Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sharon Black ~ an interview and her novel ~ Going Against Type

Sharon Black


IRISH author Sharon Black is a diehard screwball comedy enthusiast. Her first novel, Going Against Type, a contemporary romantic comedy set in Dublin, was e-published by Tirgearr Publishing in September, 2014 to great reviews.
She has had short stories published, and won the 2010 Dromineer Literary Festival short story competition. She worked for a number of national newspapers.

She writes a regular blog, This Funny Irish Life, featuring light, fun, personal columns, and tweets at Authorsharonb.

When she’s not writing, she reads, walks, sees friends, and drinks far too much coffee. She co-founded a local book club 15 years ago. She loves theatre, old Hollywood films, every romantic comedy ever made, and edgy stand-up. She hates shopping.
She lives in a Dublin coastal village, with her husband and their three children.


Q: Are you a morning person, or a midnight candle burner?
A: I am definitely a morning person! That’s my writing time. Probably comes from the fact that I have three children living at home, of school and college age, so when they’re out, I write. In the evenings, after dinner, I can be seen madly rushing around, trying to catch up on necessary housework. By that stage, I’m so tired I’m almost losing words!!

Q: Tell me one thing about each of the four seasons you like. It can be anything.
A:        Winter = A real fire in the grate; I always have that. And the promise of Spring and brighter days!!
            Spring              = The sound of birds early in the morning, and flowers in the garden.     
            Summer = Long days, maybe some sun (that’s a bit hit and miss in Ireland!!) the chance to break from routine.
            Fall = We often get a decent Autumn in Ireland, sometimes to make up for a half-hearted Summer. Quite often the weather is lovely for the first month or two.

Q: Did you like school when you were a child?
A: As a young child, I didn’t actually like school. I excelled in English, and nothing else interested me. I attended a Catholic convent school (as did most girls of my generation in Ireland) and there were 45 of us, of the same age, taught by one teacher! I started to enjoy school when I went to secondary (high school). Again, an all-female school, run by the same order of Sisters. They were some of the best days of my youth.

Q: Dress up or dress down?
A: I’m a casual person – jeans and a tee-shirt or sweater. Even when I’m meeting friends, this is how I’ll dress. Going out at night, I’ll throw on something more glamorous like a dress or skirt. I have fairly long, thick hair, which does its own thing, unless managed. So if I want to pull out a few stops, I get it professionally done, and slap on some makeup! 

I’m the casual sort myself. 


Q: When did you start writing and why?
A: I was always drawn to writing, and actually worked as a journalist when I was younger. But I wrote short stories too, and had some published. I attempted some novels down the years, but never finished any. Then I won a weekend’s course in creative writing, and it was the key that helped me to unlock everything.

Q: How did you come to write your genera of choice?
A: For the past 15 years, I’ve been part of a book club, and we always read literary fiction. But when I was growing up I read a lot of commercial women’s fiction. When I discovered romantic comedy, I was completely hooked. It’s pure escapism, feel-good stuff, and I knew I wanted to write it.

Q: Do you write long hand first, or does it go straight into the computer?
A: I always, always write long hand first. This is probably a throwback to long English essays in school, and even longer essays in college, where everything was written longhand. That’s how my thoughts flow. It serves as a great first draft. As I input into the computer, I’m starting to edit. Once I’ve a full second draft on screen, I print out and begin rewriting and editing again.
Q: When crafting the story do you go from beginning to end, or do you jump around writing the scenes that are pushing themselves forward in your brain?
A: I write the first 10,000 words chronologically, but then after that I write scenes. I have a rough structure for them, so I can slot them in initially. But I quite often move stuff around later. It feels more natural to write like that, but having a plan at the beginning is important, I think. My scenes tend to be quite short so I might have quite a few in a chapter. And I always know how the story will end, when I begin writing!


Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: I’m not going to put a number on the one I’m currently writing, but I will say that it’s in the same genre as the first. Ahem. Coy, eh?

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A: My blog, This Funny Irish Life, is where I post fortnightly, Monday columns, similar to short, quirky pieces I would have written as a columnist for an Irish newspaper. It also has lots of permanent links, so it serves as a website.  

All buy links/sample chapters:

Q: Are you currently participating in a blog tour? If you are let’s tell everyone where you’re going to be so they can catch up with you again.
A: This is the second day of my blog tour, so I have three days left. Here are the dates and URLS for the rest of the tour.

Some would say Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Regan has it all. Beautiful, smart, athletic and a great job working as a journalist – in the almost exclusively male sports department. But Charlotte is not quite as sure as she seems. Recently split from her overbearing boyfriend, she escapes for weekends, surfing in the Atlantic, and spends her free nights watching sports, roaring at the TV.

Derry Cullinane is a fashion writer, gossip columnist and sophisticated man-about-town. The go-to guy for any woman seeking expert advice on what fabulous outfit to wear for any given occasion. He’s also tall, dark, good looking – and straight! So what’s the snag? He has a track record of dating glamorous, vain and shallow women.

Charlie gets an opportunity to write a new column under the pen name Side Swipe, but is soon drawn into a war of words and wit with a rival paper’s columnist The Squire – and their verbal fireworks get readers and editors talking. Yet neither Charlie nor Derry knows just whom the opponent is...

When Charlotte and Derry meet at the Races, the attraction is instant. As their relationship develops, so much more proves at stake, than protecting their alter egos. But a blunder puts Charlotte’s job in jeopardy just as Derry’s past makes front page, and Charlotte begins to doubt her feelings.

When Side Swipe and The Squire are finally forced to reveal themselves, will they revert to type – or confound everyone’s expectations?

Helen clapped her hands delightedly.
‘Oh Charlotte! Derry Cullinane? Don’t tell me you don’t know his by-line. I thought all you journalists knew each other.’
Charlotte looked bemused.
‘How do you know him?’
‘Well, I always read his mid-week fashion feature. He’s a terrific writer...what?’
‘You read him, but you never read me?’
Helen smiled a little sheepishly.
‘Hey, nothing personal. Sport just doesn’t do it for me...’
‘Anyway, Fiona was obviously playing matchmaker,’ Charlotte continued, ‘but I’m not sure about him...’
Helen frowned.
‘What’s he like? His picture looks really hot! Oh God, please don’t tell me it’s airbrushed! Is he a troll? Oh wait, is he gay? He does write about fashion...’
Charlotte rolled her eyes.
‘That would make the matchmaking a bit pointless. No, he’s definitely not gay.’
‘So, what...three ex-wives? Does he still live with his mother?’
Charlotte bit her lip thoughtfully.
‘It’s nothing like that. We’re just very different. We have nothing in common.’
Helen nodded sagely.
‘No chemistry?’
‘Um well, no. I think there probably was.’
Helen started to laugh.
‘Charlotte, you’re blushing! Let me get this straight: this guy is gorgeous, available and you’ve got the hots for him.’
Charlotte shrugged.
‘It doesn’t matter. I don’t think I’m his type at all.’
‘So you turned him down?’ Helen looked disappointed.
‘He hasn’t even asked me out.’
‘Not yet.’
Charlotte shook her head.
‘Not ever. He’s Saville Row. I’m Wrangler jeans......this guy won’t stray from his comfort zone.’

Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/sharon-black/
a Rafflecopter giveaway                                                          

I’m happy you could join me on Books and Banter.  I hope you had fun with the Q & A’s

A reminder to the reader ~ before you leave be sure to take a look at the 
Come back and visit again.


  1. Thanks a million for hosting me, Loc, and for all the quirky questions. A lot of fun to answer those - one or two of them really got me thinking!


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