Hi Sherry. Tell our readers what you write.
The 1st book I wrote during NaNoWriMo. It is a historical-time travel-romance novel. A young woman living in present day St. Charles finds herself time traveling back to 1863 Missouri during the border wars/Civil War. I am currently in the editing process.
That sounds interesting. I bet you ended up having to do a lot of research about Missouri in 1863 for your time travel book, probably after National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org) was over so you could keep a steady pace with your deadlines. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Definitely a plotter but often as the story continues I end up letting the story flow naturally and change things as needed.
I also write essays for the St. Charles Suburban Journal as an Opinion Shaper Columnist, although the column has been temporarily suspended. I have done 10 essays that have been printed in the newspaper as of this date.
Too bad the column has been suspended. How did you get hired for the column?
The Suburban Journal used to submit a column calling for new writers for their Opinion Shaper Column once per year, usually in April. Interested writers could submit two short stories to the editor and the newspaper would choose a specific number to write a quarterly column. Specific guidelines were provided but within reason the topic was your choice. In 2012, I submitted two stories and was luckily chosen.
Most of my columns were centered on the challenges of being a single mother raising 4 teenage kids. Two were my biological children and two were my nephews. I adopted them after my sister passed away from Breast Cancer. The stories were mostly true events I put a humorous twist on.
The actual essay was limited to 700 words.
Gosh, writing for the journal sounds like it’d be a nice gig to have. What else have you written?
As a Christmas gift in 2013, I wrote 32 short stories about true events revolving around family members and put them together in bound notebooks. Each household received a copy. I documented family stories, traditions . . . some were funny; some were in honor of those we have lost, etc. My plan is to add additional stories each year. My family really loved the books. All stories were told from my perspective and as I remembered the event. I encouraged the family to write the same story if they had a different memory of the event but so far no one has.
That project sounds like something you put your heart into. I bet your efforts will be cherished by your family. It’s interesting that you mention the stories “are written from your perspective as you remember them”. I always find it interesting to talk with my own family and realize how differently we remember events.
It sounds like you’ve got some writing experience behind you. Have you found that you have a process when you write?
Once I have a topic or subject I want to write about, I do all my research and then do a rough outline. I usually know where the story is going when I start but the ending is not always what I imagined it to be. I just let the creative process flow. I do my best writing late at night, often into the early hours of the morning.
Have you always enjoyed writing?
Not necessarily. Research papers and stuff in college always bored me unless I could choose the topic—creative writing, yes.
It’s easy to enjoy something when you like doing it. What is your least favorite part if creative writing?
Oh yes. That is understandable. It can be a very long process and suck the fun out of a project that’s for sure.
What book do you wish you would have written?
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
I admit, I did not read that book, but I thought it was an excellent movie. While I’ve still got you, do you have any advice for other writers?
Read new authors and books that are not your typical interest. When I expanded my topics I learned new and interesting things and different writing styles. I also believe traveling or trying new experiences provides background knowledge that is very helpful with your writing.
Great advice, Sherry. Is there anything else you want to share with our readers?
I have 4 children and my first grandbaby is due the first week of December. I am so excited to be a grandma!
We’re excited for your, too! Congratulations!