Tag Archives: crime fiction

The Genesis of Sharon Wright: Butterfly

Sharon Wright, Butterfly cover for web

I’m asked where the character of Sharon Wright came from in a way that no one ever asks about Billy, the central character in Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper. I don’t find that puzzling; it reflects the unwillingness of people to accept the pursuit of self-interest in a female character when it would not trouble them in a male. It’s clear that some people find Sharon disturbing. Personally, I love the woman 🙂
When my daughter was nine, we moved house. For the previous year or so she had told us that her ambition was to be a doctor; she returned home on the first day at her new school and said she planned to be a nurse. I said, ‘What happened to being a doctor?’ ‘Oh,’ she said, ‘Boys become doctors. Girls become nurses.’ I took her out of that school and sent her to one that accepted only girls and they set about the business of reinstating her ambition and sense of self-worth and making sure she kept it. I had better make it clear right now that I mean nothing derogatory towards nurses – my problem was with people who accepted that there must be limits on a person’s ambition for no other reason than that the person lacks testicles.
I actually wrote Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper before Sharon Wright: Butterfly but Sharon Wright was published first for reasons that don’t matter here. Zappa’s Mam is the story of a young man who overcomes the disadvantages of an appalling home background, achieves his ambition and shines in the world. I wanted to write a similar book about a young woman and that book became Sharon Wright: Butterfly.
It’s true that Sharon puts herself first but that wasn’t always so – it’s learned behaviour. If she had always put herself first she would have taken the opportunity to go to college and lead, far from the place where she grew up, a life of the kind her schoolmates could only dream of. Just like Billy does. She would not have made her sad marriage to Buggy, the Loser’s Loser, and might instead have found someone to love with whom she could share a rewarding life. Just like Billy does. Only when she sees what other people are getting out of life does she begin to plot a better future for herself – but when she does begin, no holds are barred. She plans her wooing of Jackie Gough the way a female mantis might stalk the male, with every intention of consuming him for lunch when he has served his purpose. She’s helped by the fact that she understands the men in her life much better than they understand her. She says,
‘Jackie. You know what I’ve learned? Started learning when I first went to school, and went on learning? Men need to think I’m dumb. Because I’m a woman, and I’m blonde, well, men think I’m blonde, and I like to spend a lot of time on my back with my legs in the air, and I like men for what they have that makes them men, I have to be dumb. Well, I’m not dumb.’
And Jackie has begun to realise that dumb is the last thing she is. Then she says,
‘I pretend to be, if that’s the game the man needs me to play. But what I really want is to play the game where we’re both smart and we both know we’re both smart. Think you can play that game with me, Jackie? Please?’
And Jackie says he can. Because Jackie thinks he understands Sharon and he thinks she’s going to play the game his way.
Poor Jackie.
I’m on Sharon’s side. How about you?

Sharon Wright: Butterfly Press Release

Sharon Wright, Butterfly cover for web

Mandrill Press announces the publication of:
Sharon Wright: Butterfly
by
John Lynch

No-one gives Sharon a chance. Except Sharon.
All Sharon wants is a better life—a husband who takes care of her, the kind of food they have in magazines and civilized conversation. Is it her fault that she is in the middle of a plot involving two hitmen? Well, yes, actually. It is. In Sharon’s deprived childhood, Buggy was Top Cat—the one everyone went in fear of. Buggy ruled the roost and Buggy’s girlfriend could be the Number One female. So she married him. Of all the mistakes she could have made, that was the biggest.

Author Bio

John Lynch is an international salesman. He has lived and done business on every continent except Antarctica and knows Lagos, Jeddah and Abu Dhabi as well as the Shropshire countryside where he now lives. As R J Lynch he also writes the James Blakiston Series of historical crime/romance novels set in the 1760s.

Sharon Wright: Butterfly was published in October 2014.

ISBN: 978-1-910194-10-2 (Paperback) and 978-1-910194-08-9 (eBook)

Mandrill Press

Buy Sharon Wright: Butterfly here for Kindle or here in paperback (price includes post and packing wherever in the world you may be).

John Lynch Bio

Interview with John Lynch

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An interview with John Lynch

JohnLynch_033

Question:          You gave us an interview for Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper and we don’t need to repeat all that here. Tell us about Sharon Wright: Butterfly. How did you come to write it?
JL:                     I’ve always regarded women as stronger than men. Not physically stronger – not usually – but mentally and spiritually stronger. I don’t know whether that’s because I grew up in the north-east as the son of several generations of coalminers but it’s how I see things. I’d written Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper as the story of a young man who overcomes the drawbacks of an appalling upbringing and I wanted to do the same thing for a young woman. Sharon Wright is that woman.
Q:                      Is she based on a real person?
JL:                     Answering questions like that can land you in court being sued for libel.
Q:                      Would you call Sharon a nice person?
JL:                     I wasn’t thinking in terms of niceness when I wrote the book. When we watch her wooing Jackie Gough you could say she woos the way a praying mantis might. When her mate has served his purpose he ends up being eaten and poor Jackie doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into. But I’d excuse her by asking, “What choice does she have? What options has Life given her? It’s her or the other guy and why should she accept that it has to be her?” And let me say also that if the central character of the book had been male instead of female I don’t believe you would have asked that question. If a man had done the things Sharon does the reaction would simply be that he was giving expression to his masculinity. Why should we expect a young woman to behave differently?
Q:                      There’s a lot of humour in the book. Do you find it easier to write with comic intent?
JL:                     I suppose I do. My next book is called When the Darkness Comes. It opens with a man realising that he is on the point of death and it contains this passage: He’s laughing, up here in the corner. And it’s a relief. Because, if being dead doesn’t really mean being dead, he’s not going to like it if he can’t laugh. He’s always been able to laugh. That – that business of always having been able to laugh – is probably about me. The book is not about me – I’m not the character who is dying – but that one character trait is definitely something he gets from me.
Q:                      Thank you for talking to us.
JL:                     My pleasure.

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