It’s absolutely ages since lovely Sue Shepherd featured on Linda’s Book Bag in a post you can read here, when Love Them and Leave Them was published so I’m delighted she has agreed to stay in with me today as she celebrates the publication of her latest novel, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.
Can’t Get You Out Of My Head is available for purchase here.
Can’t Get You Out Of My Head
A moving and funny story about sisters, secrets and second chances.
Twin sisters Beth and Lisa do everything together, so what will happen now they both want a life of their own?
Beth has a secret she’s kept from everyone except her sister. But it’s time to get on with her life. Could a seductive Italian, a smooth-talking charmer or backpacking around Australia be the answer?
Lisa feels she’s always lived in her sister’s shadow. Maybe now it’s her turn for some fun, whatever the consequences. But will her drunken antics land Beth in trouble?
And when it comes to the crunch, will one sister have to give up what she wants so the other can have what she needs?
Staying in with Sue Shepherd
Welcome back to Linda’s Book Bag Sue. Thanks so much for agreeing to stay in with me.
I think I have a good idea of the answer to this question, but which of your books have you brought along to share with me and why have you chosen it?
Hi, Linda. Thank you so much for inviting me to stay in with you. I love what you’ve done with the place – so cosy!
(Thanks! I think it’s the soft lighting that helps – you can’t see the dust!)
This evening, I’ve brought along my latest novel, Can’t Get You Out of My Head. Actually, your timing couldn’t be better, because it was just published today! I’m feeling excited, nervous and emotional – pretty standard for an author on publication day.
(Woohoo! Happy Publication Day Sue. Congratulations.)
Given that it’s brand new today, what can we expect from an evening in with Can’t Get You Out of My Head?
It’s a comedy, which has, at its heart, a touching romance. As with my previous novels, things are not quite as they first appear. In the past, I’ve written about Guardian Angels and Parallel Lives. I enjoy looking at life a little differently, and I’ve never shied away from including bold subjects.
(Sounds really good.)
I’d love to share the prologue with you:
Right back at the beginning. When they were smaller than kidney beans, floating gently in a sea of amniotic fluid. When there was no control to be had over the tiny limbs they’d so recently sprouted. That was when they met. Lisa bobbed past, and, even though they couldn’t see, they couldn’t smile, and they most definitely couldn’t wave, they acknowledged each other.
Long before Beth met her mum, her dad, or her special nanna, first and foremost – she met Lisa.
(That has me intrigued straight away, Sue.)
As you can see, the book focuses on the relationship between twin sisters, Beth and Lisa. Including; how they live together, and exploring how they would cope if they were apart. Throughout the story, Beth spends much of her time riddled with guilt over a decision made long ago, and Lisa is fuelled by her jealousy of the easy life she sees her sister living. I hope the readers will enjoy their interaction. Anyone who’s grown up with a close sibling will know that it’s entirely possible to feel both love and loathing for the same person, usually within the space of about five minutes.
(I think there are many family relationships that do that Sue!)
What else have you brought along and why have you brought it?
I’ve brought us a little something to drink, and some nibbles. These days I prefer a nice glass of rosé or a cold Prosecco, but to be in keeping with the book, I’ve brought some little beers.
(I’d have preferred the Prosecco but as it’s your publication day I’ll let you off.)
Let me explain – part of the book is set in Australia. The twins go on a trip, staying in hostels and hanging out on the beach. I myself spent a year living and working in Australia when I was younger. Although my trip took place a good decade before Beth and Lisa’s, my own over-seas adventure was the inspiration for that part of the story. When I arrived, I remember distinctly saying that I didn’t like beer. However, when you’ve spent the day on the beach, in the kind of temperatures Australia regularly experiences, and the beer is presented cold and in a handy little bottle, these stubbies start to go down rather well. In the book, Beth finds an ingenious use for the ice-cold beers.
(I’m even more intrigued now…)
Help yourself to the nibbles, Linda. I’ve chosen Wasabi peas, for no other reason than because I am rather partial to them. I hope you are too? Unfortunately, I do have a tendency to eat so many that my nose starts to sting. Stop me if I’m taking more than my fair share, or if you see my eyes begin to water.
(That’s fine Sue. Eat as many Wasabi peas as you like. I really don’t like them. I always pick them out of any nibbles I have. Your eyes are looking a bit watery though… Maybe you need another beer.)
I’ve also brought along a memento of my trip to Australia. I made some amazing friends on my travels and I loved how people, who were strangers one day, could be accompanying me on life changing experiences the next. I’ve kept this leaflet from a trip where we sailed around the Whitsunday Islands. I was with a group of people I met whilst travelling up the East Coast. I loved the part where we lounged about on the boat, soaking up the sun and drinking stubbies. However, the trip included a little taster of scuba diving. It should’ve been an incredible experience, standing on the seabed, watching all the exquisite fish weave through the crystal-clear water. Yet, as I swam to the bottom and began breathing artificial air, I discovered that I have an acute fear of being deep under water. No matter how much I told myself that I could breathe and that I was most definitely not about to drown, sadly, I spent the entire time panicking. The beauty and proximity of The Great Barrier Reef, the serenity of the silent sea – all was lost on me! There’s a scene in Can’t Get You Out of my Head where my characters also try scuba diving for the first time. You can see if they fare any better than I did!
(What a shame Sue. I’m very claustrophobic myself and can only snorkel so you have my sympathy.)
Thanks so much for staying in with me, Sue, to tell me about Can’t Get You Out of my Head. Congratulations once again on today’s publication.
Thanks for having me over this evening. I’ve enjoyed spending time with you and talking about my latest novel. Can you pass me another handful of those Wasabi peas … and some tissues for my mascara, please?
(I can indeed – eat them up!)
About Sue Shepherd
Born in Harrow, Sue went on to spend several years living in Hertfordshire before selling up and taking a leap of faith across The Solent. She now resides on the picturesque Isle of Wight with her husband, two sons and a standard poodle.
Her passions in life are: her family, writing, the seaside and all the beautiful purple things her sons have bought her over the years.
Happiest when hunched over her laptop with a cup of tea on the go, Sue loves to create stories with plenty of heart and laughs, but she makes sure to include a bit of naughtiness too. Ask Sue to plan too far in advance and you’ll give her the heebie-jeebies and she’d prefer you not to mention Christmas until at least November!