We’ve celebrated the resurrection of our Messiah and Savior. Spring is finally in the air. We’ve weathered one of the most challenging seasons our country has known. How about something positive? A bit of good news?
Our April Author Highlight: Sherri Wilson Johnson
What’s the good news? We have the opportunity to get to know a fun and inspiring author, Sherri Wilson Johnson. Sherri is an Inspirational Romance novelist, self-publishing coach, and a virtual assistant. She lives in Georgia with her husband Dan and their two dogs (an 80-pound white English Retriever and a tiny Chihuahua-Italian Greyhound mix). She loves spending time with her adult children and friends (pre-COVID was much easier, right?) or curling up with a good book or her current work-in-progress. Sherri enjoys doing projects around the house as a stress-reliever and counts the days every year until she can take another trip to the beach (usually researching the setting of her next romantic suspense).
Doesn’t Sherri sound like someone you could hang around with? I met Sherri through our ACFW NW Georgia Chapter. She is one busy woman, so I haven’t been able to see her much lately. Especially with this covid-thing.
Let’s get to know her even better. What was your inspiration for writing in general—why did you choose writing?
I don’t really know if I chose writing or if writing chose me. From the time I was eight years old, I was making up stories. I wrote my first book when I was eighteen (It was terrible and I burned it in the fireplace). Now, I write not only to dig out some of the deep things of my heart but to hopefully also share a message of hope with readers. Writing is like the thing I always want to do. I can’t wait to clock out on Fridays so I can start my writing weekend. It’s all I’ve ever really dreamed of doing.
Oh! I love that! “I write not only to dig out some of the deep things of my heart but to hopefully also share a message of hope with readers.” What did you read as a child? Or, what did/do you read to your children?
When my kids were little, they loved The Pokey Little Puppy and anything Sesame Street. We read and read all the time. We homeschooled, so we did a lot of read-alouds even up until they were in high school. There really are too many good ones to even mention, but The Redwall series does pop to my mind as one of my son’s favorites.
Ah yes, The Pokey Little Puppy. I read that to my little sisters and my daughter, as well as Sesame Street’s The Monster at the End of this Book. That was our daughter’s favorite. Who are your favorite authors to read & why?
Creston Mapes, C.D. Gill, Virginia Vaughan, Nancy Mehl, Lynette Eason and Karen Witemeyer. Most of those writers write suspense. I love suspense and I particularly love the way these writers write.
I recognize a couple of those authors. I’ll have to check out the rest. Do you have any strange writing habits/quirks?
I listen to instrumental movie soundtracks while I’m writing. I write by hand and then read each chapter into my phone using a Google Doc or iNotes. I email it as a Word document and add it to my manuscript file. When I’m ready to edit, I let my computer read the book to me so I can catch any missing or wrong words like when I wrote “Her eyes bugled.”
I think we all know they bulged, not bugled. Or when I wrote that a character was bound to get her mouth washed out with lye SOUP instead of SOAP. I usually let my computer read the book to me five or six times before I’m satisfied.
Oh. My. Goodness. I must have read bugled vs. bulged sentence four times before I realized they were two different words! My dyslexia, OY! What a great idea you have! Which of your characters has really stretched you as a writer?
I think they all do, really. Depending on the career path of my characters, I often have to do a lot of research in advance to make sure I get the details right. In the book I just finished writing, my heroine is a medical examiner. I did a ton of research before starting that book. She also had endured a miscarriage as a teen and her ex-boyfriend had always believed she had an abortion. So I had to work a lot of heart-scars into that woman. It was challenging.
Being able to pull from our own hurts helps to develop our characters, doesn’t it? What is the story behind The Song of the Meadowlark (Book 1 of the Intertwined Series)?
If you mean the story behind how the book came into being? Plain and simple. I had a tall, dark and handsome yet moody cowboy who kept talking to me in my dreams and he just had to be written.
I love birds and have always been an avid bird watcher, so I wanted to write something about birds.
My favorite car is the 1968 Camaro, and that’s what Cora drives in the book.
I started thinking about putting these things/ideas together in a book, haha! Song of the Meadowlark was only my third story and I have to admit that in the early days of writing, some of my ideas came together very oddly. My super power used to be writing by the seat of my pants. Now I’m a bit more organized.
LOL! I totally get the pieces of the story puzzle coming together in odd ways. It’s the wonder of God’s creative spark. What is something God taught you while you wrote your featured book?
We’re never alone. Even when we feel abandoned by family or friends, God is with us. He has a plan and He’s always at work even when we’re in our waiting periods.
That is a good word, Sherri. What are you working on now?
I am currently writing book three in a series that is being proposed to Love Inspired Suspense. It’s called Unfortunate Homecoming and it’s set in Magnolia Springs, Alabama. The series is Jeopardized Reunions and the entire series is set in Mobile Bay.
You are great at suspense! I pray it works out with Love Inspired! A friend once asked me, “What is important to you? What are you so passionate about that makes you cry out and pound your fist on the table?” What is your pound-on-the-table passion?
I am passionate about protecting children from sexual abuse and helping adults who have suffered from it as children to find peace. I haven’t yet been able to become an advocate or get involved in a program to fight abuse or help seek justice for victims, but I do help people in my life who have gone through it by being a shoulder they can cry on. I plan to get involved on a deeper level when the time is right.
Yes, that is a passion worth pounding loud and hard for. I know authors who have been victims who have used their voices to help others who can’t speak for themselves through their stories. Stories can be the first point of contact for victims–to give them hope and resources to help them. What do you hope readers know about you and your books?
Readers can trust that they won’t ever read anything trashy in my books. I may sometimes lean closer to “clean fiction” or “clean romance” than toward strictly Christian fiction with super squeaky clean characters, but that’s because in my world, a lot of people are normal and aren’t saints. A lot have fallen short of the glory of God, like myself. I want to always write about real and relatable people and not perfect people.
We can all appreciate that! Thanks for a great interview, Sherri. But, readers, that’s not all!
The April Giveaway!
Sherri has graciously offered an autographed copy of, The Song of the Meadowlark. To enter, post a comment below about the interview. On Friday, April 16th, one entry will be randomly selected.
And if you haven’t already, I hope you’ll subscribe to my monthly newsletter below — I have two special surprises for you. And, you’ll have another entry into the giveaway!
One Winner! And it could be you! Be sure to tell your friends and family to come on by and enter! Drawing takes place on Friday, April 16th!
NOTE: WANT TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING THE SONG OF THE MEADOWLARK?
Check out my YouTube Author Highlight interview with Sherri. In the video interview Sherri will answer different questions, and provide some fun insights. By Liking and Commenting you will have one more entry. Sharing the video, another entry. Subscribe, and you have TWO entries for the chance to win.
That means, my friends, if you comment and subscribe -– or are already a subscriber -– to my blog, then watch the video and LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT, then Subscribe to my YouTube Channel, your name will be entered SIX TIMES!
Be sure to tell your friends! See you there!
Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Sherri Wilson Johnson and her books. Next month’s Author Highlight is award-winning author, Debbie Malone. God bless and Keep Reading!