Sheila O'Flanagan, author of 'Her Husband's Mistake' - Prolific award-winner talks first sentences, becoming characters and finding new ideas.

Bestselling author Sheila O'Flanagan is prolific, published around 30 novels and has won the 'Irish Independent Popular Fiction Book of the Year. Her new book is 'Her Husband's Mistake', and sees Roxy finding her husband in bed with the next door neighbour. You know this immediately, it's the very first sentence. We talk about how long she worked on making that first sentence perfect, and how it set the tone for the rest of the novel.

To get ideas, Sheila's main strategy is to put women in situations where they have to dig deep inside themselves, and when she has that initial thought, she'll run through every decision she is making daily, as her character too - what would they do? how would they act here? We learn about how this process has developed, and how her writing style and routine has changed over time.

She has three rules for writing: to tell a good story, to make the reader feel like they know the characters, and to make each book better than the last.

Also, there's a top writing tip from a dystopian fiction author. And, if you can support the show, please pledge a few dollars a month over at


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