Thursday, March 28, 2013

Today welcome Sherri Wood Emmons who talks about her new release The Weight of Small Things, and why she says; "There is something about approaching 50 that is kind of freeing." plus a giveaway

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Interview with Sherri Wood Emmons plus one commenter will get a copy of her new novel courtesy of her publisher Kensington Publishing Corporation.

First let's hear what her fellow authors are saying about her work;

With haunting prose, Sherri Wood Emmons captures childhood in a small southern town. Bethany and Reana Mae, no longer children but not yet women, are tied together by bonds of friendship and kinship that help them survive challenges they don't understand. 'Prayers and Lies' is a rich story of th...e triumph of love and decency.
-- Sandra Dallas, author of 'Prayers for Sale'
Prepare to stay up all night reading! Sherri Wood Emmons perfectly captures the devastating impact of family secrets in her beautifully written--and ultimately hopeful--debut novel. With its evocative setting and realistically crafted characters, Prayers and Lies is a must-read for fans of rich family drama.
-- Diane Chamberlain
 ... the voice was so genuine, so sincere, I felt like Bethany was standing right before me, barefoot, earnestly telling me her story. ... I was on the edge of my seat, listening, every scene coming in to full, bright, Technicolor detail as one prayer was heard, one lie was shattered, one family’s raw, haunting life laid bare.
-- Cathy Lamb, author of Such A Pretty Face
 Prayer and Lies is the story of a family that knows how to love and forgive and get on with life.
-- Drusilla Campbell, author of The Good Sister
 Prayer and Lies is a touching examination of all the different kinds of love: between friends, between sisters, and above all, for one’s family.
-- T. Greenswood, author of The Hungry Season

Sherri welcome! Tell us a little about your new release The Weight of Small Things.
The Weight of Small Things is a story about friendship, love, and the small decisions we make each day that form who we are and who we are becoming.

You were also a finalist for the 2012 Emerging Indiana author award, where you spoke about “Emerging at 51”. Can you tell us your journey to becoming an author?
I took the long road to writing. I worked as an editor in two publishing houses and then as a freelance editor for 25 years. I always wanted to write. I thought about it, read about it, talked about it. But I never actually wrote anything except letters.
When I was in my early 40s, I finally got brave enough to try. Prayers and Lies, my first novel, took almost seven years to write, because I kept giving up and putting it away. But I kept coming back to it, and it found a wonderful home at Kensington Books. That book was released just after my 50th birthday. My second book, The Sometimes Daughter, was released when I was 51, and my new one is coming out when I’m 52. So I’m emerging kind of late, but I’m having a ball!

You have a lot of accolades from fellow authors for all three of your novels. What does that mean to you?
When I first started getting the quotes from authors about Prayers and Lies, I was really just stunned. I cried at every one, because so many were from authors I had read and admired so much, people like Cathy Lamb and Drusilla Campbell. It was kind of surreal, and it still is.

Does your personal history make it into your novels?
 Sometimes, yes. In fact, Prayers and Lies didn’t start out as a novel. My family is from West Virginia and we spent summers there when I was a child. I started out just writing down memories, and then the story took over. So the place and time are real, but the story is fiction.
The Sometimes Daughter is set entirely in the Irvington neighborhood of Indianapolis, where I grew up. The restaurants and park and schools I write about are very real. Some of my childhood friends have been having fun trying to figure out which houses I used in the story.

Can you tell us what you did before you started your writing career?
 I worked in-house at two publishing companies, first as a production editor and then as an editor. I freelanced from home in the years when my children were at home, which really was the best of both worlds.
Then for eight years I was the managing editor of a magazine called DisciplesWorld. That was when I actually learned that I could write. That job also gave me amazing opportunities to travel all over the United States and even to Jordan and China.

How do you think beginning your writing career at “middle age” benefits your readers?
There is something about approaching 50 that is kind of freeing. I guess I stopped worrying so much about what other people thought and decided to just do what seemed right to me. Hitting middle age also is a great reminder that our time on this planet is limited, and we ought not waste that time doing things we don’t love.
Especially in my first two books, I think having a bit of distance from childhood made it easier to write about. That sounds counter-intuitive, I know. But when you are too close to something, it’s hard to see it clearly. A little bit of distance helps.

What is the ultimate goal you want your readers to experience from your novels?
 I hope they have a good time reading them! And I hope they find themselves empathizing with the characters. My characters are pretty flawed. They make bad choices and find themselves in hard situations, but they keep going. I hope that even the “villains” in my books are somewhat sympathetic, even if their actions aren’t.
The other thing I find in my writing is that there is an element of faith in each of the books. I didn’t set out to write about faith, but it’s an important part of my life. And that translates to my characters. They are asking the big questions we all face. And although they find different paths, they are all searching.

What are you working on now?
 I’m trying something new! It’s a story with two narrators. Jenny is 11 years old and travels around the country with her father, Brannon as he moves from seasonal job to job. Emma meets and falls for Brannon, and soon joins the little family in their travels. But both Emma and Brannon are keeping some dark secrets that can’t stay hidden forever.

Do you have any events or signings planned for this release?
 On the afternoon of March 30, I will be reading and signing books at Bookmamas, on the east side of Indianapolis.
On Sunday, April 7, at 2 p.m., I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble in Carmel, Indiana.

Sherri, thank you for chatting with me today. Good luck with your new novel!
 Thank you so much! 

Visit Sherri's website for more information

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  Barnes & Noble

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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