Monday, September 06, 2010
Soon After Blog Tour - Day One
Sherryle, list your published books.
• Soon and Very Soon (2007)
• The Manual (2009)
• Soon After (2010)
Which book did you find the hardest to birth? I would say that Soon and Very Soon was hardest only because it was my first. Soon and Very Soon had been over ten years in the making. The actual writing of this manuscript took no more than 2 years. At that time I had a skeleton of what the book is now and was naïve enough to think it was ready for publication when I began shopping around to Literary Agents. I was blessed to receive some of the best rejection letters. I say that because most were encouraging and offered insight which is rare for an agent inundated with manuscripts not to just send a form-letter and be done with it. I was picked up and signed a contract with a major publishing house. That deal went sour and held up my book for two years (2003-2005), but the Lord sent me to Urban Christian where I signed a two-book contract.
Which book is your current favorite? It’s hard to choose. I love them both for different reasons. The Manual, my poor step child of a novel is dear to me because it has a teenager which is an amalgamation of kids that I teach in the middle school.
How would you describe your writing style? My writing is mostly character driven. Once I understand the characters, it makes way for the themes and plot I want to create for them.
Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind? I listen to all kinds of music, basically to drown out the background noise. It is amazing then I begin to pull songs into a playlist that embody the themes or a particular character’s emotion. It’s like a soundtrack.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Write everyday and collect seeds from what you have written. Sometimes when you can’t get to the computer, meditating on a character or scene is still the process of writing.
Writers are often encouraged to write what they know. Have you found that to be the case with your writing? Most of my books are semi-autobiographical. The Lord manages to take me through the phases of my book. In Soon and Very Soon the female pastor, Vanessa was single and then married. It was symbolic to the marriage between my passion and my faith.
In The Manual, I write from three of my character’s point of view. The voice that was speaking to me the loudest was that of the fourteen year old son. He was having trouble in school. As a teacher I got to ascend my soapbox to write about issues such as the lack of Art Education and the disproportion of African American males in Special Education.
In Soon After, I wanted to explore the notion that some churches, ‘preach to the choir.’ I thought about churches that I would see that flourish and develop in a declining community. When looking to expand, my pastor decided to revitalize in an area that was declining, but he didn’t stop there. We, as a church, empowered the community around us and invited them in through various evangelism efforts. I have always felt a weight to demystify the church for that unchurched generation. I gave them a peek inside a ministry couple’s home in Soon and Very Soon. In Soon After I let them take a peek inside a ministry by literally burning the walls down.
The Ministry birthed by one will be exploited by another. Can Willie Green stand idly by and let that happen?
When Pastors Willie Green and Vanessa Morton got married and moved to merge their churches, they never expected so much resistance. Now it seems someone is sending a strong message by setting fire to the Harvest Baptist Church building.
The newly unified Pleasant Harvest Baptist Church is no more than four months into business as usual before Co-Pastor Willie Green is drawn into the middle of an arson investigation. Alexis Montgomery, an overzealous reporter, sees the experienced pastor as a great source to latch onto as she tries to unearth the stories that might solve the crime. Instead of being bothered by the presence of this woman, Co-Pastor Vanessa uses it as a distraction to help conceal her own secrets.
Orchestrating the unification rift makes Deacon Charley Thompson a prime suspect. His unexpected silence only fuels the accusations of guilt, and his meek wife becomes his unlikely spokesperson. Meanwhile, his nephew, Abe Townsend, couldn’t care less about family allegiances. Led by an anonymous publicist, Abe and the remaining displaced members of Harvest Baptist Church gain notoriety when news reports garner an outcry of sympathy and support.
What should have been a simple unification of two churches has turned into something much more complicated, and it will take plenty of faith to hold it all.
PODCAST 1 - About the Book
PODCAST 2 - For Readers
PODCAST 3 - Excerpt
Purchase the Book Online at:
• Amazon , BarnesandNoble , Borders , Books A Million , Indiebound
For More Information:
• Visit the author online at http://www.sherrylejackson.com/
• View the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/SoonAfterTour.