I’m really pleased to welcome Sheryl Browne back to the blog. Regular blog visitors will know that I am a big fan of Sheryl’s writing having enjoyed both her romantic novels and her much grittier crime novels. Today she is telling a bit about herself, her novel After She’s Gone and takes us into the mind of Patrick, the villain of the story, in an extract from the book.
Taking a Journey into the Mind of a Madman: Guest Post and Extract from After She’s Gone by Sheryl Browne
Hi Joanne! Thank you so much for inviting me to join you on Portobello Book Blog to share a little about myself and After She’s Gone – Book 1 in the DI Matthew Adams thrillers, now out in print!
So, what can I say about me that’s not too boring? Okay, here goes. I’m a keen boater. I do strange things occasionally like skydiving from 20,000 feet. I’m a mother and I also foster disabled dogs, most of which I inevitably end up keeping because I fall in love with each and every one of them. I write contemporary fiction and psychological thrillers. I’m a member of the Crime Writers’ Association, the Romantic Novelists’ Association and have several books published, along with two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies where I completed my MA in Creative Writing, finally. Life, what can I say?
I’m often asked what prompted me to switch to the ‘DARK SIDE’ and write psychological thrillers. In all honesty, I’m not sure I have switched. I’ve always been fascinated by what shapes people and whatever genre I write in I like to strip away the layers and, hopefully, share with readers a little of what lies beneath the surface. I find there is usually a bad guy or girl in all of my books. Sometimes the hero will start out as seemingly bad, which gives him room to grow. I think in writing psychological thrillers, I’m exploring the darker psyche of some of my characters, looking at the nature vs. nurture conundrum. Is badness in the genes? Is it brain function or childhood experience that creates a monster? A combination of all three?
So, am I ‘writing what I know?’ In short, no. I’d find that terribly stifling. We have a world of information at our fingertips nowadays. We can travel anywhere. If you ‘feel’ a character, if that character is calling to you, you don’t need to shy away from writing about a job, era, or situation that might challenge your experience. You can research it. A writer’s mind thrives on exploration. Every scenario, every face, every place tells a story. A glimpsed situation, an argument between a couple, for instance, a verbal ‘slanging match’ in the street, and you have your inspiration for a story, upon which your overzealous writer’s mind will weave fictional facts. You simply can’t help yourself. So there it is. I have a need to explore the human psyche – and apparently I also have a scary insight into the mind of a psychopath. Thank you, Rachel at Rachel’s Random Reads for that! I think.
Are you ready to take a journey into the mind of a madman? Please find the blurb and a short excerpt below if you fancy finding out a little more.
After She’s Gone – from the back of the book
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.
Excerpt – After She’s Gone
‘Not very gentlemanly, keeping ladies hanging around, Adams, is it?’ Patrick watched with interest, as the copper turned a pale shade of white. Reeling on his feet, he was, poor sod. He actually looked as if he might pass out. Didn’t take him long to recover himself, though. Patrick watched on as Adams pulled himself up, bracing his shoulders in that bloody annoying Bruce Willis nothing-gets-to-me way he had. It obviously did though. He might be trying to keep a grip, but the little tic going in his cheek was a dead giveaway. Patrick had noticed it when Adams had paid him a visit in the nick. Seen it many times, when the pathetic little runt had tried to stand up to him as a kid. Most recently, before the bastard had kicked him to the floor like a dog, for which the copper was about to get payback. Oh, yes, his fuse was lit all right. The man was a ticking time bomb, far too reactive to be on the force, in Patrick’s humble opinion.
Patrick barely had time to free himself of the girl before the copper exploded.
‘You fucking animal!’ he seethed, lunging towards him.
But Patrick was ready. ‘Down!’ He levelled the shotgun, ready to blast Adams to kingdom come if he didn’t back off.
Clearly realising he might be at a disadvantage, Adams stopped, his expression pure thunder, his chest heaving. Oh, dear. Was that a little wheeze Patrick could hear in there? Quietly amused, he noted how Adams was struggling to control his breathing, another giveaway as to the copper’s high state of anxiety. Patrick probably knew the signs better than Adams did.
‘I said, down, Adams.’ Lowering the gun, Patrick indicated the floor, which is where he wanted Adams. No one, but no one, constantly refers to Patrick Sullivan as an animal and gets away with it.
‘Unless you want your wife and Snow White to see your blood splattered all over the walls, that is?’
Adams didn’t budge. Taking slow breaths, he stayed exactly where he was, his fist clenched at his side and in his eyes … pure murder. Patrick felt the tiniest flicker of apprehension run through him.
‘We can play the waiting game if you like, Adams.’ He made sure to hold his gaze. ‘But I’m not sure your good lady will be very keen on the idea. Are you?’
Patrick’s gaze flicked in the direction of the man’s wife.
‘Do it,’ he ordered. ‘Face front and get down on your knees, copper, if you value her life.’
‘You bastard.’ Adams took another laboured breath and ran his hands over his face. Then, glancing heavenward, finally, he did as instructed.
Got him, Patrick thought, hugely satisfied that the copper seemed to be getting the message. Patrick had the upper hand now. This time, it would be Adams defenceless on the floor, while he broke his fucking jaw. Quid pro quo, as far as Patrick was concerned.
DI Matthew Adams series: https://youtu.be/0MqZ5TpBwGk
Buy Links: DI Matthew Adams Thrillers
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?
DEADLY INTENT – Tormented to the edge of sanity …
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.