An Interview with Sharon Tregenza, author of The Shiver Stone

What influenced you to start writing?

I’ve always written. I got into writing for children when I was in Dubai. I was working in the library at the American school and became involved with a children’s newspaper. I was asked to write a story for it and ended up doing a weekly one! I then went on to write for the Emirates’ Airline magazine.

 

Why did you choose Pembrokeshire as the setting for your book, The Shiver Stone?

It’s such an adventurous place! I wondered about Cornwall because I was born there and love it so much; however, as many books are set there, I thought it would be a good idea to choose the different setting. I lived in Pembrokeshire for several years and know it really well.

 

Folk law and traditional tales seem important to you and your story. 

That’s my Cornish heritage! There are standing stones everywhere- you couldn’t avoid the stories if you tried! I grew up in Penzanceand Mousehole, where I later lived, is rich in tales, most famously that of Tom Bawcock and the Mousehole cat. So, yes- folk law and traditional tales are important!

 

I love your website! Is that you drawing?  (http://sharontregenza.com)

No! The picture is mine tho’- it’s a picture of Mousehole and I love it!

 

You did the ’Writing for Young People’ Masters’ degree at Bath Spa. Did you enjoy it? Would you recommend it!

Extremely highly recommended! I have another Masters’ degree in Creative Writing from the University of Wales. My time at Bath was so enjoyable that I would recommend doing the course part-time rather than full-time to make it last longer as it was so enjoyable!

 

What are you reading yourself at the moment?

I always have several books on the go at once! I’m reading lots of children’s books- Hardy boys, Holes (again)… I’m also reading a book about how to write and develop plot.

 

At the end of The Shiver Stone, the adults in the story let the heroine run off and into danger. Do you think they should have intervened?

 

The child must be in charge- they use their skills to solve problems. You have to get rid of the adults in a feasible way- the actin must be child led. There is an element of danger- and there will be consequences to the character’s actions. I think it’s important to show that- there are consequences to the things you do!

Finally, what do you have in store for us next?

I have two books that I have completed- both are middle grade mysteries. They are out with publishers at the moment. I’m currently working on a mystery story for younger readers.