Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is Sherri Bryan, and I’m just about old enough to remember watching the Apollo 11 moon landing. I didn’t have a clue what all the fuss was about but my Dad was glued to the TV and, in those days, I was glued to my Dad. Where he went, I followed.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I was brought up by amazingparents and have four siblings. I did okay academically, and my last job in the UK was as an Events Organiser (my dream job, which I loved) until the company I worked for relocated and I was made redundant. I knew then that I wanted to do something totally different so, after having lived in the UK all my life, Itook the plunge and moved to Spain almost twenty years ago to open a marina-front café bar in a southern coastal resort.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My latest release is Bodies, Baddies and a Crabby Tabby. It’s the first in a new series, The Bliss Bay Village Mysteries. I am currently working on book nine in my first series, featuring reluctant amateur sleuth, Charlotte Denver.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing as a career in 2015, after I sold the café and was looking for a job I could do in Spain that didn’t require working in a kitchen, bar, or restaurant in temperatures of 40+ degrees.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I got my first five-star review from a complete stranger.When I started out, I didn’t tell any of my family or friends (apart from my husband) that I was writing, because I wanted to know that people were buying my books and leaving reviews because they enjoyed my writing, not because they felt obliged to. To this day, only very few of my family members know I write, and my friends still don’t.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The café I owned in Spain. I met so many fabulous people there, and had so many amazing, strange and hilarious things happen, I couldn’t not write about them!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title of my first book? It’s a cozy murder-mystery called Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse. Although it’s set in the UK, I wanted to include an element of Spanish culture, and tapas are a very important part of the way of life in the region where I live. Carrot cake features because it’s my favourite cake and it fitted in well with the title.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I think everyone has their own individual writing style. I find the most challenging part of writing a mystery is making sure I include enough foreshadowing, and red herrings to keep readers turning the pages, and guessing whodunnit without actually guessing whodunnit until the reveal! And it’s imperative that all the loose ends are tied up to ensure that readers are left with a satisfying conclusion,
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The female protagonists in both my series are loosely based on me. It’s easy to know what they’re going to do in any given situation, because I simply think, “What would I do?” All my other characters are a mish-mash of various people I have known, but no characters (apart from two, who will remain secret!) are based on anyone I know. And yes, some of the events in the books are based on situations I’ve encountered in my own life.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, it’s not necessary to travel to write my books, although experiences I’ve had when I’ve been in a particular place are sometimes the basis of events in the some of the books.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The fabulous Susan Coils at CoverKicks designed the covers for my Charlotte Denver series, and I designed the cover for my Bliss Bay series.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No, they’re not that deep. I just want readers to enjoy, and feel good after they’ve read them.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I read many different genres and I enjoy Agatha Frost’s books, which are also set in the UK. The characters and stories remind me a little of my own books. Not because they’re the same—not at all—but because they’re alsowhat I’d call fun,light-hearted and gentle stories, with a heavy focus on friendship and family, a mystery to solve and a twist in the tale.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Every single reader who has bought one of my books.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, it’s been my full-time career since 2015.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not so much in my latest book, but I might rewrite certain parts of the early books in my first series. I’ve learned so much since I wrote them, and when I look back, I think the naivety of myearly writing shows.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
That writing mysteries with multiple deaths and surprising plot twists doesn’t get any easier!
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
In my first series, I would love Charlotte Denver to be played by Carey Mulligan. When I was creating Charlotte, I had an image of how she looked in my head. At the same time, I saw a picture of Carey Mulligan and it was exactly how I imagined Charlotte to look.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write! Keep going, don’t be disheartened if things don’t take off as soon as you’d like (it can take time to build a readership), don’t compare your success (or otherwise) to other writers, write what you love, shut out the naysayers, network with other authors, and always celebrate your successes. Oh, and read. A lot. Particularly in your chosen genre. It really helps with writing. And do your research. Unless you want to write purely for the love of writing, and you don’t care if anyone ever buys one of your books, it’s probably best not to write in a genre that people aren’t reading in. It’s not difficult to find out what the popular genres are—start by looking at the best sellers on Amazon and go from there.I could go on and on…
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thanks a million for reading my books!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading two. A fiction book called Eat, Pray, Die by Chelsea Field and a non-fiction book called The Miracle Morning for Writers by Hal Elrod.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not exactly, but it was definitely something by Enid Blyton. I think it might have been The Naughtiest Girl in the School. Between them, my two elder sisters had all Enid Blyton’s books, andafter they’d read then, they left them in the bookcase for me. Bliss!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Observational humour makes me laugh. Animal abuse makes me cry. And furious.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
My husband’s dad. We never met and I would have loved to know him.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Reading, cooking, eating out.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Grey’s Anatomy, Friends, The West Wing. I know they’re old, but they’re my favourites!
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love so many different foods, I’m not sure I could pick a favourite. It might be easier to tell you what I don’t enjoy, which is uncooked oysters. Cooked are delicious, though.
My favourite colour is blue.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Read and cook.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my family and all our collective pets.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Hmm. I’m not sure I want one, so I’ve never given it any thought. I think I’d prefer my ashes to be scattered in a place I loved, and lots of trees planted in my name, instead.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My website is https://sherribryan.com. Details of all my books, launches and special offers (when available) can be found there, along with sample chapters.I also love to hear from readers, who can get in touch via my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sherribryanauthor/, or by email at email@example.com. It might take me a little while to respond to emails, but I will get to them!
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE
The Charlotte Denver Cozy Mystery Series
Charlotte Denver runs a marina-front café in a coastal resort in the south-west of England. When strangers arrive in the town, and murder follows close behind, Charlotte becomes involved in helping to solve the mystery of a murder, and to catch a killer before they strike again.
Each book features a stand-alone story, so they can be read in any order but, if you’d like to read them as they were written (for the sake of consistency),below is the order to follow. Book nine in this series is on the way.
TAPAS, CARROT CAKE AND A CORPSE– Book 1(Free to download from Amazon)
https://books2read.com/u/319E73 – iTunes, Nook, Kobo
FUDGE CAKE, FELONY AND A FUNERAL –Book 2
https://www.books2read.com/u/4jKoMj – iTunes, Nook, Kobo
SPARE RIBS, SECRETS AND A SCANDAL –Book 3
https://www.books2read.com/u/3Lrw81 – iTunes, Nook, Kobo
PUMPKINS, PERIL AND A PAELLA –Book 4
https://www.books2read.com/u/4EWJnO – iTunes, Nook, Kobo
HAMBURGERS, HOMICIDE AND A HONEYMOON –Book 5
https://www.books2read.com/u/bo6pva – iTunes, Nook, Kobo
CRAB CAKES, KILLERS AND A KAFTAN – Book 6
https://books2read.com/u/mV76D5 – iTunes, Nook, Kobo
MINCE PIES, MISTLETOE AND MURDER – Book 7
https://www.books2read.com/u/4EWzlg – iTunes, Nook, Kobo
DOUGHNUTS, DIAMONDS AND DEAD MEN – Book 8
https://www.books2read.com/u/m2oLAk – iTunes, Nook, Kobo
The Bliss Village Mysteries Series
This series features Megan Fallon, a thirty-nine year old empty-nester who has recently lost her fiancé and her job. When she’s lured back to her childhood home for a family celebration, her life takes an unexpected turn for the adventurous. I’m currently writing book two in the series.
BODIES, BADDIES AND A CRABBY TABBY – Book 1
https://www.books2read.com/u/mgLL07 – iTunes, Nook, Kobo