where the writers are
Around the Globe with SHERRY PARNELL

Many moons have passed since I’ve fired up the transporter for an author interview. So this cool March morning, I dust off the controls and zip over to pick up this week’s featured guest. She was a nice change from some of these pushy authors who just take control and don’t let me know where we’re going (lol. Just kidding.) Since she had no specific destination in mind, I decided to head south to Louisiana where I know a particular bayou. Down a long narrow road to the boat ramp and a two story wooden little country store where we’ll enjoy some shrimp and fried oysters. Yum!A little mint in my tea and I’m ready to get to know another fascinating author.

1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?

My name is Sherry Parnell and I am a writer. Fortunately, I live in the country so I don’t have to be the most fascinating person in the city. But I think what makes me interesting is I am the personification of dichotomy. I am both introverted and extroverted. I am fearful and fearless. I am both highly emotional and extremely rational. Of course, what some find interesting others may find crazy.

2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?

I don’t have any deep dark secrets, which may be unfortunate because I think they make great material for writing. However, people might be surprised to learn that although I am often perceived as having a Type B personality to casual acquaintances, I am actually very Type A.

3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such an oil tycoon?

I have wanted to write even since childhood. It wasn’t a choice so much as a feeling. There were few other careers seriously considered. Besides, writing enables one to be anyone or do anything. If I want to be an oil tycoon, I simply write myself as one. And although writing stories isn’t easy, it’s easier than striking oil.

4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?

There are many but due to the limited number of seating at my dinner table, I would choose Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, Charles Dickens and Stephen King. Austen, Wharton and Dickens could offer their opinions on society and the ways in which today’s constructs are both detrimental and beneficial. After all, one aspect of good literature is to contribute to a positive societal change. And King could interject scary scenarios to make us feel better about our reality and also just for our amusement.

5. If I were stranded on a deserted island or suffering from a four hour layover at the airport, why would your book(s) be great company?

What is it that people seek when they want company? They want someone who is interesting, unique, relatable and entertaining. The characters in my book, “Let The Willows Weep” each have a distinct voice, which each use to tell their story in a way that is familiar to the reader even if they haven’t personally experienced it. These characters are also emotionally accessible because they are textured and layered in their feelings and personalities, which allow the reader to more easily escape into the story. And escape is really what we search for when we are uncomfortable with our current situation or surroundings.

6. Share your process of writing in regards to: plot and character development, story outline, research (do you Google or visit places/people, or make it up on the spot), writing schedule, editing and number of rewrites.

My process is fluid and always evolving. In regards to the process of writing my first novel, I started with one single line, which stayed in my thoughts for an entire year before I wrote it down; it just so happens to be the first line of the book. I didn’t actually choose or intend this subject, rather the story unfolded for me as I wrote. Each line developed into a paragraph, which transformed into a page. I liken it to sitting in front of a white canvas with the singular idea of painting a tree and within hours an entire forest comprised of various shades and tones of color is created.

7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”

You begin by starting. And, no, this isn’t meant to be patronizingly obvious or annoyingly cryptic.

Often the hardest part of writing is the actual writing. You have the idea, the outline, the research and yet you stare horrified and intimidated at a blank white page. The only way to face that fear is to fill the page with words. Write. You may have to proof and edit or throw out whole pages but as Nora Roberts has so wisely said, “You can’t edit a blank page.” You also can’t read it, publish it or sell it. In the end, the process that will work for you is the one that inspires you to write your story.

8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day, which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” what is your philosophy of life?

I think that the philosophy one holds depends on the point one is at in his or her life. Currently, I love and embrace this one by Erma Bombeck: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.” Everyone needs a purpose in life and I believe everyone has one–the most tragic mistake we can make is squandering it.

9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?

No, I am not going to stop because writing for me is something that is constantly happening even if words aren’t being put onto the page. I am currently working on my second novel but I have several others that are at different stages in the creative process.

10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?

You can find more information about my book and me at http://redroom.com/member/sherry-parnell

You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook at

https://twitter.com/sbparnell

http://www.facebook.com/LetTheWillowsWeep

And you can purchase “Let The Willows Weep” at

Let The Willows Weep on Amazon

Let The Willows Weep on Barnes and Noble

Let The Willows Weep on Books a Million

About the Book:

Where is the line between destruction and redemption? What happens when one doesn’t know—do they fall or do they find their way?

When the tenuous ties of her family break, Birddog Harlin is forced to choose a path which leads her away from those she loves, threatening to completely destroy her before she ultimately seeks her salvation.

Birddog is a willful and bitter woman whose husband, after years of suffering her emotional abuse, leaves suddenly one morning. She is left with her precocious and introverted young daughter who is devastated and angry, further deteriorating their already strained relationship. But during a seemingly insignificant moment with her daughter, Birddog privately recollects her own adolescence and the tragic events which drove her to make the choices that threaten to destroy not only her own life but also that of her daughter.  Memories of loss, love, and unbearable hurt flood her mind.  But as each moment recedes once more, Birddog realizes that although life is partially fated, it is her own choices that determine her true destiny.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Captivated by books at an early age, Sherry Parnell began creating worlds of her own into which she could escape, dream, and live for a moment outside of her own life. Now this passion has become her profession with the release of her first novel, “Let the Willows
Weep”.

In addition to her love for both reading and writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, running, and talking with those who share her passion. Sherry also loves new experiences because she feels that each is an opportunity for inspiration to create a new story.

An alumnus of Dickinson College and West Chester University, Sherry lives with her husband and two sons in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, where she is a full-time writer working on her second novel.