Sherri is the author of To Dance Once More (OakTara) and Song of the Meadowlark (OakTara) and is a columnist for Habits for a Happy Home and Choose NOW Ministries.
Please tell the readers about your novel
Song of the Meadowlark is a Contemporary Inspirational Romance full of hope, forgiveness, and second chances at life and love set in South Georgia on a ranch with an ornery cowboy.
Here is Song of the Meadowlark’s synopsis: When trusting others only leads to pain and rejection, and loving ends only in loss, what will it take to restore hope again? Shunned by the uncovered truth about her missing husband’s secret life, Cora Buchanan sets out on a road trip for home to mend her broken relationship with her parents. When her car breaks down, she’s stranded in a small Georgia town. While staying at the struggling Southern Hope Ranch, she meets little Susie O’Reilly, who unexpectedly fills a void in Cora’s heart. But Rex, Susie’s rugged cowboy father who lost his wife a year earlier, seems to go out of his way to either confront or avoid Cora. It doesn’t help her comfort level that the news continues to report missing and murdered women in the area. Cora has no idea just how close to home the crimes will hit…or how much the sweet sound of the meadowlark’s song at the ranch will impact her future.
Sneak peek at the first chapter!
Who or what was your inspiration behind the story.
I had always wanted to write a cowboy story but wasn’t sure I could do it because I’m afraid of horses. I thought it might be kind of foreign to me and that my readers would pick up on it. But after I finished To Dance Once More, Song of the Meadowlark kept knocking at my mind’s door. I wrote this book with the theme of forgiveness and starting over because those are two topics I know all too well. The story deals with
characters who have lost loved ones and who have had to learn to grieve and move
on. I’ve lost both my parents and I suppose the emotions of the characters
flowed naturally out of my experiences. Maybe I wrote it as a personal way of
dealing with the losses and healing from them.
How did you decide on the setting? Did you need to do research?
I originally set Song of the Meadowlark in Wyoming because that’s where I thought all cowboy books had to be set. But it didn’t flow well because I’ve never been out west. I don't know the plants or the smells or the weather. I changed the setting to South Georgia and the rest is history. I did do quite a bit of research on ranches and horses, cowboy attire, etc.
How long did it take to write the book, including preliminary work?
I started this book in 1997 if my memory serves me correctly. It was not published until 2012. Yes, it took that many years to get it right. Of course, many of those years were spent querying publishers, taking courses, learning the craft, improving the manuscript and my proposal technique before publication happened.
I can certainly relate to the wait. It does take a while to learn the craft of writing and to get a publisher to take notice. You certainly persevered. I know the readers are glad!
Is there anything else you'd like to share with the readers about your books, or you personally?
I've been married for twenty-five years. In those twenty-five years, we’ve seen many friends experience failed marriages due to infidelity. We have two children who we raised to value their purity and to save it for the spouse God has for them. And more recently I’ve become aware of the sex trafficking industry that plagues our world. These young people are trapped and do not have a choice in keeping their purity. All of these things combined, plus knowing the Lord commands us to value our purity and to stay faithful to the one we marry, makes me passionate about doing whatever I can do to help others see the value in having sexual integrity whether they are single or married. Right now, writing Christian Romance and blogging on marriage is one way I accomplish that mission.
What genre is you favorite to write and why?
I love to write Romance! Both Historical and Contemporary. I love to make people feel “googly” inside. I think it’s awesome to be able to slip away in your mind for a bit and escape from one’s daily life. I write inspirational romance specifically because I want people to know the message God has placed on my heart.
Did you start out with a different plot or did the story stay the same the whole time you were creating it?
Song of the Meadowlark changed drastically as I was writing it. It did not start out with any suspense in it at all. After I finished the initial story, I knew it lacked what it takes to keep a reader intrigued. So I wrote and rewrote until the plot thickened and I arrived at what is now published. One of the scenes in it actually originally came from a different manuscript, one that is still unpublished.
I'm sure many readers are interested in learning more about you. Do you have a homepage where they can do so?
Thanks Sherri for being on my blog this week and sharing the first chapter of your novel with us.