What a wet and windy day it is today. Autumn is definitely here . The wind has blown loads of leaves onto my front path, and the pavement outside is all soggy with them. Time for my boots and mittens! But at least the rain provides a good excuse to put the central heating on and stay inside. I’ve made today’s visitor a nice warming pot of tea and some toasted tea-cakes.
Welcome to rainy Yorkshire, Sheryl!
Where do you live, Sheryl? I live in Droitwich in Worcestershire, sometimes in a house. Intrigued? Well, this is our alternative place of abode:
Our little narrowboat, Aquaduck. Yes, it is a wee bit on the small side. We’re currently looking at a live-aboard, hopefully to be moored at Diglis Basin in Worcester as our current marina doesn’t cater for wide-beams (the boat’s wide-beam, I hasten to add, not mine). A wide-beam is a double-width boat, which will give us more personal space. It’s either that or separate boats.
A live-aboard boat – how romantic is that! And how lovely to go up and down the canals of Britain.
Where is your favourite place in the world? Apart from in a good place with my writing, and despite having been fortunate enough to travel the the Far East, Bali and its wonderfully rich culture being my all-time favourite, I actually adore being here, in the UK, riding my bike or walking my dogs along the canal towpaths or leafy country lanes of Worcestershire. I foster disabled dogs, incidentally, so dog-walking is something I do plenty of, usually in rotas.
I take my dog along the Leeds-Liverpool canal sometimes. It’s a great place to mull over my writing, and you see all sorts of wildlife, plus the barges going up and down and the lads out fishing. And my dog loves to chase the ducks and squirrels. Luckily she never catches any!
Being a writer is a great job. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? I’ve done all sorts over the years, even run my own business, but being a carer was, not perhaps the worst, but definitely the toughest job I’ve ever done. I won’t go into detail. It was something I wanted to do and something that was rewarding, but also exhausting and heart-breaking. Carers who look after people at home should be given medals in my humble opinion, certainly more support and recognition.
I worked as a home-carer too, and I understand exactly what you mean. There were never enough hours in the day, and it was hard physical work. I made some great friendships, though, and met some brilliant people.
What book do you wish you’d written? Currently, it’s the one I am reading: The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman. When I first picked this up, I peeked under the cover, read the first few pages, and then snapped it shut and stared at it, as if the contents might leap out and bite me. The subject matter is early onset Alzheimer’s Disease, a subject I have close personal experience of, and one which is terribly difficult to write engagingly about. I was intrigued to see how the author handled it. I am pleased to say she did it with sensitivity, tenderness and quiet humour. It’s a beautiful, poignant story turning around the love that binds mother and daughter together, and, yes, one I would love to have written, though I doubt I could have done it quite so skilfully.
I read The Memory Book earlier this year, and loved it.
What’s your favourite song? Oooh, difficult. I think, Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel. It is a little before my time, but my mum loved to sing it (bless her socks) and I recently saw the 50th Anniversary Tour of The Simon Garfunkel Story at the Malvern Theatre, using huge projection photos and original footage. It’s very much on my mind at the moment therefore.
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them? Ooh, so many. Shakespeare – to witness a drama unfold? I actually think I would plump for my father, though, so I could ask him about his childhood, something I never got a chance to do.
What’s your happiest childhood memory? Lying on my back in the garden on a warm sunny day, making castles in the sky. I think I was about five. I was obviously a dreamer, even then.
What a lovely memory.
If you had to marry a fictional character, from film, television, or books, who would it be? Hmmm? Well, Clooney’s gone and broken my heart and I think Darcy’s been exhausted, poor guy. I could possibly overlook Don Draper’s philandering in Mad Men, but … I’m going for Aiden Shaw from Sex and the City – so I could un-break his heart.
I’m totally in love with Jon Hamm, no matter what role he plays!
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you? Never judge a book by its cover (read person).
I write in two genres: witty, poignant romance and psychological thriller. My latest is a thriller, entitled, The Edge of Sanity. I have to say, I was a little bit nervous about putting this one ‘out there’ but the reviews so far are truly fabulous. I can’t thank readers and reviewers enough for their feedback. Here’s a little snippet from one:
This book was amazing! Heart-wrenching, captivating, dramatic and all-out simply the best thriller I’ve read in… as long as I remember. Brilliant. Top Ten books read: 2014 – Reviewed the Book
The book currently features on Crime Fiction Lover, alongside Harlan Coben, Lee Child, Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer, Peter James… so I’m pretty ‘thrilled’ about that, too. If you’d like to find out more about me and my books, please feel free to browse my link below. Meanwhile, here’s the blurb, if you fancy a peek:
The Edge of Sanity – How far would YOU go to protect your family?
A decent, ordinary man, a man who has already suffered the loss of one child, Daniel Conner is forced by extraordinary circumstances into being a hero. Tortured, forcibly drugged—heroin still pulsating nauseatingly through his veins—his wife and daughter degraded, Daniel knows their kidnapper is beyond reasoning with.
But does being pushed one step beyond endurance justify doing the unthinkable?
High on drugs, indebted to his supplier, and desperate, Charlie Roberts takes Daniel’s wife and daughter hostage. Daniel does everything within his power to rescue the situation bloodlessly. Eventually though, Daniel realises that with or without violent mood swings induced by amphetamines and cocaine, Charlie Roberts is a psychopath. He wants more than Daniel’s money.
He wants him.
The Edge of Sanity: a harrowing story of hope amid loss and betrayal.
Thank you for featuring me on your lovely blog, Helena!
FIND Sheryl Browne’s books via the links below:
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Thanks so much for coming today, Sheryl. It’s been great getting to know you, and how fascinating that you write in two such very different genres. Congratulations to you on your great reviews for The Edge of Sanity. It sounds a really gripping read!
Have a good trip home!
If you’ve enjoyed Sheryl’s interview, or have any questions or comments at all, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!