My Husband’s House by Sheryl Browne

Writing.ie | Magazine | Crime | Interviews
My Husbands House

By Sheryl Browne

Behind the Profile

Author Sheryl Browne on how human frailty, flawed people and one’s sense of self lie behind her new novel, My Husband’s House.

Many authors would agree that the most nerve-racking thing about writing – apart from the submission stage – is the idea that you are putting yourself ‘out there’. A writer’s mind thrives on exploration. Every face, every place and every scenario tells a story. In researching that story, the characters and their location, their obstacles and their challenges, you grow with them. There is always a little piece of you in your story though. Writers are naturally empathetic souls and perhaps their gift is to be able to place themselves in their character’s situation and see life through their eyes. A writer becomes their character, surmounts their obstacles and fights their battles with them. They are passionate about these characters and writing in general. It’s their soul food. Personally, I feel I would suffer emotional starvation without it.

Most writers struggle with writers’ block, treading water in that no man’s land where ideas are elusive and you’re sure you might flounder. Many writers also suffer imposter syndrome, imagining that one day they’ll get found out and that they’re actually no good at writing. We get over it, somehow finding inspiration – often from wonderful readers, who love our books enough to shout about them – and diving into our next story. Sometimes, though, we forget to share who we are, who the person is at the core of us. Perhaps because we hide behind our characters. Perhaps because we are shy, or imagine we are just plain boring. I’m guilty of those last two, I must admit. Who would I be, I’ve often wondered, if something impacted on my life that made it impossible for me to write?

This was brought home to me a while back when a man hurrying past me tripped and fell. I gathered him up, checked he was okay. He said he was, but I suspected otherwise. He was on his way to buy flowers for his wife, he said. So, as he definitely seemed wobbly, I went with him. The poor man passed out in the shop doorway, with me hanging on to him. Once he’d regained consciousness, and the ambulance had been called, I left him with a first aider from a supermarket, and went off to find his wife, who he was concerned would be worried and whose location at another town centre shop he’d given me. While walking back with her – reassuring her that her husband was okay, she revealed that he was a very proud man and wouldn’t admit that he was losing his sight. He was also an artist, a painter, and could no longer paint. His passion had been taken away from him. My heart bled for him. As someone who studied art, I could imagine how devastated he would be. What would I do in that situation?

Sheryl Browne

So, to the point of my story: After being struck by two rare medical conditions simultaneously, I found a little bit of my central vision had been stolen away from me. I can still see, I hasten to add, well enough to be at my pc, to write, which sustains me. I can do social media, which is crucial to a writer – writers love to interact with their readers and online friends. Occasionally, though, while staring, say, at my phone, my focus ‘sticks’, like a dodgy lens of a camera, and my vision fails. I’m assured it can be managed, so I try not to panic, but it serves to remind me of those people in all walks of life who have to adapt because of some disability which often isn’t seen behind the profile. It also reminds me that we should be kind to people however we interact with them, because we never really know what’s going on ‘behind the scenes’.

For my part, I write because I am. I will always find ways to allow my characters to live and breathe. For those readers with visual impairment we have the miracle of audio books. If ever I find myself unable to focus for long periods at my pc, I can talk to it! And, boy, can I talk. Anyone who knows me will tell you that. 

My new book, My Husband’s House – written with a few sensible screen breaks!, looks at human frailty, flawed people and one’s sense of self, as many of my books do. Here we look at lies and deceit and the impact on the family. I think many people are guilty of telling ‘little white lies’ – harmless lies told with good intention. Aren’t Santa and the tooth fairy little white lies? Lies in a personal relationship, though, are not harmless. Lied to, you immediately feel disrespected, that you’re not seen as worthy of the truth. Sometimes we are able to talk it through, to find forgiveness and move on. We all make mistakes, after all. We’re human. Sometimes, though, deceit can irrevocably break a relationship. Loss of trust in the person you’re with, in the relationship itself, can destroy it.

How big a lie can you forgive? Cheating isn’t easily forgiven, but it is possible. But what if the lie is bigger? Much bigger. What if your husband, wife, or partner professes that the lie was told to protect you? What if this lie bred more lies? What if the truth behind these lies is devastating and seriously impacts on the people around you? On your children? On your perception of who the person is? Who you are?

If you feel with your every instinct that the person who lied is fundamentally good at their core and truly sorry, can you forgive, learn to trust again? To trust yourself? Him or her? Or are you being naive to even consider it? Thorny questions.

We leave our main character wondering – and the reader to judge whether that person’s love and trust was misplaced.

I often thank readers for their unbelievable support. It comes right from the heart, as it does for so many authors. Thank you! We could not do this without you.

Happy writing and reading all!

(c) Sheryl Browne

To find out more about Sheryl. go to www.sherylbrowne.com

About My Husband’s House:
My Husbands House

A new home. A loving wife. A secret that could kill…

With its peeling wallpaper and overgrown garden I know our new home isn’t perfect. But my husband Ben promises it’s the fresh start we need. I remind myself that he’s an amazing father to our two children, and that we have years of happy marriage behind us. He’s been distant for months but I’m desperate to believe the move will bring us back together.

When I meet our next-door neighbour Sara, I’m immediately relieved. She’s so welcoming and full of local gossip. But the moment she meets Ben I’m sure an angry frown flickers across her smiling face. Later he says I’m imagining things…

Why is my husband lying?

Then one night as I tuck our children into bed, the silence is broken by a knock on the front door. A stranger is standing on our doorstep. I turn to look at Ben’s face as he stares at her with unconcealed fury. Has he met this woman before? Nothing could prepare me for what she says: I know who you are. Get out of my house.

If you enjoyed reading The HousemaidThe Perfect Marriage and The Wife, you will love My Husband’s House. Gripping and totally addictive, you’ll be hooked from the first page.

Order your copy online here.

About the author

Bestselling Author, Sheryl Browne, writes taut, twisty psychological thriller. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies where she completed her MA in Creative Writing. Sheryl has also obtained a Certificate of Achievement in Forensic Science and – according to readers – she makes an excellent psychopath. Sheryl’s latest psychological thriller MY HUSBAND’S HOUSE comes to you from BOOKOUTURE. Her previous works include the DI Matthew Adams Crime Thriller series, along with contemporary fiction novels, The Rest of My Life and Learning to Love.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get all of the latest from writing.ie delivered directly to your inbox.

Featured books