Describe yourself for our visitors.
I consider myself a very spiritual person who values having an intimate relationship with God. I also am a very creative person. I love to write books, songs, anything creative. The creative process really makes me feel alive.
How do you find time to connect with God?
I MAKE time every morning to connect with God. I literally fall out of bed and into my prayer room. Then I stay connected to Him all day long. I talk to Him while cooking, cleaning, driving, everything. He’s my absolute best friend. If I miss a day without seriously connecting with Him, I’m off. After a few days of missing Him, I’m not fit to be around other people and can’t even stand myself, so I make intimate time with Him my life’s top priority.
Do you have a favorite bible verse and or quote you wish to share?
I have a lot of favorite Bible verses, so I’ll share two that are the focus of my recent release, Selling My Soul. Genesis 50:20 says, But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Romans 8:28 says, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. These are two great lessons I’ve learned in life. No matter how bad things get or what happens, God rules and is completely in control. It gives me great strength to know that no matter what I’m faced with, God can make it work out for good. The main character in Selling My Soul experiences this truth and her relationship with God is greatly strengthened by it.
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
I’ve been on this huge spiritual growth journey over the past few years so I’ve been reading a lot of spiritual non-fiction. My favorite author in that genre is Bill Johnson. I love all his books but my favorite is When Heaven Invades Earth. It’s a must read for every person trying to live a REAL Christian life. I also enjoy Heidi Baker and her books about life as a missionary in Africa and all the great miracles she experiences on a daily basis. In fiction, my favorites are Victoria Christopher Murray, Pearl Cleage, J. California Cooper, Tiffany Warren, and my new favorite, Rhonda McKnight.
Tell us about your journey to publication.
It was a long road and I honestly almost gave up. I finished writing my first novel, Dance Into Destiny in 2001. I finished writing the second one, My Soul Cries Out (which was actually published first) in 2002. I kept submitting the manuscripts over and over for four years straight without any doors opening. My books dealt with real life issues that didn’t necessarily fit into many of the normal Christian fiction publishing houses and I was too stubborn to change them to make them more palatable. I had just told my writing group that I was giving up and that maybe God hadn’t called me to write after all when I was informed of a new publishing company that was being launched that would publish edgy Christian fiction. My Soul Cries Out was finally picked up by Urban Christian in 2006 and released in 2007.
Tell us about your current book.
Selling My Soul is the story of Trina Michaels, who when she returns from her two-year mission trip in Mozambique, 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 dreams of returning to her beloved village are short-lived. Trina soon learns that her mother has been diagnosed with cancer and the cost of treatment is expensive. She’s forced to return to her career in public relations and is assigned a damage control client – the bishop of a mega-church where an associate pastor and deacon were accused of sexually abusing young boys. One of the young boys has grown up to become her best friend’s husband and a popular gospel recording artist. Representing Bishop Walker could cost Trina her most valued friendship, her reputation, and a future with her new love. As she plows deeper into the scandal and the bishop blackmails her to cover the church’s secrets and lies, Trina realizes it could cost her soul.
How did you come up with ideas for this book?
Selling My Soul is actually the sequel to my debut novel. Everyone that read My Soul Cries Out – whether by email, phone call or comment in my address book – demanded that I write a sequel. After dealing with such a difficult, painful, taboo issue in the prequel, I had no intention of dealing with the characters or the issue anymore. But everyone had unanswered questions they wanted me to answer. So this book was pretty much written by my readers. They listed particular issues that they wanted dealt with and so I made sure they would all be in the book. Then I sat down with my writing partners and we hashed out a plot and the first
Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?
I really enjoyed writing Trina’s mother’s character. She’s feisty and hilarious and deals with her impending death with great strength. I also love the male character, Gabe. I love writing strong Godly men in my book and think it’s important to portray black men in a positive light to counteract the way they’re often portrayed in the media. And of course I loved Trina and her strength, faith, and tenacity in dealing with all the drama that I threw at her in this story.
What’s next for you?
I’m about to go on the adventure of my life. I had always had a desire to go to Africa as a missionary. Even though I had never set foot on the continent when I wrote Selling My Soul, I had heard stories from missionary friends and read books by my missionary heroes about it. In July of last year, I had the opportunity to visit West Africa. Strangely enough, a young woman from Cameroon had read Dance Into Destiny and said the youth group in my book reminded her of her youth group in Cameroon. We chatted online for months and I was invited to come preach at a retreat for them. I fell in love with the people and the country and returned in November of 2009. I will go to Nigeria for a preaching tour in July and then will return to Cameroon in September to start a school of ministry. It’s definitely a dream come true.
Where can visitors find you online?
My website is www.sherrilewis.com. I blog at www.sherrilewisbookclub.blogspot.com. I can also be found on Facebook as Sherri Lewis.