Jeanne Julian invited me to be a presenter at one of the Carteret Writers Luncheons. She crafted this introduction. It’s such a lovely piece, I just had to share it.
Thanks Jeanne for your support and kindness.
“I thought I wanted to write historical romances, as they were my first love,” Sherri Lupton-Hollister says. “At least, that is what I believed when I first started writing. Contemporary romance—especially the subgenres of romantic mysteries, thrillers, and suspense—intrigued me.”
Sherri completed her first novel, Chrome Pink, and started marketing it as a romantic suspense novel. It wasn’t until after several “very kind” rejections and a couple of years of working with an agent—yes, she had an agent!—that she figured out that her book doesn’t fall into the typical romance framework: “My couple doesn’t meet on the first page and fall in love by page fifty!” she says.
In her presentation for Carteret Writers, Sherri will share her approach to pursuing your literary dreams: balancing career, family, and craft (she has six sons and 18 grandchildren); finding (and leaving!) an agent; finding (and keeping!) a valued mentor; working with and against a “niche” or genre in fiction; designing a “series” in fiction; the pros and cons of self-publishing; and promoting your published work.
For years, Sherri admits, she fought the self/independent publishing route because she wanted to be accepted via the publishing “establishment.” She also feared going the indie route out of financial considerations. However, now she believes that, thanks to online publishing and print on demand, it is easier than ever to publish a book.
You can learn from her advice and experience: “To attract readers, a great cover. To keep them—a good editor!” she says.
Chrome Pink, published in 2017, is the first book in Sherri’s planned Leeward Files series. It’s about Rae Lynne Grimes, a rape survivor, and “her journey from self-destruction to finding her strength.” As one reviewer said, this suspenseful novel has “great realistic characters trying to overcome all the challenges life can throw at them. It leaves you guessing right till the end.”The sequel, White Gold, was released this fall. Sherri’s short story, “R & R,” will be included in a forthcoming international anthology.
In 2009, Sherri was the first recipient of the Romantic Times Readers and Writers Convention’s Ann Peach Scholarship. Sherri is a member of Romance Writers of America and other local writers’ groups. She currently serves as chairperson of the Pamlico Writers’ Group, one of the oldest writers’ groups in Eastern North Carolina. She is also the author of a writing-related blog.
“It is through the guidance and companionship of other writers that we expand our knowledge and become better writers,” Sherri said. “I am thankful for all those who have helped me and hope to pay it forward.”