Exclusive Interview with
Sherri Lupton Hollister
Let’s start with your Career as a writer!
When did you start writing?
At the age of ten I wrote my first love story.
What makes writing your passion?
Bringing the characters to life and sharing their stories.
How long have you been writing?
Professionally, about twenty years. I published my first book in December 2017, but I had sent out queries and partials for years.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Fear, elation and a sense of rightness. This is what I love and I have to face the fears and just do it.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
The Leeward Files series began with one character, Rae Lynne but in Red Steel, the story is about her brother Billy.
After writing Rae Lynne’s story, I knew there was more that needed to be told, Billy would have a different perspective than his sister.
For Billy, the motivation is guilt. He failed to save the women in his life: his mom, his sister and later a girlfriend. It’s his motivation.
Much of Billy comes from my youngest son who chose to be a firefighter after we lost our home to fire.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
Marketing, it’s so difficult to know what to do and how to get your work in front of readers. Much of it’s time-consuming and with working a full-time job, my time is limited.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
Writers block for me is usually too much going on. I have found there are two ways to get through it, just write something else, anything else or get up and move. Sometimes you just need a little break.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
If this is what you love then do it. You cannot do it for money, fame or glory, it has to be because you love it. It’s hard and only a few become famous, the rest just hope to make a living.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Don’t let your fears steal your dreams!
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Yes, I know not everyone will like my books. I’m not saying it doesn’t sting but it’s part of the process.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Elated and scared, I hope I can do it again.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Yes, much of my books have a taste of real life, or at least an inspiration from it.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I think all my characters have a little of me in them.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
The cover is the first thing a reader sees. Like any packaging, it works as advertising. It lures the reader over to take a closer look.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I enjoy talking especially about books. I have a website and a newsletter and I am also the chairperson for a local writers group where I lead discussions and critiques.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Happy but a little shy.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Jayne Ann Krentz, her characters are amazing. They are quirky and fun with strengths and weaknesses. When they find their love interest, you know they belong together because they bring out the best in each other.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
Of course, because I have learned more but I would be afraid of losing something I had when I first wrote it.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
What would you say to your readers?
Thank you for sharing! Let’s talk about your Personal Life!
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I live in eastern NC with my husband of 29 years. We have 6 grown sons, 21 grandchildren and we are both active in our community.
What is your day job if you have one?
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Did you have a happy childhood?
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
I’m an only child. We live in a rural community. I had a baby sister for one month before she died. I lost my grandparents on my dad’s side shortly after and I think writing was how I coped.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?