SORMAG: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.
Sherri L. Lewis: Me, the person - first and foremost, I'm a woman who passionately loves God and loves to use creativity to express Him - whether it be through writing, singing, dancing, art, etc. I believe that writing novels is just the beginning for me. I currently "minister" as a physician in a women's prison. I'm looking forward to writing great books about that. As a writer, and specifically a Christian fiction author, I love keeping it real. I write edgy Christian fiction that deals with real life problems and issues - showing God's ability to make all things work together for good.
SORMAG: Tell us about your current book?
My current book, My Soul Cries Out, will debut in July, 2007. It's the story of a woman who comes home to find her husband - the minister of music at their church - in bed with another man. The novel deals with her struggle to understand and forgive and his struggle to be delivered from the spirit of homosexuality and save his marriage. It's not a scandalous gay bashing novel, but seeks to deal with the taboo subject of homosexuality in the church from a compassionate Godly perspective.
SORMAG: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
LEWIS: There's a segment of the body of Christ that suffers in silence, rejection and even hatred from the rest of the church. Even though I don't claim to be an expert in deliverance from homosexuality, I'd at least like people to talk about it rather than have it be the church's dirty little secret. It has to be dealt with from the heart of God and through the power of God rather than ridicule, avoidance, judgement and contempt. I also deal with issues such as recovering from betrayal, divorce, and health issues affecting black women.
SORMAG: Tell us about your publishing experience?
LEWIS: It seems like it took me FOREVER to get a book deal - about four years to be exact. I think partly because I write edgy Christian fiction that's not easy to place in some houses. More likely I think it was just God's perfect timing. When I completed this novel, I was going through the worst storm of my entire life. I wouldn't have been in any position emotional, mentally, spiritually, or financially to properly market the book. God waited until He brought full restoration in my life before I got the deal with Urban. I can honestly say that my life is the best it's ever been now. In His infinite wisdom, He knew that's what I needed to wait on.
SORMAG: Do you think an agent is necessary?
LEWIS: I got my deal without an agent but took one look at the contract and knew I needed one. She negotiated the contract for me and intrepreted all the legalese and was well worth her commission. In terms of getting a deal, I think it depends on the genre and the house. Sometimes it's just as hard to get an agent as it is to get a publisher.
SORMAG: What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
LEWIS: Writing is hard work but is a labor of love.
SORMAG: In honor of Mother’s Day, what is a special moment you shared with your mother?
LEWIS: There are just too many to name. My mom is one of the most beautiful, talented, loving people to walk the face of the earth and every minute with her is perfectly golden. Some of the most special moments have been our therapy trips to the beach where we commune with God together and release our problems, fears and worries into the ocean. I could go on about her forever and even writing this almost has me crying at my computer.
SORMAG: What is a favorite book from your childhood?
LEWIS: Childhood - my dad used to read Dr. Seuss books to us and bounce us on his knee and do all the crazy character voices. Later I was a big Judy Blume fan.
SORMAG: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?
LEWIS: Issues of the Heart by Rhonda Nain. Don't go out to the bookstore and look for it though. She's one of my critique partners and I'm reading over her manuscript before she sends it off to the publisher. Watch out for her name, though. She's destined to be one of the best Christian fiction writers.
SORMAG: What resources do you use on the net?
LEWIS: Too many to name. I LIVE on the internet (especially myspace - it's my secret addiction).
SORMAG: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
LEWIS: My website is www.sherrilewis.com, email - email@example.com and address 3653-F Flakes Mill Rd #187, Decatur, GA 30034. The first chapter of My Soul Cries Out is on my website so I hope readers will stop by and check it out.