Every week we will focus on the work of a diva who is living her dream! You may find out how and why she does what she does. Maybe she’ll read a little from her latest book. Maybe you will get a behind the scenes look at how it all comes together. Creating something from nothing? How fascinating!
…and the spotlight this week is on author…
BIO: AUTHOR SHERYL LISTER…
Sheryl Lister has enjoyed reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She writes contemporary and inspirational romance and romantic suspense. Her first novel, Just To Be With You, earned her a 2015 Romance Slam Jam nomination for Debut Author of the Year, and she was awarded 2015 Best New Author of Building Relationships Around Books (Online Book Club). When she’s not reading, writing or playing chauffeur, Sheryl can be found on a date with her husband or in the kitchen creating appetizers and bite-sized desserts. Sheryl resides in California and is a wife, mother of three daughters and one son-in-love and a grandmother to an adorable grandson.
HOW DID YOU GET WHERE YOU ARE?
At what point in life did you decide to become an author? In terms of being an author, how do you define success? Have you achieved it?
Growing up, I’d always wanted to write, and when I discovered African American romance, I was ecstatic. I’d share my stories, but never put them on paper. My mother told me for years to “stop telling me the stories and write them.” It wasn’t until she passed away that I realized it was time to stop talking and get to doing.
As an author, I define success simply as accomplishing a set goals, and I feel as though I have achieved a measure of success with five published titles.
What genre do you write and how or why did you choose that particular genre?
I write romance (contemporary, inspirational, suspense), and chose this genre because I am a romantic at heart and it’s what I love to read most. That’s not to say I won’t branch out in the future. I’d love to write a thriller/suspense one day
Do you use your life experiences to influence your writing? In what way?
My life experiences do influence my writing somewhat. My husband and I have been together for over twenty-four years and parts of our courtship and marriage tend to show up on the pages.
Our focus is on people in the 2nd act of their lives. What lessons did you learn in your 1st act that will make your 2nd act more enjoyable?
I learned a few lessons: You can’t take on everyone’s load; be careful who you share your dreams with because you’ll encounter naysayers; and you can’t please everyone. However, the biggest lesson I learned was to trust God to lead me. I have to say that I am enjoying this 2nd act to the fullest!
What advice would you give to someone ‘of a certain age’ who feels it’s too late to go after their dreams or goals?
If you have dreams or goals and you’re still breathing, it’s never too late. My first book was released shortly after I turned fifty. So what are you waiting for?
What part of your career do you find most rewarding? Most challenging?
The most rewarding part of my career thus far has been the relationships and friendships I’ve developed with readers and other authors. A close second is finally seeing the stories that took up residence in my head on store bookshelves. It’s an amazing feeling. The most challenging aspect is cranking out the books at a speed that the readers would like. Another challenge is getting the all the stories in my head clamoring to be told to line up one at a time, instead of shouting all at once.
What goals have you set for the next five years?
My goals for the next five years are to continue to publish traditionally and independently, and to expand my published works to include single title contemporary romance and romantic suspense.
Do you believe that your work impacts your community or society? If so, in what way?
In a time when much of what is seen in mainstream media reflects broken relationships, high divorce rates and single parent households, I want to show that real love still does exist, and especially in the African American community.
Looking from the outside in, what would like for people to realize about what you do?
Writing is not always easy and when you’re juggling life, things don’t always go as planned. Throw in a little chronic pain and it can be downright frustrating. But perseverance is the key. Keep plugging away until you see those blessed words, “The End.” In the end, it’ll all be worth it.
What is next for you?
Coming up next, I’m excited to debut a new series for Harlequin Kimani titled The Grays of Los Angeles, which will follow the lives of five sibling who will all meet and fall in love with their perfect mates. The first book, Tender Kisses, releases April 1, 2016. I also have a few surprises coming, so stay tuned.
How can our readers follow and or get in touch with you? (Website, email, blog, etc.)
I absolutely love hearing from readers. You can find me:
Drop me a line anytime!
We appreciate you spending time with today and the best of luck on your endeavors!!