Friday, July 16, 2010

Featured Author: Sherryl Woods

Sherryl Woods, author of more than 100 romance and mystery novels, is this week's Featured Author. She is a graduate of Ohio State University School of Journalism, and spent more than ten years as a journalist, most of them as a television critic for newspapers in Ohio and Florida.

Her first book, Restoring Love, was published in 1982 by Dell Candlelight Ecstasy under the pseudonym of Suzanne Sherrill. Her second book, Sand Castles, under the pseudonym of Alexandra Kirk, was published later that same year by Bantam. She began using her own name when she moved to The Second Chance at Love line at Berkley Publishing. In 1986, she began writing full-time and also began her long career at Silhouette Books

She has more than 75 romances for Silhouette Desire and Special Edition, she has written thirteen mysteries — nine in the Amanda Roberts series and four in the Molly DeWitt series.

Purchase Honeysuckle Summer (Sweet Magnolias) here

Purchase Home in Carolina (Sweet Magnolias) here

Purchase Sweet Tea at Sunrise (Sweet Magnolias) here
Interview with Author Sherryl Woods

Current Releases:
Honeysuckle Summer
Sweet Tea At Sunrise
Home in Carolina

Upcoming Releases:
A Chesapeake Shores Christmas

Author Website:

RBS—Tell us a little about yourself.
Sherryl— I'm a former journalist who spent a very long time covering the television industry for various newspapers. I split my time between Florida and Virginia, always by the water. . .the Atlantic Ocean is visible from my balcony in Florida and the Potomac River is across the street from my front porch in Virginia. . .and the view's almost exactly the same as it was when I spent my summers in the same house as a kid.

RBS—How old were you when you first decided to sit down and write your first book?
Old!! Writing was never in my plans. I loved my job as a journalist. . .until the day I didn't and decided to try some other things. I'd always been a voracious reader, the romance market was taking off and, voila, I jumped in. I'm still astonished that this is what I do, even after over a hundred books.

RBS—What was your first novel ever published, be it e-book or print?
Sherryl— My first published novel was Restoring Love, written under my pseudonym of Suzanne Sherrill. It was released in 1982 from Dell Candlelight Ecstasy. It was actually the second novel I'd written. The first one I wrote, Sand Castles, was published under my Alexandra Kirk pseudonym just a couple of months later in 1982 by Bantam's Circle of Love.            

RBS—It can be difficult to get a book published. Who or what was the greatest encouragement you had during the non-published times?
Sherryl— I was extremely fortunate. Both my first and second books were bought and published very soon after I wrote them at a time when the romance genre was really taking off. I had no agent and there was no real networking. Later, when my editor at Dell left and Bantam changed its publishing strategy, I found my fabulous agent, Denise Marcil, who's been a rock through all of the publishing ups and downs. I've worked with her for over 25 years. I think she's believed in me for a lot longer than I believed in myself.

RBS—What is your favorite genre to write? Why?

Sherryl— I love writing romance and women's fiction, because not only am I a firm believer in happily-ever-after, but I like writing stories that are relevant to women's lives. I like showing women that no matter what obstacles they might face, they can survive.

RBS—Tell us about your current release?

My current trilogy of books is a  continuation of the Sweet Magnolias series which focuses on the deep and lasting friendship shared by a group of women in the fictional town of Serenity, SC. In Home in Carolina (April), Sweet Tea at Sunrise (May), and Honeysuckle Summer (June), a younger generation of these friends deal with three tough issues -- betrayal, emotional abuse and physical abuse to reclaim the life and love the deserve.

RBS—Who or what were your influences when you begin to write your newest release?

Sherryl— Home in Carolina was influenced by reader demand for a story for Ty Townsend and Annie Sullivan, who were only teens and best friends in A Slice of Heaven. Readers wanted their story, but I kept saying they were too young. Now they've not only lived a bit, but in Ty's case, perhaps, he's lived a little too much! He's come home with a toddler son, proof of his betrayal of Annie. It's a story of reconciliation and forgiveness.

RBS—What is a typical writing day look like for you?

I'm usually on the computer by 7 or 8 a.m. and write until I finish my page quota for the day. My minimum is ten pages, but the deeper I get into the story, that can come closer to fifteen pages. I'm usually finished by lunchtime. I spend the afternoon answering fan mail, reading proofs and dealing with any PR commitments.

RBS—Do you have a favorite hero from one of your books? What is it about him that makes him stand out?
Sherryl— I really don't. In every book I want the hero to be like a real man, flaws and all. I like to see him grow over the course of the book and, of course, to treat the heroine in unexpected ways that demonstrate just how deeply he loves her, even if he hasn't admitted the truth to her . . . or himself.

RBS—Do you have a favorite heroine from one of your books? What is it about her that makes her stand out?
Sherryl—Again, I really don't. I like women who are stronger than they realize they are,
who can face adversity and not only survive, but triumph. Often they have a lot of doubts about themselves, but thanks to a hero and their own journey of self-discovery, they finally realize just what they're really capable of accomplishing.

RBS—Who is your favorite author? Did they give you any kind of inspiration in your own writing?
Sherryl—There are so many wonderful authors I love and I'm always looking for new ones who write the kind of books I love to read. . .and to write. I love the characters in Carla Neggers' suspense novels, the depth of Susan Wiggs' stories, Robyn Carr's Virgin River series for its sense of community, Maeve Binchy's Irish setting, as well as a southern writer who's new to me -- Patti Callahan Henry.

My other passion is mystery and I have a long list of mystery writers who keep me entertained, including the recently discovered Louise Penny, whose Canada-based series I just devoured. Great characters in those, which is my number one criteria for any good book.

RBS—What's coming up on your book schedule in the next year?
Sherryl— The remainer of 2010 and early 2011 are jam-packed for me. I'll be continuing my Chesapeake Shores series with A Chesapeake Shores Christmas, in stores at the end of September. Also this fall there will be reissues of all four of my Rose Cottage Sisters books in two volumes. And in spring 2011, there will be three more Chesapeake Shores
books in April, May and June.

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