I’m delighted to have Sheryl Browne back as a guest. I reviewed Learning to Love in 2014 and have shared book news, excerpts and Sheryl has been in my hot seat. This is one author I’ve actually met in real time (2012 at LAHE’s A Summer Audience). As well as being a talented writer in two genres, Sheryl is also genuine, generous and gorgeous (see what I did there …).
Today, we’re going to be finding out about DI Matthew Adams Series, including Sheryl’s research (you can tell she’s dedicated to her craft!), which authors have influenced her writing and much more. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy contemporary fiction and psychological thrillers.
A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and awarded a Red Ribbon by The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.
Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from multi-award winning Choc Lit.
Connect with Sheryl Browne
Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise After She’s Gone and Sins of the Father in 20 words or less.
After She’s Gone – He’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do?
Sins of the Father – What if you’d been accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable?
What scene was the hardest to write Sheryl?
The hardest scene, by far, was actually the Prologue where Matthew’s child dies in his arms. I live and breathe my characters and I felt his every emotion. He’s a man who is going to go under or keep swimming. Psychologically, he is pushed to the limit. He knows who’s responsible and the evil he is capable of. Matthew’s biggest challenge hereafter is whether he succumbs to his primal urge for revenge at whatever cost or whether he stays the right side of the line.
If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be …
To my protagonist, DI Matthew Adams, I would say, trust your moral compass.
Did you do any research for your book? What resources did you use Sheryl?
I’m lucky enough to have had the advice of a Chief Constable and more recently a Senior Police Detective and that has helped me tremendously regarding clarification of facts. The internet is a massive boon to writers now, of course, you really can Google just about anything. You can access some fascinating case studies and headline news stories – I dread to think what my browsing history looks like.
I realised I needed at least the basics of forensics and psychology too, so undertook two university courses, which I’m relieved to say I passed.
Do you have a favourite place you go to for inspiration or a favourite activity?
It really depends on what genre I’m writing. Boating, a leisurely activity, often stirs my romance related meanderings. If I’m working on a thriller, however, there is nothing more I like than to be in the hub of the city. People are my true inspiration, gravitating towards family and how strong the family unit can be. Every scenario, every face, every place tells a story. A glimpsed situation, an argument between a couple or a romantic liaison, for instance, and you have your stimulus for a story, upon which your overzealous writer’s mind will weave all sorts of scenarios.
Do you have a theme for your book covers Sheryl? Who designs them?
The book covers are designed by Berni Stevens – @Berni_Stevens1 – and I am totally in love with them. I don’t think there are any of her covers where she hasn’t nailed the theme immediately and caused my jaw to drop in awe. Thanks, Berni.
Do you have a book trailer Sheryl?
I have a trailer which covers both Books 1 and 2 in the DI Matthew Adams thrillers. I decided on a short, snappy video this time with a voiceover (which is awesome – thank you so much Alan Bainbridge). It is awesome!
What do you think book trailers achieve?
I think videos, with just the right amount of intrigue, can have an instant impact on someone who might be interested in the genre. In terms of actual book sales, I’ve yet to analyse the data, but this particular video got over 1,000 views in a recent campaign, so we’ll see.
Which authors have influenced your writing?
I think the most important tool in a writer’s armoury is reading. Other authors can show you how to weave a story and they can be a massive stimulus for your own writing. I’ve read a fair few of Stephen King’s novels. Who could ever forget Misery? Unsuspecting, injured author held captive by a psychopathic and very angry fan? What a simple and truly fabulous premise. Martina Cole’s books were a huge influence on me, too, and the inspiration behind my desire to delve into the darker psyche of some of my characters.
Do you have a favourite book? What is it about that book?
A book that stays with me is The Ladykiller by Martina Cole. It’s with morbid fascination you glimpse into the mindset of a sexually depraved killer. I think what I love most about Cole’s writing is how she leads us into the minds of her characters.
Have you done any creative writing courses Sheryl?
I completed my MA in Creative Writing, finally. It took me some while. Undertaking my MA was something I’d put off due to life commitments, as we sometimes have to. When I managed to make the time, I had to summon up a huge amount of courage to walk through those university doors. What if I failed? Where was my confidence? Well, the road to publication being paved with rejection letters, as it so often is, my confidence wasn’t much in evidence. The MA course didn’t offer any magical solutions to my writing dilemmas but it did expand my knowledge and confirm my belief that, no matter how bumpy the road, I needed to continue to write. To quote the title of one of the university anthologies I have a short published in, “I am a writer, therefore I am”. I wouldn’t know how to be any other way.
Thank you for being my guest.
Wishing you success with all your writing projects Sheryl
Thanks so much for sharing my book news, Shaz. Can I just take this opportunity to thank readers and book bloggers for their fabulous support while I’m here? It really is so hugely appreciated. I honestly wouldn’t still be writing without that support.
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.
What if you’d been accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable?
Detective Inspector Matthew Adams is slowly picking up the pieces from a case that nearly cost him the lives of his entire family and his own sanity too. On the surface, he seems to be moving on, but he drinks to forget – and when he closes his eyes, the nightmares still come.
But the past is the past – or is it? Because the evil Patrick Sullivan might be out of the picture, but there’s somebody who is just as intent on making Matthew’s life hell, and they’re doing it in the cruellest way possible.
When Matthew finds himself accused of a horrific and violent crime, will his family stand by him? And will he even be around to help when his new enemy goes after them as well?