A Conversation With Sherri Stewart
An unexpected turn of family events led Sherri to open her laptop and write fiction. As a former attorney, principal, teacher, and flight attendant, she draws on personal experiences for her romantic suspense books. Sherri is a freelance editor and lives with her family near Orlando, Fla.
How do you connect with your characters?
Sherri: Like most writers, I write what I know. Most of my female leads are high-spirited women but definitely flawed. They deal with issues that I deal with, so in a sense, writing is therapy for me. My first female character, Julie, is an immigration attorney handling cases that I dealt with that didn’t end well. Julie gave me a second stab at the cases. My females have a sense of humor and can laugh at themselves, which makes them teachable. They have a faith in God that’s not fully developed, but the suspenseful event is a catalyst to deepen their faith. Their names come from people I know, and their physical form and personality comes from a favorite television character. Lorelei Gilmore is a perennial favorite of mine.
Why do you like writing romantic suspense?
Sherri: I write romantic suspense because I like to read it. Always have. My childhood heroes, Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, solved mysteries, but there was always the possibility of romance with Ned that intrigued me. Later, it was Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt in my twenties. Then, Mary Higgins Clark and a plethora of authors in my thirties and on. Romance alone is too predictable. I prefer an unseen threat looming over the characters. The male and female leads learn to trust each other, although at first, they’re at loggerheads. (Is that a word? It’s the first time I used it). A good romantic suspense novel is a page-turner.
What did you want to be as a child (and did that dream come true)?
Sherri: As a child, I wanted to be a spy. I even wore a trench coat to school. I cringe when I think about it. Then I wanted to be an actress in middle school. Neither dream came true, sigh. For most my adult life, I taught high school French because I love to travel, and French helped me become a flight attendant in my twenties, which I absolutely loved doing. My husband’s job transferred us to Canada, so I had to give up flying, but wrote about it in Très Chic. I taught in Christian schools for many years and later became a principal, which will provide fodder for a future suspense novel. One of my dreams was to study law. When my nest was empty, I went to law school and practiced immigration law for a time, so that dream came true. I’m now retired from teaching and law, and this year, I started a freelance editing business, which keeps me busy but seated way too much.
Current book: Call Me Jane
She just has two questions: What’s her name? And why is she wearing only a nightgown on Peachtree Street on a cold night in November?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01NAGB8HD