Wednesday, July 10, 2013

40 for 40 - Zoe Sharp

Another friend from Caerleon for you to meet today. And  a different sort of fiction from romance.
 I met Zoe Sharp  when she came to teach  a crime writing course at Caerleon Writers' Holidays and,  apart from the fact that we got on really well from the start, when I saw a quote about one of her books :
'Zoë Sharp grabs hold of the reader's throat in the first sentence of  the Charlie Fox debut thriller and never lets go " it just made  me want to read her book right now.

So because I'm generous to my readers I knew I wanted to invite her along to this celebration so that those of you who missed her first visit back in 2007 (was it really that long ago, Zoe!)  can find out about her and her books. I may be a romance writer but I love a good crime novel/thriller - and if you do too  you can be in with a chance to win one of her titles if you join in the conversation in the comments list.

So here's Zoe

Keeping the flame well lit

I was so pleased to be asked to help celebrate the Ruby wedding anniversary of Kate and Steve The Babe Magnet™. They’re a wonderful couple and to have survived forty years together without resorting to murder is certainly cause for celebration!

Not for one moment that I’m casting aspersions on this lovely pair, but being a crime thriller author that’s just the way my mind tends to work.

Relationships fascinate me. I feel they are at the heart of all good fiction and are not the exclusive preserve of well-known romance writers like Kate. Being engaged by the characters and wanting them to resolve their difficulties—with the situation or with each other—are all part of what keeps us turning the pages to the very end.

My main character, Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox is an ex-Special Forces trainee who was robbed of her army career and instead became a bodyguard. KILLER INSTINCT: Charlie Fox book one was published in 2001. The latest—out at the start of the year—is DIE EASY: Charlie Fox book ten.

It would have been very easy to make Charlie a celibate character, or have her drift in and out of relationships that never quite went anywhere, mostly likely because she was already married to her work.

Instead, right from the start is the back story of her turbulent love affair with Sean Meyer. He was her training instructor in the army, so what was between them had to remain illicit. And when that blew up in both their faces they parted on the worst of terms.

By the time they meet again a lot has changed, but not Charlie’s feelings for Sean. Nor her realisation
that he’s a reflection of her own dark half. Her own father recognises this when he tells her in ROAD KILL: Charlie Fox book five: “If you stay with Sean Meyer you will end up killing again. And next time, Charlotte, you might not get away with it …”

But despite knowing she should make a different choice, Charlie can’t let Sean go. Through the ten books so far they’ve put their lives on the line for each other. They’ve killed and almost died for each other. Sean’s pushed her away and still she refuses to entirely give up on him. The on-going story of their impossible relationship is what keeps the series constantly fresh and exciting for me as a writer.

And judging by the emails I receive, it seems to be working pretty well for my readers, too.

After all, all action and no heart does not a satisfying story make.

Kate and Steve’s story, I hope, contains a little of both :)

Many congratulations!

To help celebrate Kate and Steve’s Ruby wedding anniversary, I’m delighted to be giving away a signed copy of any of the ten Charlie Fox books so far (see my website for the full series list).

But in return I need your help. Some very good (non-writer) friends of mine have their eleventh wedding anniversary coming up in September. Eleven is Steel. Hmm, not exactly inspiring when it comes to ideas for anniversary gifts. So, the signed book goes to the most appropriate and inventive suggestion!


Zoë Sharp wrote her first novel when she was fifteen, and created the no-nonsense Charlie Fox after receiving death-threat letters as a photojournalist. Her work has been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Benjamin Franklin, and Macavity Awards in the United States, as well as the CWA Short Story Dagger. It has been used in Danish school textbooks, turned into a short film and optioned by Twentieth Century Fox TV. Zoë can regularly be found telling silly jokes on Twitter (@AuthorZoeSharp) and Facebook where you can Like or Friend her. To read extracts from the books and find out more please visit


Eli Yanti said...

The idea is only a ticket for them to go maybe ticket movie, ticket to dinner or traveling because I think sometimes author needs to refreshing and maybe your friend can get the idea of story during the relax time :)

JulieM said...

Often it is fun to interpret the theme quite loosely, so maybe for steel you could get an album by Steely Dan.

Laney4 said...

I've already won a "40 for 40" book, so please take me off your list.
I like the Steely Dan suggestion. To take it a step further, there's DVDs of Remington Steele.
There's also stainless steel solar lights, beer steins, dolly for the garage, or barbecue tong set.
My suggestion would be to go to your favourite store's web site, type "steel" under the search tab, and hope there's something there "just perfect" for the lucky couple. Good luck!

traveler said...

I enjoyed the post and your books are compelling and unique.

bn100 said...

11 stainless steel roses?
steel-plated copy of their wedding invitation?

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

traveler said...

Forgot to mention the gift. A steel sculpture, for their fireplace, or mantel, or table. Or a figure in steel. I have one that can be hung up or displayed which is unique.

petite said...

A stainless steel sign for their entrance or garden.

Christine said...

How about steel fox figurine

Mary Preston said...

Something to "steal" the heart of a loved one!!

Thinking in loose terms here.

Zoë Sharp said...

There are some really great suggestions here -- thank you so much. I think I may have to get a selection of steel-related items. I draw the line at a copy of the Zoolander DVD, though, with Ben Stiller's eponymous hero doing his Blue Steel model pose!

Pippa White said...

A magnum of champagne and a gift wrapped package of Beecham's Resolve:

"Approach the Celebration with Steely Resolve" or summat :-)

Maureen Harrington said...

Hi Zoë!

I love that Charlie came with a fully formed romance background full of intrigue and troubling stuff. Perfect.

How about a steel armadillo garden sculpture from RetroCowboy in Redrose,Texas? I have all your books and don't need to win, but if it should happen to come my way I would give it to a friend.

Unknown said...

his and hers matching handcuffs :)

K. A. Laity said...

I'm glad to find thrillers with romantic entanglements. They are much more compelling. Charlie's such an appealing character too!

No idea on gifts. I'm hopeless in that regard.

Unknown said...

Although, after the comment about your mind naturally wandering to murder, I feel like a samurai sword might be a suggestion, we don't want responsibility to fall upon you should they decide to use it!
I found a bike bell painted to say this bike is my car, but wrong kind of bike, of course. I did enjoy the name I'd the website, however: Hostile Bacon.
THEN I found a stainless steel flask concealed within a hard cover book! Although it currently says dear diary on it, I'm sure that some clever creative cover changes could be made!

Corine said...

Does any couple EVER have enough good quality knives????? Some young man tried to woo my daughter that way...:)

Corine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Two things I found that seemed like fun gifts are the dvd of Sapphire and Steel (if they like science fiction) or stainless steel wine glasses (which looked kind of cool and work well according to the comments. Liz

AliasMo said...

If they are VERY good friends, you can send them to Trinidad and Tobago for some genuine Steel Band calypso music

Or get them tickets for a performance of the Croydon Steel Orchestra (fun for the whole family)

Zoë Sharp said...

Thank you all again for coming up with such wonderful suggestions. Almost impossible to choose which is the best!

I may have to get my friends separate presents, as I know one of them loves old TV series (like Remington Steele or Sapphire and Steel) but the other might not find that quite as much fun. I shall be checking out all the links, though. Such fun.

Of course, Kate and Steve have much easier choices -- just buy them anything set with rubies!

And I don't mean a bag of ruby grapefruit.

So, thank you all again. I've really enjoyed being here to help join in the celebrations.



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