I am currently reading Coffee Break Companion, a collection of short stories, poems, and work by S L Grigg. The title says it all – this book is ideal to read on a coffee break or those moments in the day when you can snatch a few moments to read. Book review will be with you shortly.
Sharon Grigg, who writes under the pen name S.L Grigg, made it her new year’s resolution to publish her book ‘Coffee Break Companion’ during 2018. After bouncing back from mental health problems following the death of her husband from a brain tumour in 2009, Sharon was struck down with kidney and other health problems, believed to be linked to having the Essure sterilisation device she had implanted back in 2008. In September 2017 she underwent major surgery to have a non-functioning hydronephrotic kidney removed at the same time as a full hysterectomy to remove the essure device.
Just two months after setting her goal Sharon launched the collection of dark, short stories and poetry on Amazon. Many of the stories were written during Sharon’s battle with mental health.
41-year-old mother of two, Sharon says “For me publishing was never about, money or fame. I just wanted to be able to hold a copy of my book and say, ‘I wrote this’ and now I can.”
Meet S.L Grigg
I am pleased to say Sharon has joined me today for a natter and a cup of tea to discuss her book, writing among other things.
Kate Kenzie: What is your favourite book?
S.L Grigg: Oh, so many to choose from, I’m sure it changes all the time depending on what is my favourite of the things I have read recently. I don’t think I could choose just one all-time favourite. In that respect I kind of envy those who have a clear favourite like Harry Potter fans, or something. I have a few favourite series, like the OtherWorld Series by Kelley Armstrong and The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. I guess my current favourite book would be Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty, loved it and the show, and the soundtrack! Can’t wait for Season two of the show!
Kate Kenzie: I love that series by Kelley Armstrong, though I was disappointed by the TV version, Bitten on SYFY. My favourite characters are Jeremy and Paige. Who are yours?
S.L Grigg: I agree the series didn’t live up to the books in Bitten, my favourite characters are Savannah and Paige.
Kate Kenzie: Who is your favourite author?
S.L Grigg: As above really, so many in addition to those mentioned I also love James Patterson, Adam Baker, Dean Koontz and many more
Kate Kenzie: What is your favourite drink to have next to you while you write?
S.L Grigg: Whilst I am writing I will usually have water or tea (white, two sweeteners, must be the colour of He-Man to be right, don’t leave the tea bag in too long, I don’t like it mashed!)
Kate Kenzie: Is your writing influenced by the books you have read?
S.L Grigg: I guess it is a little, I like to write quite dark, thriller type stories with a hint of fantasy or sci-fi and I do read a lot of books with those types of themes. You would be hard pushed to catch me writing or reading and enjoying romance/chick-lit or historical, even the classics, I’m not a fan of overly elaborate writing, long flowery words and excessively heavy description put me off, so I wouldn’t write that way either.
Kate Kenzie: Where is your favourite place to read or write?
S.L Grigg: Curled up on the sofa, with the family around, we might not be talking as we will often all be buried in our own reading, writing or laptops, but it’s nice to just be together 😊
Kate Kenzie: When did you begin writing and how did being published come about?
S.L Grigg: I started writing as a child, at 11 I wrote my first full story (which features in Coffee Break Companion) and I also wrote a collection of illustrated stories based on the Puffalumps back then. Being published came about as it had always been my dream to be able to hold an actual book and say ‘I wrote this’ so I set it as my New Year Resolution for 2018 (I don’t’ normally do resolutions) and within 2 months I had made it happen!
Kate Kenzie: If you have a genre you write, how did you begin writing in this style?
S.L Grigg: As above, I write in a few and I think they are influenced by what I enjoy reading myself. I think if I would enjoy reading it, I can write it, and that’s generally what I do, write things I would enjoy reading.
Kate Kenzie: You have had a lot of health problems, has being chronically ill influenced your writing and changed its direction?
S.L Grigg: When I was suffering with my mental health writing was like therapy for me, I blogged like crazy at that time and wrote a huge amount about my personal experiences and understanding of Borderline Personality Disorder, it helped a lot in my recovery. I needed to understand my condition to overcome it. Many of my other health problems I’ve not written about much, but I think I will probably write more eventually. I have put much of my BPD writing together so I could publish that as a book if I can get round to tidying it up and finishing it off!
Kate Kenzie: I love your poems My BPD Existence, Don’t and your short story Loneliness. Reading your poems and stories many of them are emotional and feel personal, did you find it difficult to share these in your book?
S.L Grigg: Yeah, A lot of my stories and poems come from personal experience, I’m comfortable with sharing them, and my next book will be about BPD from my own experience from discovery to recovery from the condition
Book and contact details
Thank you Sharon, for joining me today. I look forward to reading more from you in the future.
Have you read Coffee Break Companion?
For more information about topics talked about today
BPD – https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/borderline-personality-disorder-bpd/#.Wr4o5KjwbIU
EDS-Hypermobility – https://www.ehlers-danlos.org/what-is-eds/information-on-eds/hypermobile-eds-and-hypermobility-spectrum-disorders/
Essure – https://essureproblems.co.uk/
Hydronephrosis – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Hydronephrosis/