Sharon Dogar - Author Picture

Sharon Dogar - Author

Sharon Dogar was our Guest Editor in May 2011. Her book selection can be found here.

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!"

Sharon's second novel, Falling, was published by Chicken House and her third novel, published by Andersen Press is the Costa Children's Book Award nominee Annexed. A brave re-imagining of Anne Frank’s diary, written from the perspective of Peter van Pels, has received an enormous amount of praise and recognition. Annexed created a media frenzy last summer, prompting impassioned discussions. The Guardian described it as ‘a delicate, poised and scrupulous re-enactment’.

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.

A Q&A WITH SHARON DOGAR

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, with extracts, by Sharon Dogar

Annexed
Sharon Dogar
A Lovereading4kids 'Great Read' you may have missed 2011 selection. The Diary of Anne Frank is one of the most treasured children's books of the last fifty years. Anne's account of the years she spent in hiding from the Nazi's...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 31/03/2011
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Annexed
Sharon Dogar
Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book of the Year Award 2010. Shortlisted for the prestigious Sheffield Children's Book Award 2011. The Diary of Anne Frank is one of the most treasured children's books of the last fifty years. Anne's...
Lovereading Price: £10.39 - Saving £2.60 (20%) Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 02/09/2010
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Falling
Sharon Dogar
Falling is a dark and dangerous multi-layered love story between an Asian girl and a white boy, in which the past and present collide. It's the gripping second teenage novel from Sharon Dogar, the critically acclaimed author of Waves. ...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 06/04/2009
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Waves
Sharon Dogar
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2008. This is an incredibly thought-provoking, lyrically written debut, which astounded me time after time with each new page. Sharon has cleverly intertwined two strands to the novel, past and present, into what I...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 05/05/2008
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Waves
Sharon Dogar
This is an incredibly thought-provoking, lyrically written debut, which astounded me time after time with each new page. Sharon has cleverly intertwined two strands to the novel, past and present, into what I can best describe as unputdownable and original....
Lovereading Price: £7.99 - Saving £2.00 (20%) Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 02/04/2007
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Author Info

Author's Website

www.annexed.co.uk/

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