This year, we have two Page Turner champions – one in fiction (see Meghan Andersch’s interview here) and one in nonfiction (Nicki Jeffery’s interview is here), along with a runner up in each category (the fiction runner up Sylvia Young’s interview is here). Join interviewer Joanne Sher as we learn more about non fiction runner-up Sherri Stone.
JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on being the runner up in the Nonfiction Page Turner! Can you tell us a bit about how you found out? What was your reaction?
SHERRI STONE: Thank you, Joanne! I was scrolling through my emails over a BLT in a little café when I saw the announcement. It took a minute for it to sink in and then I think I just sat there with a big grin on my face. I was eating alone so it was a nice quiet celebration. I got to just bask in it for a while.
JOANNE: Sounds lovely. When do you first remember developing a passion/love for writing?
SHERRI: I’ve always loved to write, but just in the last ten years started to focus on actually finishing a story and doing something with it. If you’ll excuse a bit of shameless self-promotion…I actually self-published my first fiction book last year. It’s called Sacred Ashes and you can find it on Amazon. End of commercial!
JOANNE: Good for you! Is writing a hobby or potential career for you? Or something else?
SHERRI: I would like for it to become a full-time thing one day. Don’t know what God has planned for that, but I know that whatever gifts he gives us to use, he will use in the right time and place, so I am learning to be open to whatever he has planned, and trying to be faithful and disciplined to write on a regular basis.
SHERRI: I am 54 now, and as I think about the next phase of my life, I don’t know what to expect, but I do know that I want to do it well. I’ve learned a lot in the first 50 years – many times the hard way – so I feel like that seasoning has to have a purpose. I want to approach the next 50 years confident in who God created me to be and with a grace and humor that I think can only come from living the thing out for a while. I want to walk it out with God with his perspective on what is important.
This isn’t a book about how to do it – I haven’t gotten there yet. Instead, it is a reminder to me of the things I have learned. I believe that God has a special purpose for seasoned women who are strong in their faith, confident in their God-given purpose – even they don’t see it clearly — and courageous enough to stand for their families and communities. I believe women like that can change the world, and I want to be a part of that.
JOANNE: Sounds wonderful – and much-needed. How did you find FaithWriters and what made you stick around?
SHERRI: I found FaithWriters by being part of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). What makes me stick is their commitment to the gospel and using writing of all kinds to share it with the world.
JOANNE: What kinds of books or genres do you prefer to read and/or write?
SHERRI: I guess my favorite is romantic suspense. There are some paranormal writers I enjoy as well. I enjoy some of everything, really. I’ll read the back of a toothpaste tube if there’s nothing else available. I just love to read!
JOANNE: Reading is SUCH a wonderful thing! Tell us about your family.
SHERRI: I’ve been married to Jeff for 18 years. He’s a mental health counselor and I’m a social worker which makes for some very interesting conversations at the dinner table. We have a furry, four-legged child named Riley who has trained us very well. I won’t say he runs the house, but somehow his name is on the deed.
Jeff is my greatest supporter, but he’s also a better writer than I am. I’m trying to encourage that. We have had to place his grandfather in a VA nursing home this year, and the first grandchild on my side of the family is getting married this weekend. It’s been a very emotional year (several actually) for our family, but through every bit of it we have seen God’s hand opening doors, calming spirits, and holding us up.
JOANNE: A busy time for you! What are your other passions besides writing?
SHERRI: Reading is #1, even over eating, and if you knew me you’d know that’s saying A LOT!! I also love to cross stitch and quilt, and I’m trying to teach myself to crochet and knit. I’m getting a little more into plants and would like to have a garden one day. I finally figured out how to keep them alive. Has something to do with water…
Because part of this journey is taking care of myself, I am trying to do some yoga. It’s okay if you’re laughing. I am too. I have a Pinterest board for yoga with all of the most impossible poses in the world. A girl’s got to dream, right? Okay, maybe not so much dream as have a chocolate induced fantasy…
JOANNE: Hehe. Where can people find you online?
SHERRI: I’m on Facebook at Sherri Stone (author page) or Sherri Lynne Stone. I’m on Twitter @SherriStone2, and I’m on Pinterest at sherriston. I have 2 blogs, my personal one is sherristone.net, and I have one about hospice at hospiceheartbeats.com. I’d love to hear your thoughts about life after 50 and your concerns and insights, what you hope for. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOANNE: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
SHERRI: My greatest hope for this book is my greatest hope for the women who will read it and for myself. I want us to take God’s hand and walk the world’s most amazing journey for the rest of our days. I want to see what God will do with a generation of women totally sold out to him and willing to do whatever he asks, even if we do it scared out of our middle-aged minds. I want us to know that with God the adventure is always just beginning, and I think if we can handle menopause and stress incontinence, we just might be able to hang in there for whatever else he has planned for us.
JOANNE: Sounds fabulous. God willing, your book will do just that. Thanks again, Sherri, for sharing with us – and congratulations again!