Kathy: It is my extreme pleasure to welcome, Sherryl Woods, one of my favorite all time authors to Book Reviews & More by Kathy today. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few
nosy probing questions for me and my readers.
How did you begin your writing career?
Ms. Woods: As a long-time journalist, I had always vowed I’d leave my job if I ever got to the point that all I did was complain about it. On my way home from work one day I realized I’d hit that point. The next day I quit my newspaper job and started trying to write a book! Thank goodness, it worked. A few months later I sold that first book and I’ve never looked back.
Kathy: Where do you get the inspiration for your novels? Just your imagination? Real life events? Both?
Ms. Woods: Everywhere I turn, there are people or events that trigger book ideas for me. I think it’s all those years of journalism that taught me to look for stories. To this day, if a fire engine goes roaring by, I’m tempted to chase after it to see what’s going on. Some people call that being nosy. I call it ingrained curiosity and research!
Kathy: Do you see any of yourself reflected in the heroines of your novels?
Ms. Woods: Absolutely! Most of my heroines share my slightly dry, jaded sense of humor and my insecurities. Every now and again my editor will tell me my heroine would never do this or that because she’s too smart or wise or mature. Most of the time it’s something I’ve done myself fairly recently, so either I’m very dumb or she’s wrong about the things smart women will do in the name of love!
Kathy: What types of books do you read? Do your choices as a reader influence the type of books you write?
Ms. Woods: No question about it. I don’t think I could write books that were dissimilar to those I love to read. I want to read about strong women who live in the real world, who overcome obstacles and thrive. I love communities in which people are good friends and genuinely care about each other. These days we’re blessed to have lots of authors writing books in that vein — Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr, Susan Wiggs, Carla Neggers, Hope Ramsey, and Emily March, to name just a few.
Kathy: Several of your novels are part of series or trilogies (much to my delight). Are the series or trilogies planned in advance? Or do you find some of the characters “demand” their own story?
Ms. Woods: I tend to plan in sets of three, because most often that’s how the books have been published. Way back when I was writing for Silhouette Special Edition, three started turning into six or even more as, just as you suggested, some characters demanded their own stories…or readers asked for them. The biggest problem I have is that I’m very much a right-brain writer. I don’t make character lists or charts or timelines. Avid readers of my books are constantly calling me on my mental glitches. I’ve even been known to change the name of some minor character between books or to not name a new baby at all. It’s embarrassing. I have vowed to do better. Then again, I think my readers love bringing these lapses to my attention. I should probably do contests and turn it into a game to see who can find my mistakes first!
Kathy: As a reader, I sometimes find there are some characters that I just don’t want to say goodbye to. As an author, have you found it difficult to leave a character behind when you have finished writing their story?
Ms. Woods: That’s the joy of writing series like the Sweet Magnolias and Chesapeake Shores. I never have to say goodbye. I did wrap up the And Baby Makes Three series after more than a dozen books because Grandpa Harlan was getting really old and I flatly refused to ever let him die.
Kathy: What is the typical day for author Sherryl Woods? Do you write every day? How long does it take for you to complete a novel?
Ms. Woods: My days are pretty predictable. When I’m in Florida, I hit Starbucks for my iced mocha and am at my computer by 7:30. I write until I hit my page count for the day and hopefully add a few more. My afternoons are spent doing other book-related things, from answering fan emails to writing guest blogs. The only change in Virginia is that the nearest Starbucks is 45 miles away, so I’m not caffeine-fortified when I start to write. If you add in revisions and all the editing, each book takes three months or so. The initial writing time from page one to the end is slightly less than that.
Kathy: Can you tell us a little about the novels in the Ocean Breeze series?
Ms. Woods: Once again I’m writing about a complex family, this time in the setting of a North Carolina coastal community. Each of the three Castle sisters — Emily, Gabriella and Samantha — is facing a crisis in terms of balancing a career and a personal life. I think this is a struggle lots of women face today, how to have it all or deciding if they even want it all! Sand Castle Bay introduces the family and is in stores now. Wind Chime Point follows on April 30 and the series wraps up with Sea Glass Island on May 28. Hopefully readers will find these to be the perfect summer beach reads.
Kathy: What projects are you currently working on? What can readers look forward to in the upcoming year from you?
Ms. Woods: There will be two reissues out this fall — Temptation in September and Twilight in October. And, thanks to reader demand, there will be another Chesapeake Shores novel — A Seaside Christmas — out in October, and the reissue of Seaview Inn in January, followed by its brand new sequel, Home to Seaview Key in February. And I’m starting to write a new Sweet Magnolias book for August 2014 and another Chesapeake Shores Christmas book for fall 2014! Can you see why my computer and I are rarely apart?
Kathy: I have thoroughly enjoyed chatting with you today. Is there anything else you would like to share with us before you go?
Ms. Woods: Be sure to stop by my website, www.sherrylwoods.com, to keep up with my latest releases, look for each month’s contest, find a checklist that groups all of my books by series AND find a link to my Facebook fan page!
Thanks so much for letting me visit, Kathy.
Kathy: Ms. Woods, congratulations on the new series and thank you so much for chatting with us today. Feel free to drop by anytime you happen to be in the neighborhood.
Title: Sand Castle Bay by Sherryl Woods
Ocean Breeze Series Book One
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
In a trade-off she’s lived to regret, Emily Castle left home years ago to become an interior designer. The youngest of three sisters, Emily desperately wanted to prove herself. Success, though, came at the cost of leaving behind the man she loved.
For Boone Dorsett, losing Emily left his heart shattered, but another woman was waiting in the wings. Now a widower with a young son, Boone has a second chance with Emily when a storm brings her home. But with his former in-laws threatening a custody suit, the stakes of loving her are higher than ever.
Will fate once again separate them—or is the time finally right for these two star-crossed lovers?
Read my review of Sand Castle Bay HERE.
Title: Wind Chime Point by Sherryl Woods
Ocean Breeze Series Book Two
Imprint: Harlequin MIRA
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 400 pages
When life gets complicated, New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods proves family—and love—can make all the difference
Facing a personal crisis, ambitious and driven Gabriella Castle retreats to the welcoming arms of her family. Everything she’s worked for has been yanked out from under her, and she seeks the serenity of her grandmother’s home on the North Carolina coast. With difficult decisions to make about her future, the last thing she wants is an unexpected love.
Wade Johnson fell for Gabi the first time he saw her. It’s not the only time he’s found himself in the role of knight in shining armor, but Gabi isn’t looking for a rescuer. To get her to stay, Wade will need a whole lot of patience and gentle persuasion…and maybe the soothing sound of wind chimes on a summer breeze.
Read my review of Wind Chime Point HERE.
Title: Sea Glass Island by Sherry Woods
Ocean Breeze Series Book Three
Imprint: Harlequin Mira
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Under summer skies, New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods evokes family, friendship and heartfelt emotion.
With her two younger sisters heading for the altar, will Samantha Castle exchange old dreams for new ones? Lately she’d rather be on the North Carolina coast with family than in New York with agents and actors. Though she vows not to let her teenage crush on Ethan Cole influence her decision, it’s hard to ignore her feelings for the local war hero.
Ethan lost more than his leg in Afghanistan. He lost his belief in love. Even being surrounded by couples intent on capturing happily-ever-after won’t open this jaded doctor’s heart. It’s going to take a sexy, determined woman—one who won’t take no for an answer.
Available for purchase May 28th.
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