with Author Sherryl Woods
Tea At Sunrise
A Chesapeake Shores Christmas
us a little about yourself.
a former journalist who spent a very long time covering the television industry
for various newspapers. I split my time between Florida and Virginia, always by
the water. . .the Atlantic Ocean is visible from my balcony in Florida and the
Potomac River is across the street from my front porch in Virginia. . .and the
view's almost exactly the same as it was when I spent my summers in the same
house as a kid.
RBS—How old were you when
you first decided to sit down and write your first book?
Writing was never in my plans. I loved my job as a journalist. . .until the day
I didn't and decided to try some other things. I'd always been a voracious
reader, the romance market was taking off and, voila, I jumped in. I'm still
astonished that this is what I do, even after over a hundred books.
RBS—What was your first
novel ever published, be it e-book or print?
first published novel was Restoring Love, written under my pseudonym of Suzanne
Sherrill. It was released in 1982 from Dell Candlelight Ecstasy. It was
actually the second novel I'd written. The first one I wrote, Sand Castles, was published under my Alexandra Kirk pseudonym just
a couple of months later in 1982 by Bantam's Circle of Love.
RBS—It can be
difficult to get a book published. Who or what was the greatest encouragement
you had during the non-published times?
was extremely fortunate. Both my first and second books were bought and
published very soon after I wrote them at a time when the romance genre was
really taking off. I had no agent and there was no real networking. Later, when
my editor at Dell left and Bantam changed its publishing strategy, I found my
fabulous agent, Denise Marcil, who's been a rock through all of the publishing
ups and downs. I've worked with her for over 25 years. I think she's believed
in me for a lot longer than I believed in myself.
RBS—What is your favorite
genre to write? Why?
love writing romance and women's fiction, because not only am I a firm believer
in happily-ever-after, but I like writing stories that are relevant to women's
lives. I like showing women that no matter what obstacles they might face, they
RBS—Tell us about your
Sherryl— My current
trilogy of books is a continuation of the Sweet Magnolias series which
focuses on the deep and lasting friendship shared by a group of women in the
fictional town of Serenity, SC. In Home in Carolina (April), Sweet Tea at
Sunrise (May), and Honeysuckle Summer (June), a younger generation of these
friends deal with three tough issues -- betrayal, emotional abuse and physical
abuse to reclaim the life and love the deserve.
RBS—Who or what were your
influences when you begin to write your newest release?
in Carolina was influenced by reader demand
for a story for Ty Townsend and Annie Sullivan, who were only teens and best
friends in A Slice of Heaven.
Readers wanted their story, but I kept saying they were too young. Now they've
not only lived a bit, but in Ty's case, perhaps, he's lived a little too much!
He's come home with a toddler son, proof of his betrayal of Annie. It's a story
of reconciliation and forgiveness.
RBS—What is a
typical writing day look like for you?
usually on the computer by 7 or 8 a.m. and write until I finish my page quota
for the day. My minimum is ten pages, but the deeper I get into the story, that
can come closer to fifteen pages. I'm usually finished by lunchtime. I spend
the afternoon answering fan mail, reading proofs and dealing with any PR
RBS—Do you have a
favorite hero from one of your books? What is it about him that makes him stand
really don't. In every book I want the hero to be like a real man, flaws and
all. I like to see him grow over the course of the book and, of course, to
treat the heroine in unexpected ways that demonstrate just how deeply he loves
her, even if he hasn't admitted the truth to her . . . or himself.
RBS—Do you have a
favorite heroine from one of your books? What is it about her that makes her
I really don't. I like women who are stronger than they realize they are,
who can face adversity and not only survive, but triumph. Often they
have a lot of doubts about themselves, but thanks to a hero and their own
journey of self-discovery, they finally realize just what they're really
capable of accomplishing.
RBS—Who is your favorite
author? Did they give you any kind of inspiration in your own writing?
are so many wonderful authors I love and I'm always looking for new ones who
write the kind of books I love to read. . .and to write. I love the characters
in Carla Neggers' suspense novels, the depth of Susan Wiggs' stories, Robyn
Carr's Virgin River series for its sense of community, Maeve Binchy's Irish
setting, as well as a southern writer who's new to me -- Patti Callahan Henry.
My other passion is mystery and I have a long list of
mystery writers who keep me entertained, including the recently discovered
Louise Penny, whose Canada-based series I just devoured. Great characters
in those, which is my number one criteria for any good book.
RBS—What's coming up on
your book schedule in the next year?
remainer of 2010 and early 2011 are jam-packed for me. I'll be continuing my
Chesapeake Shores series with A Chesapeake Shores Christmas, in stores at the
end of September. Also this fall there will be reissues of all four of my Rose
Cottage Sisters books in two volumes. And in spring 2011, there will be three
more Chesapeake Shores
books in April, May and June.