Megan's 5 star rated Contemporary Romance

Monday, 9 July 2012

A Warm Welcome to Sherry Gloag

Multi-published author, Sherry Gloag is a transplanted Scot now living in the beautiful coastal countryside of Norfolk, England.  She considers the surrounding countryside as extension of her own garden, to which she escapes when she needs "thinking time" and solitude to work out the plots for her next novel.  While out walking she enjoys talking to her characters, as long as there are no other walkers close by.

Apart from writing, Sherry enjoys gardening, walking, reading and cheerfully admits her books tend to take over most of the shelf and floor space in her workroom-cum-office.  She also finds crystal craft work therapeutic.

Here's what Sherry has to say about the craft of writing -
Words and Jigsaws:

Writing a book is a bit like building a jigsaw puzzle.  If you fail to place the correct piece in the right place, whether you’re convinced you have put it in the only place that fit, your finished jigsaw puzzle will never look complete. 
 And so it is with words.
The word you choose can change your scene from good to stunning.  Or it can rob the scene of action, dropping it into an also-ran event that takes the story in the right direction but leaves the reader seriously wondering whether it’s worth the effort to turn the page over.  Even e-readers require you to rub your finger across the screen to read on!
The power or lack of a word can also make or break your settings.  Place your story in the Regency period of historical London and then use a modern idiom, and, obviously, you’ll lose your readers.
But it’s more subtle than that.  Here’s a very simple example-
He entered the room… or
He stormed into the room….
Both may be correct in their way, but which perks up your interest more?
Next, what kind of room is our hero entering?
Let’s place him in the Regency period, LOL. Why? Because I’m in the middle of writing a Regency romance! But he could be just as easily entering a bar, (there are hundreds of different kinds of bars!) or a library, perhaps a barn in a Western romance, but if it was a historical Western your word choice would be different again.  Same scene but different time periods, so you see, that simple choice suddenly becomes a little more complex.
He entered the ballroom, and all eyes turned in his direction.
Storming into the ballroom and ignoring the disruption he created, he headed straight for Anastasia.
The power of a single word can change the substance of your scene.  If it is a weak word, search for a strong one.  If that means re-writing your sentence, or two or three, then so be it.  If it means the wrong word will destroy the accuracy of your setting, search for the right one.  As I did in this sentence.  The only word I could think of was ‘truth’ but it was the wrong word, but I wrote it in anyway, then highlighted it and hit the thesaurus and came up with the word I wanted. ‘Accuracy.’
A single word can turn a sentence from ‘tepid into the hook at the end of a chapter that guarantees your readers will not put the book down to go to sleep, or get the family meal ready.  And if that ‘right’ word comes at the end of your book, after all those other ‘just right’ words, it may even guarantee your readers will be waiting with baited breath for your next book, and the next, and the next…
In the first two books of my Gasquet Princes series, From Now Until Forever and His Chosen Bride, published by Astraea Press, I had to spend a lot of time searching for words I considered added to the royal connotations of the stories.
Words are tools; some are more powerful than others.  Choose your tools, and your words, carefully.

Now for A Taste of Sherry
From Now Until Forever
Blurb: For Prince Liam, families meant bad news, unwanted commitments, and the loss of his personal freedom.  Love spawned white picket fences, slippers at the hearth with a wife and kids making demands, so why did those images disappear when he met Melanie Babcot?

Melanie Babcot fought hard to escape the horrors of her youth and vowed to remain single and free, so when paid to protect Prince Liam from insurgents why did her personal pledge fly out the window?

Excerpt: Liam Fitzwilliam Gasquet stared in amazement at the blooming patch of red milliseconds before the pain exploded in his arm. Some trigger-happy idiot had fired in his direction. Indignation didn’t have time to take root before another bullet kicked the dust at his feet.
Not ‘trigger-happy’.
The rebels had found the fourth and youngest son of Jean-Phillipe Gasquet, ruler of the tiny kingdom adjacent to the Swiss border. When had they discovered his whereabouts?
With a reluctant sigh, he faced the truth of it. They hadn’t ‘found’ him at all. They’d followed him.

His Chosen Bride
Blurb: Prince Henri Gasquet is happy to let his father, the king, choose his bride for him until he meets Monica Latimer.
Monica Latimer is not prepared to risk letting any man close enough to learn about her Gift. A gift that normally has men running for the hills when they find out about it.

She lost track of time until the flames caught her attention once more. They flickered from orange to gold, to silver, to white.
A flurry of snowflakes masked the flames and for a second Monica watched the most beautiful, pristine snow-scene she’d ever seen. Her lips curved in longing. How she’d love to get a toboggan and slide down that slope. She knew where it was, and had done just that many times in her childhood, first with her parents and then, in clandestine manner, with her brother. Sneaking an old tin tray from the back of her mother’s walk-in pantry, she’d then grabbed Billy’s hand and they’d rushed out the back gate, heading for the lakeside track that led up into the hills.
Darkness, dense and thick with grief dropped over the scene. Startled and disconcerted by the strength of emotion emanating from the vision Monica shifted to her knees, ready to stand, when a voice, a deep male voice, sharp with fear called out her name.
She knew she’d never heard the voice before, and yet—it was as familiar to her as the image she saw in her mirror each morning.
“Help me, Monica.”
Desperate for more clues, she searched the darkness within the flames until it sputtered and faded. With a curse she jumped up and ran for the phone. With her outstretched hand hovering over it she halted and let her hand drop to her side once more. What could she say? What would the police or rescue team think of her if she called them and told them she’d seen a vision of a man in distress?
They’d laugh in her face and classify her as a lunatic. Well, maybe not. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d contacted them with positive information but something—an instinctive gut reaction told her what she’d seen this time hadn’t happened yet.

Links: Read more about Sherry at her website and her blog  Buy From Now Until Forever here and His Chosen Bride at Astraea Press here 
Sherry's books are also available on Amazon click links

Many thanks for visiting today, Sherry. Enjoyed your article and it's always a pleasure to host you.     
Leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of Sherry's novel The Wrong Target click link to view the book


  1. I like your book covers, Sherry. And of course you're right about the importance of our choices when writing. I sometimes think short story writers have an advantage over those of us who prefer writing long fiction: they've learned the importance of making your words work for you. On the other hand, it's fun isn't it? --Clayton

  2. Welcome to the blog again Sherry. Clayton, I do agree that an advantage of short story writing is that it is tighter and enables us to hone our skills

  3. Hi everyone i think most books are like jog saw puzzels especailly books that has a mystery theme in them
    signed micheleann oboblye

  4. Megan, I'm delighted to be here again, thank you for inviting me. Sorry for the delay in 'arriving' pc problems :-( Hopefully sorted now.

  5. Clayton, From Now Until Forever was submitted to a certain publisher as a 5k word story, but didn't 'fit' so it ended up as a 21k word story instead. I owe you for that! LOL.
    I'm glad you like the book covers, I think they're pretty awesome too. As for long or short stories, I write both and find word choice as important in both. It just takes longer to edit them in after the first draft! :-)
    Thanks for coming by.

  6. Angels Cove, thanks for coming by and leaving a comment.

  7. I'm not much of a writer but i do read a lot and i agree that simple words can make or break a book. Thanks for sharing!!

  8. :-) Alisia, Thanks for joining me here today. I know you've read a lot about From Now Until Forever on my vbt, but I don't expect you know that both Megan and Clayton played their parts in FNUF becoming the book it is today :-)
    I'll be forever grateful to them both!

  9. I liked the examples you gave for using the correct word for the correct emotion.
    His Chosen Bride looks like a fantastic story.
    I wish you all the best, Sherry.

  10. Sarah, thanks for coming by, and your kind words. You can get a copy of His Chosen Bride FREE through July and is available from Astraea Press's FB book club.

  11. Thank you to everyone who left a comment :-) I appreciate your company and support.

    The winner is Sarah J. McNeal.

    Congratulations, Sarah, please will you email me at sherrygloag @ gmail (.) com