An Interview with author Sharon Pape
Why did you start writing?
I started writing little stories as soon as I learned how to put words together to form sentences. It was never a question of why, or how or maybe I’d rather be doing something else.
You see, my mind has a habit of taking something mundane and thinking, “what if?” which inevitably leads to a story idea. If I don’t write the story, the idea sits in my head and nags at me. Plus my head tends to get awfully overcrowded if I don’t download the stories from time to time. So I guess the answer to your question is that I started writing, because I had no choice in the matter - and still don’t.
I once asked my adult daughter if she thought I would ever stop writing when I got old. Her answer was: “I don’t think you’ll ever stop writing, Mom, but at a certain point it probably won’t make sense anymore.” After I finished laughing, I decided to take that as a challenge.
What do you like about paranormal?
For starters, I love fiction of all genres, because it involves imagination. When you add paranormal elements to fiction, the result is imagination on steroids. You’re no longer constrained by the limits of reality. You’re free to explore questions that have no clear answers. My first three novels were paranormal, but back in the dark ages before computers, there was no such genre. The books were lumped together with horror titles where they didn’t really belong. In these more enlightened times, the paranormal has finally found a comfortable home. When I decided to try my hand at writing mysteries, it was second nature for me to add paranormal elements.
Have you ever seen a ghost?
No, but I have a friend who’s certain that a former owner of her house has been hanging around as a benign ghostly presence. Although she’s never actually seen him, when her children were younger they talked about a man who came to play with them. (In case you’re concerned that he was a molester who snuck in, please be assured that my friend was always at home with the kids and the doors were locked.)
Although I like to write about ghosts, I don’t think I’d necessarily like to see one - unless he’s like marshal Zeke Drummond from my Portrait of Crime mysteries.
What is your next project?
Funny you should ask. I just saw the post for your new cozy series featuring retired witches. As it happens, I’m working on a book about sorcery. “What if” there’s something strange afoot that’s drawing authors to that subject? Uh oh, I feel another idea coming on!