked to his girlfriend’s death. Lexie is determined to find out the truth until she and her family become part of the statistics.
Lives Interrupted is a contemporary novel set at the time of the London bombings. Each of the characters is impacted when the bombs explode. One moment changes their lives, relationships and how they view the world. In the weeks that follow they have to find their own way of coping and making sense of what happened. They make decisions, not always wise ones, attempting to retain something of their lives and who they were.
Writing the Stars is a chick-lit type novel set in Auckland, New Zealand. Anna King writes horoscopes but when she discovers her boyfriend has been cheating and she is about to lose her part-time job her world crumbles. While I wrote this novel, I did a lot of research on astrology and structured the chapters around Anna’s monthly horoscopes which were great fun to write.
Are you working on a new book? Tell me about that …
I have written a second ‘Lexie Wyatt’ novel called The Worst Lie and at the moment I’m editing it. Like Still Death it’s set in a fictional town in southern England. I’ve always loved stone circles and they play a big part in this new novel when a body is found lying on one of the fallen stones.
When not writing, what can you be found doing?
My all-time favourite activity is reading, however I know that between reading and writing I do need to get outside. I enjoy walking and fortunately we live in a small town close to beautiful New Zealand beaches and countryside. Walking is also good for writing inspiration! I was never particularly fond of gardening until we bought a house with 1½ acres of land, but the gardens are beautiful and I enjoy trying to keep them that way.
Which three authors have most influenced your journey to becoming an author?
Enid Blyton’s mystery series The Five Find-Outers first introduced me to crime novels at around the age of seven or eight.
After I finished all the children’s books in the local library I used to sneak along to the next set of bookshelves. They housed authors whose name began with C and Agatha Christie books took up most of those four shelves.
Daphne du Maurier was an early influencer both of reading and wanting to write a mystery wrapped up with interesting characters and atmospheric locations.
Why did you choose the genre you write in?
I read a lot of crime fiction and enjoy working out the puzzles and I find it interesting to turn that on its head and try to create the mystery.
Which other genre would you chose if you had to change?
I’ve written a contemporary drama novel and a chick-lit book and have ideas for sequels for both those.
Quick fire questions …
Twitter or Facebook?
Tea or coffee?
Marmite – yes or no?
Early riser or sleep in?
Pj’s or ‘normal’ clothes when writing?
Planner or pantster?
Somewhere in the middle — I tend to have the first third worked out before I start writing and take it from there.
Book or kindle?
Pineapple on pizza – yes or no?
Pineapple on Hawaiian
And finally, … What is your favourite book of all time?
Oh no! Way too hard! For this year I’ll go with anything by Liane Moriarty
Thank you for joining me today and many congratulations again on your Chill with A Book Award!
You can find out more about Shauna and her books from her website and social media accounts:
Lies of the Dead is out now, here’s the blurb …
How well do we know those closest to us? When Liam kills himself, his older brother Tom needs to know why suicide was the only solution.
Tom and his sister Andi search for answers, but don’t know who they can believe as they discover Liam’s friends and associates aren’t the people they claim to be. They are propelled into a world where their ideas of right and wrong don’t exist, and where people demand what neither of them possesses.
Liam’s legacy of deceit is dangerous, and when Andi and her twin daughters find themselves in a dangerous showdown, Tom realises the truth may have too high a price.
What would you risk to find the truth?
About the author …
Shauna has worked in the writing business for more years than she cares to admit, mainly in the learning and development area creating workshops and courses and writing technical manuals. After many years of reading fiction she had a go at writing made-up stuff as a change from facts and reality. Since then she’s written a lot of short stories and even had some of them published in magazines. Her books include: Lies of the Dead – mystery/thriller Lives Interrupted – contemporary women’s fiction Driftwood – romantic suspense If you’re interested in some biographical details, Shauna was born in England and has lived in various countries around the world. She now lives ‘down under’ in Auckland, New Zealand. You can read more from Shauna at her website and blog – http://shaunabickley.com Or follow her on Twitter – http://twitter.com/ShaunaBickley