I'm excited to introduce you to a very special guest today, Sherri Shackelford. I first mentioned Sherri to you earlier this month, when I told you of her debut novel, Winning the Widow's Heart (which I read and thoroughly enjoyed!). I met Sherri last summer, when both of our novels ended up finaling in the Genesis Contests, and now, a year later, we're both published authors. Oh the fun!
Sherri will be giving a copy of Winning the Widow's Heart to one winner, so be sure to leave a comment below if you're interested in the novel. Now here's a little bit about how Sherri balances her writing time and her family:
Tell me a bit about your family. How many children do you have, and if they still live at home, how old are they?
My husband and I have been married for almost fifteen years. We have three children: A girl – 12, a boy 11, and another boy 6.
Why did you choose to work from home rather than find a job elsewhere?
I actually work part time outside of the home while the kids are in school. I enjoy writing, but right now the habit barely supports itself! When the kids were little, it just made more sense to stay at home with them – the daycare costs were astronomical! Once my youngest went to school, I found a job for a few hours in the afternoon.
Wow! You must be super busy with a part time job plus writing. But I understand what you mean about daycare costing a fortune! Plus it's so nice to stay home with your little ones if you're able.What is the most challenging aspect of working from home while raising children?
Time management! That’s always a challenge. In the winter it works out fine, but in the summer I struggle between spending time with the kids and getting work done. Especially this June with the debut of my first novel. It’s been absolutely amazing – but incredibly time consuming.
Winnie Griggs and I put together a writing contract, and we’ve been keeping each other accountable. That helps.
Did you ever get your children involved with your home business? What advice would you give mothers thinking about having their children help with their business?
There’s really no way for them to be involved at this point – writing is such a solitary business. It’s funny, though – my daughter is an avid reader and I can’t even get her to read my book!
Oh goodness, I just know my kids are going to be like that one day! If you're married, what challenges did working from home present to your marriage, and how did you compensate?
My husband has always been amazingly supportive! Earlier this year, I had one of the moments where I thought, “forget this! I’m going back into marketing.” But he talked me down from the corporate ledge and kept me going. I truly owe my publishing contract to him. When life gets busy and I don’t get a chance to write, I get antsy. He can always tell and he’ll grab the kids and take them out for ice cream or a movie so I can get some work done. He’s an amazing man!
He sounds wonderful, and you're so blessed to have such a supportive man behind you. If you could start all over again, what would you do differently? What would you do the same?
I would have been born with more talent! Nothing takes the place of hard work, of course, but I’d love to be driven AND have talent. You read some authors and you just want to weep – they make it look so effortless.
I know what you mean, Sherri, and I try not to hate those other authors too much. But they do make me a little envious at times. Is it worth it? What keeps you home instead of having an outside career?
Honestly, only my career choice keeps me home! You don’t have to leave the house to write. I don’t think staying at home is a ‘right’ or a ‘wrong’ choice for anybody. There’s only a ‘better’ or ‘worse’ choice for your family. I often think my children would have benefited from the structure of daycare, but they did fine with me. And I’ve almost always had a part time job outside the house. It’s good for me to socialize with other adults – otherwise I lose my social skills!
Oh yes, I can totally relate to the feeling of loosing your social skills when you're home with your kids all day. Thank you for being with us Sherri! Sherri will be back on Thursday to share her Overnight Sticky Bun recipe with us. I don't know about you, but I'm salivating just thinking of that recipe.
To enter the giveaway, be sure to leave a comment with an email address below. The giveaway will end Saturday, June 30, at midnight. Now here's a little more about Winning the Widow's Heart:
In the Care of the Lawman When Texas Ranger Jack Elder stormed the isolated Kansas homestead, he expected to find a band of outlaws. Instead, the only occupant is a heavily pregnant woman-and she's just gone in to labor. A loner uneasy with emotion, Jack helps deliver widow Elizabeth Cole's baby girl and can't get back on the trail fast enough. The robber and murderer he's after killed one of Jack's own, and he vows to catch the man. But when he returns to check on Elizabeth and her little one, he discovers that she may hold the key to his unsettled past-and his hoped-for future.