Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?
My latest book is Psychic Surveys Book Four: Old Cross Cottage, the latest installment of the Psychic Surveys series which centres round a group of freelance psychics who specialise in domestic spiritual clearance. As with all cases in the series, this is drawn from real-life experience too, and focuses on an ancient cottage in a village near Lyme Regis with a very dark and disturbed history. Having stayed at the cottage several times I was able to draw from my experiences and those who have also stayed in recent years, making for a story that is both unique and frightening. The actual cottage is also featured on the front cover.
If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?
The title of my life story would be: The In Betweener, because that’s where I live, one foot in the real world, one foot in the fictional world. I’m never quite wholly in one or the other, although there are times when I really should be more in the former… the appointments I’ve missed or been late for!
What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?
I’ve received many requests from people who ‘get’ the more spiritual side of my books and write to ask me if I’m psychic or want to tell me about their psychic experiences too (which are usually very interesting). I’ve also been asked to attend several spiritual church meetings, although I always politely decline! As for being psychic? Well… I never confirm one way or the other.
If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?
I would love to co-write with Charlotte or Emily Bronte. Their books are so full of emotion and angst, something I tried to emulate in Jessamine, which after publication was described as “A Wuthering Heights for the 21st century’. As chuffed as I was with that, I’d love them to show me how they managed to saturate their stories with so much feeling, although I suspect it’s instinctive and can’t be taught.
Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).
I haven’t got dyslexia as such, but I do have a complete blind side when it comes to grammar. Despite people trying to teach me, it just doesn’t make sense to me at all. I’ve even got an English degree, but my tutors gave up on me regarding grammar, just encouraged my creative side instead. Thank God for editors is all I can say!
Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.
The Call by Corinna Edwards-Colledge – a novella concerning one call and the thirteen lives it goes on to impact. It’s intelligent, it’s unique and it’s very well written, giving an insight into how all of us are connected, even those who don’t know each other.
Winter Moon by Dean Koontz – I love Dean Koontz, he is one of my favourite authors and this latest novel is another gem. His turn of phrase is almost poetic and the tension builds up slowly, slowly before being unleashed. But it’s not all horror, there’s some real insightfulness into the human condition in this book.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson – I’ve read this book a few times now, it’s a reminder of what a ghost story should be like, as realistic as you can get it and leaving plenty to the imagination, because it’s what the reader imagines that can be truly scary, rather than having it spelt out for you.
Who is Shani Struthers?
It’s all about the ghosts… Born and raised on the sunny south coast of England, I’ve always been fascinated with the paranormal, ever since my firstly ghostly encounter as a child in the wilds of North Cornwall. As an adult, I’ve always worked with words, first as a copywriter and then as a novelist – combine those two interests and – voila! – you’ve got ghost stories galore! Here’s the order my books (to date) come in and I hope you enjoy them!
Psychic Surveys Book One: The Haunting of Highdown Hall
Psychic Surveys Book Two: Rise to Me
Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street
Psychic Surveys Book Four: Old Cross Cottage