Shirley Goodrum is the author of ‘Baggage in a B Cup’. She writes stories about ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges. Her characters touch your heart, make you laugh, cry, and cheer them on. Shirley Goodrum lives in Haartbeespoort, South Africa. She bakes stories and brownies, watches sunsets and walks beaches.
When my parents died, it fell to me to sift through the official documents, personal letters, cards and mementos they had collected and kept in their deed box. Postmarks from Britain, South Africa, Southern and Northern Rhodesia, tracked the geography of their marriage and my childhood. Memories piled up and a jiffy bag released my tears.
On it, my mother had stuck the label, Shirley’s Writing, and inside, was a newspaper cutting and carefully-folded, odd-sized, papers. I flattened them out, read stories and poems I’d forgotten I’d written, and glimpsed the child I’d once been. A child who dreamed of writing books, who overflowed with words; words my mother had treasured.
The following day I saw an advert for a creative writing course, and I felt my mother’s nudge. I signed up and made my dream come true.
The newspaper cutting was the inspiration for Baggage in a B Cup. I hope you read and enjoy the book. The deed box holds many stories, this is the first I’ve written; there are more to come.
Q & A:
#1 Tell us about your books.
My books are about ordinary people facing extraordinary difficulties. My characters live through funny, sad, shocking, surprising, intimate slices of life. They struggle with serious real-life issues, adapt and change to survive.
#2 Why did you choose your genre?
I am still struggling with this. I’m a fan of Marian Keyes. Like her, I address serious issues common to both men and women. I write them ‘light’, but they aren’t as funny or contemporary as hers and don’t fit her chick-lit niche. I wondered around the book shops for ages, eventually deciding ‘Women’s Fiction’ was the best fit, but my male readers think not.
#3 What motivates you?
Life, people, dreams, the amazing resilience of those who survive the big curved balls.
#4 Talk us through ‘a day in the life of Shirley’
Okay, I’ll try. I’m a semi-retired bookkeeper married to my high school sweetheart. I’m responsible for running my husband and my finances; I do not like admin and in my next life I want my own bookkeeper. I have two surviving children and four grand-children and I love nothing better than having us all together making memories. I live in the country in a busy three-generation household and, truth be told, no one day is the same as another. I try, I really do, to lay down a daily routine that starts with great coffee, slips into hours of writing, and ends with red wine, watching magnificent sunsets, and the read of a good book, but the only things that show up each day are the wretched admin, meals (hubby is diabetic), and my semi-retired bookkeeping job. Sugar levels, month end and year end are set in proverbial concrete, and I find little time to tap out the sentences roaming my head. Figure work gobbles up a few hours a day. I usually tackle it in the morning. Hubby and I stay in bed until the 6-7 am chaos is over. With of the grand-kids and the parents gone, breakfast is a must, then hubby’s off to his garage and hobby and, twice a week, if I’m not travelling, I push off to the ‘Old Ducks’” Pilates class, where I balance on a ball or lie on a mat and, between agonizing cramps, suck my core-muscles to my backbone. Some mornings I walk my dog. He’s a beautiful Sheltie; his coat entices stroking and he never fails to collect pats and compliments. We don’t work up a sweat on our walks, how can we, with his admirers stopping us, and his urge to sniff and lift his leg on every tree, flower and bush? His bladder capacity amazes me, mine simply cannot hold that much pee. If I’m home at 12:30 pm (hubby accuses me of always gallivanting), I’m forced to stop whatever I am doing. My man emerges from his garage, prowls the kitchen, puts leftovers or sandwiches together and calls me loudly for lunch. Afternoons might find me back at bookkeeping stuff, or collecting grandchildren, or doing a bit of gardening, sewing, or baking but I’m not available for any of these if tennis is on the telly. One of the joys of my semi-retirement is tuning in to the ATP Tour. I am a number one fan of Rafael Nadal. He, and some of the yummy up and coming youngsters, have me glued to the screen and I’m sometimes tardy with my Monday and Wednesday slots on the supper roster and we eat later, much later than ‘normal.’ By eight o’clock my granddaughter has fed our mutual chocolate addiction, the house is settling down, watching TV, YouTube, Facebook, or work screens, and I open the file “Shirley’s Writing” and set the sentences free.
#5 Is there anything you regret in life?
#6 What makes you livid?
Litter, bullies, closed minds
#7 What is your favourite colour?
#8 If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My late daughter, Wendy, because I miss her.
#9 Is there a certain theme that you go for with your book covers?
Colourful and Energizing
#10 Do you have a small piece of advice for any new writers out there?
If you self-publish do all the research before you launch. I didn’t, and I should have.
Go and check out what Shirley has to share in her books and everywhere else.
If you would like to find Shirley, you can find her at the following places:
Facebook Author page: https://web.facebook.com/ShirleyGoodrumAuthor/
That’s it from me for now…
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