Featured Friday! Shari Sakurai
Shari Sakurai is a British author of paranormal, horror, science fiction and fantasy novels that almost always feature a LGBT protagonist and/or antagonist. She has always loved to write and it is her escape from the sometimes stressful modern life!
Aside from writing, Shari enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to (loud!) music, going to rock concerts and learning more about other societies and cultures. Japanese culture is of particular interest to her and she often incorporates Japanese themes and influences into her work.
Shari loves a challenge and has taken part and won the National Novel Writing Month challenge ten times!
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
I’d say it’s definitely the creativity aspect and being able to immerse myself into another world and write so many different characters.
What made you start writing?
I was six years old when I first discovered my love of writing. As a class we wrote a story about the pet rat. I enjoyed writing my part so much that I’ve carried on writing stories ever since.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
When you start writing your first novel take your time and enjoy the writing process. Don’t put yourself under stress to get it finished in a certain timeframe. Writing should always be fun and something that you enjoy doing.
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I tend to write in genres that I love to read. My favourites and ones that I have written in are science fiction and paranormal (vampires), with LGBT characters. I also love to read fantasy novels and have ideas for my own fantasy novel in the future.
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
Taku Kokawa from my Demon’s Blood series. I’ve been writing stories about Taku for nearly fifteen years now. He’s such a complex and interesting character who has developed so much during that time. I’d love to spend some time with him talking about his life, Thane and all the things I have put him through!
Which book do you consider a must-read?
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. It’s a beautiful novel; really touching, moving and thought provoking!
What’s been the hardest edit that you’ve had to make? Why did you want to keep the material in?
I made quite a lot of changes to my WIP which is the sequel to my vampire novel Demon’s Blood. I originally included a lot of background/flashback scenes about Taku and Thane’s past together. I ended up with so much material that I felt some of it was unnecessary but I really was taking it out reluctantly as I really love writing about their first couple of years together.
Is there any conflict between what you want to write and what you think your readers will like?
Years ago I wrote a story under a different name that was heavily influenced by my readers and I ended up not liking it by the time it was done. I always keep this in mind when writing and will only write what is true to me and the story that I am telling.
What effect can a review have on you, if you read them at all? Both the good and the bad.
I’m happy to receive both good and constructive critical reviews. Good reviews make me happy that someone has enjoyed what I have written and I am appreciative that they have taken the time to give me this feedback. I’m also happy to receive constructive critical reviews as this helps me to improve as a writer.
What’s exciting you about your next project?
I’m currently working on my sequel to Demon’s Blood. It picks up where Demon’s Blood left off and follows Thane’s journey to Japan to save his lover Taku from the demon Kurai’s possession. Thane is going to come into contact with other vampires and also learn more about my vampire lore and mythology. I’ve nearly finished writing it now and I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with everyone.
And finally, you have one quote to be remembered by, what is it?
“Well that didn’t go according to plan!” Not a quote but it sums up my life pretty well I think!
Thanks to Shari for her time in answering our questions.
If you want to find out more about her then check out the links below!
You can also check out her latest release Never Change, a short story set in the Demon’s Blood universe, on Amazon.