Sheri writes books that inspire and delight kids of all ages while planting seeds of self-esteem. Her first book, The Little Rose, was a #1 bestseller on Amazon for over 60 weeks and became the #1 top-rated children’s e-book on Amazon. Sheri is the recipient of multiple literary awards including three gold medals in the Readers Favorite International Book Awards. All five of her children’s books were #1 bestsellers.
In 2013, her children’s book series received the Gold Mom’s Choice Award for excellence in family friendly entertainment. Sheri was selected by CBS Los Angeles as one of the top 3 authors in her local area, a distinction she shares with Dean Koontz. Sheri was honored with the 2013 Extraordinary Inspiration Award for her long-lasting commitment to spreading inspirational messages of hope and self-esteem through her books, her moving life story, and her brand.
Sheri’s newest adventure is a contemporary romance. She was inspired to write Cake in Bed, her debut novel, to empower women to be their authentic selves and to not settle for less than they deserve in life or in love, because everyone deserves to have their cake and eat it too … preferably in bed!
What inspires you to write?
I’m inspired by life experiences, enchanting music, and magical ideas that sneak up on me when I least expect them. Words have always been powerful for me. Growing up, I loved the idea of creating my own little worlds and bringing to them to life in the form of stories. As an adult, I became an author somewhat by accident over 5 years ago when I was inspired by adversity to write my first book, The Little Rose. When I independently published The Little Rose and it became a #1 best-seller on Amazon and remained there for over 60 weeks, it changed my life and opened me up to the possibility that I could create and share my own little worlds as a career.
I love the idea of telling a story that means something more than just the words on the page. Each of my books (both for children and for adults) has a powerful message embedded within the story. I’m delighted to follow my inspiration and continue to publish books and create experiences that inspire and empower people.
Tell us about your writing process.
When it comes to writing fiction, I’m a total pantser. I get inspired and sometimes will hear dialogue in my mind or see a scene played out in my imagination. When it feels really juicy, I have to capture it on the page. Sometimes I think the story is going one direction, and the characters will surprise me by doing something completely unexpected that changes everything. I’ve learned to follow my inspiration and let the adventure unfold as best I can.
I start capturing the ideas by hand writing them into a special notebook. When I’m ready to stitch the story together, I type everything into a Word document on my laptop. I finish writing the story and work with my editor using the Word document.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I’m often hearing my characters’ thoughts and interactions with each other. The experience is much like watching a movie. It seems to happen a lot in the bath and the shower. I like to just watch them and listen in on their conversations. When something sounds good, I write it down.
What advice would you give other writers?
I’ve learned so much about writing, publishing, marketing, business, and life over the past 5 years. Here’s my advice for fellow writers:
• Follow your inspiration and write the story your heart wants to tell. Write your story for yourself and your own pleasure. That’s the one that will resonate with readers.
• Trust your instincts. If something feels off in the writing, a business relationship, or an opportunity, save yourself time, energy, and headaches by changing it or walking away.
• Don’t let other people’s limitations limit you. Other people have no idea what you’re capable of. Be bold. If there’s something you want to write or publish, there’s always a way. Find it.
• Do your research and hire the best. Whether you’re hiring an editor, illustrator, attorney, or assistant, always ask for referrals and do whatever it takes to work with the best. You’ll be happier later when you can rely on a professional, caring, and responsive team.
• Be persistent and never give up. Writing and publishing books is not easy. Expect hurdles and learning curves and view them as opportunities along the way. The result will be worth the effort.
My philosophy on writing, publishing, and life is summed up in my favorite quote: “The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.” —Confucius
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I was first considering publishing The Little Rose, I attended the Southern California Writers Conference and networking events with writers. I asked both traditionally published and independently published authors about their experiences. I learned so much and decided to independently publish The Little Rose for several reasons:
1. Speed – I felt a burning need to get the message of The Little Rose to children quickly. I didn’t have the time or patience to woo an agent, find a publisher, go through the whole process, and then wait for a slot on their release calendar.
2. Control – I wanted to be 100% happy with the final result of all of my hard work. I knew that I wanted to choose the right illustrator and to influence the ultimate look and feel of my book.
3. Entrepreneurial Spirit – I’ve always been very entrepreneurial and I was excited about the possibility of building a business around doing something that I absolutely loved. I also learned from other authors about the value of the rights tied in with a book and felt like I would be able to make those decisions for my brand better than a big publisher could. And, my background is in Marketing. I believed that I could leverage my knowledge and skills to be successful.
4. Happiness – When I talked with other authors, the happiest ones tended to be the independently published authors. They had control over their destiny, their schedules, their agreements, their rights licensing, etc. That really appealed to me.
Independent publishing is exciting and easier than it’s ever been before, but it isn’t the right solution for everyone. Only the author can truly decide what’s right for them, their books, and their careers.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There are more opportunities now than ever before to share our stories and read a more diverse collection of voices, which is a powerfully positive outcome from the technological developments in publishing over the past decade. I find the possibilities to be very exciting as technology has broken the barriers to entry and allowed more writers to become authors by independently publishing their books. I believe in quality and that readers will support a great book whether it’s traditionally or independently published.
I also enjoy knowing that there are more ways to reach readers than there were just a few years ago. With the new ebook technologies and blossoming creativity from up and coming authors, we’re seeing more innovative storytelling to capture the attention of the young readers and cultivate a love for books in every format.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Children’s, Personal Development, Romance, Chick Lit
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.