About Sherri





Born in south London, I was bitten by the writing bug very early in life.

Spurred on by an over-active imagination, I couldn’t stop the stories that flowed onto the pages when I was very young, and I wrote my first full-length story at fourteen. Thankfully, no one read it but me.

Despite being a voracious reader, it wasn’t until many years later that I discovered the cozy mystery genre by chance, when I accidentally downloaded the wrong book onto my Kindle. I’d never even heard of cozy mysteries but I read the book anyway and I knew there and then that I’d found the genre I wanted to write in. My first book followed a few months later in May 2015.

As cooking is also one of my passions, I was happy to be able to incorporate it into my stories, all of which make up my culinary cozy mystery series, and all of which include a selection of recipes.

When I’m not scribbling down ideas for new stories, or tapping away on my laptop, you’ll most likely find me with my nose in a book, rustling up something experimental in the kitchen or running around after my very mischievous rescue dog, George.

Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse – the first of the Charlotte Denver Cozy Mystery books, and my first book in this genre – has since been joined by Fudge Cake, Felony and a Funeral, Spare Ribs, Secrets and a Scandal, Pumpkins, Peril and a Paella, Hamburgers, Homicide and a Honeymoon, Crab Cakes, Killers and a Kaftan, Mince Pies, Mistletoe and Murder and Doughnuts, Diamonds and Dead Men.

There will be more books in the Charlotte Denver Series, as well as a new series coming very soon (time of writing: November 26, 2017).

If you’d like to, you can connect with me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sherribryanauthor, on Twitter @sbryanwrites or by email at sherri@sherribryan.com.

PS – If you’re interested to know a little bit more about the inspiration behind the Charlotte Denver series (and me!) please keep scrolling to read a couple of blog interviews with yours truly!

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Mystery Mondays – Interview with Sherri Bryan

09MondayMay 2016

Author Bio

Originally from the UK, Sherri Bryan now lives in southern Spain with her husband and their rescue dog, George.

Her first Cozy Mystery, Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse, was published in May 2015.

Apart from writing, Sherri’s favourite pastimes include cooking, reading, watching crime dramas and her dog.  When she’s not tapping away on her keyboard, you’ll most likely find her experimenting with ingredients in the kitchen, playing with George, curled up somewhere with her nose in a book or dreaming up new Cozy Mystery plots.

Q&A

Why type of crime fiction do you write and why?

My current series is a British culinary Cozy Mystery (featuring recipes and a very cute dog) but, to be honest, I’d never even heard of Cozy Mysteries until two years ago, let alone written one!  It wasn’t until I downloaded one onto my Kindle (quite by accident) that I realised I’d found a genre I not only loved, but also really wanted to write in.

I love that Cozies allow me to write about murder, villains, dastardly deeds and twisty plots without the need for gory details, excessive violence, sex or bad language.  I also always try to bring a little romance and humour to the books and it’s important that each one has a feel-good ending.

Foreshadowing also plays a big part in my stories, in that I try to leave clues which point to answers, which I hope will keep readers guessing and involved in solving the mystery as they go.  I try not to make them too obvious, though – it wouldn’t be much fun for readers to have established the murderer and the motive way before the end of the book!

Tell us about the concept behind your books. How did you get the idea?

Well, I’m from the UK but I now live in Spain so I wanted to include a little of both countries in my books.  Over the years, I’ve enjoyed many happy holidays in Cornwall and Devon in the south-west of England, so I decided to use them as the main inspiration for my fictional coastal town setting.  That said, as St. Eves only existed in my imagination, I used a little creative licence here and there and added a few Spanish elements to it!

With regard to my protagonist, I didn’t have to look too far to find the inspiration for her!  I’m an animal-loving, avid cook and I owned a marina-front café in a Spanish coastal town for six years.  Charlotte Denver is also an animal-loving, avid cook who owns a marina-front café, but hers is in a UK coastal town.

Tell us about your Detective / main character.

My main character is Charlotte Denver, who owns the café, ‘Charlotte’s Plaice’, in St. Eves.  She has a stubborn streak, a big heart, is fiercely loyal, loves her friends and adores animals.  Her heart definitely rules her head.  Her parents were killed in an accident, and she has no other family, so her friends and her godparents are hugely important to her.  She’s also extremely inquisitive, a trait which comes in handy when any amateur sleuthing is called for.  A reader once described her as a ‘thoroughly good egg’ which I think is a very accurate assessment!

Who would you cast to play the main characters in a movie?

Carey Mulligan to play Charlotte, for sure.  Before I’d written the first book, I had a clear picture in my head of how all the characters looked.  I remember flicking through a magazine and doing a double-take when I saw a picture of Carey Mulligan with short, brown hair.  In my mind, that picture was exactly as I’d imagined Charlotte to look.  It was quite spooky, actually!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first choice to play Chief Inspector Nathan Costello would be the British actor, Clive Owen. Originally, I had him down as more of a Patrick Dempsey type but Clive won out in the end. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is more important in your books – the plot twists or the characters?

I think they’re equally important.  I think a Cozy Mystery with fabulous plot twists but unlikeable characters would be a huge disappointment.  Likewise, a story with loveable characters but lousy plot twists.

Do you plot the entire novel and know who did it before you start, or can that change?

I always intend to plot everything, chapter by chapter, and that’s the way I start out.  Unfortunately, it never continues that way and, invariably, I find myself writing the ending first and then flitting from place to place in the book as ideas come to mind.  I usually know who the perpetrator is right from the start although it has been known to change mid-way through the book!

What are you working on now? 

I’m writing book five in the Charlotte Denver series and am gathering ideas for book six and a series of short stories.

What do you do when you don’t write?

I love to cook, read, spend time with my husband and my dog and go out to eat.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)? 

I’m reading Dianne Harman’s Trouble at the Kennel in e-book format, Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island in paperback and The Good Housekeeping Step by Step Cookbook in hardback, which I’ve read too many times to count.

Who would you like to invite for dinner?

Hmmm.  Difficult one, but if space and money were no object, I’d love to invite some of my favourite Cozy Mystery authors, along with everyone who’s been kind enough to read and buy my books.  I’ve been in touch with so many of them via social media but it would be fabulous to meet them in person.  I know we’d have a ball!

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Vision & Verse – Interview with Cozy Mystery Author Sherri Bryan
Thursday, November 3, 2016

Good morning, Sherrie, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. Can you tell us what you’ve written?
I’ve just finished the sixth book in the Charlotte Denver Cozy Mystery series.

 Favorite food.
This is a difficult one! There is so little I don’t like but, as I have to say something, I think it would be a big piece of slow roasted meat, preferably beef or pork, with roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, and asparagus.

Tea or coffee?
Tea.

Pizza or ice cream?
Definitely pizza!

Wine or beer?
Hmm, depends on the circumstances but generally, wine.

Where would you like to visit?
Australia, New Zealand and Amsterdam.

Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What?
Another difficult one but I think I’d choose Michael Jackson as my favourite musical artist. 

Yes, sometimes I listen to music when I write. My taste in music is pretty eclectic so, depending on my mood, it can be anything from John Denver, Neil Diamond and Dolly Parton to Bon Jovi, The Rolling Stones and Coldplay.

What makes you laugh?
Observational humour, and my dog.

This is an Art AND Author website, so I am obliged to ask: Favorite work of art or sculpture.
The Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh        

How old were you when you started writing?
I was fourteen when I wrote my first story. Thankfully, it was never published!

Describe your perfect evening.
A meal at a favourite local restaurant with my husband and friends.

Where do you get your inspiration?
From everything! I find inspiration for storylines and characters everywhere I look. My main characters, although not based on actual people, all possess traits of people I have known throughout my life.

What do you do when you get a writer’s block?
Generally, panic and forget to breathe.

Who is your favorite author? 
Another difficult one so I’m going to pick two. For non-fiction, I’d say Bill Bryson and for fiction, J. K. Rowling. Their writing is so descriptive, you feel like you’re part of their stories.

Best book you ever read.
The Moon’s a Balloon, David Niven.

Last book you read.
The Lincoln Lawyer, Michael Connelly

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?I think I’d probably cook, preferably in a small restaurant of my own.   

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My Dad, who is 96. He taught me to never give up, and, I hope, to be a decent person.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
My husband’s dad. I never met him and would have loved to. I think we would have really hit it of
f.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Finish what you start, take no notice of negative people who tell you you’ll never make it as a writer, be prepared for criticism (not everyone will like what you write), have faith in yourself and never, ever give up.