Sherri Lewis’ writing was put on hold while she attended Howard University as an undergraduate, then medical school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. After working almost fifteen years in the medical field, Sherri left her position as a staff physician at a Georgia Department of Corrections’ Women’s prison to pursue writing and ministry full time.
Sherri is co-founder of the Faith-Based Black Fiction Writers of Atlanta with Essence Best-Selling author Tia McCollors. Selling My Soul is the anticipated sequel to Sherri’s debut novel, My Soul Cries Out. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Visit Sherri online at www.sherrilewis.com.
My Soul Cries Out, Dance Into Destiny, The List, and Selling My Soul.
Which book did you find the hardest to birth?
I would have to say that My Soul Cries Out was the hardest to birth. It deals with the controversial issue of homosexuality in the church. It was scary to deal with such a taboo issue and I anticipated all sorts of hate mail after its release. It was also difficult to write because I had to face my own personal prejudices to find the heart of God to be able to write the book.
Which book is your current favorite?
I love all my books because they’re like my children and it’s hard to say I like one more than another. The one that was the most fun to write was The List. It deals with successful single women trying to find their soul mate and is pure comedy mixed with some good teaching on love, life, and relationships.
How would you describe your writing style?
I write edgy Christian women’s fiction that deals with real issues and goes deep into the heart of the characters. It’s not preachy or churchy but displays life lived in intimate relationship with God. I hope that my writing challenges my readers to look at their own lives, their faith, their relationship and intimacy with God and whether they’re living their God ordained purpose and destiny.
Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind?
I almost always listen to music while I write. I usually listen to instrumental jazz or neo-soul music because it creates the perfect atmosphere for creative release. I can’t really listen to gospel music while I write because I get distracted by listening to the lyrics.
Tell us anything about you as a writer that you think might be interesting or unusual.
I look like a CRAZY person while I’m writing. I could get locked up if I’m writing at one of my favorite coffee shops. I have my iPod blaring and I’m either talking out loud to the characters in my head, staring at the computer screen with my squinted eyes or I’m reading out loud to hear how the story is flowing. I really connect with my characters and let them tell their own story.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Study the craft. Anyone can tell a story, but it’s those that study the art of writing that can tell a story well. Read every book you can get your hand on about voice, plot, self-editing, characterization, point of view, etc. – all things that will help you tell a story well. Also, if you’re approaching an author for advice, make sure you’ve done some research on your own first. It proves that you’re serious about what you’re doing and makes us more likely to help you. General questions like “how do I get published” or “what advice can you give me about writing” are too hard to answer in an email. Ask a specific question that shows that you’ve done some work. AND, if you go to an author’s book signing or vending table at an event, if you want to ask a million questions and get their advice about writing, at LEAST buy a book to show your support.
Writers are often encouraged to write what they know. Have you found that to be the case with your writing? Absolutely. Writing my first three books was like therapy for me. Dance Into Destiny dealt with my own struggle to live a life of purpose and destiny and to pursue my dreams rather than my parents’. My Soul Cries Out was my experience with divorce as a Christian woman. I didn’t deal with homosexuality in my marriage, but the pain of betrayal is the same in any situation. The List was my life as a Christian single on the dating scene and showed how hilarious and painful that can be. Selling My Soul has now become my story. The book is about a woman returning from a missionary trip in Africa. When I wrote it, I had never set foot on African soil. Since I wrote it, I’ve been to West Africa twice and will be leaving again in a few months. To write the book, I did research by talking to missionary friends and reading books about missions. It’s scary how I wrote the book and then lived the experience, feeling a lot of the same things as the main character.
About the Book
When Trina Michaels steps off the plane after her two-year missions trip in Africa, she realizes that other than longing to see her mother and her best friend, her heart aches to fly back to the place that now feels more like home than anywhere she’s… ever lived. And to the man who’s stolen her heart.
Her dream of a quick return to Mozambique fades within hours when Trina discovers that her mother has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Trina is forced to go back to her job as a publicist to cover her mother’s health costs.
She’s assigned a damage control client, Bishop Walker, a megachurch pastor accused of covering up a church sex scandal within his church involving the molestation of young boys. Representing him could cost Trina her most valued friendship, the love of her life, and her soul.
View the blog tour schedule and read an excerpt at http://bit.ly/SellingMySoulBlogTour