INTERVIEW | Sherryle Jackson

INTERVIEW | Sherryle Jackson

Sherryle, describe yourself for our visitors.

I am a wife, mother of two, teacher and storyteller. I am an old soul that loves connections to the past, but still look forward to where God is taking me and my
family.

How do you find time to connect with God?

I connect with God through daily prayer and gratitude. The best way I connect
to God is through my writing. I surrender the flow and content to His will, and I
commune while writing. Some people say that their writing is a ministry, but I say
my writing ministers to me.

Do you have a favorite bible verse and or quote you wish to share?

Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the thoughts that I have toward you, saith the
Lord, thought of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Talking about
your blessed assurance, that verse lets me know that although it may seem dark and
dreary he has a plan to prosper me. His thought toward me are positive and loving.
That is awesome!

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

I love Ernest Gaines and Pearl Cleage. They are expert storytellers whose style is simplistic and clean. Now for action, I got to read Eric Jerome Dickey. His Gideon series – hot, it’s just pure adrenaline. I credit Victoria Christopher Murray with helping me define which genre I wanted to write for. Her stories are edifying entertainment without being preachy.

Tell us about your journey to publication..

I wrote Soon and Very Soon in and around 1998. I know this because I have
rejection letters from that time. Those rejection letters had some of the same
critiques that Gospel fiction as they called it didn’t really have a market or they
(the publishing house and literary agents) didn’t know how to market it. At that
time the book was a 120 page shell of what it is know. The fact that they thought
the storyline was promising gave me hope. When I read Victoria Christopher
Murray’s book, Temptation, I knew my book and books like mine had a place in
the marketplace.

I joined a writer’s group and fleshed out a storyline and breathed
life into what is now my debut novel. I got signed for a book deal with a major
publishing house that in 2003 that held my book up for 2 years than dropped it from
their roster. I was devastated, but became hopeful in the fact that if I could interest
one publisher than I could surely interest another. Virtually by word of mouth
networking at a Hurston/ Wright book conference, my friend talked about my story
line with someone who knew of a new Christian imprint. Long story short,my novel
got into the hands of my now Executive Editor and I was signed to a two book deal
with Urban Christian.

Tell us about your current book.

Soon After picks up where my debut novel, Soon and Very Soon left off. In the first installment two pastors marry and decide to combine their churches. In this second installment the ministry birthed by one over at Harvest Baptist church is likely to be exploited by the minister left to run the church. With more than one who had an interest in the deed in the property and even more with an emotional investment in the church itself, it’s up to reporter, Alexis Montgomery and Chief Herbert Rich to solve the crime.

What influenced you to write this book?
Being a sequel, this storyline was a natural progression from the first. In the first
book I wanted the readers to take a peek inside the home of a ministry couple. In
this book I wanted to take a peek inside the ministry. How are they different? How
are they affecting the community?

Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?

Vanessa Green. She has amazing tenacity. We see a lot of her struggles being a
female pastor in the first book. She has my temperament in a lot of ways, but she is
bolder and more determined than me.

What’s next for you?

I am currently writing my 4th novel Taylor-Made.

Where can visitors find you online?

They can visit me on my website www.sherrylejackson.com or my book blog at www.thefateofthefire.blogspot.com.