Today I’d like to welcome fellow Heart of Carolina RWA member, Seralynn Lewis to my virtual café. It’s good to have you here.
Seralynn: Thank you, it’s an honor to be here.
Sherri: Your novel, Cassie’s Secrets is your debut novel? Are you traditionally published or Indie? Tell us about your journey to publishing your novel.
Seralynn: Yes, Cassie’s Secrets is my debut novel. I will be self-publishing the book with a release date of September 1, 2020. The journey to publication has been uphill, downhill with crazy twists and turns along the way. Originally, I wanted to traditionally publish and after attending my first major convention in 2018, an agent requested the manuscript and I thought my goal to publication was secured. But after working with the agent for over a year, I realized the process of publishing traditionally would take an extraordinarily long time and I was unprepared to wait that long. My agent and I eventually parted ways and I began my journey to learn what I could about self-publishing and couldn’t be happier.
Sherri: Have you always been a writer? When did you start writing? When did you decide to be a published author?
Seralynn: Years ago, when my daughters were toddlers, I got the bright idea that I would write a novel. I was addicted to reading romances and thought I could write one. So, with a notebook and pen, I wrote my first novel. It was so long ago that I used my mom’s old electric typewriter to type the manuscript. In those days, a writer could send their manuscripts to a publisher without the benefit of an agent. Sadly, the novel was rejected. But it wasn’t surprising since I had no formal training as a writer. In fact, the letter I received from the publisher said, “Take some creative writing classes and get a better typewriter ribbon.” I was crushed because I knew I’d never be able to take classes. That manuscript sat on a shelf and after quite a number of moves, I couldn’t bear to look at it and I pitched it. Life happened and I was a single mom for almost twenty years until I married my current husband. He encouraged me to take the classes and I did. It’s a long-awaited dream. This book, Cassie’s Secrets, began as one scene I had to write for my first creative writing class and it morphed in the full-blown novel it is today.
Sherri: Cassie’s Secrets is the first in a series set in the town of Worthy? Is this an imaginary town? Tell us about your town? The inspiration? This is also an inspirational romance, why is it important for you to write romance with a religious (Christian) theme?
Seralynn: Worthy is an imaginary town located about forty miles south of Columbus, Ohio. I chose the area because of what happens in book #2. When I wrote my proposal for the agent, I knew I had to have three ideas for the series I was planning and I wanted the book to be set in Ohio, since I was born and raised in Ohio. But I needed it to be a small town. The novel is an inspirational romance. It’s important for me to write this novel because there are messages I want to readers to have and who may need encouragement in their lives. The message is key. In Cassie’s Secrets, the message is about forgiveness. We all need it and we all should give it.
Sherri: You have won several writing awards. Tell me what it means to be a Serious Writer, inc Writer of the Year finalist?
Seralynn: I was incredibly excited to be one of twelve people to be a finalist for this award. The winner has not yet been announced due to the pandemic. There will be one winner, of course, but there will also be second to fifth place winners as well. I had forgotten I entered the contest only to be told by another writer friend who also placed that I had placed as a semi-finalist. Then we had to wait an inordinate amount of time to find out the finalists. We’re on tenterhooks waiting. The contest entry was for book #2 of the series.
Sherri: What do you hope readers will take away from reading your books?
Seralynn: I hope the readers will enjoy the story and learn there is hope. Hope in everyday life and in everyday people.
Sherri: What writing project are you working on now?
Seralynn: I’m in the process of editing book #2 of the series, Mia’s Irishman, which will be released sometime in November 2020. I’m also currently writing book #3 of the series.
Sherri: Why did you choose to write romance?
Seralynn: I chose to write romance because I love to read romance. From the time my children were babies, romances enthralled me and I’m a voracious romance reader. So many titles and not enough time to read them all! I enjoy most all sub-genres with a few exceptions.
Sherri: Tell us about your blog A Woman’s Heart (seralynnlewis.com)
Seralynn: I wanted to be able to touch women’s hearts by writing about faith, life and romance. Those three categories just about covers any topic I can think of. The Faith part of the blog is where I choose Bible verses and write about how they impact our lives today. The Life part of the blog is mostly day-to-day things from birthdays to holidays. And the romance part of the blog deals with romance and the adventures my husband and I had while living in Germany and visiting castles.
Sherri: In Cassie’s Secrets you have a match maker as well as a little suspense. What are your favorite genres or authors to read?
Seralynn: There are so many fantastic romance writers out there, it’s very difficult to choose even one. I have two favorite genres I like to read aside from contemporary romances and they are historical Scottish romances and Western romances. But I’ll read Amish, Regency, Sweet & Clean, Medical and other sub-genres with the exception of a few.
Sherri: What advice would you like to give to other writers who’d like to pursue publishing their work?
Seralynn: The best advice I can give is to write the best story you can, then learn to self-edit.
Sherri: Thank you Seralynn for visiting with me here at my Creekside Café. I wish you lots of luck with your new novel.
If you liked this interview with Seralynn Lewis then follow her on social media and check out her debut novel, Cassie’s Secrets.
Here’s the back cover copy of the book:
When there’s a second chance for love and you have secrets, are you able to share them to gain the love of your life?
Single mom, Cassie Verano, and her two young daughters move to small-town Worthy, Ohio to be near her brother and his family. After years of secretly writing best-selling novels, she longs to raise her daughters without her ex-husband’s family’s controlling interference and live in peace. Her daughters befriend two girls who are cared for by their aunt who urges Cassie to meet her brother. It’s the last thing she needs or wants.
Widowed business owner, Steve Nardelli, wants nothing more than to complete his huge Australian deal and expand his deceased father’s electronics firm to secure his family’s future. But his sister’s matchmaking antics over the past two years frustrates him. His disastrous marriage caused him to distrust women and he can’t seem to make his sister understand he doesn’t want or need any entanglements.
Despite Steve’s misgivings about Cassie’s secrets, when his sister disappears, he enlists Cassie to help care for his daughters. When Cassie has an odd dream, Steve blames her for his sister’s disappearance. Can Steve and Cassie overcome their mutual distrust and expose their secrets to one another to have a second chance at true love?
Cassie’s Secrets is a second chance Women of Worthy romance.
Here are my social medial links: