Sunday, October 12, 2008

Interview with Author Sherryle K. Jackson

Today, I'm featuring author, Sherryle Jackson. Sherryle and I are also label-mates on Urban Christian Books.

Welcome to Urban Christian Fiction, Sherryle. Please tell us about your debut novel,
Soon and Very Soon:
Soon and Very Soon is a book about Willie Green, the strait-laced Pastor of the traditional Harvest Baptist Church who marries Vanessa Morton, the dynamo preacher-pastor of the contemporary Mt. Pleasant. The nuptials are followed by a decision to join their churches. All hell breaks loose as a group of dissenters emerge led by the staunch Deacon Charley Thompson who goes to extreme lengths to keep their religious routine going.
If you are a part of a church you’ll identify with these characters. Soon and Very Soon reveals some truths about traditional and contemporary Baptist churches, the motives behind what people pray for, and the way people fall in love.

What does your tagline “Soon is not just a promised destination, but a journey” mean?
I played off the word soon with my title. When we receive a glimpse of the vision God has planned for our life we often feel we have already arrived. I wanted to show that most of the times it is just beginning. We must continue to be faithful and work to make the dream a reality.

I agree one hundred percent about faith and works. Tell us about your journey to publication. In the late nineties, I penned Soon and Very Soon and at that time had little success shopping it to literary agents who were reluctant to take on a Christian fiction title. I signed a book deal with a Christian imprint of a major publishing house which held my book up for three years then went sour. This taught me valuable lessons about the publishing industry. I remained prayerful and devoted to improving my craft. As God would have it my friend would attend the Hurston/ Wright literary conference in D.C. and hear about a new Christian imprint. She talked about my novel and information was exchanged for submission to Urban Christian.

What’s been the most memorable experience you’ve had since being published?
Besides being a big fan of many authors and getting to meet many of them at various literary events where I am considered a peer, I felt especially proud when I spoke at Career Day at a local Elementary. I shared my writing process. Two weeks later I received a packet of letters from students telling them thank you. The teachers thanked me also for reinforcing to their students the necessity of revising and rewriting.

What do you wish you’d known as an author, before your book was released?
I wish I knew the cost associated with marketing and promoting. I mean, I think authors should take a business class in marketing to package and promote their intellectual property whether they are with a mainstream publisher or not.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? It is important to learn your craft. I believe in the principles of The Artist Way by Julia Cameron. I try to take artist’s date to appreciate other art and just creation muse off that. You’ve got to write even if you’re not working on a project. Write for the love of it even if it doesn’t get published. Blogging is great for that.

Sherryle got personal with me and shared the answers to the following questions:

What is your favorite color? Royal blue
What is your favorite movie? Love and Basketball and Good Will Hunting
What’s your dream vacation location? Belize or Cayman Islands
If you could spend an hour with one person (living or deceased) who would it be and why? It would be my grandmothers on both my mother and father’s side. I got so little time with one and never got to meet the other. I’m sure I could pull extraordinary wisdom from the both of them.
If you were stranded on a desert island with one fiction book, which one would you want it to be? I would say The Manual, my next release on Urban Christian. It was a book that I had to cut by 40,000 words. The characters are so authentic they still haunt me (in a good way). It was hard to let them go.

What’s next for Sherryle Jackson?
I will be releasing a second novel, The Manual in October 2009. I will be finishing a sequel to my first novel, Soon and Very Soon called Soon After.

How can readers contact you? They can visit me on the web at or

Great interview. Thanks for stopping by, Sherryle. Sherryle's book, Soon and Very Soon is a available at, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

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