As well as writing a weekly opinion column in The Daily Record, and the literary page in the Record’s Saturday magazine, Shari has written fourteen books which have a world wide readership, including Germany and Russia.
There was much laughter as she talked about her ‘bonkbusters’ and about her life and work at home and abroad in such places as Holland, Shanghai and America. We were given a little peek into her daily routine of writing combined with family life, and were left breathless with the busyness of it all.
On writing a book review, Shari advises having a killer first line, a good description without spoiling the plot, and a strong last line that makes the reader of the review want to read the book. We learned that she can be sent as many as 200 books from publishers a week and she chooses three to review in her literary page. The page includes a column called 'I wrote a book' where self published authors can promote their work, and she invites readers to send in reviews of books they have read.
Her experiences in the world of books prompted some discussion about the changes in publishing today and the challenges that this brings for writers. As adjudicator of our book review competition she was impressed by the high standard of the entries and gave detailed critiques.
I think it is safe to say that we were amazed at the energy of this woman who packs so much into her day and still exudes such warmth, humour and enthusiasm for what she does.
The winner of the book review competition was Morag Moffat with her review of The Vanishing Act of EsmeLennox by Maggie O’Farrell. Shari kindly offered to use part of each of the entrants’ reviews for her Saturday page in The Daily Record.