Sunday, February 14, 2016

Interview & Giveaway: The Rest of My Life by Sheryl Browne

About Sheryl Browne


Heartache, humour, love, loss, betrayal - and a little Ohhhh la la! Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, poignant fiction. A member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and shortlisted for Innovation in Romantic Fiction, Sheryl has recently completed her MA in Creative Writing. She has six books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University Anthologies. A further short, written to script, was performed live at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Sheryl was recently signed by Choc Lit, who acquired a contemporary romance novel recommended by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer. When she's not writing, Sheryl can be found doing strange things like skydiving from 20,000 feet or abseiling down buildings, which possibly makes her a little bit mad.

Interview          
 
Could you introduce yourself to my readers?

I’d love to! Here we go (I’ll try not to be too boring!): I’m Sheryl Browne and I live in leafy Worcestershire, UK, with my partner and my son. I’m also a foster mum to disabled dogs and an author, writing edgy, sexy, heartfelt fiction. I’m a member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and I’m super-pleased to share that my latest contemporary romance, The Rest of My Life, has been shortlisted for the Love Stories Award 2015. As at writing, the final awards are yet to take place, but obviously I’m really thrilled and tremendously grateful to readers and bookbloggers who have been so amazingly supportive. To date, I have seven books published, two shorts in Birmingham City University anthologies, and a further short published in Let’s Hear it For the Boys – all proceeds to Movember, raising funds for Men’s Health Awareness. This is a cause very close to my heart as my partner had a cancer diagnosis this year. Thanks to early detection, he is doing really well, but this is one of the reasons we’re supporting Movember – as well as officially giving women out there the okay to nag their men!
 
Animals play an important part in your novels, why is that? Do you have any pets?

I wouldn’t be without them, Suze. As mentioned, I foster disabled dogs. That is, long term foster of dogs with physical disabilities or illness, including behavioural problems, which can stem from ill treatment, and also age related problems. For instance, one of my recent dogs, now sadly deceased, had Alzheimer’s Disease. He was confused, but frankly the happiest, most loveable old boy I’ve ever had. He lived to the ripe old age of nineteen and totally enriched my life. Another girl had cancer. She had a leg removed, but was so amiable she eventually became a Pets As Therapy dog. Pets As Therapy dogs visit hospitals, hospices, care homes and special needs schools where people can benefit from the tactile comfort and undemanding, unconditional love offered by such a dog. Obviously therefore I have a huge interest in Assistance Dogs. It’s no surprise therefore these amazing animals creep into my books! In Somebody to Love, for instance, which turns around a single father with a special needs child, ergo a lot riding on any relationship he might enter into, I feature an Autism Assistance dog (ADD). I do have experience of special needs and am fortunate enough to know a single parent in similar circumstances. Through him, I came to learn how a specially trained Autism Assistance Dog can transform a child’s life (and that of those parenting or caring for a special needs child). For information, one in one hundred children in the UK is diagnosed with Autism. Many of these children will have a tendency to bolt and wander off which can obviously be very distressing and dangerous. Autism Assistance Dogs are trained to provide safety and companionship, helping to bring independence for both the child and their family. The dogs have been shown to reduce stress, promote positive changes in behaviour, provide comfort for children and even suppress behavioural outbursts. How could I not incorporate something so amazing into one of my books? The book is written (I hope) in a humorous, relatable way and has had some truly amazing reviews, for which I am extremely grateful.
Your main characters are always a bit unusual, (which is something I really like about them) how come?

You might have gathered from the above that I like to write about people dealing with life’s problems, as we all tend to have to, i.e. people who might seem different, but who in reality are not, perhaps even making them more relatable to. I think I tend to draw on life events and the emotions around them, looking at the inner and outer conflicts people might be trying to cope with. In The Rest of My Life, for instance, the inner conflicts and demons both Adam and Sienna were tackling needed careful handling. Sienna’s mother struggled with bipolar disorder. Anyone who has experience of this knows that it is a much misunderstood condition. I do have experience of it, but still, careful research was called for, as with depression linked to post-traumatic stress disorder, which Adam acknowledges he has, but doubts that anyone can help him with. Admittedly, this all sounds a bit heavy, but my aim is to incorporate humour, as well as heartache, hopefully leaving the reader with that all-important feel good factor.

Adam doesn’t seem like relationship material, but he’s actually really sweet. How did you get the idea to write about him?

My books always seem to start off with a nicely formed man, which isn’t a bad way to start. I have no idea why. Even when I have an idea for a strong female protagonist, the male lead, whether he’s good or bad, or a dangerously heady mixture of both, he’s right there, his features, his hair, his clothes, his mannerisms, his conflicts, inner and outer. Adam was fundamentally flawed. He didn’t like himself and worked at reinforcing his reasons why by making sure other people didn’t like him either. Through writing his story, I wanted to see if Adam couldn’t learn to love himself a little better. More importantly, I wondered if the reader could learn to love him.

Your writing is full of energy, is that also how you are in person? Why/why not?
 
I think I’m definitely an active sort of person. I can either be found on the go, or comatose. I suppose that’s no surprise, living in a houseful of mad people and odd dogs! I think writers do have to work hard nowadays, taking into consideration the promotional aspect, so you do need plenty of energy food. Chocolate? What chocolate? When I’m not writing, I’m either walking dogs (on a rota), boating, decorating or tackling those yuck housework jobs. To be honest, the only time I’m still, is when I’m reading. Thank goodness for books!

You write both thrillers and romantic books, what’s the best thing about that combination?

I do. Apparently, according to one review, I make a good psychopath! I have no idea whether it’s a good combination. I hope not to confuse readers, but I suppose my writing always tends to turn around family dynamics, looking at the fragility of love, life and relationships, so perhaps the two genres are not so far apart in reality. I’m looking at human nature, basically, the good, the bad and perhaps sometimes the ugly. The brilliant thing about writing romantic books and thriller is that, if I’m stuck on a plot point I can soon turn to another work in progress. Inevitably, the characters from my other book will soon start demanding attention if I do, so maybe one feeds off the other

What are your 3 favorite books?

Ohhhh, now that’s a hard one! As mentioned, I write in two genres so I’d have to plump for… um, Marian Keyes (Water Melon and any of the Walsh family series. Or maybe The Woman who Stole My Life). I adore Marian’s writing. Her books tend to deal with modern ailments, but are always written with the compassion and humour I so admire. Also, pretty much any book by Martina Cole. Martina is another author I admire tremendously. For me, the magic of Martina Cole’s books is her fabulously unique way of leading us seamlessly into the heads of her characters: real flesh and blood people we can identify with and get to know.

Lastly, Police, Crime & 999 – The True Story of a Front Line Officer by John Donoghue. I badly needed something to cheer me up after my partner’s cancer diagnosis and his undergoing various surgeries. You can probably guess then that this author had his work cut out. He succeeded! I laughed until I cried, literally. The book is totally hilarious. In fact the title of my review, which you can find here, is ‘Excellent Therapy’. His other books, Police, Lies & Alibis and Shakespeare My Butt are similarly sidesplittingly hilarious and I’ve just started his latest, Police, Arrests & Suspects. I’m already crying, in the best possible way.

What’s so magical about the water and boats?

Everything! It’s fabulous exercise (yes, I get to do all the locks). It allows me to read – lots! Also, it’s great inspiration. The Edge of Sanity looks at a family held captive on a boat. Also, in The Rest of My Life we open with Adam living an apparently carefree, bachelor existence on a boat. I had to do lots of research involving physical location, therefore, including cruising the River Avon and Severn, which was a real hardship, I can tell you, stopping off at various pubs, mooring up in idyllic surroundings, eyeing up single men who happened to be cruising … Ooops!

We’ve pretty much covered the inland waterways on our travels. Arriving in Worcester recently, after negotiating the River Severn on treacherous high amber alert, I was reminded why I do it. Our little narrow-boat, Aquaduck, is our sanctuary, our bolthole when we are in need of peace and tranquillity, though all was not so tranquil when Aquaduck sank after hitting a submerged bridge recently (there’s always a silver lining, however. I did manage to save the wine).
 
 
You’ve got a degree in Creative Writing, what’s the best advice you’ve been given during your studies?

I’m not sure it’s advice exactly, but the best thing I got from completing my MA course was confidence. Confidence in myself as a person and as a writer. The course covered various modules including stageplay and scriptwriting, for instance, which enable me to stretch the boundaries. Interacting with other hugely talented students also enabled me to see a single idea from many perspectives. In short, it opened my mind. I would urge anyone considering such a course, to go for it. With family and work commitments, it took me a while, but I am so glad I did it.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Oooh, loads! I’m currently on the last third of my WIP, another thriller, the sequel to Death Sentence, currently entitled Mantrap. I have a contemporary romance in progress, working title: Ripples on the Water. Also … I have a new contract!! My contemporary romance, Learning to Love, has now been contracted by fabulous Choc Lit and I have another contract in the offing. The working title for that book is, All That YOU Are.

I also have other submissions underway. Phew. You’re sorry you asked now, aren’t you!

Thanks so much for featuring me, Suze and Anniek, and for your wonderful support. I really could not do this without fabulous readers and bookbloggers, who have cheered me all the way. THANK YOU so much to you all.

About The Rest of My Life




The Rest of My Life “You can’t run away from commitment forever … ”

Adam Hamilton-Shaw has more reason than most to avoid commitment. Living on a houseboat in the Severn Valley, his dream is to sail into the sunset – preferably with a woman waiting in every port. But lately, his life looks more like a road to destruction than an idyllic boat ride…

Would-be screenplay writer Sienna Meadows realises that everything about Adam spells trouble – but she can’t ignore the feeling that there is more to him than just his bad reputation. Nor can she ignore the intense physical attraction that exists between them.

And it just so happens that Adam sees Sienna as the kind of woman he could commit to. But can he change his damaging behaviour – or is the road to destruction a one-way street?

http://lrd.to/rest-of-my-life

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, poignant fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has seven books published, two shorts in Birmingham City University anthologies, and a further short published in ‘Let’s Hear it For the Boys’ – all proceeds to Movember raising funds for men’s health awareness.

Sheryl’s new contemporary romance novel was recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer. THE REST OF MY LIFE comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Buy | Buy US | Pinterest

Loveahappyending Lifestyle

Safkhet Publishing | Choc Lit | Romantic Novelists’ Association
 
https://youtu.be/7p319itbVKg

Giveaway


One very lucky reader of our blog will receive a pre-order of the paperback from The Rest of My Life via The Bookdepository (if they don't ship to your country we can send you a kindle copy instead) together with a beautiful romantic necklace made by Starla Moore. The red rose has a special meaning in the story.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway
All of our giveaways are international. The winner will be notified by e-mail and has 3 days to respond.

43 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Thank you soooo much, Suze and Anniek! Loving how sane you've made me sound! Haw, haw! Ohhhh, and I adore the necklace. So Gorgeous and such a lovely thing to do! Have a fab rest of your Sunday both! :) xx

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  3. Sheryl, you have so much energy! And who doesn't love a nicely formed man ;)

    Thank you for linking with #TalkoftheTown

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  4. Sadly, nothing that romantic has ever really happened to me :)

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  5. I got up in the morning of my birthday and saw a huge flower bonquet waiting for me :)

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  6. I don't think I've ever received a really romantic gesture unfortunately.

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  7. a night in a hotel in windermere with a moonlit walk and jacuzzi bath!!

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  8. I wish I had a great story for the most romantic thing to happen to me, but I don't :( Hopefully, I still win! ;)

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  9. I wish I had a great story for the most romantic thing to happen to me, but I don't :( Hopefully, I still win! ;)

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  10. Don't have an Romantic story ! I am a single mom ! Thank you for the giveaway !

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  11. Well, nothing romantic has ever happened to me :(

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  12. my hunny picked me wild flowers while out on a training exercise (army) tied it with green army rope and brought it home to me

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  13. Sitting on a balcony in southern Ireland watching the sun go down with the one I love.

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  14. i honestly cant think of anything!! how bad is that!

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  15. My true love, may he rest in peace, took me to restaurant with a lovely view of the Manhattan skyline. A preset menu with actual champagne and he started me word with chocolate dessert first. Then it was drinks and he fulfilled one of my fantasies. A few years later he showed me he still had the silk panties he'd cut off me. He said it was his favorite Valentine's Day ever.

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  16. No overly romantic moments for me sadly, maybe soon though!

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  18. Flowers are the the most romantic thing the boyfriend always does.

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  19. My bofriend at the time had no money. So valentines day I woke up to find 100 handpainted roses scattered all around the house. Swoon!

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  20. My hubby bought me books. Not even romance books, but the gesture was romantic :)

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  21. I guy I had just met flew me to Dublin for the weekend to stay in a 5* hotel.

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  22. I can't think of anything at the moment. Sad, huh? :-) The book sounds great though!!

    Deborah

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  23. Brilliant interview! I love Sheryl's books! #TalkoftheTown

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  24. My most romantic moment was eloping with my husband (30 plus years ago).

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  25. My most romantic moment was eloping with my husband (30 plus years ago).

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  26. My most romantic moment is when my boyfriend planned an evening of all things I like to do.

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  27. The romantic husband in my life is fiction

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  28. The moment my partner said to me that if he'd be rich and famous, he'd still be searching for me.

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  29. I can't think of anything but my fictional boyfriends do a lot of romantic things LOL

    Megan @ reading away the days

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  30. Thank you soooo much, Suze and Anniek!

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  31. My husband proposing - we've been married 17 years!

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  32. It was a romantic treasure hunt I set up for my girlfriend. The clues led her to a lovely country hotel where I'd organised a great meal and an overnight stay. She loved it anyway :)

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  33. I don't think I've ever received a really romantic gesture unfortunately.

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  34. Sorry to say, nothing romantic has ever happened to me...

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  35. probably the night i met my husband

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  36. Nothing 'big' has happened to me yet, just some cute little notes hidden in my pockets, flowers for no reason, stuff like that.

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  37. Nothing romantic ever happened to me yet

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  38. When i was vacation with my husband, we go to the beach and without saying anything, my hubby draw a big heart in sand with my name on it. I was so surprise at that time, he wasn't a romantic person but sometimes he can give me a big surprise =)

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  39. breakfast in bed, My ex wasn't very romantic, hence my ex.lol. :)

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  40. When I first came from New Zealand to live with my man in the UK he said we were going out for dinner. I did the right thing - put a dress, stockings, high heels & make-up. When I was finally ready, he took me up to the Promenade to a local fish & chip shop, bought fish & chips and we sat under the clock tower on the Prom & ate the fish & chips whilst watching the sun going down on Morecambe Bay. A magical sight any day but especially on our first real night-out.

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