Sherri Wilson Johnson is from Georgia and lives there with her husband, who loves to fish and build guitars, her children, and two dogs. She homeschooled for fourteen years and now dedicates much of her free time to writing. She loves Jesus, the ocean, eating ice cream, and laughing. She has been writing for practically as long as she could put words down on paper but fell in love with writing Inspirational Romance in her late teens.
My newest book, Song of the Meadowlark, is a contemporary romance about a woman named Cora who has been abandoned by her husband after his arrest on drug trafficking charges. She waits a year for him to return and when he doesn’t she decides to go back home to Florida to mend her broken relationship with her parents. On the way there her car breaks down and she’s temporarily stranded in a South Georgia town, which is experiencing missing and murdered women occurrences. She falls in love with the town and the people she stays with while there. Little Susie O’Reilly finds an immediate place in her heart but her widower father, Rex, tries to stand in the way of the two bonding. After Cora is abducted, she decides to return home and that adds to Rex’s opposition to her since Susie is already attached to Cora. When Cora arrives home she finds the repair of her relationship with her parents and her ability to forget about Rex nearly impossible. Cora struggles with doubt, rejection, fear, and anger on her path to peace and forgiveness. I hope readers will learn that it’s okay to experience periods of doubt and confusion while searching for the truth.
Book Blurb: To Dance Once More is the story of Lydia Jane Barrington, a Victorian debutante. Lydia lives on a plantation in Florida under the watchful eye of her father. She’s quite an independent young lady who does not want to fall into the trap (as she sees it) that her mother and sisters have fallen into—marriage and motherhood. She wants to travel the world and experience life before giving her heart to a man. One day, her eyes are opened to love and no matter what, she cannot forget the blissful feeling it causes. She begins to believe that love isn’t such a bad thing after all. Then she discovers a secret that prohibits any of her dreams from ever coming true. She begins a quest to free herself and her family from a future of bondage. Hearts are broken and lives are torn apart because of Lydia’s own selfishness. Will she surrender to a call that God placed on her life and be able to experience love after all?
A: 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. 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. The sounds of the tugboat and other ships were fascinating to listen to as a child (a long time ago). My favorite book as an adult (except the Bible, of course) is hard to pinpoint. I love Of Mice and Men and The Great Gatsby. I love so many books and I dislike probably just as many.
Q:. What is your favorite Scripture? Do you also have a favorite Scripture that encourages you in your writing?
A: John 14:1-3 has always been my favorite scripture. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” This makes life worth living. James 1:2-4 has been an encouragement to me in my adult life and in my writing. It says: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” I could not get through the ups and downs of this life and of trying to complete my writing projects without this encouragement.
Q: If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose?
A: There are a lot of places I would like to visit just for fun. If I could go anywhere to visit for research, I suppose it would be to England or Sweden to research the places where my ancestors lived.
Q: I often wonder if I would write if I had to do it the old-fashioned way without computers and spell-checks and email. Is there anything about technology that you don't like? Or anything about it that you feel enhances your writing?
A: One of my main issues with technology is the fact that I have a hard time resisting the urge to use it. I waste a lot of time that could be used writing. However, I can’t imagine not having technology. Although I often handwrite with pen and pad, I definitely enjoy being able to type something and make corrections without having to rip a piece of paper out of a typewriter and start over or use correction fluid. My first novel was written on a typewriter. In a melancholy moment, I decided it was no good and I burned it in my fireplace. That novel was lost forever. But the more I’ve learned about the craft, the more I realize that the fireplace probably was the best place for that book. One of the best advantages of technology in the writing industry is the convenience it brings to marketing and also in the submission process. When I first started writing, it was expensive to make copies, mail manuscripts, and include a SASE and getting the word out about your projects was impossible unless you hired someone to do your marketing for you. I think technology has changed the face of writing for the better and as long as we as writers remember to use it in moderation, we’ll be successful.
Q: As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone?
A: Letting go of my work and submitting it to publishers and agents and letting other people read my words has stretched me. You have to be willing to be vulnerable and face rejection and correction. By doing that, I’ve realized that everything I want to say isn’t necessarily important and is subject to editing. I’ve learned to say things in as few words as possible.
Q: What advice would you give to a beginning writer that you wish someone had given you?
A: Oh boy! I don’t think there is room enough on your blog for this. I guess one thing I would advise a beginning writer would be to be patient. If you don’t have patience, you’ll never persevere on the long road to publication. Also, get lots of practice, practice, practice every day—or at least several times a week. In this industry, you need to be as polished as possible. The more you write, the better your writing will be. I also recommend that all writers read the works of other authors (good and bad) to see how they can improve and how they can avoid big mistakes that will lead to rejection. Probably the most important thing would be to write with a message. Know what you want people to walk away from your words with and strive toward getting that message across in everything you write.
Where you can find Sherri: