ALL ABOUT SHERYL
1. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I remember. I am an avid reader and when I was young, wrote my own little books, complete with pictures. As I got older, I started writing short stories in a journal. I was the only student in class who got excited when the teachers assigned a creative writing project. Once I reached adulthood, writing was pushed to backburner.
2. What convinced you to get started on your first book?
In a nutshell: my mother. I had put writing on the backburner until my she passed away in 2009. She always encouraged me to ‘finish the book’. I started the book, but didn’t complete it until I was sidelined with back surgery in 2010. Typing ‘The End’ on that first story gave me a sense of accomplishment and the courage to keep writing. Of course, I need to go back and seriously edit those first couple of manuscripts.
3. What challenges, if any, did you face in becoming published?
I feel as if I have been very blessed in my publishing journey. Before submitting to publishers, I entered several writing contests, which strengthened my writing. I received a manuscript request through one of the contests, but it was ultimately rejected.
4. Did you ever imagine that you would become a published author? What do you enjoy most about being published?
Not initially, but as I began to learn more, I hoped and was determined to realize my dream. What I enjoy most about being published is meeting and connecting with readers and authors. I’m an introvert, but I’ve met some wonderful people since beginning this journey.
5. What were you doing when you received THE CALL? And your reaction?
I actually got the call while I was out. I had planned to run one more errand, but my back was tired [had back surgery 2 months prior] and I came home. I almost had a heart attack when I heard the editor’s voice on my answering machine. Lucky for me, I made it home 30 minutes before her leaving time - I'm on the west coast. My hands were shaking, I almost dropped the phone twice, pushed the wrong number... Finally, I got my fingers to work and she answered on the first ring. The editor told me they loved my story and wanted to offer a 3-book contract. I stopped breathing for a minute then babbled something incoherently that sounded like "thankyouI'msoexcitedIcan'tbelieveitbreathebreathe thankyou".
She was very patient and asked if I had questions. I told her yes, but I couldn't think of one at that moment. I was trying to text my husband while on the house phone, but couldn't figure out how to make my cell work. So, I had to wait until the conversation concluded. He didn't answer his work or cell, so texted him in all caps "CALL ME NOW!" He did and was speechless for a moment before saying "Whhhaaaattt??" He was in a meeting. I texted my oldest daughter and told her to call me on her break from work. She did a quiet scream then called me after work and screamed in the car. Next I called my middle daughter at college and she started to scream, but remembered she was sitting in her dorm. I picked up my youngest daughter from high school and screamed the news before she could close the car door. I was very excited, can you tell?
6. Who are some of your favorite authors and books?
I have a long list of favorites, but I’ll try to keep it short.
Authors: Beverly Jenkins, Maureen Smith, Wayne Jordan, Rochelle Alers, Brenda Jackson, Adrianne Byrd, Danielle Steel, Victoria Christopher Murray and Patricia Cornwell.
Books: Indigo (Beverly Jenkins), Take Me There by Leslie Esdaile, Capture The Sunrise by Wayne Jordan, and Miriam’s Song by Miriam Mathabane.
7. What do you do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing, I read. I also like experimenting in the kitchen and use my family as guinea pigs. They don’t mind, especially when it’s a chocolate dessert.
All about JUST TO BE WITH YOU
1. Tell us a bit about JUST TO BE WITH YOU.
Special education teacher Janae Simms has had her heart broken more times than she can count and has no intentions of adding R&B singing sensation, Monte, to the tally-even if he is a walking chocolate fantasy and has bone-melting kisses. Terrence ‘Monte’ Campbell wants nothing to do with love after his mother’s betrayal, but Janae’s sensual beauty and giving spirit challenges everything the confirmed bachelor has ever believed. She’s teaching him a lesson in love he won’t soon forget. Now he’s determined to prove to the sexy schoolteacher that, sometimes, the best fantasies are based in reality.
2. What inspired you to write it?
I often listen to music when I write. This story was inspired by one of my favorite R&B balladeers.
3. Do you have any favorite characters or scenes that you wouldn’t mind sharing or providing a little more insight on?
One of my favorite scenes is when Janae convinces Terrence to help her build a sand castle at the beach. As a teacher, she’s used to ‘playing’, but Terrence rarely let’s himself enjoy life outside of music. It was fun to see him loosen up, especially when he’s chasing her after she throws sand at him.
ALL ABOUT THE FANS
1. What’s next for Sheryl Lister?
I just completed the final edits for my second book, All Of Me (coming January 2015), and submitting the proposal for book 3. I’m also working on a proposal for a novella and editing a romantic suspense.
2. What advice or encouragement do you have for aspiring authors?
If you wait for the perfect time to start writing, you’ll never do it. Don’t wait! Read extensively in the line you want to write for. Learn everything about the craft of writing…and KEEP learning. Don’t think about writing, don’t dream about writing and don’t talk about writing… write.
3. Do you have any reader events coming up (book signing, tours, etc.)?
I will have my first book signing August 16, 2014, 2-4pm, at Underground Books in Sacramento, CA (http://underground-books.com/). If you’re in the area, I would love to meet you.
4. How can your readers stay in touch with you?
- Email: email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sheryllisterauthor
- Twitter: @1slynne
- Website: www.sheryllister.com
Romance in Color would like to thank Sheryl for taking the time out of her busy schedule to join us.
Mexican & Seafood
R&B, Jazz & Gospel