22 March 2013

Getting to know you Thursday with Sherri Wilson Johnson

Please help me welcome Sherri Wilson Johnson to my blog this week. She has two books out that look like good reads. 

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I live in Georgia with my husband, two children, and two dogs. I am an Inspirational Romance novelist, a speaker, and a former homeschooling mom. I work with the women’s ministry at my church and I love to make people laugh. I love to dream of romance and I’m passionate about purity and sexual integrity. I’m a bird-watcher; love the ocean, ice cream, Jesus and my family. I am the author of To Dance Once More (OakTara) and Song of the Meadowlark (OakTara).

2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books? 
One of my favorite books as a child was The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde Swift (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Red_Lighthouse ). It came with a vinyl record, which turned the book into an “audio book”. The sounds of the tugboat and other ships were fascinating to listen to as a child (a long time ago). I loved it because the lighthouse was tiny and hid underneath the George Washington Bridge. He felt like he wasn’t important but actually he was extremely important. Without him, ships would have slammed into the bridge at night. The story makes you feel hopeful that you can make a difference in this world. (Jenny here sounds like a really good book)

3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and write? 
My favorite to write is Historical Inspirational romance, although Song of the Meadowlark is contemporary. I have been told my books have a bit of suspense and mystery to them so maybe I’ll branch out one of these days. I prefer to read Historical Romance, as well. And I desperately prefer third person over first person.

4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you? 
Yes, my favorites as a teen were John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Edgar Allan Poe. Now whether or not they influenced my writing, I’m not sure. But their writings definitely affected me as far as inspiring my love for quality fiction.

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author? 
The obsession with writing started when I was about eight years old when I wrote my first short story and it kept getting worse from there. In high school I was obsessed with literature and took as many classes as my school offered. I wrote my first full-length novel at eighteen. It wasn’t very good and I gave up writing until I was about twenty-five. I’ve tried to quit many times since then because I wasn’t getting where I thought I should be. But God keeps giving me words to write. Some people are artists or musicians and that’s how they express themselves. I write.

6. How did you go about becoming an author? 
I tell the long story on Cathy West’s blog, but basically, I suppose the answer (besides God’s direction) would be perseverance. I focused on writing every single chance I got. When I started out, there was no Internet, email, texting on cell phones, etc. This allowed for a lot of writing time. In the early days, I couldn’t afford to send manuscripts out very often. And since most publishers wouldn’t accept simultaneous submissions, you had to submit and wait for the rejection/acceptance. That left a lot of time for writing. After umpteen rejections, I finally got the acceptance letter from OakTara. My first novel was published in 2011 and my second one in 2012.

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be? 
I always wanted to be a TV anchorwoman or a street reporter. Now though, if I wasn’t writing, I think I’d enjoy being a stand-up comedian or motivational speaker.

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do? 
I love to go to the beach and roll around in the waves. Please don’t try to imagine that scene. I also love to ride roller coasters. On a more at-home scale though, I love to be with my friends and family, chatting and laughing.

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit? 
I love the Florida/Alabama coast, the Gulf of Mexico! Last year my husband and I found a sleepy little town called Cedar Key in Florida. I’d love to write a book set there. I really want to go to Italy one day.

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why? 
There are so many people I’d love to sit down and have dinner with. Right now I can think of three who stick out in my mind. I’d love to meet my friends Joanne Bischof and Joy Melville face-to-face because they’ve been inspirational to me and encouraged me along this journey. I’d love to give them both big hugs! I’d also like to eat dinner with Clint Eastwood because I love his feistiness and because when I saw him interviewed about a year ago, he talked about where you go when you die and implied that you don’t go anywhere. You’re just dead. I’d love to share Jesus with him.

Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.
Song of the Meadowlark is a Contemporary Inspirational Romance full of hope, forgiveness, and second chances at life and love set in South Georgia on a ranch with an ornery cowboy.
Here is Song of the Meadowlark’s synopsis: When trusting others only leads to pain and rejection, and loving ends only in loss, what will it take to restore hope again? Shunned by the uncovered truth about her missing husband’s secret life, Cora Buchanan sets out on a road trip for home to mend her broken relationship with her parents. When her car breaks down, she’s stranded in a small Georgia town. While staying at the struggling Southern Hope Ranch, she meets little Susie O’Reilly, who unexpectedly fills a void in Cora’s heart. But Rex, Susie’s rugged cowboy father who lost his wife a year earlier, seems to go out of his way to either confront or avoid Cora. It doesn’t help her comfort level that the news continues to report missing and murdered women in the area. Cora has no idea just how close to home the crimes will hit…or how much the sweet sound of the meadowlark’s song at the ranch will impact her future.

My other novel, To Dance Once More, is a Victorian Inspirational Romance set in Florida in 1886. Lydia Barrington wants to leave her father’s plantation and the humdrum life of a debutante. The last thing she wants is to be betrothed to a man she does not love. She wants adventure far from home and the freedom to choose her own spouse—if she decides she wants one. She learns to trust God in every area of her life, especially in love.
I have just finished the sequel to To Dance Once More and am currently writing Book One in my New Hope Series, After the Raging Storm.
People can find me at all these yummy places:
Thank you for having me!

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