We all handle grief in different ways.
Shirley Wine's coping mechanism was to write.
The Waihi published author has had more grief in her life than most people could cope with.
She's lost five children. Two babies died of a blood disorder (Rhesus factor negative), another died of SIDS, another died of a virus as an adult and his twin died soon after.
''Writing has saved my sanity. I've had a world of grief and that comes through in my writing at times,'' she says.
The fiction writer says her most poignant book — which touches on terrible times — is Return to Totara Park as the book is centred around the death of a child.
But Shirley says her books are seldom gloomy. She wants people to finish her novels uplifted.
''My books always have a happy ending.''
She's a master of the romance novel, but with an edge.
''I write women's fiction but I have a big male fan base as well. Men like my books because yes, they have a romantic thread but there's mystery, murder, some are soft thrillers... on the dark side of romance.''
She's had 17 novels published. Most are e-published with a handful in paperback.
Shirley was recently asked for one of her books to be included in an anthology. Tell Me No Lies includes three stories which are the first in their series. Shirley's book joins Rachael John's Jilted and Elise K Ackers' Summer Return.
Shirley squealed when she found out she was to be included in the anthology.
''E-books are real but there's nothing quite like holding a paperback in your hand that you have helped produce.''
Tell Me No Lies was first published in 2016. It has also been an e-book anthology with two other authors.
The story is about a man returning to help the family business but a blast from the past throws his plans into disarray.
Shirley was recruited to write four more books in the series — Ask Me No Questions, Give Me Some Answers and Lies that Bind.
All her books have a rural thread to them as Shirley is ''not a townie'' and has spent her life on farms. With husband Martin she's owned dairy farms in Omanawa and Waikato.
She has worked as a real estate agent in Katikati and owned Katikati Pheasant Valley Gallery and Antiques for a decade, as well as opening a shop in Paeroa. They moved to Waihi 16 years ago.
''Martin has always been my staunchest supporter – the shoulder I've leaned on since I was 16 and he was 17 – and we were told young love never lasts. I honestly could never have done all this without his support.''
Shirley is having a book signing event tomorrow morning at Paper Plus Waihi and Shirley would love to meet as many people as she can. They are also being sold at Whitcoulls.
She encourages people to come along and meet her.
Shirley's website is www.shirleywine.com where readers can find purchase links to all her books.
Shirley Wine's book signing event
■ Paper Plus Waihi
■ September 6