for more tour information.
Welcome to The Wormhole and my day on the tour.
It is my pleasure to feature Sheila Mary Taylor and Pinpoint.
Sheila has joined us today!
Hi Beverley, Thank you very much for having me on your blog
today. I’m so looking forward to chatting to you.
? When did you
first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I can honestly say that I haven’t the faintest idea when my wish
to be a writer actually crystallized. I think it must have been way back in my
youth in Cape Town, when I was less than ten years old and I used to write
letters to my aunts in Scotland telling them everything I’d been doing and the
letters were so thick that my mother could hardly get them into an envelope. I
used to start writing novels in my teens but never showed them to anyone and I
never even finished them. So it was only when my youngest son Andrew was
diagnosed with teenage cancer that I felt compelled to write down everything
about that most horrific and dramatic event, every little detail, and this
became my first book – Count to Ten.
How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?
Not many, because I mostly lived with my husband in mining towns
in African countries like Zambia,
Tanzania and Ghana, where it
was difficult for an expatriate woman to get a job. I was actually trained as a
ballet dancer and also what was called in my youth, a Private Secretary. (One
of the subjects was typing, and am I grateful for this now!) But if only I’d
known then that what I really wanted to do was be an Editor. Which I am now for
a publishing company in San Francisco
called Taylor Street Books. (a coincidence that the name is the same as my
maiden name, which is also my writing name.)
? How long does it
take you to write a book?
like asking me how long is a piece of string! Sometimes six months and
sometimes six years. I wrote four romances and they took less than a year to
write. (That’s one of my next projects: to rewrite them and publish as
e-books). But Pinpoint was a very
on-off journey and it was about six years and several re-writes before I felt
it was ready for publication. Your readers might like to share the book trailer
my granddaughter Katie did for Pinpoint. Uncannily
she chose exactly the right music to evoke the nail-biting suspense of this
psychological crime thriller:
? Do you have a
routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?
Not exactly. I’m not as organized as that. But I definitely find
that if I stick to a more or less daily routine, the writing flows better than
if I just pick it up when I feel like it. I mostly wake up at dawn and am up at
sunrise, which right now is 05:30 in Cape
Town. My brain is rested and ready then to let the
words flow, and I just love the peace and quiet at that time of the morning
with no phones ringing and nobody calling. I will usually write for at least
three hours, and then at about four p.m. I start again and only stop when my
husband Colin calls me for dinner. Yes, I’m very lucky. He is the cook! And an
excellent one at that.
? Where do you get
your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
pop up from nowhere usually. Or I might come across a person or a situation
that for some reason shoots a bolt of interest through me and I know that this
is something I want to know more about. Writing for me is a journey of
exploration. The more I need to find out about a character or a problem or a
situation, the more I enjoy it.
? What books have
most influenced your life?
Oh, Beverley, there are so many I wouldn’t know where to begin. I
think in the last twenty years it has been the works of the Nobel Prize winner,
J M Coetzee – also the two-times winner of the Booker Prize. It is his amazing
capacity to write in as few words as possible and still get right to the core
of a character that fascinates me. Another one that I have loved for as long as
I can remember is The Mountain is Young by
Han Suyin. I re-read this every couple of years and still love it. A romance in
the grand sense of the word, set in wonderful Kathmandu in Nepal. Apart from being a
breath-taking romance, it opened up a whole new world for me of adventure,
intrigue and life. Another book of hers was made into a famous film – Love is a Many Splendored Thing.
? What is the first
book you remember reading by yourself?
Something by a man called … I think it was Lewis Carrol – now I
wonder if it could have been … Alice in Wonderland? Centuries later I modified this and produced
it for a children’s show for our amateur dramatic society in Zambia. Oh what
fun we had doing that.
? What are you
reading right now?
Re-reading Girl with a
Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, one of my favorite authors.
? What do you like
to do when you are not writing?
My leisure pursuits are very simple these days. I was a very
keen golfer for many years, but sadly a back injury prevents me playing any
more. But I walk on the beach every morning and I simply adore my twice weekly
dance class, when we dance to anything from Mozart to Elvis. I often meet up
with my friends for a coffee, and go as often as I can to the ballet or music
concerts. A weekly visit to The Seven Seas Club in nearby Simon’s Town, where
the South African naval base is situated, is where I let my hair down and talk
to people from all walks of life. Wow, you can get plenty of ideas from these
? What is your
favorite comfort food?
Need you ask? Chocolate, of course! I wish it wasn’t!
?What do you think makes a good story?
Something that is making a character terribly unhappy and
somehow she must conquer this. Or anything where a character has an almost
impossible goal and they must move heaven and earth to achieve this goal. I
think every story must start with something insurmountable that must be
dogs or cats? Definitely dogs. They
put their entire trust in you. How wonderful is that.
Coffee or tea? Neither, actually, since caffeine makes me want dance
on table tops. So I drink decaf and a wonderful “tea” called Rooibos, which
grows wild here in the Western Cape.
It has no caffeine and hardly any tannin, and has wonderful healing properties.
Dark or milk chocolate? Dark, because there’s little or no fat
in it and I would love to lose a few kilos.
Rocks or flowers? Rocks are fascinating. I’ve made a kind of rock
statue in my garden because shapes can be just as interesting as flowers.
Night or day? Ah, we work by day and we play at night!
Favorite color? Coral pink
because it’s so fresh and flattering
Pens or pencils? It used to be my gold fountain pen. Now it’s my
More About the author:
Sheila Mary Taylor was born in Cape Town beneath the
towering slopes of Table Mountain. Her Scottish parents, both
serious academics and writers, despaired of her, as the things
that turned her on as a youngster seemed far removed from their
serious world of academia.
And no wonder. Cape Town was a distracting paradise to grow
up in: mountain climbing, surfing in the glistening waters of the
Indian Ocean, roller-skating, riding, hunting – and parties
galore. She did it all, although the thing she loved most was
dancing, and until she was twenty-three when she met Colin, her
husband-to-be, on a visit to the UK, she wanted to make ballet
her career. But having been surrounded by wall-to-wall books
from an early age, and listening to music almost non-stop as her father played his hi-fi classical
records so loud it was like having an orchestra in the house, was bound to have a belated
influence on her. Yet it was only much later that these two strong influences – combined with the
clock-ticking heartbreak of her youngest son Andrew being diagnosed with teenage cancer –
would change her life and kick-start her writing career.
Her plethora of unusual activities: jockey in amateur ladies’ races, exhibition roller skating
in night-clubs, a spell of acting and directing, secretary to a diplomat, creator and editor of a
dramatic society magazine, dancing in the Royal Albert Hall, and above all, living in exciting
exotic places around the world with Colin, her mining engineer husband of almost sixty
incredible years – have all enriched and inspired her writing.
LinkedIn: Sheila Belshaw
Sheila Mary Taylor
Genre: Crime (Legal Crime Psychological Thriller)
Number of pages: 363
Word Count: 122,000
A lawyer, a murderer and a policeman - caught in a tangled
web of love, loss, terror and intrigue.
When lawyer Julia Grant interviews Sam Smith who has
been charged with an especially vicious murder, she feels a
strange connection to him, as if she has met him before, as if
he holds the key to something she has forgotten among the unbearable memories from her past
she has determinedly blotted out.
He feels a connection too. "Julia, you are the only one who can help me," he pleads.
Is it the same connection? Does he know something she cannot recall?
When he is duly convicted despite her best efforts, he suddenly turns on her in the courtroom and
threatens that one day he will make sure to wreak his revenge on her.
But why? What has she ever done to him?
And then, on his way to prison, he escapes ......
Book Trailer http://youtu.be/R7Ou3N7hx8Q
Strangeways Prison, Manchester, England (September 1994)
I’ve represented many murderers and am often surprised at how normal they appear. But this
one is different. As he walks into the interview room he stops dead. His mouth drops open. His
eyes bulge. His elbows clamp to his sides as though a knife has plunged into his back. And he
looks straight at me unlike most who bow their heads till I say something to make them feel at
ease, and who look past me when they tell me their stories. Not this one.
‘Please sit down,’ I say. His name is Smith. Sam Smith. This is what it says on his file cover. It’s
what he called himself when he was interviewed by the police.
‘I know it seems stupid,’ I say, ‘but can I ask you to confirm your name. Your full name.’
I don’t know. I just don’t see him as a Sam Smith. Stupid name anyway. Nobody calls their kid
that. Maybe I’ll know from the way he tells me. The name, when he says it himself, will either
sound like it belongs or like he’s pretending.
‘Sam Smith,’ he says, and something in the timbre of his voice gels with the curve of his lips
and the way his slightly protruding eyes follow mine …
And now he’s nodding his head. Or am I imagining it? And there’s an almost imperceptible
smile on his face. That smile. And those eyes. I grip the desk. I can’t breathe. My skin turns cold,
clammy. My fingers tingle. A fragment of long forgotten memory skitters through my head then
There’s only one person I’ve ever known with eyes like those. And my darling twin brother
died twenty-six years ago. Before my real life began.
But let’s get on with it and start the job - it’s going to be a long haul, and he’s got a lot to do
to beat the charge. Murder. Horrible, cold-blooded, psychopathic, sexually motivated sadism.
And I think I know him.
5 paperbacks no shipping restrictions and 5 Ebooks
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