Monday, June 25, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Author Sherri Shackelford

Hi Everyone!

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.

57 comments:

  1. Good morning, Naomi! And thank you for having me. Finaling in the Genesis was one of the best writing experiences I've had! We sure had a talented group that year ;)

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  2. Thanks for the great post! It is so much fun getting to know the authors. Sherri, do you have a next book in line? This one sounds very interesting.

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  3. Hello, Sally! I'm working on a sequel to Widow's Heart. I'm meeting with my agent/editor in July in Anaheim for the Romance Writers of America Convention, and I have my fingers and toes crossed! (Sorry, sent that last post before I finished ;)

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  4. Sherri~

    I love your cover. A cowboy holding a baby...Absolutely irresistible.

    I would love to win a copy of the book.

    Let me just say your husband sounds amazing. Mine couldn't care less about my writing. Lots of prayers go up to change that.

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    1. Praying for you on that one, Andrea. My hubby's sweet, but he goes through his supportive times and then his non supportive times. It's gotten better since I've gotten published, but before I was published . . . well, let's just say my determination to write led to more than a few arguments. :-/

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  5. You DO have talent, Sherri. And the drive. It's a potent combination. Your hard work does make the writing seem effortless for a reader. I love getting lost in your tales.

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  6. Yeah for supportive hubbies! And if you find out where to get more talent, let me know.
    rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

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  7. Andrea, Here's praying that your husband will realize that writers gotta write! It's like breathing to us :) Sometimes it's hard for people who don't have the pull to understand that!

    *lizzie - You always make me smile! I'll keep working!!

    Melissa, Now there's a familiar name! I see you winning contests all over the place. Do you have any submissions out? Requests? I know you must have something!

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    1. Melissa's working hard, and crossing her fingers and praying at the moment. She's brilliant, though (which I can say, since she's my crit partner). :-)

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    2. Got some interest right now with 3 agents and an editor that I hope pans out, Sherri!

      I sure am crossing fingers--all of them, I'd cross my toes too if I hadn't just broke one. Grrr.

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    3. Don't forget, Melissa - if the editor bites first, you pretty much get your pick of the agent. Once you have an offer on the table, that makes you VERY attractive in agent negotiations!

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  8. I'll cross my fingers and toes with you on the sequel! Supportive husbands are the best. I've started freelance editing and my husband is willing to help around the house while I spend a lot of time on the computer! I couldn't do it without him.

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    1. Wishing your editing business well, and what a blessing supportive husbands can be!

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  9. Great interview Sherri and Naomi. I have found accountability partners a real blessing, too. They keep me...er....accountable. ;o)
    Blessings to you both!

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  10. Debbie, I definitely need my critique partners! I don't know what I'd do with them!!

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  11. Sounds like an awesome book! Would love to read it!!
    smilesalot2010(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. Hi, Sherri...i have a questioning mind...what is/was your part time job? i loved getting to know you. i love reading (read readaholic) and reviewing. The LI series is great for quick reads. Until recently i didn't read much of them, because the first ones i did read didn't have much "meat" to them but the later ones do. Thanks for the interview and great chance to win!

    marianne dot wanham at gmail dot com

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    1. Marianne, I work part-time in the kitchen of a large corporation. My friend of 30 years is the corporate chef, and I get a free lunch every day and a lot of laughs! (Plus, I don't have to think a lot :)

      It's great because I'm only gone when the kids are at school.

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    2. I'd be in every day for a free lunch too! But then, cooking is NOT my favorite pastime.

      Marianne, I'm glad you're enjoying more LI stories. Some of them are pretty quick and light, but others get a little deeper. I'm a fan of the deeper stories myself. :-)

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  13. Sounds like an interesting book. I can't imagine coming upon a situation like that!

    Patty
    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Patty, I had a lot of fun with the premise. Our poor hero is overwhelmed, but he comes through with flying colors!

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    2. Oh yes, definitely an interesting situation, if I do say so myself. :-)

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  14. would love to read this beautiful story ... thanks for the chance :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  15. Oh, I love the cover too! This looks like a wonderful story. Thanks for the chance to win it!
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  16. Naomi,

    I always enjoy reading your interviews with authors, partly because I like the questions you ask - the fact that you take the time to ask questions that are pertinent to the authors rather than just a standard set - but I also enjoy the authors you choose to have on your site!

    Sherri - thank you for sharing from your heart and for your generosity - may God bless you with His own abundant generosity!

    I just started seeing this book around and I LOVE the premise of it. It's on my to-read lists and I would love to win a copy of it.

    beckydwriter(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Becky, Naomi does a great job with her interviews! I don't think people realize that interviewing really is a skill :)

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    2. Thanks so much for your kind words, Becky! I'm glad you enjoy the interviews. I'm blessed to have Sherri with me this month, and I really love the premise of her novel as well. I think you'll enjoy it!

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  17. I would love to read Sherri Shackelford's new historical romance book.....sounds soo good...hope to win...I have shared on facebook and twitter.......babyruthmac16@yahoo.com

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    1. Oh yes, thanks for the shares! And it's lovely to have you drop by. :-)

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  18. I love Westerns, Texas Rangers, & babies so I know I'll love this book! Thanks for the chance of winning it. It sounds like a great story!

    seventysevensusieq[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  19. Good afternoon, Susie Q - The art department really did a great job of capturing the heart of the book - I couldn't be more pleased!

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    1. Yep! I love the cover on this one. I mean, a cowboy and a baby???? Who could resist?

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  20. Thank you for the great Interview, always like reading about the Author and their Books I love so much.
    Sherri your Book sounds so good and I can't wait to read it.
    Many Blessings

    ingrids62448(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Ingrid, what a lovely name you have. Very classy! And thanks for stopping by.

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    2. I have to agree with Naomi, Ingrid is a lovely name! Hmmm, I sense a heroine in the works...

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  21. Sherri I love the cover of this book. It would be a delight to win a copy of "Winning The Widow's Heart." Thank you for a great interview and giveaway.

    I do have a question for you though. What is your most memorable God moment that has happened to you in your writing career?

    Blessings!
    Judy
    judyjohn2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Great question, Judy! And thanks for stopping by here. :-)

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  22. Judy, that's an awesome question! I have to say my most memorable moment was when my critique partners paid my entry fee for the Genesis contest (a contest that was an integral part of my path to publication). They believed in me and knew I needed a push. God doesn't always send miracles, sometimes he sends friends in the guise of angels!

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    1. Thank you for your reply. I loved it!

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  23. misher@mtaonline.net

    I love Historial romances and hope to read this one if it is not sold out. Hubby picks me out two books a month, don't want to be too greedy and ask for more. I am climbing the walls now for want of a good book to read. :D

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    1. It must be hard to choose every month! But I'm grateful you get to read at least two of them, and I sincerely hope you're able to get your hands on a copy of Winning the Widow's Heart in one form or another. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

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  24. Your interview has given me, a wanna-be writer, great hope! Your book looks and sounds lovely!

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  25. Teddy - you're not a 'wanna be' you're 'pre-pubbed'! Can't wait to buy your books :)

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  26. Congratulations, Melissa! Now you and Naomi have the same agent, right? That's so cool!!!

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    1. Thanks Sherri, yes, the same one. I couldn't be more thrilled! I think somewhere in this thread you two covered how important crit partners are, and I couldn't agree more. Naomi's a blessing, even when I want to throw the computer at her. :)

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