Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m pleased to introduce you to pastor wife and romance writer Sherrinda Ketchersid! I really love how I can see Sherrinda’s heart for her stories and for her readers in her answers. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Sherrinda is giving away a copy of her latest release – read on to see how you can enter to win!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’ve been married to a preacher for 34 years, have 4 grown children (3 boys and 1 girl), and am momma the cutest mixed terrier, Phineas. I love to read, paint and journal in my Bible, and tend-er, try to keep alive-a flower garden in my backyard. I’ve been writing medieval romance, but may try my hand at another era like Regency in the near future.
Tell us about your current release. Lord of Her Heart is about Jocelyn Ashburne, who had been sent to a convent for an education after her mother died and her father remarried. When she is forced to choose between taking her vows or marrying a lewd old man, she disguises as a boy and flees the convent to return home to find the reason for her father’s silence. Accosted by ruffians along the way, she is rescued by Malcolm Castillon, a knight seeking a reputation in order to approach the king for land of his own. He takes pity on the scrawny lad and allows him to be his squire at the next tournament at Ramslea Castle—Jocelyn’s home. Faced with danger, deception, and intrigue along the way, they must learn to trust God and each other in the process of finding their true “home”.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? This is such an interesting question. When my publisher said they were moving toward more clean fiction, rather than overtly Christian fiction, I wrote my second novel with that in mind. I don’t have a problem with that. Many great books have been written that are not overtly Christian—The Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings come to mind. Yes, there is great allegory to Christian doctrine in those books, but they are not overtly Christian. The problem for me was that my story fell flat without a Christian base. The theme of my story is significance and as a Christian, I know our significance comes from who we are in Christ, not who we make ourselves to be. So I am now in the process of rewriting my story to include the faith factor, because it is right for this particular storyline.
How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher (or agent or audience if you self-publish)? Ah, the fear that comes with writing is ever-present. I just read a book called Big Magic that addressed the creative life and how to create alongside fear. While you allow fear to be present on your journey, you just don’t allow it to have a deciding vote along the way. I think that you have to know that God has called you to be creative and live in the joy of the process, knowing that you are fulfilling His desire as you put words on the page. He is in charge of the outcome. My job is to create and release it into His hands to do as He sees fit. This is a continual learning process for me, but one I strive to incorporate daily, this creating and releasing.
Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Because I am older woman, my family used to watch musicals on TV for entertainment. I can remember Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain, Summer Stock, Brigadoon, and so on. He could dance, sing, and was handsome. My first crush. Then came the big screen. My first PG movie I was allowed to see was Star Wars, and I instantly fell for Harrison Ford as Hans Solo. Manly, handsome, and funny. I don’t know what it is, but a man with a sense of humor gets me every time. Maybe it is because my husband is the funniest man I know! 😉
Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? This is a great question. I know if writers want to succeed, they have to treat their writing as a business and be smart in their publishing decisions. On the other hand, I think if you aren’t writing what you love, that shows in the story. I’ve always loved Regency and read that era voraciously, but then I stumbled upon a clean medieval romance writer and fell in love with that time period even more. Medieval is not popular in Christian publishing, except as YA—Jody Hedlund and Melanie Dickerson are fabulous medieval writers in that genre. I was fortunate to find a small press that would publish my medieval, but that is not the norm. I’m still going to write medieval romance, but may try my hand at Regency at some point. It is still an era I love and would enjoy writing about balls, dinner parties, and walks in the park. I don’t want to write just for market. I want to love the world in which I’m creating. That is more important to me at this point.
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes, indeed! The one matters. Take the parable of the lost coin or lost sheep. The “one” is so important in God’s eyes and should be important to each one of us as well.
How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? This is something I am still praying about. Because I am writing in an era of romance that is not popular, I was lucky to find a small press to offer me a contract. I don’t know yet the sales numbers, so I do not know if the publisher will want to pick up another medieval. If it isn’t picked up, I will most likely self-publish medieval romances, while writing Regency romance and try to get those traditionally published. That is my plan at the moment, but who knows what God has in store. I’m going to follow His lead and rest in His guidance.
Here is where you can find Sherrinda online:
Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sherrinda-ketchersid
Sherrinda is giving away an ebook or paperback of her book, Lord of Her Heart! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway