This month we sent our Cockatoo subscribers the wonderful High Rise Mystery, about two sisters who are very skilled detectives and get to work on a case when a local resident is murdered. It's fantastically written and a real page-turner. Maps and documents really help bring the girls' investigation to life. Here we quiz author Sharna Jackson about what inspired the book and her writing routine:
What inspired you to write High Rise Mystery?
My mum was obsessed with Sherlock Holmes when I was a child – I grew up watching it all the time. I loved the twists and turns and find the scammery of murder mysteries thrilling. I was thinking about how interesting it would be to set a story like that in the present day and High Rise Mystery was born.
Who do you relate to more, Nik or Norva?
Ooh – that's a hard question! I think I'm a bit of both. I shave my head like Nik because it's practical, but sometimes I can be very dramatic like Norva.
Why did you decide to set the book in a London tower block?
People who live in tower blocks are often – very unfairly – accused of negative things. I wanted the book to show that there is a strong community on estates, full of brave and clever children. I also love the architecture of tower blocks and spent a lot of time designing The Tri.
Do you have a favourite place to write?
No doubt about it – from my bed, eating crisps (Prawn Cocktail please).
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
As well as being a writer, I am also the Artistic Director of Site Gallery in Sheffield. So if I wasn't writing, I'd be there even more.
What was your favourite book as a child?
I absolutely loved The Runaways (1987) by Ruth Thomas. It follows the story of two 11-year-olds – Nathan and Julia – who find a lot of money in a seemingly-abandoned house in London and use it to go on an adventure.
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