I’m delighted to welcome Sheila Riley to my blog.
It was wonderful to connect with you through the Romantic Novelists’ Association page on Facebook. I’ve met some great authors via the RNA, and I’m always amazed by the diverse paths we have chosen, as we followed our dreams on our writing journeys. But before we learn more about your latest release, The Orphan Daughter, here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.
Arabella: Are there any organisations, writing, or reader groups, you belong to? And, how do they support or help you in creating such wonderful, inspirational novels?
Sheila: Hi Arabella! It’s good to be here.
I have been a member of the Romantic Novelists Association since 2004 when I joined the New Writer’s Scheme, which was a valuable learning curve in my writing career. My writing developed so much from the expert advice and guidance I received. I’m a member of the Southport chapter of the R.N.A - The Sandpipers and also a member of The Society of Authors.
Arabella: Where do you read? Sofa or bed or ____?
Sheila: Both, and more. If I haven’t got my nose in a book I’m listening to an audio version. I love hearing as much as reading a story, especially when I’ve been at the pc all day and my eyes need a rest. The only thing about listening to a book in bed is I never get to hear the end of the chapter, it is so relaxing.
Arabella: In your latest release, The Orphan Daughter, who is your favourite character and why?
Sheila: Oh that’s not fair! That’s like asking a mother who is her favourite child. 😉 However, I do like Mim and Ada – I think that together, they could be a right handful given the chance. Also, Bobby and Lucy – not main characters – yet!
Arabella: When writing a novel, how do you work? Are you a plotter or pantser?
Sheila: I am usually imagining my next book while writing the current one, so I jot down details as they occur – I have notebooks all over the house, in the car, in my bag. Sometimes I read a jotting and have no clue as to what it means, and that usually jump starts another idea. Great fun!
Arabella: Which would you prefer to do: 1) spend a morning vigorously working out at the gym, 2) be pampered from head to toe at the spa and beauty salon, 3) indulge and pile on the pounds with a romantic dinner for two?
1) If I pick this one, everybody will think I am a terrible liar – my very generous posterior gives the game away! J
2) Who doesn’t like to be pampered? Well… actually… me! I spent over thirty-five years in the beauty business, so I know how hard these people work. I feel so guilty being on the other side of the counter. But I get over it.
3) I look like I indulge in dinners for two, but I really don’t. Nor do I exercise as much as I should either. Although every morning you will hear me behind the bathroom door… ‘Up one two three… Down one two three… Other eyelid!
Arabella: Which do you prefer to wear: beach shorts and top, a long evening skirt and blouse, pyjamas and slippers?
Sheila: No contest. Not necessarily pyjamas and slippers because I do like to make the effort to get dressed in the morning – but I love ‘comfy clothes’ the slouchy ones I wouldn’t be seen dead in while out shopping. Beach shorts and tops are a bygone dream and long evening skirts are a bit ‘going out, out,’ and would only be worn on special occasions.
Arabella: We all have a long list of books we keep meaning to read but never have the time for --- which book is a must read for you this summer?
Sheila: I am dying to read 59 Memory Lane by Celia Anderson, also The House Across The Street by Leslie Pearse. There are many more but these two keep winking at me from my bedside table.
Arabella: What about your future plans? Any books or series in the making?
Sheila: The Orphan Daughter, the first in the Reckoner’s Row series comes out on 5th September, and I am busy writing the second. I think place is as much a character as the people who live in it.
Thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog Arabella, it has been so much fun!
Sheila J xx
You’ve been an amazing guest on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chit, Sheila. I’m sure your readers have enjoyed learning about your secret exercise techniques, as much as I have. (Up one two three…down one two three…) J
And, I must say…you’ve wetted my appetite. I’m now eager to discover more about Bobby and Lucy. Are these characters destined for lead roles in your next saga? Do tell… You can write the answer in the comment section below, and no one need know. Just me, your readers, and countless others… J
Best wishes, and good luck with your latest release, The Orphan Daughter
About Sheila Riley
Sheila Riley wrote four #1 bestselling novels under the pseudonym Annie Groves and is now writing a new saga trilogy under her own name.
The Orphan Daughter is the first in the Reckoner’s Row series set around the River Mersey and its close dockland community near to where she spent her early years.
Sheila still lives in Liverpool.
Blurb: The Orphan Daughter
Winter, Liverpool 1947.
Evie Kilgaren is a fighter. Abandoned by her mother, and her father long gone, she is left to raise her siblings in dockside Liverpool as they battle against the coldest winter on record.
But she is determined to make a life for herself and create a happy home for what's left of her family.
Desperate for work, Evie takes a job at the Tram Tavern under the kindly watch of pub landlady, Connie Sharp. But Connie has problems of her own when her quiet life is upturned with the arrival of a mysterious undercover detective from out of town. When melting ice reveals a body in the canal, things take a turn for the worst for the residents of Reckoner's Row. Who could be responsible for such a brutal attack? And can Evie keep her family safe before they strike again?
A gritty, historical family drama full of laughter and tears from the author of Annie Groves' bestsellers including Child of the Mersey and Christmas on the Mersey. Perfect for fans of Lyn Andrews, Katie Flynn and Nadine Dorries.
THE ORPHAN DAUGHTER will be published on 5th September 2019.