Friday, July 5, 2013

Finding Fiction Friday - Sherrie Henry

Happy Independence Day (a day late) for our American readers, and I hope everyone had a safe Fourth of July, or Canada Day, or whatever else you might have been celebrating (or not).  Sherrie Henry is visiting us this week to talk about her works.  Sherrie is a fellow "Evernight" author and has several other stories both published and in the pipeline.  First, a brief bio ...

Sherrie Henry was born and raised in southern Indiana and after a stint at Indiana Universityachieving her bachelor’s degree in English and journalism and her master’s degree in kinesiology, this Hoosier transplanted herself to the Windy City. Her passion is teaching, with writing coming in a close second and gaining momentum. She is currently an adjunct professor at the College ofDupage and owns her own martial arts studio in NapervilleIL. She currently holds a third degree black belt in Hapkido. She lives in the suburbs with her dog and faithful companion, Maggie.

How did you get started writing, and what made you decide to take a shot at getting a story published?

I was talking with fellow author Allison Cassatta one day about her writing. I mentioned I used to write a little in college, starting with fanfic and then moving on to my own creations. I showed her one of my original short stories that had been languishing on my hard drive for probably ten years. Bless her, she showed it to her publisher who came back to her saying she’d love to publish it if I would flesh it out a bit more. I was flabbergasted! I had never thought about any of my work being published, well, beyond the little fan zines when I was into fandom.

We know what your bio says.  Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us.

Not much for surprises. What you see is what you get. Perhaps a unique quality I possess is that I tend to care too much.

Your first story I believe was in “Evernight”, titled “The Ritual”.  How did it feel to learn you were being published for the first time?

Well, actually, my first story to be accepted was ‘Twenty-Four Hours,’ the story I showed to Ms. Cassatta. It just happened that ‘The Ritual’ was published first. As I have had my name in print before (I edited textbooks in college) that part wasn’t so unique. I did enjoy the mostly positive reviews I got for the story. I wish more people would review short stories, but it seems only the novellas and novels get the reviews.

You also have another published short story called “Twenty-Four Hours”.  How did this story come about?

Just part of my active imagination!

So your first novel, a Young Adult novel “Last of the Summer Tomatoes” comes out on July 18th.  Time to plug!  Tell us about this story and the characters.

The novel is about Kyle, an abused gay teen who has rarely known what it feels like to be loved. He gets in trouble with the law and is offered a chance to commute his sentence if he works on a farm for the summer. Since his only escape from his homophobic step-father is art school, he needs to make sure this brush with the law doesn’t jeopardize his scholarship to said art school, so he agrees.

The story mainly takes place over that summer where he learns to stand on his own two feet and actually feel what it means to be loved – by a family unit and by his first boyfriend.

You certainly seem to be very busy … what else do you have cooking in that brain?

I have two other stories that have been accepted for publication, ‘A Wolf’s Bane’ and ‘Michael’s Journey.’ ‘A Wolf’s Bane’ is a novella about a werewolf who falls for a human and the culture clash between them. It’s currently waiting on the cover to be finalized and a release date to be determined, which should be any day!

‘Michael’s Journey’ is a short-story sequel to ‘Twenty-Four Hours.’ The reviews I had for ‘Twenty-Four Hours’ were very positive, but I do believe each one of them demanded a sequel, so, I wrote one. It will hopefully be published by the end of the year by XoXo Publishing.

As for works in progress, I jumped on the vampire bandwagon for my current project. Got a novel in progress, right now titled ‘Lucien’s Story,’ about a 600-year-old vampire and the myriad of characters that make up his life. It’s got I hope an original premise regarding two types of vampires, borns and mades.

Then, I promised one of my beta readers from ‘Last of the Summer Tomatoes’ a sequel, this one would be what they would categorize ‘New Adult’ as it will follow the main characters into the college years.

And, of course, like most writers, I have a folder full of ideas and other works-in-progress.

What about being published and the book industry in general has most surprised you?

I had no idea there were so many publishers out there, all looking for the next best-seller. I hadn’t had much experience with independent publishing houses until my first story was accepted. I would have had no idea where to begin to get anything published if it hadn’t been for Ms. Cassatta.

I’m also surprised at the sense of community with the independent writers; you would think it would be more cut-throat, but I’ve found a very supportive group of writers and artists who all want each other to succeed.

What other things besides writing do you have going on that keep you busy?

Running my own martial arts studio, teaching at the local community college and doing book writing and editing pretty much takes up most of my time. I wish there were more hours in the day!

To close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one.  Here they go!
  1. What is your favorite word?   With the thousands of English words out there, you want me to pick ONE???   I have a degree in English, for heaven’s sake! LOL
  2. What is your least favorite word?  Nom, noms or nommy or any other ‘nom’ related word. Can’t stand when people type that in regards to something that tastes good. Express yourself, dammit! As I said, there are thousands of words out there to use!
  3. What turns you on?   Well, I’m assuming you’re asking about relationships and such, if not, this is going to be one silly answer. J I’m an ‘eyes’ woman. You can tell so much from a person from their eyes, if they make eye contact or not, if they look away at other things when responding to questions. I also look for someone can hold a conversation, but isn’t one of those people who have to keep on talking if the conversation dies down. The world is full of sounds, it’s breathing and speaking all around you if you just listen. Can’t do that if you’re just yammering on and on because you don’t like the ‘silence.’
  4. What turns you off?   Being fake. Being famous for being famous. For all those ‘celebrities’ out there who get paid for just showing up and have no talent whatsoever other than looking pretty or being born into money. Can’t stand people like that (famous or not).  Can’t really stand those that worship those type of people either … they can’t see beyond the money and the beauty. Beauty will fade and money can be lost in the blink of an eye. It’s what’s inside that counts.
  5. What sound or noise do you love?   I’m assuming you mean music? I prefer New Age; it’s the best music to write to. I can’t be distracted by lyrics if I’m writing.
  6. What sound or noise do you hate?  Rap music that degrades anyone. I can’t believe people listen to that crap. We’d be a much better world if we didn’t spread hate through music.
  7. What is your favorite curse word?   I don’t have a favorite. I’m an equal-opportunity swearer.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?  I’d love to be an artist, like my late uncle. He did landscapes; his work is hanging in rest stops and forest preserve lodges throughout the state of Tennessee. He was very talented. I, on the other hand, can barely draw cartoon figures.
  9. What profession would you not like to do?   Accounting, banking, anything financial. I don’t have the mind for numbers and really can’t see myself living in a cubicle for the rest of my working life.
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?  Well, I believe in reincarnation, so I would hope any higher power would tell me I’m going back to earth to complete a higher purpose.
  11. What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you?  Would you marry me? J
Sherrie, thanks so much for spending time with us.  Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your work?

Well, for the most part, you can always find me somewhere among the following links:

My Young Adult novel ‘Last of the Summer Tomatoes’ can be pre-ordered through the publisher, Dreamspinner Press:

Thank you so much for this opportunity. You guys rock!


Patricia and I can also be followed here:    Facebook              Twitter


Rudy and Trish are the main characters in our two published short stories in the "Evernight: Romance in a World of Darkness" anthologies.  You can get to know them as well as get 23 other great stories!  Here's where you can find them:

Evernight Volume 1:   Amazon       XoXo          ARe

Evernight Volume 2:   Amazon       XoXo          ARe

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