In Conversation With… Sharon Bairden

Hi everyone, and I’m delighted to welcome fellow blogger Sharon Bairden to my blog. Sharon is a huge lover, like yours truly, of the crime and thriller genre.

Here, Sharon kindly answers my questions on her favourite authors, life away from blogging and which authors she admires the most.

Over to you, Sharon…

1) Can you tell me a bit about your background into blogging and who are your favourite bloggers? 

I started off blogging very quietly as somewhere to keep my thoughts on books that I’d read. I didn’t ever want to share my thoughts with anyone as I thought they might laugh at my ramblings! As I became more involved in the blogging community I plucked up the courage to share my reviews and the rest is history! It’s honestly the best thing I’ve ever done! I’ve found my tribe!

It is impossible to pick favourite bloggers as they all do a wonderful job of sharing the book love. Four bloggers who have inspired and helped me on my journey have to be Noelle over at Crimebookjunkie; Mary at LiveandDeadly; Anne at Randomthingsthroughmyletterbox and Sarah over at Bytheletterbookreviews.  Emma Mitchell at CreatingPerfectionThese five women have given me the confidence and courage to pursue my dreams. But as I said the blogging community is full of the most supportive individuals you will ever meet and I could literally spend hours making a list of them all! (https://crimebookjunkie.co.uk/  https://liveanddeadly.net/  http://randomthingsthroughmyletterbox.blogspot.com/  https://bytheletterbookreviews.com/  https://edmcreatingperfection.com/

2) Who are your top five authors in the genre and why?

Ha! I cannot choose favourite authors! That’s like choosing my favorurite children! I shall give you some names but please, authors, do not think you are not in my heart if you aren’t on this list! I have WAY more than five favourites!

In no particular order:

SE Lynes – the woman is genius, her psychological thrillers get me every single time and I am consumed by them!

Matt Wesolowski – writes gripping psychological thrillers with a touch of horror in a unique style! This man is a genius!

Michael J Malone – he writes crime fiction and psychological thrillers with a strong social commentary running through each of them; he delves right inside my head and his books stay with me for a long long time! Genius

Douglas Skelton – does not get the recognition he deserves; his writing is a work of art; it is intelligent; visual and thought-provoking. Genius!

Lin Anderson – my all time favourite female Scottish crime writer – her Rhona MacLeod series just gets better and better – she is absolute genius and is my queen of crime fiction

Alexandra Sokoloff – totally kick ass, powerful writer who takes no prisoners in her writing; the Huntress series is phenomenal and it is right up there in my top reads of all times! Genius!

I could literally go on and on and on and on!

3) What do you think makes the crime/thriller market so popular? On the other hand, do you think it is currently saturated? 

I think we all have a secret dark side; we all want to explore what it is like to do something we are not meant to do; we can do this safely via crime fiction; it allows us to address social issues, moral issues; it allows us to see justice, even if that justice is sometimes served out with the boundaries of the law! Definitely not saturated – I cannot get enough!

4) What did you grow up reading? Did you have a favourite childhood author? 

The staple diet for me was Enid Blyton and the Famous Five, I think most crime readers grew up on a diet of lashings and lashings of ginger beer and heaps of tomatoes! (will make sense to those of the same age as me!) I moved onto Agatha Christie about age 11 and that was me hooked on darkness!

5) Why particularly do you read crime and thriller? What attracts you to the genre? 

As Q3 above – I definitely have a very dark side! If I tell you any more then I may need to kill you!

6) Whats your view on how Scottish characters are written in predominantly set English novels?

 I think we have, thankfully, gone beyond the stereotype grumpy/tight-fisted/alcoholic Scot in fiction and Scottish Crime Fiction is in a league of its own, with some outstanding talent coming from here.

7) When you’re not blogging, do you have a day job? On the other side, what do you do to relax? 

By day I manage an Independent Advocacy Service which is about ensuring that people who are vulnerable due to their circumstances have their voices heard; I like to describe the role as a human rights activist and I spend my time looking for creative ways in which to make this happen. To relax I read but I have also been doing some of my own writing and hoping that #dreamsdocometrue

8) What’s your music taste like? Do you listen to bands or various artists? 

I’m not a huge music fan, I like a mix of artists but contemporary favourites have got to be Pink and Amy Winehouse

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