Friday, February 03, 2012

Author Interview: Sherryl Woods (and Giveaway!)


I am pleased to welcome author Sherryl Woods to Always With a Book. Her latest book, The Summer Garden, is now available. You can read my review of her book and enter a giveaway for the book here.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Satisfying finale for the O'Briens!

How did the title for your book come about?
Several pivotal scenes in the book take place in Nell's beautiful garden. For me, The Summer Garden evoked that setting.

What was the inspiration behind your book?
Luke, the last of the O'Brien grandchildren, needed his own story. I wanted to explore what it would be like to be the youngest in a family of over-achievers and, of course, all readers of the series knew he couldn't possibly end up with the manipulative Kristen Lewis. In Moira, I hope I found the perfect challenging soulmate for him.        

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I'm still trying to figure out if that's what I want to be. I certainly didn't have an inkling it was a possibility until I was into my 30s!

Who are some of your favorite authors?
I love lots of the writers who write books similar to mine -- family and community oriented stories with a distinct voice and some humor. Among my favorites are Jan Karon, Carla Neggers, Robyn Carr, Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs, JoAnn Ross. I also love a number of mystery series, including those by Sue Grafton, Earlene Fowler, Earl Emerson, and most recently Louise Penny.
   
What are some of your favorite books?
I suppose on my all-time favorite list I'd put Little Women and the Little House on the Prairie series, which take me back to the days when my Mom read to me. Recently I was blown away by The Help and sobbed my way through the closing pages of a wonderful upcoming book by Emilie Richards called One Mountain Away.

What are you currently reading?
Louise Penny's latest, A Trick of the Light. I just finished Lover's Leap by Emily March.

What advice do you have for people who want to get into the writing business?
Put your butt in a chair and write! Then be prepared to re-write. Listen with an open mind to criticism. And find one professional -- agent, editor or a fellow writer -- whose advice you trust implicitly. For me that's been my agent, Denise Marcil, with whom I've worked almost my entire career.

How do you keep your characters fresh after so many books?
Whenever I'm creating characters for a new book or series, I approach them as I would a person I've just met, slowly peeling back layers and getting to know them. The world is filled with fascinating people and, as I'm constantly reminded, each one has a unique background or perspective.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
Actually writing the story is the easiest. I love sitting down every day and getting caught up with my characters and the world they live in. The hardest is dealing with all of the many other aspects of publishing, all of which are incredibly important to the process of getting books into the store and sold.

What do you love to do when you're not writing?
My favorite things are reading, which there's never enough time to do, gardening, which also involves the dreaded weeding, and going to the movies. I also enjoy the hard-fought Scrabble games I play with friends on various vacations. Sadly, though, I'm an easy mark. I always lose.

You often write series/trilogies. Do you prefer that to stand-alone titles?
I absolutely love getting to create a world for a series or a trilogy and having the chance to go back and be with those characters over time. Once I've established that world and the people in it, the writing flows so much more quickly. That said, there are some stories that lend themselves to a stand-alone -- Flamingo Diner, Seaview Inn, Mending Fences to name a few. These all had serious topics that I felt worked most effectively in the stand-alone format. 

Who is your favorite character from the Chesapeake Shores series?
I'd have to say Nell in many ways is my favorite. She's so strong and wise and non-judgmental. I've been fortunate to have some very wise older women in my life just like her.


Don't forget to enter the giveaway for this amazing book! 

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2 comments

  1. I loved learning about you in the interview. Cannot wait to read this book.
    gmapeony@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just finished this book :) It was pretty darn good :)

    ReplyDelete

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