An Interview With Sharna Jackson, author of High Rise Mystery

Sharna Jackson


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.

Purchase your own copy of High Rise Mystery along with the activity pack we created to accompany it here.

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