Featured Interview With Shirley Goodrum
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was raised and educated on two continents and four countries, South Africa, Britain, Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia and Zambia ( then Northern Rhodesia, traveled on two Union Castle Liners, steam trains and cars with canvas water bags hanging on the front fender. My now home is forty-five minutes from any significant town and three generational. It has a magnificent view of no so distant mountains which I watch at sunset with a glass of red wine. I share the double storey space with four other adults, a teenager, a preteen, three dogs, three cats and two rats. The rats terrify me, and I haven’t ventured upstairs since the preteen brought them and their kit home.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
Thanks to my late parents my life has never been book free, I’ve always loved reading and became the family scribe as soon as I learnt to write. When they died, I recognized my mother’s handwriting on the label of a plastic packet. It read ‘Shirley’s Writing.” Inside the packet I discovered a newspaper cutting of me winning a prize in a bra competition and all the stories, poems and articles I’d written as a girl. Mom had kept them all. The very next day I noticed an advert for a creative writing course, signed up and promised her I would write a book about the newspaper photo.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I read all genres, heck I read anything, even the back of cereal boxes and whatever else catches my eye. From a lifetime of reading it’s impossible to list my favourite authors, there are simply too many who have grabbed my attention, introduced me to marvelous characters and captivated my heart; they all inspire me, they all have apiece of me.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My book, Baggage in a B Cup is the story behind that yellowed newspaper cutting. I took sample chapters to London and after three exciting ‘please send us the manuscript’ and the following disappointment of ‘sorry it’s not for us’, I took the proverbial book by the spine and published it on Amazon in January 2019. It’s the story of ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges, their good, their bad, their loves and belief, it’s sprinkled with humour and dedicated to my late mother and my family.
Pam Richards takes centre stage in the book. Small-busted, she wears unnecessary size 32B bras, and is smug in a strong twenty-year-old marriage. As the mother of three teenagers, one of them chronically ill, and a part owner of a fledgling company, she’s practiced at getting back on her feet when life whacks her behind the knees, but she’s devastated when depression hijacks her husband, Alex, and their seventeen-year-old daughter runs away with a convicted LSD dealer. Her jelly legs are too weak to support her and, as Alex withdraws into himself, cracks appear in the foundation of their loving marriage. Fear and loneliness tear at her sanity and topple her into a romance. She’s relieved when the runaway daughter returns, albeit pregnant, and thrilled to win a trip to Rio in a bra competition, but Alex can hardly get on his shrink’s couch let alone board a plane. She loves her husband, hates his depression and is a date away from a full-blown affaire. Does Alex get better, do they go to Rio, or will she slip between the illicit sheets?
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