Author of the Week E.J. Shortall
Author of the Week E.J. Shortall
EJ Shortall was born and raised in London, England where she currently still lives with her long suffering partner and their son.
Having worked in education for the better part of 12 years, EJ decided a change was needed and, following a moment of inspiration one morning, she decided to put pen to paper and start writing her first novel, Silver Lining.
She has always enjoyed reading, but found it was mostly just a holiday extravagance. Then she discovered a certain worldwide best seller, and that was it she was hooked. Reading quickly became an obsession and she couldn’t devour books fast enough. The books on her shelves and reading device range from sweet, Young Adult romances, to smouldering erotic encounters.
Aside from reading and writing, EJ also enjoys amateur photography and cake decorating.
“I am on one amazing roller coaster ride at the moment, meeting new and wonderful people, discovering new music gems to integrate into my stories, and learning so many new skills. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.”
If you would like to join E.J. on her journey, please follow or contact her. She would love to hear from you!
1: Have you always wanted to be a writer, or is it something that just sort of happened and you fell in love with?
I have always enjoyed reading but really only found myself doing it when I was relaxing on holiday. Two years ago I picked a book up and it totally rekindled my passion. After that I couldn’t get enough and it also helped me through a rough patch early on last year. My partner kept telling me I should give writing a go, and I kept laughing in his face. I mean a good reader does not a good writer make, right? So, until September last year I had never considered writing. One day late last August, I had a flash of inspiration one morning where the opening paragraph of Silver Lining popped into my head. I decided to type it up, not expecting to do anything else with it. But once I had it down as story started materialising in my head and one paragraph turned into another, until eventually I had a full blown novel. Now I’ve done it, I can definitely say that I love it. I have so many ideas for other stories but not enough time to write them all. The second book, though, is coming along and I hope to release it in late July.
2: Are any of you characters based on people you know, if yes who and how?
I don’t think any of them are. They are, for the most part, totally fictional. There is some of me in Amber in that I am also a quiet, reserved person, but other than that the characters personalities came through as I was writing them. They dictated who they wanted to be. One of the scenes though was written as a tribute to my lovely mum, who sadly passed away in January last year. In the scene Amber nearly gets knocked out at a football match, and was a dedication to the story of how she met my dad.
3: What time of the day do you like to write?
I work Full Time Monday to Friday so I only get evenings and weekends, oh and school holidays which I get off from work.
4: What's your fave way to tackle writers block?
Ah! The dreaded writers block. I wish I could say that I push through it, but I don’t. When writing Silver Lining I actually went a couple of weeks without getting a single word down. Eventually I regained my focus and carried on. I just needed to get that little hint of inspiration to get me going again, the bowling scene for example. I’d been stuck at that point, I then went bowling with a group of friends and that was it, new scene visualised and eagerly written down when I got home.
5: How many physical books do you own? (Under 100? over 500?)
Under 100, I just don’t have the room to store them! Now ask about my Kindle!
6: What do you listen to when you write? Silence? Nature sounds? Music?
I have created Playlists for the books I have written/am writing/will write and have them playing in the background. To be honest though, once I’m ‘in the zone’ I don’t really hear what’s on.
7: Where do you do most of you writing? Do you have a home office/studio?
Sitting on the sofa or propped up in bed, with my laptop. I would love a proper office with a big comfy leather chair and massive screen. One day maybe.
8: What do you write with? Pen paper, laptop, and typewriter? Do you write notes as you go? if so what on?
I use my laptop. I have notes in all sorts of places, some typed in Word, some bits and pieces stored in Google Drive, some on notecards or in a notebook. I promise it’s organised chaos though, I know where everything is!
9: Your favorite book
I don’t have one. There are too many amazing books I’ve read, that I couldn’t possibly pick. It also depends on the mood I’m in. Sometimes I’ll be thinking about a sweet romance, other times I’ll be thinking of a dark thriller.
10: What is one of your favorite quotes?
“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” ~ Dalai Lama
I totally relate to this. Having been through a really rough patch and dwelling on the sadness, I eventually realised that to feel better and happier I have to do something about it, nobody else can do it for me. I became determined and signed up for an evening course and then started the writing. I am definitely happy now.
11: What other crafts do you dabble in?
I enjoy photography and even took a course. I don’t have the time or inspiring locations nearby to become any good though. I also cake baking & decorating, my cupcakes always go down well!
12: What were you good at at school, and what did see yourself being as an adult?
I was seen as a bit of a geek in High School and was pretty competent in most subjects, well apart from French; I just couldn’t pick that up. Growing up I either wanted to be Air Cabin Crew, a Midwife or a younger years’ school teacher. I became neither! I received the wrong careers advice and then my 16-18 education got turned on its head with some REALLY bad teaching and eventually I lost all motivation. I regret that now though.
Toilet paper over or under: Duh! Over, of course. I am seriously OCD about this, to the point of having to restrain myself from changing it around at other people’s houses.
Beer, Wine, Sprits?: Wine
Pjs, Nighty, Nothing?: PJ’s
Rock or Pop?: A bit of both
5 Star resort or Camping: Resort
Cats or Dogs?: Cats
Morning or Night?: Morning
McDonalds or Burger King?: Urgh! Don’t like either.
The Simpsons or Family Guy?: The Simpsons
Coke or Pespi?: Pepsi
Batman or Superman?: Superman
Chocolate or Vanilla?: Chocolate
Summer or Winter?: Summer
Shower or Bath?: Shower
Countryside or Big city?: Countryside
Fame or Money?: Money
Piercings or Tattoos?: Tattoos if done properly. I don’t like random bits of ugly writing; they have to be meaningful or beautiful. Some piercings just give me the creeps.
Mac or PC?: PC
Mermaids or Unicorns?: Unicorns
Hermoine Granger or Bella Swan?: Bella Swan