Hello The Romanaics!
Hello there Sheryl, what a lovely surprise – do come in!
Thanks so much for inviting me along today to talk about… OK, so they didn’t actually invite me along, but now I am here…
…I’m sure they’ll let me stay.
Well, seeing as you come bearing gifts, otherwise known as cake and chocolate, we’ll let you stay 🙂
Right, while the girls are distracted by other important matters, I’ll grab the opportunity to talk about A Little Bit of Madness anyway, which is my fourth Romantic Comedy published through Safkhet Publishing!
I was recently asked why I choose to write in the rom com genre. I wasn’t really sure, other than I can’t seem to write without injecting humour into my story. I like to write romantic comedy because I hope to allow people a little escapism and also to leave the reader with that all-important feel-good factor. I do, however, like to write about real people, dealing with real life events, someone the reader identifies with and wants to get to know. A ‘boy meets girl, boy gets girl, despite all obstacles’ story portraying characters readers can relate to and hopefully laugh with as they fall over life’s little ‘obstacles’ – because the reader is empathising with the character, because they’ve been there.
And, boy, have I been there. If there isn’t an obstacle to fall over, fall off or fall in (no, don’t go there), I’ll find it, trust me.
This is one I didn’t fall off, but possibly should have…
The Snow Dome. You see those little figures going up the side? They’re holding onto a rope and bracing themselves through their legs, the idea to let go of the rope when you get to the top. I didn’t brace, and I couldn’t let go. Yep, the rope crosses over at the top and travels across the slope, quite close to the ceiling – and very high off the ground. Dangle, dangle. You get the drift. Picture partner at the bottom looking bemusedly on.
Another time I fell off the bus. I was on crutches at the time. Picture colleagues’ faces (current crush then being one of) when yours truly hopped into office muttering obscenities and looking like I’d gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson.
Then there was the time I was on a stand at the Three Counties Show, dressed in my business best and handing out leaflets offering professional investment management services. I walked into a lamppost. Yep, current crush then also looking on.
There’s more. Oooh, lots more. However, this would explain why I try to portray real people ‘readers can relate to and hopefully laugh with as they fall over life’s little obstacles’, be they physical or emotional.
Bearing in mind real people then, along with changing population demographics, in A Little bit of Madness, I aimed for a multigenerational read. Alongside my hunky but flawed hero and my feisty yet vulnerable heroine, therefore, I’ve starred a cast of people of the Queen’s generation, or as Celia – our heroine – prefers to call them, her elderly independents. A group of sometimes eccentric, sometimes a little bit ditzy, people who have life skills you couldn’t possibly learn from a book and who still have lives to live and something left to give.
I’ve written the book. My publisher loves it. Now comes the nervous nail-biting bit. Will the readers love it, too?? I hope so. Having seen a sneak peek of an upcoming review, I think so. He’s a teeny snippet: ‘This book had me laughing so hard at the antics of the elderly characters…’ I won’t say more for fear of spoilers. I have, however, popped the blurb below. Thank you so much for reading! Um, wouldn’t be a choccy left by any chance, would there?
A Little Bit of Madness
No rest for the wicked
Saving Charlton hall will burrow into your heart.
Celia Summers, intrepid mother of two, is too cuddly for sweatpants, she suspects. But then, her class at The Harbour Rest Home are similarly clad. Celia loves her work as an art therapist. She’s proud that she gives her elderly independents something to look forward to, even if her partner, Martin, disapproves of her efforts. He also has other things on his mind – telling complicated lies to Celia so he can sell Charlton Hall, his mum’s house, to pay off his debts.
Meanwhile, Celia fights to secure gallery space for her geriatric charges’ artwork, and to keep The Harbour from being closed. She’s even ready to abseil from a church steeple to bring attention to the plight of her old people, no matter that she might fall and end up splattered all over the flagstones. When she does fall, however, it’s much more painful – in love with PC Alex Burrows. Will he be her white-knight-in-blue and ride to her rescue?
Sheryl Browne grew up in Birmingham, UK, where she studied Art & Design. A partner in her own business, a mother and a foster parent to disabled dogs, Sheryl has also been writing for many years, the road along the way often bumpy. She was therefore thrilled beyond words when Safkhet Publishing loved her writing style and commissioned her to write her debut novel.
RECIPES FOR DISASTER – combining deliciously different and fun recipes with sexilicious romantic comedy, is garnering some fabulous reviews and was shortlisted for the Innovation in Romantic Fiction Festival of Romance Award. Sheryl has since been offered a further three-book contract under the Safkhet Publishing Soul imprint. SOMEBODY TO LOVE, a romantic comedy centring around a single father’s search for love and his autistic little boy, launched July 1. WARRANT FOR LOVE, Blackmail, lies, adultery, entrapment – three couples in a twisting story that resolves perfectly – released August 1 and A LITTLE BIT OF MADNESS –White Knight in Blue rescues the Harbour Rest Home – released Valentine’s Day 2013.
Sheryl is a loveahappyending featured Author and Editor.