Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Selling My Soul Blog Tour
Sherri Lewis’ writing was put on hold while she attended Howard University as an undergraduate, then medical school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. After working almost fifteen years in the medical field, Sherri left her position as a staff physician at a Georgia Department of Corrections’ Women’s prison to pursue writing and ministry full time.
Sherri is co-founder of the Faith-Based Black Fiction Writers of Atlanta with Essence Best-Selling author Tia McCollors. Selling My Soul is the anticipated sequel to Sherri’s debut novel, My Soul Cries Out. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Visit Sherri online at www.sherrilewis.com.
Tell us about Selling My Soul.
When Trina Michaels returns from an amazing two-year mission trip in Mozambique, she realizes that other than longing to see her mother and her best friend, her heart aches to fly back to the place that now feels more like home than anywhere she’s ever lived. And to the man who’s stolen her heart.
Her dreams of returning to her beloved village are short-lived. Trina soon learns that her mother has been diagnosed with cancer and the cost of treatment is expensive. She’s forced to return to her career in public relations and is assigned a damage control client – the bishop of a mega-church where an associate pastor and deacon were accused of sexually abusing young boys. One of the young boys has grown up to become her best friend’s husband and a popular gospel recording artist. Representing Bishop Walker could cost Trina her most valued friendship, her reputation, and a future with her new love. As she plows deeper into the scandal and the bishop blackmails her to cover the church’s secrets and lies, Trina realizes it could cost her soul.
How did you come up with ideas for this book?
This book is actually a sequel to my debut novel, My Soul Cries Out. In the prequel, Trina’s best friend Monica comes home to find her husband, the minister of music in the church, in bed with another man. She discovers that he’s been struggling with his sexual identity ever since he was molested by two deacons in his church as a young boy. The Bishop of the church attempted to cover it up because he built his church on the anointed praise and worship of Kevin, Monica’s husband. The Bishop can’t afford to lose his mega-church status over such a scandal. Readers enjoyed My Soul Cries Out immensely and in every email I got about the book, they asked for a sequel. So Selling My Soul was written at their request and dealt with all the issues they felt needed to be dealt with after the first book. In Selling My Soul, all the pressing questions are answered – what happened to Monica and Kevin? What happened to their best friends? And what happened to the Bishop and those dirty deacons?
Who are your main character(s)?
The main character of the book is Trina Michaels. She was the best friend of the main character of My Soul Cries Out so this is actually her spin-off story. In the prequel, she leaves for Africa for a two year missionary journey after helping Monica deal with her marital drama. Her mother, affectionately known as Moms is also a main character. She’s fighting terminal cancer and Trina’s attempts to get her saved before she dies. And then there’s Trina’s love interest – Gabriel Woods – who she met on the mission field in Africa.
Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?
I really enjoyed writing Moms’ character. She’s feisty and hilarious and deals with her impending death with great strength. I also love Trina’s love interest, Gabe. I love writing strong Godly men in my books and think it’s important to portray black men in a positive light to counteract the way they’re often portrayed in the media. And of course, I loved Trina and her faith, integrity, and tenacity in dealing with everything bit of drama that I threw at her in the story.
Did you have to do quite a bit of research for this novel?
I did a lot of research on missions to weave into the story because I wanted to authentically portray Trina’s experience of re-entry after being on the mission field for two years. I talked to a lot of missionary friends and read books by missionaries to prepare for the book and also for my own ministry – I’ve always dreamed of being a missionary in Africa. Since completing the book, I’ve been to Africa twice and it was all I dreamed of and more.
What do you hope readers will learn/discover from reading Selling My Soul
The underlying theme in Selling My Soul is to trust in God – no matter how dire or severe the circumstances. Trina has to use great faith to get her through all the situations she’s faced with when she returns from Africa. Often Christian can quote scriptures, read the Bible, but when times really get hard, are we able to exercise the faith needed and trust God that everything will work out?
Okay, a not-so-fun question. How important are reviews to you as a writer?
Reviews can be pretty important because it’s good to know how your readers enjoy your book. There are certain reviewers that I trust for their honest opinion about my work. Every once in a while, a bad review comes through and I’ve learned not to pay too much attention to them if they tend to be different from what most reviewers are saying. The funniest bad review I got was from a person criticizing my writing ability. The review was full of grammatical and spelling errors, so of course I didn’t take it too seriously.
About the Book
When Trina Michaels steps off the plane after her two-year missions trip in Africa, she realizes that other than longing to see her mother and her best friend, her heart aches to fly back to the place that now feels more like home than anywhere she’s… ever lived. And to the man who’s stolen her heart.
Her dream of a quick return to Mozambique fades within hours when Trina discovers that her mother has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Trina is forced to go back to her job as a publicist to cover her mother’s health costs.
She’s assigned a damage control client, Bishop Walker, a megachurch pastor accused of covering up a church sex scandal within his church involving the molestation of young boys. Representing him could cost Trina her most valued friendship, the love of her life, and her soul.
View the blog tour schedule and read an excerpt at http://bit.ly/SellingMySoulBlogTour .
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