|In this latest author to author, I’d love to introduce the lovely Sheryl Browne
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Sheryl grew up in Birmingham, UK, where she studied Art & Design. She wears many hats: a partner in her own business, a mother, and a foster parent to disabled dogs. Creative in spirit, Sheryl has always had a passion for writing. She has previously been published in the US and writes Romantic Comedy because, as she puts it, “life is just too short to be miserable.”
Links: Website: www.sherylbrowne.com
- Born with a pen in your hand or writing came as a shock brigade?
Hmm? Well, born with a crayon in my hand possibly. I’m an artistic soul, secreting myself away from my siblings as a child to draw and paint in solitude. I loved anything colourful and visual, which would fire my imagination. Even as a toddler, I adored book covers and the illustrations therein. Later, Grimm’s Fairy Tales and The Chronicles of Narnia totally enchanted me. You’d never think it now – because I’m never the quiet one in a crowd, but I was little mouse as a youngster and not overconfident. So, it came as a complete shock – to my then school teacher, as well as me – when I was considered talented enough to take the entrance exam to art school at age eleven. Phewie. Still, I remained an introvert, drawing and scribbling away. I was totally rubbish at maths but, surprise, surprise, good at English. So good, apparently, that my English tutor – who famously said he never marked higher than 19/20 – marked my essay 21+/20. When he then went around the class asking us to comment on our essays, I just sat there, cheeks glowing like a set of brake lights and too timid to point out his obvious mistake. I’ll never forget the smile on his face when I did manage to speak up. Maybe he was trying to encourage me out of my shell. From thereon, I wrote like my life depended on it. My dad, who considered books in themselves to be works of art – woe betide anyone who turned down a page at the corner – continued to encourage me to read (I’m not sure Charles Dickens was suitable to my age group, though obviously I adored the characters) and I’ve been reading and writing ever since.
- How much does real life inspire or shape your writing?
Real people inspire my writing, real life events and the turmoil of emotions that often goes with them. That said, I like to look at the humour in a situation. Not that I would laugh at people’s disasters. God knows, I’m a walking disaster myself (I’m the kind of person that breaks her ankle, goes to work on crutches – single parent with necessary day-job – and falls face-first off the bus!), so I’m looking to laugh with people, rather than at them. I want to squeeze someone’s hand when they’re sad and try to make them smile. Thus, my stories tend to be character led, often featuring children and teenagers with all their adolescent quirkiness. When I write, my aim is to leave someone with that all-important feel-good factor. It someone laughs, it makes me feel good, and is a fabulous way to measure whether I’ve succeeded.
- What is your biggest ambition?
My biggest ambition was to tackle my arachnophobia. I was so terrified of spiders, I moved house once, because they were just huge! I did it! Yay! Cognitive therapy cured me, thank God. My biggest ambition now, if I’m totally honest, would be able to sell enough books to justify my writing time, my me time. I don’t aspire to bestseller… OK, I lie, I do …but I would like to be able to say, I’m busy, without the tinge of guilt that goes with it – whilst quietly hoping my family would find the kitchen without the aid of a compass, of course.
Oh, and to marry George Clooney, obviously. He’s playing a bit hard to get, but I don’t give up easily.
- When did you realise you had made it as a writer?
Well, I have been previously published in the US which was fab, but I felt I’d made it when my current lovely publisher http://safkhetpublishing.com/ liked my style and asked me to write Recipes For Disaster for them. I was so nervous waiting for their feedback, I’d almost bitten my fingernails down to my elbows. And then they said Yes! They loved it! Music to a writer’s ears. Needless to say, I was euphoric. Rejection is part and parcel of being a writer. You have to try to use criticism positively, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and move on. Your confidence does dwindle sometimes though. Working with Safkhet has done wonders for mine.
- Have you ever switched genres, or considered doing so?
I definitely switch genres, though it’s not something I would recommend unless you are exceptionally good at marketing yourself and possibly an already established writer. It tends to confuse people. However, because my stories are, as previously stated, character led, I tend to look at the dynamics of the family unit and what makes people tick. I suppose you might call the genre I write in when not doing rom-com, family thriller. I would certainly consider switching genres if asked to do so by someone who wanted to publish me! There is no bigger incentive for an author than to be recognised. What can I say? I’m a writer. I have to write.
Thanks so much, Elle, for interviewing me and indulging my ramblings!
My pleasure Sheryl!
She’s a single. He’s a widower. She wants him. He wants her. She wants to impress. So does he. There’s just one catch – she can’t cook. To get him, she needs to get past the big fish – his mother. Lucky her, she’s got an Ace up her sleeve and all she’s got to do is impress this one time. Bad luck, though, her new guy can’t cook either, her dog Rambo is on the loose and now they’ve got to pull off the big lunch at the club. Will it be a match made in heaven? Will they be able to pull off a culinary miracle? Will their combined efforts result in love at first bite? Or is it simply a Recipe for Disaster?
Pre-order your copy today, using the links below, to have it in your hands on Valentine’s Day!
Safkhet Publishing – Recipes for Disaster by Sheryl Browne
Recipes for Disaster – Mix romantic comedy and step-by-step cooking instructions. Bake at 200 degrees for an entertaining read and handy guide. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org