Author Interview with Sharde Richardson

May, 30 2011

Mikayla doesn’t want much: just to rock out to her favorite band, become the next Kwiki Stop video gaming champion, and keep her Q-tip habit under control. What she does want is the sight of the sudden inexplicable dark auras around everyone to stop. Problem is, those auras are demons and Mikayla is the last trait holder with the power to ban them. Which is a total buzz kill.
To make matters worse, the town folk of Sulphur Springs don’t look the same, and her classmates are a little dark in the eyes. There are murders, suicides, reckless skinny-dipping, gratuitous use of Q-tips, and newfound powers that Mikayla must learn to control.
Her past becomes present when a shape-shifter tells her what her true identity is, and how to keep the demons of Hell from nipping at her Converse. Through him she’ll discover who to trust, who to kiss, and how valuable her abilities are to the right beings. Because the evils of Hell aren’t staying down without a fight.
Or without her soul

I was so happy that I got the chance to interview Sharde! Watched is on my 2011 Most Wanted Books list and the cover is just completely to die for!

-When did you know that you wanted to become a writer?
Hm. My love for writing began with a chair, a detention chair in my second grade classroom corner surrounded by two partitions. We called it “The
Pit” back then. My seven-year-old self spent many a day in that chair for various reasons. Mostly for child related mischief like not coming in from recess or “disturbing” the class with the latest Mighty Morphin Power Ranger moves.
Anyway, whenever I’d go into The Pit, I’d write on the partition walls. I once wrote a butterfly poem that featured only words that began with the letter “b”. I also bashed my second grade teacher by writing and illustrating a complete comic strip called, “The Chicken Man”, which featured his likeness with a beak and flames of chicken feathers coming out of his rear-end. It seemed like a good idea until I was caught.
Haha! The Chicken Man!? Awesome!

-What was your reaction when you found out that Watched was going to be published?
“Whoo-hoo! Margaritas on me!” followed by, “Holy crow, what if no one likes it?”

-What was your inspiration behind Watched?
A hockey game. I know, I know. But let me explain, Katie. It all started with Triple Play Cheese Fries at Baumhower's. My husband and I sat devouring their cheesy gooey goodness (which, by the way, is in direct conflict with my lactose intolerant situation) while a hockey game played on the flat screen in the restaurant. I’m not a big hockey fan, but they have some brutal fights. Pure madness sometimes how those players tempers can flare.

This case was no exception. One of the players from the opposing team lost their helmet in a scuffle for the puck against the glass, when a hockey stick slashed across his face in retaliation. There was so much blood. And a missing tooth. And for some reason the cameraman decided to pan over the crowd, stopping at a little girl. Her expression was pure horror.

Now, here’s where my thought process becomes a little confusing and twisted to people because 1. At the time of watching this game, I was writing a paranormal novel for my son, and
2. My creative juices were flowing non-stop, which, often times,
3. Led me to find stories in the unusual and the asinine aspects of daily life plausible.

When they pulled the two apart from fighting, they sent them to the penalty box. They got close ups of both players and you could see this steam rising from their heads because of the sweat and body heat. But since I’m a paranormal-kind-of-girl, I didn't see the same steam everyone else saw rising from their bodies. I saw demon auras. I also told myself that the auras made them beat and harm each other.
And over cheesy fries and a hockey fight, I conjured Watched.
Keep that little tidbit in mind as you read the first chapter.
I love that!

-The cover is absolutely gorgeous! I want to frame it and hang it on my wall! Did you have any input into the design?
Aww, thank you, Katie. Maybe we could arrange that. And I most certainly did have input. The cover artist was very open to this kind of thing. The designer was amazing, too. She was responsible for that chilling typography. It’s weird now that I think about how much information they needed about my characters and story to come up with a good design/cover. They both did a fab-tab-u-lous job, though! And I knew it was the best representation of Mikayla/the story possible. I love how the girl on the cover looks concerned, troubled, like any moment she might look over her shoulder because something is following her.

-Did you have a playlist of songs that you listened to while writing?
If yes, could you tell us some of the songs?
OMG! So many. Here are a few:
1. Float on- Modest Mouse
2. Daylight- Matt and Kim
3. The Cave- Mumford and Sons
4. Help, I’m Alive- Metric
5. Pure Imagination- Gene Wilder
6. 1901- Phoenix
7. Science of Fear- The Temper Trap
8. Sex on Fire- Kings of Leon
9. I’ll Be in the Sky- B.O.B
10. The Reeling- Passion Pit
11. Animal- Mike Snow
12. Use Somebody- Kings of Leon
13. I've Got Friends- Manchester Orchestra
I love so many of these songs! Especially Help, I'm Alive!

-What three words best describe Mikayla?
In her own words, she would say,
“I live in Sulphur Springs surrounded by demon asshats that want my soul and a hawt shape shifter that tails me twenty-four seven. So you could say I’m kind of a badass, desirable, and still a freaggin’ virgin. Wait, someone just slipped me a piece of paper, says to tell you that I’m strong, flawed, and impulsive. Yeah, okay, I guess that, too.

-Mikayla has a little bit of an obsession with q-tips. Is there any odd habits that you have?
Sometimes at traffic stops, I rolled down my window and sing very loudly the lyrics of the song I’m listening to at the neighboring car.
Don’t judge me.
Hahahaha! That is amazing!

-Could you tell us what Mikayla does with the q-tips?


-Was there one particular character that you enjoyed writing the most?
Lucas. He has such an interesting background that interlaces with Mikayla’s.

-Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
I’d have to say the character I associate most with is, Uncle Joe. He’s the type of uncle that likes to show up unannounced, that would wear jeans and a flannel button down to a funeral and sip sweet tea from a mason jar on his front porch.

-Is there any other writing projects that you are working on?
Why yes, there is. I’m currently working on a YA project about infected humans invading a rural town in Alabama. It’s a gut turner. Oh, and there’s also the sequel to Watched.
Yay! There's going to be a sequel!

Thank you so much Sharde! It was so fun interviewing you!
I can't wait to sit down talk with Mikayla this Spring!

Don't forget to check out Sharde's





Crazy Katie

9 comments

  1. Thanks for this interview Katie !! I'm looking forward to read this book !! I love the cover ;)

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  2. Great Interview. I laughed so hard at the Q-tip Video. I'm almost finished interviewing Sharde myself :D

    You asked some really great questions, probably kicked all my questions into the mud. lol

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  3. Excellent interview! I've never heard of this book but it sounds really good. And I'm loving the fact (& hating that I didn't think of it first) that she's working on a story set in rural Alabama...cool!

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  4. I like that it was inspired by hockey game-- i like hockey :)
    I am going to look this one up now.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  5. Wow, awesome interview, Katie! That Q-tip video made me laugh so hard! When I was little, I was positively terrified of having my ears cleaned with a Q-tip. Yeah. I've gotten over it somewhat.

    Anyway, can't wait to read Watched and I love the cover, too! :)

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  6. Where I can find this book? I try Amazon and Barnesandnoble but they don't have it for pre-order

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  7. What a fantastic interview! Thank you Katie and Sharde Richardson!! Wow!!! I had to remember that a Q-tip is an earbud!! LOL!! And what Mikayla does with them will always and forever be associated with cute and cuddly bears!! Yay!! LOL!!

    GOOD LUCK SHARDE RICHARDSON with your fantastic book - and a book cover to die for!! Take care
    x

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  8. That was amazing!! I love the video!! :D

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  9. It's great to read more about Sharde! Nice interview. I'm off to check out more on Watched. Sounds very cool.

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