Monday, 29 December 2014

New Year's Resolutions...and chocolate.


THEY'RE not something I think about too much. New year's resolutions. But at this time of the year, not having a promise for the new year, is like being at a party and not having a party piece.
Because sure as anything, when everyone gets too tired to dance/drink/talk anymore, you'll always find some musical genius who produces a guitar or starts to tinkle a piano. Yes, I still find myself at those parties.
And just as the pressure is on to warble a chorus of something, so too, around this time, must you have a new year's resolution.
The thing about new year's resolutions is that they are either wonderfully positive or incredibly negative. Either you're going to start training for that marathon, travel to Australia to see that long-lost friend you haven't seen for 20 years, or (whisper it) tidy your house. Or you're going to give something up. Drink, ciggies, coffee, yelling at your kids. Ahem. 
Thanks to a friend who always had coffee in the pot (but had to hunt for teabags!) I have long been a bit of a caffeine addict. Nothing ridiculous, you understand. Two cups a day is my limit. Lightweight that I am.
And life without my daily, relatively harmless fix, would be a bit miserable. So, that stays.
Chocolate however, is a whole other matter.
It's something I take very seriously in life. Let's face it, most women do. Yes, I know. Men love chocolate too. As do children of both sexes. But based on cold, scientific research, (nearly all my women friends love chocolate), I conclude that we have a special relationship with it.
Happily, I am also very fussy about my chocolate. These days, I would rather have a tiny taste of the excellent, cocoa-rich stuff, than any amount of the cheap, sugary stuff of my childhood. Which is all good, right?
Well, it was until yesterday. When somebody who'd been given one of those useless-facts-you-never-wanted-to-know kind of books for Christmas, delighted in telling me that there are ON AVERAGE, EIGHT INSECT LEGS IN EVERY BAR OF CHOCOLATE.
I know! I know! But it's true. I didn't want to believe them. I looked it up. Apparently, it's been common knowledge for years. It's just that, well, people don't talk about it.
And yes, given how food is grown and processed, there are probably bugs in all our food. And just like the ones in chocolate, they are obviously harmless. Because I've been eating the stuff forever, and I'm fine. Really.
So, I've decided. I'm NOT going to give up chocolate in 2015. It's one of life's little pleasures. And like most things, perfect if consumed in moderation.
But from today, it'll have to also count as protein...
And I still don't have a new year's resolution yet.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Print or Digital: The Future for the Publishing Industry.



Is print the only way worth getting published? What does the future hold for the publishing industry? And what difference has the digital publishing revolution made to upcoming authors? Check out my recent article, online in The Irish Times:

http://bit.ly/EbookIrishTimes

Recent launch of Going Against Type....


HUGE thanks to the wonderful singer/actress Honor Heffernan, who helped to officially launch Going Against Type. Many, many thanks to our local paper, News Four, who very kindly gave it some coverage.
And a big thank you to everyone who turned up and made it such a fun night.
 


 
 



 
 
 



 
 
 


Sharon Black @Authorsharonb
Pic of Honor Heffernan and moi at launch of #Goingagainsttype in Newsfour today. See Newsfour.ie pic.twitter.com/fFnQ8OhqVx
01:55 PM - 06 Dec 14

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Near naked runner


I was slowing down to a red light when Near Naked Runner passed me on the other side of the road.
Tanned skin, leathery from years of exposure to the sun, he wore only shorts, socks and runners. His bald, conker-like head seemed to highlight his state of undress. 
He ran steadily, his pace unchanging, oblivious to, or uncaring of the stares he attracted.
That it was 17 degrees in October, bore no relevance to his attire. I have seen this agile, older man before. He runs like this in the bitter cold and lashing rain.
It made me think of all the other runners out there, day after day, dark evenings and cold rain and icy winds. They run to be fit, to lose weight, to improve bone density. They run because it releases powerful endorphins, that we all know about now.
They come home to hot showers, warm-limbed and high on the feeling that only exercise can bring.
Walking is fine, other walkers tell me. Much better in fact. The impact of hard roads and concrete paths on runners' joints is no joke.
Friends of mine who've taken up running in the last while, look surprised when I mention this. You build up to it slowly, they say. And the muscles develop around the joints, helping to protect them.
So what's stopping me? Laziness? Fear? Lack of organisation? If you really want to do something, you'll find the time. Instead of writing this, I could be out there. Running.
I wonder why the hell I haven't joined them.
Because I'm fast running out of excuses.

x Sharon

Friday, 26 September 2014

Pedicure Promises: I've been deFEETED.



YOU have to admire the marketing cleverness of my local beauty salon.

I am walking past, when the offer jumps out at me: Half price pedicures - this week only.
I stop, glance down at my poor, sore feet. Destroyed after a summer of flip-flops and stony beaches and walking barefoot around my garden. Carefully applied nail polish just window dressing over the cracks.
And I can't even hide them in winter boots yet. The warm weather stretches.
I sidle in. The whole place smells pink. A glossy haired, perfectly made-up twentysomething beams as I approached the reception desk.
'Good morning, do you have an appointment?'
'Er, no.'
'Oh.' She frowns and peers at her diary. I can feel my resolve waiver.
'What are you interested in having done and we'll see when we can fit you in.' Another toothy smile.  
'Well, would you have anything today?' I ask.
She grimaces, shaking her head.
'Is it an emergency?'
I hesitate. What sort of emergencies necessitate a visit to the beauty salon? A chipped nail? A spot on your nose?
'I was just wondering about the half price pedicures.'
She nods.
'This week only.'
'But you've nothing left this week.'
'I could fit you in next week. We're doing Autumn deal specials.'
'Same price?'
Well no, but we've fantastic value in facial peels.'
I sigh.
'Book me in.'
She turns some pages. 'Right, what time Monday would you like?'
I re-emerge into the sun and study my feet again. It doesn't really matter, I tell myself. By Monday the weather might have changed and my feet will be safely tucked back into boots.
Short of wearing a paper bag over my head, however...
**********************************************

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Have a wonderful week,
Thanks for reading,
Hugs & xx,
Sharon.

Thursday, 25 September 2014



Posting my first review of Going Against Type. Reviewed by author Valentine Williams.


REVIEW.

 

GOING AGAINST TYPE,  by Sharon Black

 

This lively office rom-com is set in the murky world of journalism, and the dialogue cracks along at a fair pace, so that the reader swiftly feels part of the politics and gossip that make up the life of a female sports journalist, as well as getting a peep at the relentless pressure involved. This is a world the author knows well, and she conveys with genuine feeling the nuances of office relationships and intrigues.  We enter a world of competative sport, match fixing, media scoops and misunderstandings.

 

But the book is more than this. The struggle between Charlotte Regan and Derry Cullinane is echoed in the fashion versus sport columns in their papers. Charlotte, mad on sport, does not play games in relationships, and yet through Derry, realises that it's possible for her to embrace the world of fashion without losing her self respect. In being attracted to Charlotte – Charlie – Derry Cullinane falls for a sportswoman and journalistic rival who is not obsessed with fashion or appearance, and so goes against type.

 

Derry Cullinane presents as an interesting male character; not, we are told, gay, but inhabiting a flamboyant, slightly theatrical world very different from Charlotte's, and who maybe bolsters his masculinity by his female conquests. From misunderstandings, the relationship between them grows as each reveals the truth about themselves.

 

The relationships between Charlotte and her sister, her flatmate and colleagues are well described and provide a variety of alternative models of relationships, cunningly played out in the dialogue, which I found witty and authentic. A  very enjoyable read.

 
Remember, you can buy the book here: tirpub.com/gatype

x Sharon.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Interviewed at Tirgearr Publishing



GOOD Morning, all,

I'm interviewed today over at Tirgearr Publishing Heart of Fiction. Join me?

Hugs & xx,
Sharon.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Six days to the release of Irish romantic comedy e-book, 'Going Against Type.'



Just six days to the e-book release of Irish romantic comedy, Going Against Type. In this little excerpt, Charlotte is getting ready for her first date with Derry:

She'd spent an hour readying herself, much to Helen's amusement.
'Why are you so nervous, Charlotte? It's just a date!'
'Oh come on, Helen. The last guy I dated was Mr Uptight Conor, and before that I dated sports jocks. Derry is differ...ent. He's Premier League status!'
'And you're Scumthorpe United? Take a look at yourself, woman!'
'I'm not sure what he expects, but I'm not his type, Helen. I'm floundering.'
Helen caught Charlotte's hands and forced her to meet her gaze.
'Don't you dare run yourself down, Charlotte Regan. You're intelligent and totally gorgeous! But you need to do one thing!'
'What?'
'Allow yourself to be a woman! How do I put this without you taking it the wrong way? Don't talk sport all night. You are incredibly bossy when you start. Let Derry take charge a bit. Allow him to be a man!'
Charlotte blinked.
'Sorry, I just time travelled to the 1950s for a moment. What were you saying?'

Thursday, 11 September 2014


12 days to go! I have just 12 full days left to the release of Going Against Type, the romantic comedy about warring columnists who write for rival Irish newspapers. It's exciting and nerve wracking.

Saturday, 16 August 2014


Hi everyone,

Am so very pleased that as of today, an excerpt from Going Against Type is up on my book page on the Tirgearr Publishing site. Please check out http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Black_Sharon/going-against-type.htm or see Sharon Black Author Page on Facebook.
The countdown to publication date on September 23 is on...
Take care,
Sharon.

Friday, 18 July 2014

The Writing Process Blog Hop

Thanks to Kemberlee Shortland, www.Kemberlee.blogspot.com for tagging me in The Writing Process Blog Hop

Read about my writing process here. At the end I'll be tagging a few other authors, so please do follow those links to their blogs and interviews.

To browse or purchase books, please visit Tirgearr Publishing at www.tirgearrpublishing.com


Q: What am I currently working on?
I am currently working on my second novel. All I can really say is that, like my first, which will be published by Tirgearr Publishing this September, it is a romantic comedy.  Like my first novel, my heroine is strong, independent and feisty.

Q: What makes my writing distinctive?
I think very visually, so when I'm writing, it's very important for me to see what's happening in my head. If I can't see something, for example, if I can't visualise where my characters are and what they're doing, and what they can see, I find it hard to write that scene. When that happens, I just make some notes about the scene and move on to another one.
I also write a lot of dialogue, so my chapters are quite short and fairly fast. Dialogue is fast. I like to listen to the way people talk. When I'm writing that, I can also hear my characters talking. To make sure I'm getting it right, I often read it out loud for myself.

Q: Why do I write what I write?
Everyone has things they want to write about, I suppose. My first novel, Going Against Type, is set against the backdrop of Dublin newspapers. It's about columnists who meet and fall in love without realizing they are bitter enemies in print. I used to work as a journalist. I even wrote a column for a short while. Of course the novel is completely fictional, but I had real experiences to ground me.

Q: How does the writing process work?
I write better in the mornings. And even if I'm struggling with something, I know that it's only a first draft. It will get better. You have to put stuff down to be able to edit later. You can't edit a blank page.

Q: What next?
The next book, hopefully. I'm just concentrating on the one I'm writing at the moment.

Now I'd like to tag the following authors. Please visit their blogs to read about their writing processes.

Jeff Gardiner: www.jeffgardiner.com
Elizabeth Delisi: www.elizabethdelisi.blogspot.com
Charlene Raddon: www.charleneraddon.blogspot.com
Isabo Kelly: www.Isabokellyrambles.blogspot.com