Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview, writing inspiration

Welcome W C Furney to Creekside Cafe

Welcome Bill Furney to my Virtual Cafe

Bio: William Charles Furney(

A former soldier, journalist, and communication professional, William Charles Furney has tapped into a lifetime of experiences and adventures to craft riveting novels such as Black Hearts White Bones, a love, hate, revenge story about the two infamous pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read; Aphrodite’s Whisper, an epic love story reminiscent of Legends of the Fall; and now…Ivy Moon Last Girl on Earth.

Now retired from public service, William is a full-time writer and novelist.

Sherri: Welcome to my virtual café, Bill. You have had an interesting life so far, from a tank commander to reporter to a Public Health Communicator, and now a novelist. I won’t ask you about the latest health issue, I know it can be a pretty divisive discussion and we’re not in that business now. As writers, we hope to bring people together through our stories. What is it about a story that can reach a person when all the facts cannot?

Bill: Wow! That’s a three-beer conversation. We could spend hours kicking that idea around and still leave many rocks unturned. (How’s that for mixing metaphors?) My stab at a short answer is this; facts can be blunt objects with which people hit each other over the head. The facts themselves may be impersonal, but the feelings, attitudes and beliefs of the person wielding them are usually very apparent. While it may be fun hitting people over the head with facts, doing so isn’t conducive to changing opinions. In truth, it makes people resistant to them.

Well-written stories can introduce facts and ideas slowly. They can be attached to sympathetic characters with whom readers can identify and care about. If done correctly and unobtrusively, the actual “facts” in question can be debated, dissected and a defended without ever having stated what the “facts” are. George Orwell was a master at this.

Sherri: As you know prepping for this interview, I stalked your website and social media looking for just the right questions to ask but we don’t have that kind of time. Unfortunately, I have thirty-four authors to promote before our Author Event, but I’d love to buy you a drink and pick your brain.

Bill: NOW we’re talking!

Sherri: But for now, let’s just hit the highlights.

On your website, you mentioned four writers as the fab four, who in your opinion are the masters of the craft. I agree with the first two, King and Flynn. Even though I’m not a horror/thriller fan, there is much we can learn from authors who are not in our genre. For me, my King-ism is to have a little something that shocks the reader. It has to fit the story, but maybe not the genre. In Chrome Pink, my first novel, I have a scene my romance writer friends said made them throw-up in their mouths. They thought I should take it out. I didn’t because it had a reaction. What do you feel these authors have done to influence your writing?

Bill: I think the answer to this question is covered somewhat in the Fab Four author profiles featured on my webpage. Each author offers a different influence. So, here, let me address them as a group. What is the common denominator that, in my mind, sets them apart?  Well, you touched on it. In a word…mastery. “Mastery” is a term that’s not used very often these days. Webster defines it as:

2a : possession or display of great skill or technique
  b : skill or knowledge that makes one master of a subject

I became familiar with the concept during my youth when I was first introduced to Hemingway and later when I was heavy into martial arts. To be brief, being in the presence of a master or being exposed to a master’s work is a – if you have the humility to recognize your shortcomings and inadequacies – very humbling experience. It’s a moment of truth, self-realization and gut-checking. As people with egos, it’s hard to look at your own work in comparison and admit…I suck at this. But, if you were raised right and were gifted with a never-quit attitude, it is life-changing. The four authors I’ve featured – Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, Cheri Priest, and Mary Beth Keane – are masters in four very disparate types of writing. You don’t have to be a fan of their genres to recognize their greatness. I have been writing for more than forty years now, and compared to the mastery of these four writers I still feel like Grasshopper kneeling at the feet of Master Po.   

Sherri: I laughed when I read why you wanted to meet Gillian Flynn. “Because she has so much talent I want to be nearby when some of it spills out.  Also, because I’m the type of guy who jumps out of airplanes, rides motorcycles, and runs around the room holding scissors – I love danger.” Does your writing reflect your love of danger?

Bill: Interesting question. My line about loving danger was meant to help illustrate Flynn’s penchant for writing really dark psychological stories. I don’t think I love danger any more than the next Type A personality. But I do love adventure, which can sometimes put you in dangerous situations. My writing borrows heavily from life and death situations and brushes with mortality I’ve experienced. When I write about cannons firing in Black Hearts White Bones, I know how to describe it because I’ve lived it. I know what it feels like to hold a sword in your hand and face an opponent who is equally armed. Like some of the scenes in Aphrodite’s Whisper, I know what it’s like when an aircraft goes into freefall, and you don’t know if you will live or die. And like in both of those novels, I know what the sound of a bullet whizzing by your head actually sounds like.

Sherri: Writing is an adventure all its own, but publishing can be quite daunting. What do you wish you’d known before beginning this journey? What advice would you offer newbies getting ready to publish their first book?

Bill: God bless you, Sherri. You just introduced another three-beer conversation. Perhaps you should start a variation of the Algonquin Roundtable so we can entertain these fascinating questions at length…over adult beverages.

The answer to the first part of your question is…I wish I had understood what a crap shoot traditional publishing is. There are SO many variables and there is nothing on the novice writer’s side…unless you know somebody. Even then, you still need talent. Well, most of the time. I’ve seen some really awful stuff published over the years and I’ll never understand why such tripe gets published while other great stories don’t. One thing I’ve learned as an independent is that there are many wonderful writers out there who weren’t traditionally published. A lot of them will be at the Farmers Market authors event you are promoting.


Which leads to the second part of your question. First, read Stephen King’s A Memoir of the Craft of Writing. Skip the memoir part if you don’t care about King, but his essays on HOW to write are invaluable. There are other such books out there, but none I know of were authored by a writer as successful as King. So…

I would also suggest starting small. Try to write short stories for traditional and web-based magazines and forums. Hone your skills and create a following. This will help whether you break into traditional publishing or independent publishing. I didn’t do this. I wish I had.

Third, learn marketing and social media. These days, even traditional publishers expect authors to drive marketing. I despise this aspect of modern-day publishing, but that’s the environment we now live in. Remember, the best thing about independent publishing is that anybody can do it. And the worst thing about independent publishing is that anybody can do it. It leads to writers actually giving their books away in the hope of some day being able to sell books to loyal followers. Nobody should ask me for advice on how to do this. I suck at it. But there are many resources available, both legit and parasitical…if you know what I mean. Caveat emptor. One good place to start is Reedsy’s How to Market a Book.    

Sherri: Your stories are all in different genres, is there anything that links the stories? Do they have a similar theme or premise?

Bill: You’re the first person to ask me this question. Thank you. The answer may surprise you. The common thread between all my novels is love. Now, it’s not always evident who loves who or who loves what, but my characters and stories are driven by humanity’s most enduring emotion…love. I invite everyone to read my novels and try to identify how I’ve woven the concept of ever-lasting love into my characters and which ones, but you’ll have to buy me a beer to find out if you’re right.

Sherri: Aphrodite’s Whisper you mentioned took twenty years to come to fruition. Why such a long time? Was it based on a true story? You mention in your blog that it is similar to Cold Mountain and Legends of the Fall, these stories straddle the fence between genre fiction and literary. They focus on the character’ journey. Are all of your stories a deep dive into the character?

Bill: Well, it took five years to write Aphrodite’s Whisper because I was working and raising two boys at the time. Also, I spent about three hours conducting research for every hour or writing. And the writing was done late at night after putting the boys to bed and on weekends and holidays. I spent the next 15 years alternating between submitting to literary agents and conducting re-writes. I re-wrote the novel at least three times and I was able to connect with two agents. But we could never quite get it over the hump and picked up by a publisher. By the time I finished Black Hearts White Bones – another five-year endeavor – the evolution of independent publishing had reached the point where it made sense to skip the traditional route – especially given my age – and self-publish. After Black Hearts was published, I spent the next year re-writing AW yet again and finally published it.

Was it based on a true story? Yes and no. I actually have an Author’s Notes section at the end of AW where I discuss which aspects of the story are history and which are fiction. Unlike BHWB, the main characters in AW, are totally fictional. BHWB is based on two very real female pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read.

And yes, all my stories are, in my opinion, character driven. Despite the abundance of adventure, suspense, and mystery, the main characters in my novels reign supreme. Even Ivy Moon. Hell, especially Ivy Moon. I’d like to believe this is part of what makes my stories unique and enjoyable. The characters are three dimensional and relatable. And the stories are never exactly what the readers expect based on the genres they fall in. In short, they are unpredictable.

Sherri: As a fellow historical fiction author, I understand the work that goes into writing an accurate portrayal of both era and character. I was a bit intimidated to tackle my recent novel, The Americans are Coming and have been working on it for several years, doing research and taking classes that would help make it a better story. While all fiction requires a little research, we don’t always use everything we learn. What is the most important thing to get right when writing a historical? What is the line in the sand for you as a reader, as well as a writer?

Bill: Love, love, love this question! As with Aphrodite’s Whisper, I conducted about three hours of research for every hour spent writing Black Hearts White Bones. The amazing part is – which may scare the hell out of any budding historical fiction writers out there – I didn’t use but five or ten percent of the information in the actual stories. Dumping a bunch of mundane historical facts on readers heads is not the way to write historical fiction. Such information must be woven into the narrative in a way that the reader won’t stumble over it. As you allude to, it’s a fine line. And I think the key to finding that line is to be an avid reader. If you become adept at recognizing when the line is crossed in a book you are reading, you should be able to apply that awareness to your writing.

But aspiring historical fiction writers don’t despair! All that time conducting research isn’t wasted. While you may not use most of the knowledge you gain learning about the history of swords or the use and crafting of rush candles, all of that information will give you a better sense of time and place in which your characters exist. THIS is the difference between a good story and great writing…in my humble opinion.

Sherri: Your story, Casey and the Bear mirrors an incident in my own writing. Casey is my sister-in-law’s great-nephew. At the time he went missing, I was writing a similar scene in my third novel, Titanium Blue. I felt so guilty for writing that scene even though I’d planned it months before Casey went missing. My sis, who is one of my Beta readers was aware of it and helped me through the guilt. Like you, I believe animals, whether wild or domestic, often come to the rescue of those in need. I heard about your story shortly after Casey’s rescue, it’s nice to put a name to the story and to read it for myself. I’d love to include it in this interview with links to your website.

Bill: That is truly flattering. Yes, by all means, it was meant to be shared. Casey’s story is amazing, and I hope I did him justice. We will probably never know if he was actually befriended by a bear, but the boy he was when the incident happened believed it, and that’s good enough for me.

Sherri: If you enjoyed this interview with Bill Furney, come out to the New Bern Farmers Market, Sunday, November 20th for our Author Event.

If a girl cries of loneliness and there’s no one alive to hear…can she still survive?

I just released, Ivy Moon Last Girl on Earth.

Readers who love post-apocalypse stories will appreciate the unique perspective author W.C. Furney brings to the genre. Taking place almost entirely in Craven County, Ivy Moon – Last Girl on Earth is a Young Adult, post-apocalyptic tale of a girl’s survival and self-discovery. The story begins when the young teen who suffers a head injury emerges from a sailboat that ran aground during a hurricane. The trauma of discovering she is amnesic is soon dwarfed by the realization she is totally alone. Gradually, her expectation that people will return to the community they evacuated is replaced with the startling truth that everyone is gone. Vanished from the face of the earth. Hindered by a selective memory that affords only brief glimpses of her past, Ivy and her new friend Tonka – a West Highland White Terrier –  set off on a quest to find other people. She soon discovers that surviving a post-apocalyptic world isn’t what the adventure books and movies make it out to be.


Before agreeing to perform the audio version of Ivy Moon, voice over actress Shey Greyson (Rose Walker in Audible’s production of The Sandman) read the manuscript to determine whether she connected with the main character and the story. Her response?

 “Connect with it? I’m obsessed with it!”

A former soldier, journalist, and communication professional, William Charles Furney has tapped into a lifetime of experiences and adventures to craft riveting novels such as Black Hearts White Bones, a love, hate, revenge story about the two infamous pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read; Aphrodite’s Whisper, an epic love story reminiscent of Legends of the Fall; and now…Ivy Moon Last Girl on Earth.

After graduating high school in Virginia Beach, Va, William served in the U.S. Army as a tank commander and later attended college at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Armed with degrees in public relations and advertising he honed his skills by becoming a reporter and columnist with a small newspaper in eastern North Carolina. Afterward, he became a director of public relations for private industry and the director of communication for several government agencies. He established two public affairs offices where none previously existed; one for the State Health Director’s Office and the other in the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response – the state agency created in 2001 to oversee preparedness efforts associated with biological attacks and pandemic outbreaks. He became one of the first five people in the country to become a Certified Communicator in Public Health. 

As a public health communication expert, he coordinated or participated in the media/public information responses to health crises involving AIDS, anthrax, SARS, E-coli, Pfiesteria, Brucelosis, Legionnaires’ disease, SIDS, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Small Pox, West Nile Virus and numerous hurricanes. He also collaborated with the CDC Office of Communication on several health issues and was a certified trainer of their Emergency Risk Communication Program. He was a member and president of the National Public Health Information Coalition – twice.

Now retired from public service, William is a full-time writer and novelist.

Buy links:

Social media links


Instagram: BillFurney

Twitter: @wcfurney


Posted in contest, event, my books, News, promo

Back To School Giveaway!

Back-To-School Promotional $300 Amazon Giveaway

Need help with school supplies or just need to treat yourself? How about get an early start on Christmas shopping? Who couldn’t use a $300 Amazon eCard. I know I could with 22 grandbabies to buy for.

From August 19, 2022 to September 9, 2022 you can enter every day, and if you love to read, check out these awesome book deals.

Check out Trent’s Melody on Sale for $1.99 eBook and if you’ve already got it, why not check out these other deals. Sign up for The Kindle Book Review Giveaway. We can all use a little extra cash. Just click on the links

Happy Back-to-School! 

Posted in my books, promo

Holiday Romances for Less Than $1!

A YouTube video fiasco, a hurricane and the threat of losing her aunt’s inn leaves Maddie Henries with no choice but to trust Cole Harrell.

Cole isn’t a bad guy. He just has the misfortune of being kin to the man who her sister’s heart.

An enemies to lovers romance, this holiday story will make you believe anything is possible at Christmas.

Posted in contest, event, my books

Please Vote on All Author

Make my book cover the most voted to win #CoverOfTheMonth contest.

When her brother is killed at Pearl Harbor, nurse Lydia Davis leaves her lover, pilot/mechanic Jeremy Cross at the altar to join the Women’s Army Corp of Nurses.
Battling death and disease on the battlefields of Africa and Italy, Lydia faces many regrets but leaving Jeremy is the greatest. A holiday in England brings the two lovers together again but is it only for one night or will they risk everything to be together again?

Posted in Book Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Chrome Pink (The Leeward Files Volume 1) – Tea, But With Coffee

Book Summary She has hope tattooed on her leg but carries the scars of self-destruction deep inside her soul. Rae Lynne Grimes is a survivor. A fighter. Set in the small fictional town of Leeward, North Carolina on the inner banks of the Atlantic Ocean, this suspense thriller brings rape survivor Rae Lynne Grimes face…
— Read on

Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview, my books

K B’s Interview with Me

K.B.: Hello and welcome to Creekside Café, Sherri Hollister’s virtual café where writers connect! I’m K.B. Davenport, author of Magic in Autumn Springs and your guest interviewer this week. I’ll be chatting with Sherri about writing, life and what she has in store for us next. Hello, Sherri! Thanks for letting me interview you this week! 

Sherri: Oh wow, KB, it’s strange to be on the other side. Thank you so much for doing this. You know I love to talk about books and writing. 

K.B.: Yes, I do! I love talking with you and getting to know you better. By the way, I hear it’s your birthday soon. Happy birthday! Do you have any big plans to celebrate? What’s your idea of a good time? The older I get, the more I enjoy a nice dinner and relaxing with my partner. A little party now and again never hurts, though!

Recently celebrated 30 years!

Sherri: Well July is a big month for me. David and I will celebrate thirty years of marriage, two of my grandchildren have birthdays this month as well as my niece and myself, but I’m not planning anything other than babysitting my grand-dog. We’ll have a celebration for the fourth, my husband and oldest grandson go to summer camp and then my oldest son and his family have a trip planned, thus, I’m dog-sitting. I’m taking a couple of days off from work. I have a book to finish that I’ve gotten behind on. I am planning to visit my youngest son and his family for the day and will probably do something later with my gal pals.

K.B.: Wow, sounds like an eventful month! I love dog-sitting. Our friends have a sweet older dog we take care of sometimes when they’re out of town. With all that going on, finding time to write could be tricky! When did you first begin writing fiction? I’m reading Chrome Pink now, the first book in The Leeward Files series. I love its intensity and slick vibe. Have you always been inclined to write suspense, thrillers and romance? Are there any other genres you’d like to try your hand at? My book is about paranormal romance and fantasy, but I enjoy writing suspense, comedy, sci-fi and horror as well. 

Sherri: My first love is historical romance. I’m an arm-chair history buff. I wanted to be a female Indiana Jones, but I hate spiders. I started writing contemporary romance and it turned into suspense. I think it had to do with a lot of things that was happening in my personal life especially losing our home to fire. It kind of changed my attitude for a while. Right now, I want to write historical suspense with a touch of humor and romance. I’m working on finishing my new series, The Harrell Family Chronicles, there are 7 siblings, 2 cousins and assorted old folks, neighbors and I have an idea for a spin-off of White Gold tentatively called Cupid Zone Romances after Dana’s match-making service.

K.B.: That’s great, so much for readers to look forward to. I imagine dealing with the fire was traumatic. I find that writing serious subject matter often helps me process things when I’m going through something rough. What drew you to suspense and thrillers? I love that edge-of-your-seat feeling I get from your writing. Are you a thrill-seeker in real life, maybe a bit of a daredevil? 

Sherri: Me a thrill seeker? Ha! I’m a pansy. The most interesting thing I do is ride a motorcycle, but I don’t want to ride long distance because I have a fear of bridges. I tend to be afraid of everything, but I force myself to do it anyway. My mentor in high school, who is still a good friend, Ms. Glenoria Jennett told me I can let fear keep me from living my life, or I can use it to fuel my life. Sometimes, I think you have to push yourself to do what scares you.

K.B.: Very good advice. I’ve had my battles with fear as well. Anxiety can be killer. It’s true, though, you have to get out of your comfort zone to really find what you’re capable of. I find that’s true for writing, too. I love trying new genres and formats that I’m not used to, just to see what happens. What does your writing process look like? Do you have a space where you write at home, or do you need to be somewhere else to get work done? I’m really lucky, my desk is by a window with a view of a pond, as cliché as it sounds! The geese do get a little noisy, though. 

Sherri: I raised six sons and there was seldom ever a quiet moment. I learned to write anywhere amid most anything, but I have to admit that now that everyone is out of the house I’m getting used to the quiet. My husband has always made sure I had a designated office for my writing though I use my laptop nearly as much. I work in the backroom at work during slow times and lunch breaks. The main time I need complete focus is when I’m revising or editing. 

K.B.: Same. I need total quiet when it comes time to edit. I can usually listen to music or tune out things when I’m writing, but editing requires a different sort of focus. Is there anyone or anything specifically that got you into writing? Do you have real-life influences or favorite authors who made you want to write? We’ve talked a bit about our partners and how they help with reading and feedback. Was there anyone early on who was your cheerleader? 

Sherri: My Granddaddy Bill Joe Lupton and my father were both avid storytellers. Now, I cannot tell a story the way they did but it gave me the love. My mother was and still is an avid reader, in fact, she is one of my BETA readers. Being an only child and living in a rural community, having to entertain myself, I developed my imagination into stories. I wrote my first romance at ten years old, in red ink. I think it was like ten pages long, handwritten.

I credit Jayne Ann Krentz and my librarian best friend, Robina Norman for introducing me to her for my turn to contemporary romantic suspense. JAK writes under the name Amanda Quick as well as Jayne Ann Krentz and Jayne Castle, as Amanda Quick she writes historical Jayne Castle, sci-fi/fantasy romance. My love of her stories made me want to crossover and try contemporary.

K.B.: Those are some great influences. It’s nice to have people in your life who are storytellers and supporters. My grandmother wrote books and books of poetry, and my grandpa always had a tall tale to tell. I know you’re a fellow southerner, having lived in North Carolina and New Orleans. As an Arkansas boy, I love the beauty of the natural state, but I’ve always enjoyed visiting other places and have thought about living elsewhere. Have you ever lived outside of the south? Do you think being a southerner influences your writing? 

Sherri: I’ve lived in New Mexico but other than visit, I’ve always lived in the south. My oldest son and I had a conversation about southerners whether from the US or Europe, mothers from Southern places want to feed you and take care of you. We’ve not noted the same in northern areas, but I’ll go out on a limb and say, any country folk, feel the need to be hospitable. We learned to depend upon each other. While we might distrust strangers, we will probably still feed you. I think that innocence shows up in my writing. While I’m older, and have lived other places, I’m still a bit naïve and trusting. There is a safety about living in a small town, of course I shatter that illusion in my Leeward Files series.

K.B.: That makes a lot of sense. I used to dream about living in a big city when I was younger, but I’ve become so accustomed to a slower pace of living in a smaller place. Although I imagine city living would provide lots of fodder for writing. We’ve talked a little about writer’s block before. How do you cope with it? Do you have any strategies for getting around it, or do you have to let it run its course? 

Sherri: For me, writer’s block usually stems from one of three things: either it’s emotional or it’s fatigue or I’ve written myself into a corner. I don’t handle my emotions well. As I mentioned, I’m an only child and I didn’t develop the tools for fighting or negotiating with others like most children with siblings do. I tend to internalize everything, blame myself for everything and pull into my shell. When I finally get brave enough to talk about whatever is upsetting me, it’s a release valve and it allows me to get back to work.

The other is stretching myself too far. I put so much of my writing career on hold while raising my family and I feel like I’m in a race against time to get it all done. I want to do everything yesterday. I forget I’m human and there are only 24-hours in the day. I have to sleep, and I have a full-time job. So, learning to juggle, say no, prioritize and make myself do the grunt work, is often what gets in my way of writing more than actual writer’s block.

If it is true writer’s block, it’s because I didn’t plan well enough. I’m a pantser or a reformed pantser, I do plan a bit now. I don’t outline but I do brainstorm plot ideas, conflicts, reactions, etc. and sometimes I’m writing along, and an idea comes to me, but I didn’t plan it in advance and I’m not sure where to go with it. I need to decide if it’s worth the effort to rework the story for this new idea, plan and strategize how to make it work or ditch it and go back to the original plan. Sometimes I think I have writer’s ADHD… I’m writing along according to my plan and ooh, shiny new idea, let’s go wandering over here…

My advice is simple, get your rest, eat right, exercise, fresh air is your friend, take time to recharge your batteries with friends and family, and plan your stories even if you don’t outline, jot down a few ideas of where you want to go next and what the goal is for that scene.

K.B.: I get that. I’m always biting off more than I can chew, writing down a million different ideas so they don’t escape me. I have to make myself focus on a few projects at a time, though, or I’d never get anything done. I have something for each emotional state I find myself in, so it’s harder to come up with an excuse not to write! Do you have any triggers that bring on writer’s block? For me, it’s hard to write when I’m not feeling well. I have some physical ailments that make it difficult to focus sometimes. Also, depression and anxiety can be a struggle when I’m trying to get things done. Do you have any experience with obstacles like these? How do you manage them? 

Sherri: I struggle with depression, low self-esteem and I don’t sleep well. I have to give myself pep talks. I try to turn the channels in my brain. Rest, exercise and doing something to recharge your mind and body helps. Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to take a break.

K.B.: I totally agree. Know your limits and work with them. There’s a big difference between pushing your comfort zone and knowing your triggers. Do you have any advice for those who struggle with depression or anxiety? I’m a big proponent of communication and making therapy more available and affordable. I also find it’s helpful to know others are fighting the same battles. Having a space where you can be part of a conversation or at least finding representation of what you’re going through is so important, too, I think. 

Sherri: A friend and I have been talking about starting a Facebook page that’s exclusive but inclusive, where people can talk about anything. We’ve had several overdoses and suicides in our community over the past couple of years and feel we need to do something to let people know we’re here. My only fear is neither of us is a professional therapist and before we start, I’d really like to have someone who is on call for anyone who needs more than just someone to talk to.

I am blessed that I can talk to my mom, my husband and friends about my problems. I know part of what I’m going through is hormonal. I’m a woman of a certain age and I’m not sure if men go through this but women seesaw emotionally at various ages and then we level off again. I’m hoping to level off soon.

For those who don’t have close friends to talk to and a therapist isn’t available I write letters, poems, rants, whatever you want to call it, that I never send. It’s a way to unburden myself of what is hurting me. I just ramble on through the pain getting it out and then I’m able to breathe again.

I have also found that dealing with my pain through fiction helps. In each of my stories there is a little piece of my own emotion hidden there. While I may not have experienced the exact same pain my character are going through, the similarities allow me to get those emotions out and possibly kill off the person who hurt me. Maybe not the healthiest therapy but then again, I’m not committing real murder so there is that.

K.B.: Writing is some of the best therapy I’ve had, honestly. It’s cathartic to write out your frustrations and see a different outcome. Do you have advice for up-and-coming writers, especially those who are self-publishing for the first time? As a recently self-published author, I know how rocky it can be trying to navigate these waters. I found the writing community on Twitter to be a huge boon. Do you think it’s important for a self-published author to be good at marketing and promotion as well? 

Sherri: I’m a shoe-string budget author. I published and promoted my first book with only $500 to start with. I believe learning everything about the craft and business of writing makes us better. While we can’t be good at everything, as small business owners and as indie authors, that’s what we are, we need to learn as much as we can. No one, even if they are traditionally published is going to do the marketing for you. Even the big publishing houses expect their authors to do much of their own marketing, of course the better you sell books the more money and resources they’ll give you.

For those of us who are doing it on our own, I have found talking to other authors, joining author and writing groups, being involved on social media, all of these things help get the word out about your books.

If you are part of a group and you’re good at graphics or interviewing, or writing blurbs, and someone else is great at cover design or something else you are not, offer your services for theirs. Doing these interviews with other authors allows me to reach other audiences because you are going to share with your friends and maybe they’ll start following me and decide to check out my books. The same with my friends and you.

We can’t expect to know everything coming into this business. I took so many classes on marketing and promoting but it wasn’t until I was in the middle of things that I started seeing what worked for me and what didn’t. Mostly, it’s trial and error, a lot of error. My first advice is to document what ads you do and how many sales you had afterwards. Make a file for what to do again and what not to do.

K.B.: Great advice! Making connections is so important. Networking has always been hard for me, but it’s so nice to find groups and fellow writers who are supportive. What can we look forward to seeing from you next? Are there more plans for The Leeward Files? Are there any upcoming events you’d like to promote?

Anyone wishing to be part of my ARC Team, just message me!

Sherri: I’m finishing up Willow’s Secrets and hope to have it out soon. I’ll be following it up with Trent and Cole’s stories from the Harrell Family Chronicles and I hope to redo a World War 2 Christmas novella and expand it to a full-length novel in time for the holidays. I am also doing research for a historical series I’ve been planning for years that I can’t wait to get started writing. 

K.B.: Can’t wait! Thanks again, Sherri, for letting me interview you this week on Creekside Café! If you enjoyed this conversation, check out our chat about partners, cooking, travel and more in our first interview which we’ll link below. Also, check out Sherri’s interview with Damian and Marble, characters from my book! It was a pleasure getting to know you even better and getting a glimpse into your life and your writing, Sherri. I look forward to chatting again soon!

Posted in my books, promo

Christmas party in July

Evergreen Crystals was supposed to be my first true romance but as I was writing it I just got stuck.

After attending a writers’ retreat weekend with my friend Adrienne Dunning, she made me realize that what I enjoyed writing was suspense thrillers with romantic elements.

That night I started rewriting Evergreen Crystals and it became more than I expected it to be.

I hope you enjoy this holiday romance with its festive lights and wedding preparations.

Holidays, weddings and babies are wonderful until someone ends up dead.

Who will be accused of murder and will Rae and Logan make it to the church on time without handcuffs or explosions?

Check out Evergreen Crystals