I can’t resist sharing. My new psychological thriller is here! Well, almost. Due for publication on 19 June, DO I REALLY KNOW YOU? looks at gaslighting. The term comes from a play by Patrick Hamilton, later developed into the film Gaslight by Alfred Hitchcock, the premise of which is an abusive husband trying to convince his wife she is losing her mind with manipulative behaviours, one of which is to slowly dim the gas light, hence the term.
People who engage in gaslighting or coercive behaviour tend to never back down, even when you have absolute proof they’re lying. Such behaviour can make you feel unseen and unheard. It can make you doubt yourself. You feel vulnerable, insecure and confused, unsure of the truth, particularly if the person gaslighting you is being nice to you while doing so.
Do I Really Know You? also looks at phobias and how they can become magnified when we feel vulnerable: fear of spiders, of heights, fear of actually being manipulated, fear of our vulnerabilities themselves. Is Kiara being manipulated or is it all in her mind? Madeline struggles with a past trauma, the details of which she’s unconsciously forgotten. Her mind tends to fill in the gaps. Is she doing that now, incorrectly? Or is she too being manipulated? Are people who they seem to be? Are their actions being misinterpreted?
I sought professional help, incidentally, for my own concerns within a destructive relationship, and for my phobia. For the latter, I embarked on a cognitive behavioural therapy course. It worked. I no longer suffer from arachnophobia, which was magnified a thousand times when I was at a low emotional ebb. Rest assured, I won’t be climbing through any windows to escape spiders. I now imagine them wearing pink baby bootees. I know, but it works. I hope mention of the spiders doesn’t cause any readers anxiety. I love you all so much for supporting me.
Needless to say, I would love your feedback.
That’s it! Apart from to say a massive thanks to everyone who has picked up my books and all the fantastic book bloggers who take the time to read and review them. Below are a few snippets of what readers are saying about the book so far:
‘Wow! Sheryl Browne knocks it out of the park!… A huge five star read.’ NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars ‘
Brilliant… I devoured this book… A definite must-read.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Will leave you on the edge of your seat… Full of intrigue, mystery and twists and turns.’ NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars
‘Kept me glued to my Kindle!’ Sassy Southern Books, 5 stars
‘A great book by an amazing storyteller.’ B for Bookreview, 5 stars
‘I was hooked!’ @bookscooffeemorebooks
THANK YOU! Special thanks, too, to Dr Melissa Bell, PhD, who took time out of her life-changing work across Africa to provide invaluable insight into the life of a medical entomologist.
Keep safe all.