Wednesday, December 19, 2012

{Writer Wednesday} Sherri Wilson Johnson

Please welcome to {Writer Wednesday} author and speaker Sherri Wilson Johnson!

Recent comments by her readers state:

"Song of the Meadowlark is a well-written, wonderful story of second chance love."

"Sherri Wilson Johnson describes her settings and the reader feels as if she is there in the moment. The reader won't know until the last pages which is the bad guy."

To pick up her newest release, "Song of the Meadowlark", click [here].
To connect with Sherri check out these sites:
Sherri's Facebook
Sherri's Website
Sherri's Blog
Sherri's Goodreads page
Author Interview | Sherri Wilson Johnson

You & Writing 

Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I am an Inspirational Romance novelist, a speaker, social media junkie, and a former homeschooling mom. I love to make people laugh and share stories of God’s blessings with them. I live in Georgia with my husband and two children. I love to dream of romance–good, clean romance, that is. I am passionate about purity and sexual integrity. I’m a bird-watcher, love the ocean, ice cream, my family and my Chihuahua, who faithfully sits by my side every day when I write. I am the author of To Dance Once More (OakTara) and Song of the Meadowlark (OakTara).

...The obsession with writing started when I was about eight years old when I wrote my first short story and it kept getting worse from there. I’ve tried to quit many times because I wasn’t getting where I thought I should be. But God keeps giving me words to write. I guess it’s kind of like therapy to write. It helps me express the pain of life and the joy too. Some people are artists or musicians and that’s how they express themselves. I write.

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
I love the Victorian era and I love the beach. To Dance Once More displays both of those things. Although I’ve written more books and hope to write many more, To Dance Once More may always be my favorite because it contains so much of me and the things I love in it. Since it was my first full-length novel and it took me ten years to write it and sell it, I think it contains enough blood, sweat and tears to keep me loyal to it for a long time.

What was the hardest thing about publishing?
...The hardest part to becoming published was the rejection. Since publishers and agents rarely tell you why they are rejecting your manuscript, it was tough getting those rejections and not knowing which direction to go to make it better. I found that I could turn around and resubmit a proposal as soon as I received a rejection but if I didn’t explore the potential reason behind the rejection and try to improve upon my writing, then I was simply a sitting duck waiting for another rejection. 

...The easiest part? Jumping up and down with exhilaration when I got the email that my novel had been accepted.

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently. Why are you/did you write it?
...Song of the Meadowlark is a Contemporary Inspirational Romance full of hope, forgiveness, and second chances at life and love set in South Georgia on a ranch with an ornery cowboy.

...Here is Song of the Meadowlark’s synopsis: 
When trusting others only leads to pain and rejection, and loving ends only in loss, what will it take to restore hope again? Shunned by the uncovered truth about her missing husband’s secret life, Cora Buchanan sets out on a road trip for home to mend her broken relationship with her parents. When her car breaks down, she’s stranded in a small Georgia town. While staying at the struggling Southern Hope Ranch, she meets little Susie O’Reilly, who unexpectedly fills a void in Cora’s heart. But Rex, Susie’s rugged cowboy father who lost his wife a year earlier, seems to go out of his way to either confront or avoid Cora. It doesn’t help her comfort level that the news continues to report missing and murdered women in the area. Cora has no idea just how close to home the crimes will hit…or how much the sweet sound of the meadowlark’s song at the ranch will impact her future.
...I wrote this book because I had written Historical Romance (To Dance Once More) and wanted to try my hand at Contemporary. The characters I had in mind (previously married woman and man) worked best in a Contemporary romantic setting.

Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...I like Cora, the heroine, because she’s strong although her circumstances are seemingly impossible and she thinks she’s weak. I like how she grows throughout the book. But my favorite is Rex O’Reilly, the cowboy. He’s ornery and secretive and moody and you just about want to hate him. Until you love him. :)

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...Second chances are always possible. If you commit to making your life a better one and one that will serve the Lord, then you can win!

Writing

Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters?
...I find my inspiration usually from things that happen in my life or the lives of my friends. I also see things on TV that give me ideas.

Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...They are definitely based on a mixture of real life and pure imagination. I have a vivid imagination. You can ask anyone who knows me well and they will tell you that I concoct crazy scenarios for even the simplest of situations. But I am sane still so that’s a relief.

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories? 
...I hope that people will be encouraged to live a life of total commitment to the Lord and that they will see that although there are trials and heartaches in this life, He never lets anything happen to us that can’t be used for our good. In addition to encouraging them, I hope they feel the hope that love is possible. I long to share with them the blessing that purity can bring to their lives. I do not write what it considered edgy Christian fiction although I do deal with topics that the modern reader can relate to.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Don't ever give up on your dream. Practice your craft. Step through open doors only after much prayer. Be ready for rejection because it’s part of the path to publication. Always write what God puts on your heart and even if you don’t find a publisher for that story, it will honor the Lord. Oh, and establish yourself on the Internet now. Start a blog. Review books that you’ve read. Make friends on Goodreads and Facebook. Publishers look for that kind of thing.

You

What is your favorite snack to eat when writing?
...Coffee! I know, it’s not a snack and it’s not eatable. But I love to have a hot cup of coffee by my side when I write.

What is your favorite Christmas song?
Jingle Bells. I sing it all year long. It drives my family crazy!

What is your favorite thing about the Christmas season?
I’m not normal when it comes to the Holidays. Sometimes I don’t even put my tree up until a few days before Christmas and it’s always down a few days after. Both of my parents are gone and we lost my brother-in-law last year so Holidays don’t look around my house like they do elsewhere. We usually have a small Christmas gathering with my husband’s family and rarely do gift exchange. So my favorite part about the Christmas season (that was the question, right?) is remembering the true meaning of it—Jesus.
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Thank you so much Sherri - what an encouragement to hear you talk about your struggles but about keeping the focus on Jesus!  I can totally relate to your "overall intention" when writing - I love showing how the Lord can bring characters through hard times to come and see that His way was (and always is) best!

I want to invite you all back on Friday for my RE:View post on "Song of the Meadowlark" and another GIVEAWAY!  Hey, it is the season of giving - is it not?  Sheri has been so gracious to offer a copy of her book so make sure you stop by, read a little more about her book, and leave a comment to enter the giveaway.