Just Heard, Just Read, Just Seen catches up with novelist Vered Ehsani and talks ghosts….
Angelique Jurd: Thanks for talking to Just Heard, Just Read, Just Seen. To get started can you give us a snapshot of who you are: Where are you from? Are you a full time working writer or do you have a ‘day’ job? Are you married? Do you have children? Do you have pets? (Only answer what you are comfortable sharing with the site readers)
Vered Ehsani: I’m from all over! Born in South Africa, raised in Canada, lived in Peru, Israel and, for the past 11 years, in Kenya with my husband and 2 kids. I recently quite my day job at the United Nations Environment Programme to focus on writing and other creative projects.
AJ:You have just published a book – can you tell us a little about it, without giving away too many spoilers? What is the target audience?
VE: I have one book published – Diary of a Part Time Ghost – with the sequel being edited this month. These are Young Adult / Paranormal, although most of the readers so far have been a little less ‘Young’ and a little more ‘Adult’! In brief, the story: a teen boy gets turned into a ghost and zapped back into the past during a critical time in American history, where he gets involved in the intrigues of the day.
I have also just finished writing a third novel, but a departure from the first two, based on an e-letter I send out every couple weeks. Both the e-letter (see facebook.com/TheGhostPost for recent posts) and the novel are called The Ghost Post.
AJ: What inspired you to write it?
VE:The Diary series was because I was getting interested in young adult fiction. The Ghost Post regular posts are purely for fun and I get to exercise my quirky humour. The Ghost Post novel was a giggle to write as well.
AJ: How did you come up with the title?
VE: Diary of a Part Time Ghost has a certain diary feel to it (first person and all), and the Part Time Ghost part is what Ash, the main character, described himself as. The Ghost Post – I have no idea.
AJ: Which character do you like the most? Why?
VE: In the Diary series: Ash because he’s the reluctant hero. In The Ghost Post, Axe Cooper because he’s seriously messed up as well as dead.
AJ: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspired you?
VE: I started writing when I was about 8, but it was a grade 9 English teacher who encouraged me and planted the idea in my mind that I could actually one day be A Writer.
AJ: What book are you reading now?
VE: I just finished Percy Jackson series (it’s what my 11 year old son is into, and I loved them!) and have just started The Shack.
AJ: Do you ever write longhand?
VE: Nope. Definitely not, although I do sketch out the characters and outline in a notebook sometimes.
AJ: How long does it take to finish a project?
VE: It depends. For Diary and its sequel, it took at least a year per book for the draft, because I was working at the UN, which kind of got in the way. The Ghost Post (first draft) was finished in just over 1 month (the benefit of NOT having a day job.)
AJ: What are the three pieces of advice you would give a new writer?
VE: Write. Write. and Write.