Huge thanks to Sheryl Browne, for stopping by the Love Books Group Blog. We have lot’s of questions and are so excited that yesterday was the launch day for After She’s Gone. Links for all Sheryl’s books will be at the bottom of the blog.
My publishing Journey.
My first attempt at getting what I thought was a reasonably written book published was a disaster. I had an agent, who picked up the book and thought it had bestseller written across it. It didn’t sell, at all. Reading it later (I’d stuck it in a drawer, as you do) I realised it was actually not so well written. Becoming a writer is a learning curve and I honestly think the best tool you have at your disposal is reading. The fact is, Stephen King is so right, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write”. Other authors can show you how to weave a story and they can be a massive stimulus for your own writing.
Describe yourself using three words?
Caring. Practical. Possessive (of my writing time!).
What is your favourite book and why?
Stephen King’s Misery? Unsuspecting, injured author held captive by a psychopathic and very angry fan? What a simple and truly fabulous premise
How did you pick the title of your book?
Oh, titles! I can write a whole book and still not have a title in place. Thank goodness Choc Lit are pretty good at choosing them.
Are the characters in your book based on real people?
Real people inspire me and the whole gamut of emotion that comes with them. How honest should I be? Something I rarely talk about is the loss of a child, my second. I won’t go into detail, suffice to say, I somehow found myself leaning towards offering to counsel people who had suffered the similar loss. Within that role, which extended to counselling in other areas, I realised I could relate to people in a way that touched me to the very core. I lived the emotions. I found I wanted to write about people, all people, people just like you and me, gravitating towards family and family dynamics and just how strong a family unit can be. In ‘reading’ people, I seem to see the bad and the good, and I have to write their stories. Fictional stories, of course. I wake up and there’s a fully-formed character in my head who won’t let me go. He, or she, calls to me. They are what they are and I have to follow them. So, yes, I’d say they are an amalgamation of real people.
What’s your favourite word?
Bibliothèque (French for library or bookcase). I have no idea why. I just loved it when I learned it in school. Maybe it was telling.
If you were a colour what would it be?
Yellow, because it’s sunny.
Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?
Plotting for me is … complete pandemonium. I start with a character and vague outline, i.e. pivotal plot points. In Sins of the Father, for instance, the whole story is based around my protagonist making a bad judgement call and finding himself a victim of a drug-related sexual assault. When you have a character in your head complete with traits and quirks, he’s inevitably going to lead the story and in this situation, his emotions are going to be all over the place. He’s dictating his reactions so the outline goes out of the window and the post it notes begin to adorn my working surfaces, occasionally being seized upon as I actually remember them. The notepad inevitably accompanies me to bed, because those emotions don’t shut off at night. Sleep deprivation is definitely a downside of being a writer.
Who is your favourite Author?
Martina Cole. Her books were a huge influence on me and the inspiration behind my desire to delve into the darker psyche of some of my characters. A book that stays with me is The Ladykiller. It’s with morbid fascination you glimpse into the mindset of a sexually depraved killer.
If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?
Can I include film – screenplay written by Callie Khouri? Thelma and Louise, an enduring classic. The ending: two women pursued by the authorities and facing certain prison consciously ‘keeping on going’ over the edge of the Grand Canyon, was superb. It couldn’t have ended any other way but I would so like to have seen them drive another day.
Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?
I’m taking part in a ‘Literary Extravaganza’ as part of the Droitwich Arts Fest 2017. The date is provisionally Saturday 22 July.
About The Book
After She’s Gone
He’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do?
There’s evil and then there’s Patrick Sullivan. A drug dealer, pimp and murderer, there are no depths to which Patrick would not sink, and Detective Inspector Matthew Adams has found this out in the most devastating way imaginable.
When Patrick’s brother is shot dead in a drug bust gone wrong, the bitter battle between the two men intensifies, and Matthew finds it increasingly difficult to hold the moral high ground. All he wants is to make the pimping scum suffer the way he did … the way Lily did.
But being at war with such a depraved individual means that it’s not just Matthew who’s in danger. Patrick has taken a lot from Matthew, but he hasn’t taken everything – and now he wants everything.
Snap up your copy of After She’s Gone here ~ Amazon UK
Many thanks to Sheryl Browne and Lu at Choc Lit for all your time and help for this article.