Sherri Lupton-Hollister started writing soon after learning to read. She wrote her first romance in red ink at the age of ten. Her childhood dream of becoming a writer and having her own Brady Bunch nearly came true when she became the mother/stepmother to six sons. After only two years of marriage, Sherri and her husband, the sexy mechanic, gained custody of his three sons and discovered she was expecting another. The couple went from two children in the home to six in a matter of a few months.
With her large family, Sherri is never at a loss for plot ideas, interesting characters or cheerleaders. Her family serves as beta readers, researchers, photographers and marketers. The sexy mechanic is her researcher and resident expert for anything mechanical.
The sexy mechanic, an almost-reformed bad boy, is the head-mechanic at a local body shop. Mechanic, tow truck driver and biker dude, he provides expertise on several subjects helping Sherri to round out her characters talents, personalities and a few plot points.
The coupleshare a love for riding motorcycles, chasing their many grandchildren and playingcards. They host cookouts and parties including their large extended family andmany friends. Their house has always been the hang out for their friends andtheir children’s friends.
Sherri lovesthe water but hates to lay out, preferring to play on the beach, refusing to bethe old lady sitting in the sand unless she’s building a sandcastle with the grands.
Music playsa big part in the development of her stories. Listening to the music hercharacters enjoy allows Sherri to delve deeper inside her characterspersonalities. When no one is looking, she has been known to burst into song orjust start dancing.
As an onlychild in a small, rural community, Sherri learned to entertain herself witharts and crafts, as well as reading and writing. She wrote plays, stories andpoems, and had a short story published in a small, local newspaper as ateenager. Later, she would become a reporter for that same paper.
The Leeward Files stories are set in a small, rural town in North Carolina, similar to Sherri’s hometown. Her characters blend local flavor with her own vivid imagination to create people who could be her friends and neighbors.
As a shy, insecure child, Sherri struggled to find her voice. Through her stories, she hopes to give a voice to those whose stories need to be heard. In writing fiction, Sherri finds the courage to speak the truth. Her characters are often broken but not shattered, flawed but still beautiful, weak but with unplumbed strength.
Addicted tocooking shows, her children tell her she should go on Chopped especially whenthey do the left-over challenge. Raising six children, Sherri learned to neverlet anything go to waste. Redecorating left-overs whether it was food orclothes or even furniture, allowed her to work part-time until her youngest sonwent off to middle school.
Chairpersonof the Pamlico Writers’ Group, the oldest writers’ group in eastern NorthCarolina, Sherri is excited to talk to other authors and share her passion forbooks. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America where she holds therank of PAN. She hosts the Book in a Week challenge each month with local RWAchapter, the Heart of Carolina.
Recently, Sherri self-published her second book, “White Gold,” the sequel to “Chrome Pink.” After ten years of rejections, near misses, and small successes, Sherri spent two years with an agent only to be dropped before publication. With the encouragement of her husband and her mentor, award winning cozy mystery writer, M K Graff, Sherri took the plunge into self-publishing.
Sherri shares her writing journey on her website and on social media.
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Introduction by Jeanne Julian
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.”