MY INTERVIEW WITH SHARON HASTE
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Sharon Haste and I write Young Adult Fiction – but I am attracting people of all ages.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
The Last Time started as an Adult Mystery novel and had several evolutions until it became a Young Adult Fiction. I have worked a lot with young people in my job as a nurse and midwife and love their energy and the way they see the world differently. I enlisted the help of my teenage daughters and their friends to bounce ideas and this was really useful. The book took 5 years to write.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I became interested in Young Adult Fiction through working with Indigenous young people in my job as a nurse. I always loved reading when I was young and wanted to young people to read; so wrote something they might enjoy.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I read a lot of young adult fiction and mystery novels; as well as lots of books on how to write – one of my favourites was the book ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King. I also completed a Master of Writing at James Cook University.
Can you tell me about your Series?
This book is supposed to be book 1 of a series, but life has gotten in the way of me completing the other books.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
Before this year I was very disciplined with my writing and wrote very early in the morning and on weekends. (I have always worked in other jobs at the same time). This year my 19 year old daughter got cancer, so life has been turned upside down and I have relocated 4000km away from my home so I can care for her while she is getting treatment. This has affected my writing routine and in fact I didn’t write a single word for months due to my focus being on my daughter’s health. She is still going through chemotherapy and has 6 months of treatment left to complete.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I started writing again a few weeks ago and am writing a novella that I have called ‘Oh baby’ at the moment. This is a working title and I am sure it will change before I publish it.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Character names are important and the name of the main character in The Last Time is a nickname I was sometimes called when I was young. I always look at the names and their meanings for my characters to make sure they are right. But sometimes I just choose a name because I like it.
Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come from life. I have had a vast array of experiences in my work and personal life and can always find something to write about. I write realism better than fantasy, which is something I discovered when writing my first book. I always like to grow my character into someone who is stronger, or more thoughtful/ mature at the end of the book. I like to think my stories inspire hope and a ‘never give up attitude to life’.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
Sometimes I think I would like to experiment with sweet romance as my stories tend to have a really dark side and it would be nice to write something light and happy. Or something comical. I wrote a story about a student midwife a long time ago that I may end up publishing one day.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I think the hardest part is believing that my stories are good enough for other people to read and enjoy. I love the writing and editing process. I am a self published author and the process of marketing and promoting my books is definitely out of my comfort zone.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I think book trailers are great but don’t have one. I don’t intend to create one at this stage as finances are an issue at the moment.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Finishing my first full length novel was an amazing accomplishment.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Sharing stories with others and getting positive feedback.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope I have a few more published works by then. I just want to keep writing.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes. I have always loved to write but had many years where I didn’t write anything creative as I was busy with my job and family. I started writing again when my eldest daughter was 18.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
If you love it, just do it. Don’t let fear stop you. There is so much help out there if you want guidance.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I love my other work – as a nurse and midwife.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I do read the reviews but tend not to respond to them, especially the bad ones. I believe that you can’t please everyone all the time, so there will always be people who don’t like what you do. I do take on board the constructive comments though when I write my next project.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Marketing is definitely my weakness and not something I ever thought I would have to do. Putting together a website was also very challenging.
What are you working on now?
I am writing a novella about a teenage girl who gets pregnant just before she finishes school.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Jess is seventeen and the eldest of five children in a very religious family. She’s had a strict upbringing; and her father is especially cruel to her. When she becomes pregnant she is thrown out of home and needs to decide what to do about her life and the baby she’s carrying.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I want to inspire young people to read and have found it easy to write in a young voice.
Where did your love of books come from?
Reading when I was young. I read anything I could get my hands on and spent a lot of time in the library at school.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
JK Rowling – in her many voices is one of my favourite authors. I also really like Kate Morton and the latter works of Stephanie Meyer (Not so much the Twilight series).
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Charli is my favourite character so far because she is so strong and develops this over the course of the book.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I am energized by it and can literally write for hours some days.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
To find a story that I get so immersed in it becomes a pseudo reality for me.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I can only write in the voice I was given. If I can improve the way I write I will, but I don’t try to write a certain way to satisfy specific people. I think it’s too hard, as everyone is so diverse in their tastes.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I am friends with Mary Anne Butler – she is a paly writer from Darwin. She has been a great inspiration to me and actually taught a creative writing class that started my journey to writing a novel.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Live, Laugh, Love.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
I don’t really have one.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
I have a website at www.sharonhaste.com and a facebook page at
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️