Meet Writer Sherrinda Ketchersid

Sherrinda Ketchersid has recently embarked on her literary journey. An inspirational writer, she is hard at work on her first story, a Medieval set in the 1100’s.

Writing runs in Sherrinda’s family. Her father is an editor, ghostwriter and novelist. She, however, didn’t declare her intention to write a novel until last June. However, despite the fact that she works fulltime as an attendance clerk at a school, her story is nearing completion.

Sherrinda is a pastor’s wife and mother of four who’s recently added mother-in-law to the list of roles she fills. She enjoys calligraphy, considers herself a “bookaholic,” is captivated by the new show Castle, and has woncount ’emfifteen blog drawing prizes in the past four months. 🙂

Home for the past twelve years has been Fort Worth, Texas, but with the closing of the church in which Sherrinda and her husband serve, life is uncertain. And yet, she maintains a positive outlook on life, just as she does on her writing.

Join me as we learn about Sherrinda and her journey.

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Sherrinda Ketchersid.

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The Journey Begins

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•Last summer you dusted off a long-time dream of being a writer and began your story, If My Heart Could Speak. What led you to take that first step?

Oh my, I think hitting the 40 year mark made me take stock of my life and what I really wanted to accomplish. I have always had a love affair with books and even started a novel in high school that I never completed. You know, when you are reading a book and think, “They should have done this” or “It would have worked better if this had happened.” I got tired of reading with a critical eye and felt it was time to bite the bullet and write my own story. I didn’t want to pass through life not having at least tried. To be able to produce something that would give others the same kind of joy books have brought me would be heaven on earth!

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•I was impressed to learn that you did some study before you put fingers to keyboard. What steps did you take to prepare yourself for the process of writing fiction–and romance in particular?

I knew I didn’t know how to write. I just knew what I liked to read. So, I immersed myself in writing books that I checked out of the library. The funny thing about reading how to write before you write is that it can make you so confused! The more I read, the more I realized how much I didn’t know, and it began to paralyze me. I realized I needed to just go ahead and write. Get it down on paper/keyboard and deal with the mess. I gave myself permission to see it as a learning tool in itself.

It wasn’t until half a year ago that I discovered the world of writer blogs. I checked out Romance Writers of America® and American Christian Fiction Writers and spent hours looking at the author blogs. As you know, a blog leads to a blog, which leads to a blog, and on and on. I’ve learned so much from fellow writers who are on this same writing journey.

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•Your story is a Medieval, not a time seen very often in the inspirational market. What led you to choose that period? A specific event in history? A location that spurred your imagination? A fascination with knights and castles?

Definitely a fascination with knights and castles! My father enjoyed fantasy type books by George McDonald and C.S. Lewis. He is an artist and would draw me “color pages” of knights, princesses and castles. I suppose it is an inherited attraction. I had always read Regencies and dearly love that era, but the story in my head had a castle, so I went the way of the Middle Ages. I know medieval is not a popular period in the inspirational market, but it’s the period I love.

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High Points

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•What aspects of writing have brought you the most joy so far? Have you experienced Ah ha! moments when a scene came together, when you thought of a great way to end a chapter with a “Gotta have more” hook or when some element of craft suddenly made total sense?

So far, the most rewarding days are when the fingers fly and story flows. No blank pages, no blocked thought, just free flowing story. My favorite things to write are snappy dialogue and romantic tension.

Not too long ago, I wrote a scene (one of those fast flowing times!) and when I read back through it, my heart skipped a beat and I heaved a sigh. I thought, “Yes! That’s it!” It was such an encouraging moment for me.

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Bumps on the Road

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•On your blog, you admitted to experiencing times when your writing came to a standstill, when things drained the joy out of you and when you had trouble adding words to your work-in-progress because you were wearing “cranky pants.” How do you deal with such experiences and get back to your story?

I struggle with that still and don’t know exactly how I get through it other than pray. I’ve tried setting my story aside and coming back to it, but in reality, staying away makes me forgetful. It takes away some of the spark and the momentum that pushes me through.

I started my WIP last year when I had the summer off. When I went back to work in August, I had to work 10 hour days, 6 days a week to get kids registered into school. I couldn’t write for the fatigue and mental drain, and it really took me awhile to get back into the story. I don’t know a quick fix, but I do know that when I pray, stay in the Word, and put my focus where it needs to be, everything else seems to fall into place.

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Partners on the Journey

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•Since you started on your journey with a better understanding of what the writing life entails than some do, did you set out to find writing pals or critique partners? Have you made use of your father’s experience as editor and ghostwriter?

No way! I was so intimidated, and I didn’t even tell my dad until I was about a third of the way through! I didn’t want people to know I was writing a book at first. What if I failed?

It wasn’t until I started meeting other writers on blogs that I found a wonderful critique partner, Jody Hedlund, who writes the blog On The Path. It was a God-thing, because I still wasn’t sure I was ready to let others see my work. I grew bold and submitted a couple of paragraphs here and there on blogs for a free critique, and it was then that Jody hinted that we might be able to help each other. And boy, is she helpful! (She is an amazing writer, and I know she will be published at some point. Kudos, Jody!)

After I told my family I was writing, my sister-in-law stepped forward with the news that she was writing a YA book, so we’ve started sharing chapters. I believe everyone serious about writing needs to find someone to share her work with. You need another set of eyes and a different point of view to get the most out of your work. For me, it’s been the best way to learn!

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The Journey Continues

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•With If My Heart Could Speak nearing completion, have you made plans to enter contests or prepare the manuscript for submission? Do you have other story ideas dancing in your head?

Oh yes, I’ve got plans! I want to be finished with my first draft by the end of May. I’m not sure I can accomplish that, with my son’s high school graduation and possible changes in my husband’s job status (a pastor is sometimes a two-for-one job), but that is my goal. I will spend the summer revising and editing (and finally letting my dad get his hands on it!), and then revising some more. Of course, I need to break down and learn how to write a synopsis … not looking forward to that one!

I plan to submit to as many contests as I can in the fall, get more feedback, and test the waters. I’ve had the urge to go ahead and submit, but know I’m not ready. I recently won the coveted Donald Maass book, The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose, and Techniques. I’ve only read the Intro so far, but oh my, it confirmed my proposed map of the writing journey. Learn the craft first!!!!! Be a Storyteller rather than a Status Seeker. I’ll be blogging what I’m learning through this book, for sure!

I do have other ideas for books, but oddly enough, most are contemporary. Not sure what that is about, but I may try to flesh out some of those and see what happens.

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Just for Fun

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•I’m going to borrow from a question you’ve asked one of your own blog guests. If a generous benefactor decided to grant you three wishes, what would they be? And since I know you’re a devoted wife and mother who puts her family first, let me clarify that this person wants you to pamper yourself guilt-free and requested that you choose things that would mean to most to you personally.

Oh dear, I didn’t realize how difficult this question was! I thought it’d be easy! Okay, with the normal spiritual wishes aside (like all my children loving the Lord passionately), here are indulgent wishes for me:

1.    Travel to Europe. It’s hard to settle on just one country, but I would LOVE to visit Scotland, Ireland, England (I’ve been to London already), France (I’ve been to Paris too), Greece, Italy, and … Hawaii! I know, I know, it’s not Europe, but a place I’d love to see, nonetheless.


2.    A nice, fat bank account earmarked for Writing Conferences, contest fees, marketing (for when I get contracted at some point) and, of course, books.


3.    A new car. I’m sharing a car with my husband, which is totally fine (really, sweetie, I don’t mind sharing), but sometimes it makes life tricky!

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Conclusion

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I’ve enjoyed having you as my guest, Sherrinda. And now it’s your turn to ask a question of your visitors. What would you like to know?

Keli, thank you for having me as your guest! You are such a generous encourager, and I enjoy following and learning from your blog.

I’m always on the lookout for new learning opportunities, so for the writers out there, what books or blogs on writing would you recommend to an aspiring author?

I love books with a lot of sigh-inducing romance, so if you are a reader and/or writer, what great books would you recommend that ooze romantic tension and great dialogue?

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Learn More About Sherrinda

Visit her blog: A Writer Wannabe

Friend her on Facebook: Sherrinda Williams Ketchersid

Follow her on Twitter: sherrinda

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Leave a Comment for Your Chance to Win

My next drawing will take place May 20th. The winner will receive a choice of a $15 gift card to Starbucks, Sees Candy or Barnes and Noble. Coffee, chocolate or books? Tough choice, isn’t it?

To enter the drawing, just leave a comment on any blog post by May 20th and enter your email address when prompted. (I don’t share your information or add it to any mailing lists.) On May 21st, I’ll post the winner’s name in the Welcome post at the top of the blog.

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You could also win a First Sale Scrapbook!

If you’d like to have a chance at winning a First Sale Scrapbook created by me, your blog hostess, Keli Gwyn, leave a comment on any post between now and May 31. Be sure to include your name and email address when prompted if you want to be entered in the drawing. (Your information will not be shared.) Click red link above to see samples of covers and pages.

On June 1, I will choose one person who will have her/his choice of several covers on an 8×8 inch, twenty-page scrapbook in which s/he can document that long-awaited first sale. The pages will cover various milestones including The Call, signing the contract, receiving the first advance payment and holding your “firstborn” in your hands.

(No scrapbooking skills required. You just add your photos and journaling.)

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About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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58 Responses to Meet Writer Sherrinda Ketchersid

  1. Sherrinda says:

    Lady Glamis! I had to laugh, because I was in a rather bad mood this morning when my husband took me to work. Bless his heart, he said, “You can’t be positive and upbeat all the time!” I don’t like being in a “mood”! I do try to stay positive, hopeful, and fun, but there are those days… Thanks for stopping by!

  2. This was a great interview! I could relate to so many of the aspects of your journey. And I am so impressed of the progress you have made on your WIP.

  3. SHERRINDA!!!! Forty years old??? Impossible!!! Every time I have seen your picture, I always thought, “twenties.” And a pastor’s wife??? I had no idea.

    Thank you, Keli, for the opportunity to get to know Sherrinda better. And, Sherrinda, you are SO smart hooking in with writer groups like ACFW and RWA, studying writing books and entering contests. That is the exact path that I followed, along with TONS of prayer and perseverance, so good luck to you with your novel — it sounds wonderful!

    Hugs,
    Julie

  4. Sherrinda says:

    Terri, it makes me feel good you can relate, because sometimes I wonder if I am just totally way off in what I am doing!! And don’t be too impressed with the progress…I’ve been stuck for a few weeks now. I am pushing through though and hoping I don’t need to delete it all later! lol

    Julie!!! How awesome that you stopped by! Okay, if I had a published novel, I would definitely send you a copy for saying I look so young! Woohoo…you know I love hearing that! I admit to being 43, been married 24, and a pastor’s wife for 23 years. Ughh…I am sooo making myself sound old here. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement! It looks like I am following in some good footsteps.
    Can’t wait to get my hands on your book!!!

  5. So nice to get to know you here, Sherrinda. Thank you Keli for posting this interview. All the very best in finishing that first draft. I hope you do get to go back to London soon. I have a son who’s graduating this June, too. So I can relate there, too. Pat

  6. Sherrinda says:

    Hi Pat! Ah, the joys of graduation! It is such a busy time, isn’t it? I hopped over to your site and it is so full of great stuff. Thanks for the encouragement and for stopping by!

  7. Susanne says:

    I’m a little late to this party…I just discovered this blog, and it’s wonderful! How delightful to see you featured, here, Sherrinda! I’ve seen your name quite a bit lately on ACFW. Thanks for sharing your story. Your WIP sounds great and I’m glad to know I’m not the only person juggling kids and a pastor-husband with my calling to write. Best wishes with your novel!

  8. Sherrinda says:

    Susanne, I love late comers to a party! That just extends the fun all the more, don’t you think? It’s not easy juggling it all, is it? I love to hear of other pastor’s wives writing. Do you write fiction? How long have you been writing? You should send me a link to your site/blog. 😉

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