INTERVIEW | Sherryle Jackson

Sherryle, describe yourself for our visitors.

I am an educator by profession, writer by passion. I am a wife and mother of two children. My novels reflect an honest commentary about life with Christ. I describe my novels as too real to be preachy, Biblically based, and out-the-Christian-box. A self taught quilter, Sherryle has begun a black memorabilia collection called Church Lady Ways to preserve the graceful elegance of her nine aunts and their churching traditions. Sherryle is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and the United Black Writers of Prince Georges County.

How do you find time to connect with God?

I connect with God through my writing. Every ood and perfect gift comes from God. Writing forces me to seek his face and study more. I constantly ask God through the aide of the Holy Spirit to meet me in that fertile place to help cultivate the gifts he has given me.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

I love Ernest Gaines honest and straight-forward narrative. I love Pearl Cleage and Terri McMillian I read different genres, but nothing sent a lightning bolt through me until I read Victoria Christopher Murray’s book Temptation. Before then I didn’t see many books written about Christians in such a realistic way. I knew then that those were the types of books I wanted to write.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

I started my writing career as a poet. I penned Soon and Very Soon in the late 90’s and had little success shopping it to literary agents who were reluctant to take on a Christian fiction title. A previous book deal with a Christian imprint of a major publishing house held my book up for three years and went sour. This taught me valuable lessons about the publishing industry: to hone your craft and really know your market. She remained prayerful and devoted to improving her craft and in 2006 signed a two-book contract with Urban Christian.

Tell us about your current book?

Soon and Very Soon is about two pastors that marry and decide to combine their churches. Soon is not just a promised destiny, it’s a journey. That is what my main characters, Pastors Willie and Vanessa Green, have to learn. Willie is the Pastor of the small, traditional, Harvest Baptist Church where the members are all best friends and the church is their social club. Vanessa is the Pastor of Mt. Pleasant, the contemporary Baptist church where weekly scriptural prescriptions and reality checks are on the order of service. This book is a twist on the classic love story that has this easy-going preacher and no-nonsense Divinity Diva meet and marry all inside of year.

When the honeymoon is over they have their congregations to contend with as they start the unification process. Then all hell breaks loose. I invite everyone to come along for the ride as religious routines, traditions and the Building fund are all broken. This book reveals some truths about traditional and contemporary Baptist Churches, the roles of men and women in that setting, and the way people fall in love. Soon and Very Soon is sold at books stores nationwide, online and through Black Expressions book club.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

Readers always ask me what made me write this story. Well, I wanted to write a church story without it being stuffy. De-mystify the church for those who have preconceived notions of what goes on there. I also wanted to merge the old churches that were more closely knit to those with a more contemporary feel. It really is a marriage of my passion and my faith

List your most recent books.

Soon and Very Soon is my debut novel. My second novel, The Manual will be out in October 2009.

What’s next for you?

I will be promoting my novel through conventions and conferences such as The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Author’s pavilion, Baltimore Book Fest and Capitol Book Fest as well as online. I am also writing the sequel to Soon and Very Soon.

Where can visitors find you online?

  • www.christianchronicles.wetpaint.com
  • www.myspace.com/sherrylejackson
  • www.everywheregospel.ning.com
  • My email is sherrylek@aol.com