Wednesday, November 23, 2011
FEATURED AUTHOR: Sherrod Story
Sherrod Story is a diehard romance fan living and working in Chicago. A lifelong lover of love stories, she recently published an interracial romance, Fiona Love on Kindle
How did you start out your writing career?
I've been writing since I was little. I made my own books and bound them with shoelaces and a hole punch. Back then I even did my own illustrations. LOL But my interest grew. I worked on the newspaper in high school, majored in journalism in college, I've always worked in my field. Now I edit business trade magazines.
What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned that I have a lot of work to do! Being extremely competent in your career and being an avid romance reader doesn't automatically mean you've got the techniques down to satisfy an audience. I've learned a ton since I began my romance writing journey - I highly recommend Stephen King's On Writing; it was invaluable as I edited Fiona Love - and I'm grateful to all of the writers and readers out there who have shared a kind word or the little tidbits they've picked up along the way.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
I think it might be too early in the game for grandiose plans lol but I hope to be read and enjoyed by many, to establish a romance writing habit as solid as my career efforts, to build a following for my future work and to make some money to fix up my house.
Which character did you have the most fun writing about?
I like side characters. Netty and Cleo had a lot of personality, enough to one day get their own stories I think. Each was really focused on their respective tasks in Fiona's life, but they stood out to me, at least I tried to give them some flavor. Some of the images I created for them - Netty's butt waving in the air while she's head first in Fiona's accessories closet for instance, or her and Sugar in the kitchen during Fiona's birthday party - resonate for me on multiple levels.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
How much work it is. You constantly have to hustle. I literally need to get fired so I can give this thing the attention it needs! lol There's so much to be done via social media to promote your work, tweets to send, blogs to write, it's serious business, and that's not including the actual writing, story creating and editing.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
I love falling into a story, getting so wrapped up in my characters I laugh and cry right along with them. I hate editing. I love editing, actually, but it's soooo hard for me to let go of a story. That's why I'm this old just getting started. lol
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
To focus on my dream with the same intensity I work on a job. To not spend money on dresses when I could have that money stashed to buy myself the latest ipad2 to help further my writing ambitions. To listen to naysayers and then ignore them and do what I believe and want to do. Basically, to use fear as fuel instead of a stop gap and a staller.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Do write. Develop a routine that works for you. Learn about your craft. It's not pretentious to think about writing as a craft. It's serious business if you do it right and you want to be successful. Don't let fear or the need to perfect something keep you from submitting. Find a way to get what you want. The Help was rejected like 60 times before it was published. Look how that turned out.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
That it's not easy. That it takes time, just as any other skill development process. Too many people assume writing shouldn't require the energy and focus that it does, that you're being self-indulgent to focus intensely on your work.
If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?
OMG, good question. I have no idea. I've been identifying more with authors than characters lately, so I'll pick a heroine from a J.RWard/Jessica Bird novel, or one from anything by Susan Elizabeth Phillips or Francis Ray. They write strong yet appraochable heroines who go through the fire and come out smelling like a rose.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Read, watch movies on TV and in the theater. Dream of being a New York best seller.
What do you do to interact with your readers?
I tweet, use Facebook, I blog. I don't do enough. There should be at least 48 hours in the day.
Our theme for this month is MEN IN LITERATURE. What male author are your reading?
I've been reading Eric Jerome Dickey lately, some of the older books like Flyy Girl. Good stuff. I confess, I'm partial to female writers. They dominate the romance genre, which is my favorite so I don't feel like I'm being discriminatory.
Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?
I know writing romance is how I want to make my fortune. I know it's what I love and have passion for and what I'm going to devote my life to perfecting, evolving and sharing with anyone who will take their valuable time to read me. I know this is what makes me happy, what I need to learn about constantly, and what I want to devote myself to mind, body and soul. I know I want to be read on a global scale, and I know I'm the only one who can make that dream a reality.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
What if there was an 800-year-old African witch with a pesky younger sister who has untapped, rather explosive powers but constantly needs rescuing? Add in an alpha male shape shifter who can adopt not one but any animal form, a few vampires, a cast of minor characters who can manipulate their environment in various humorous ways and a plot to strip the sisters of their earth-rich bounty. It's currently sans title; I'm bad with those.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
I hope to hear from you!
When singer/actress Fiona Love meets Dane Craig she wasn't expecting love, only extremely hot sex. And that's exactly what she gets. From playing dress up with beauty products, judging the merits of different kinds of soap suds on skin, and playing games of make believe with silk scarves and spankings for props, nothing is off limits.
But Daney-licious, as Fiona calls him, makes phrases like soul mate and true love feel as natural as the free for all lovemaking they enjoy. Unfortunately, being famous is about as unnatural as you can get. As Fiona’s star rises a silly misunderstanding parts the new lovers. But Fiona doesn’t run the charts and the box office for nothing. There’s a new love waiting in the wings.
Natty is an old friend and colleague, just what she needs to stave off loneliness. Tall, handsome and fond of a different kind of game, as he and Fiona collaborate on her new album, studio time soon includes play time. But Dane is not completely out of the picture. As Fiona juggles movies, music and works to shake a habit that could end her career, tragedy strikes, and it’s anyone’s guess whose love Fiona will choose…
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