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Sharon Dogar - Author

About the Author

Sharon Dogar’s first novel, Waves, is a poignant coming-of-age story about a family dealing with the accident of their daughter. It took a while for Sharon to get started, "but then I had ‘the moment,' " she explains. "That moment when a character just arrives in your mind and begs to be written - whether you want to do it or not.  I remember it was lunchtime.  I walked into the sitting room and had a thought: I was by the sea.  And in that moment, I saw a boy with his back to me; he was in the kitchen of a beach house, looking at something on the wall.  Looking at it with utter intensity and absorption.  I knew straight away his name was Hal.  I walked back into my own kitchen and wrote the prologue, immediately and completely, exactly as it remained in the final manuscript.  And then I had to write a story to go with it!" Her second novel, Falling, was published by Chicken House and her third novel, to be published by Andersen Press in September 2010, is the much-anticipated Annexed.

Sharon Dogar lives in Oxford with her husband and three children. She loves writing, reading and daydreaming. For the last ten years she’s also worked with adolescents as a psycho-therapist.

 

Where did you grow up?
On an estate just outside Oxford.
And later in a suburb.
PS Haven't really grown up, but trying ...

What were you like at school?
Depends which one you're talking about.
Primary school - happy
prep school - confused
Convent school - very confused, and a bit angry
Middle school - hard-working, happy
Secondary school - miserable and lonely
CFE/sixth form - suddenly gregarious and not actually in lessons very often

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer. A forensic scientist. A Spacewoman. A gamekeeper in Africa. An actor. Someone else, anyone else.

What did you do after you left school?
Went to college in London. Travelled around South America with boyfriend. Went to Pakistan on own. Worked, played, danced a lot, wrote stories and tried to make sense of why the hell we're all here.

Why did you begin writing/illustrating?
I never stopped, so I didn't have to start, I've just always written things down, sometimes to remember and sometimes to forget.

How would you describe your books?
As wondering what if? And if so, how and when and why?

Where do your ideas come from?
Some come from real life, like Hal's eyes, and his insults (courtesy of my two sons) or Sarz catching a flatfish (courtesy of my daughter).

Others just appear, and it feels like they arrive out of thin air, but of course, they don't, they come from all the experiences a person's ever had or heard about. They come from the unconscious.

Philip Pullman once said his daemon would be a magpie, because they steal bright shiny things, and he's right, of course, writers pick up ideas anywhere and everywhere - and they don't really believe in ownership.

What is your ideal place and time for writing/illustrating?
It's not so much the where, although I love my kitchen table, a certain place in Greece and another in France, as well as the Bodleian Library (especially for editing), but mostly, for me, it's the feeling the urge to write, and once I'm in that mode I can write upside down on the bog balancing a sprig of holly on my ... but to save my family the embarrasment we're building a shed at the bottom of the garden to put me in.

Which book would you most like to have written?
So many. Here are a few ....
To Kill a Mockingbird, Beloved, Skellig, The Passion, Northern Lights, The Blood Stone, Lucas, The Grapes of Wrath, A Hundred Years of Solitude, Stand By Me, The Constant Nymph, Rapture (poems by Carol Ann Duffy) The Da Vinci Code (for the money) Anne Frank's Diary, I am David, Across the Nightingale Floor, Fingersmith, Alias Grace, Where the Wild Things Are, Ferdinand the Bull ... the list goes on and on and on ...

What is your favourite film?
Wuthering Heights, Rebecca, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Psycho, Casablanca ... I think you get the picture ...

What is your favourite music?
Anything I can dance to - and that's almost anything, but never heavy metal.

What is the funniest joke you know?
A millionaire was asked how he got so rich. He replied: I found five pence on the beach and spent it on an apple, polished it really hard and sold it for ten pence. I kept on doing this and by the end of the month I had one pound twenty-five pence.

And then my father-in law died and left me two million pounds.

What is your most precious memory?
Private, and staying that way.

What are you most proud of?
Long term, my family. Short term, actually standing up in front of total strangers and reading a bit of my book out loud!

What is your advice for aspiring authors?
Do it. Do it everyday if you can. Read a lot, look a lot. Don't bother trying to imagine what 'the market wants' or what your mum might think, just sit down wherever you're most at ease, and listen to whatever (or whoever) is inside you - and then make it into words.
If that's too difficult then start by keeping a diary.

Featured books by Sharon Dogar

Other books by Sharon Dogar

Monsters

Monsters

Author: Sharon Dogar Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/02/2019

1814: Mary Godwin, the sixteen-year-old daughter of radical socialist and feminist writers, runs away with a dangerously charming young poet - Percy Bysshe Shelley. From there, the two young lovers travel a Europe in the throes of revolutionary change, through high and low society, tragedy and passion, where they will be drawn into the orbit of the mad and bad Lord Byron. But Mary and Percy are not alone: they bring Jane, Mary's young step-sister. And she knows the biggest secrets of them all . . . Told from Mary and Jane's perspectives, Monsters is a novel about radical ideas, rule-breaking love, dangerous Romantics, and the creation of the greatest Gothic novel of them all: Frankenstein

Monsters

Monsters

Author: Sharon Dogar Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2019

1814: Mary Godwin, the sixteen-year-old daughter of radical socialist and feminist writers, runs away with a dangerously charming young poet - Percy Bysshe Shelley. From there, the two young lovers travel a Europe in the throes of revolutionary change, through high and low society, tragedy and passion, where they will be drawn into the orbit of the mad and bad Lord Byron. But Mary and Percy are not alone: they bring Jane, Mary's young step-sister. And she knows the biggest secrets of them all . . . Told from Mary and Jane's perspectives, Monsters is a novel about radical ideas, rule-breaking love, dangerous Romantics, and the creation of the greatest Gothic novel of them all: Frankenstein

Annexed

Annexed

Author: Sharon Dogar Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2011

Everyone knows about Anne Frank, and her life hidden in the secret annexe - or do they? Peter van Pels and his family are locked away in there with the Franks, and Peter sees it all differently. He's a boy, and for a boy it's just not the same. What is it like to be forced into hiding with Anne Frank, to hate her and then find yourself falling in love with her? To know you're being written about in her diary, day after day? What's it like to sit and wait and watch whilst others die, and you wish you were fighting? How can Anne and Peter try to make sense of one of the most devastating episodes in recent history - the holocaust? Anne's diary ends on August 4 1944, but Peter's story takes us on, beyond their betrayal and into the Nazi death camps. He details with accuracy, clarity and compassion, the reality of day to day survival in Auschwitz - and the terrible conclusion. It's a story rooted firmly in history and it asks a question of us all: Are we listening? 'Is anybody there?' Peter cries from the depths of his despair in the camps. Read it, and you will be.

Waves

Waves

Author: Sharon Dogar Format: eBook Release Date: 06/03/2007

Where is she? And what was she doing out on the waves that night?For Hal, now, this summer is different. Sure hes spending it, as always, with hisfamily at their cottage on the wild west coast of England. But this summer hemeets Jackie, beautiful, impetuous Jackie. Lying with her on the beach while she sculpts mermaids from wet sandits paradise. Or would be, if only he didnt keep hearing the desperate pleas of his lost sister Charley in his head . . .For Charley, then, last summer was different. Pete, the impossibly gorgeous surf god, wanted her, she couldnt believe it! To lick the sand off his lips, to let the sun tan the outline of her hand over his heartshed do anything to be with him. Even if it meant sneaking out and leaving her tagalong brother Hal behind. Just for one night. How could she have known what would happen by dawn?Set at a beach where growing up goes wrong, Waves is a coming-of-age mysteryabout first love and tragic loss. About a family drowning in sorrow, and the courageous son struggling against the tide to save them.From the Compact Disc edition.

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