After twenty odd years, I’m finally with a publisher that is one hundred per cent behind me. Bookouture aim to create brilliant books that sell. I’m not sure I would class myself in the brilliant category but I have loved every second of my publishing journey with them.
I write psychological thriller. According to one reviewer, I make an excellent psychopath.
My previous book, Trust Me, was recently made book of the week at a book club. While I was listening to the discussion, my tiny new rescue puppy scrambled to lick my face as he thought I was crying. (I was!). The host knew the book intimately and brought my characters flooding back to me, reminding me how much I loved writing them and why I keep writing. That would be because of the support of readers. Thank you so much to everyone who has bought and read my books.
It took me a while to realise that if you have a character without all the traits that make them human, then a reader won’t identify with or feel them. Two elements can give us our basic character: their personal life and their occupation. If these two elements are in conflict, we’ve – hopefully – incited interest. A third element will make them come alive. For me, a character’s secret is their most defining trait and also pivotal to the story.
I recently decided to apply the scriptwriting skills I’d learned as part of my MA in creative writing to my novel writing. A bit drastic, I know, but I’d realised I was getting too immersed in my character’s inner voice resulting in way too much superfluous narrative. As an exercise, I wanted to tell the story using dialogue only, no exposition, no inner monologues. Did it work? Yes, to a degree. I’ve certainly identified where a story might drag and it’s helped immensely in eliminating clunky dialogue. Will I develop the ideas and go back an insert the narrative voice? Possibly. Whatever, the exercise has given me new impetus to make my characters three-dimensional. I’m keen to get on with the next project.
My latest book, My Husband’s Girlfriend, is my ninth book published with Bookouture. There are secrets aplenty. In fact, the lead in line for the blurb is: She told my little boy a secret and now he’s gone… I can’t wait to see what readers think.
My work in progress is now at the submission stage. You know something, those edits don’t seem so bad after taking this piece of advice on board: You have the power to change it. Even huge structural edits don’t seem so insurmountable now. I can change it. After all, the words are mine.
Happy writing and reading all!
Bestselling Author, Sheryl Browne, writes taut, twisty psychological thriller. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies where she completed her MA in Creative Writing. Sheryl has also obtained a Certificate of Achievement in Forensic Science and – according to readers – she makes an excellent psychopath. Sheryl’s latest psychological thriller My Husband's Girlfriend comes to you from BOOKOUTURE. Her previous works include the DI Matthew Adams Crime Thriller series, along with contemporary fiction novels, The Rest of My Life and Learning to Love.
To find out more about Sheryl go to www.sherylbrowne.com
Readers are always interested in how ideas for stories come to be and THE EVIDENCE started to develop when I had the idea of incorporating podcast extracts within a story. I’ve been a fan of podcasts since listening to the gripping Serial by Sarah Koenig in 2014 and, as the book was initially released exclusively in audio format, this spurred me on to create the character of Simone Fischer, a British woman serving a long sentence for the murder of her abusive husband. At the same time, the character of Esme Fox, an investigative podcast journalist began to take shape...