Robin: Will you share a short bio with us?
Sherryl: I’m a graduate of Ohio State in journalism and spent fourteen years working for newspapers, most of that covering the radio and television industries, before attempting to write my first book. I was one of the very lucky ones whose first book sold fairly quickly at a time when romance publishing was really booming. I’m still astounded that I’ve now written over a hundred novels. Readers can find a complete checklist, as well as news about the latest books on my website, www.sherrylwoods.com. From the home page they can also link to my Facebook fan page.
Robin: Tell us a little about the Ocean Breeze trilogy and where the idea came from.
Sherryl: I always love writing about complex families, so when I decided to create a whole new world in a fictional community along the North Carolina coast, I chose to write about three sisters who’ve each reached a turning point in their lives. Coming home to Sand Castle Bay, where they spent so many summers with their grandmother, helps each of them find not only the balance their lives were missing, but some truly wonderful men.
Robin: I know you’re a baseball fan and particularly enjoy the movie Bull Durham. What is your favorite scene or saying from the movie?
Sherryl: Although I can’t quote the line exactly, when Kevin Costner makes a rapid-fire speech to Susan Sarandon about a few of his favorite things, including “long, slow kisses,” I’m pretty sure I fell in love with him — or his character — on the spot.
Robin: Which of your books would you say was the most difficult to write when it comes to relationships?
Sherryl: Overall in my career, the book that was hardest for me to write was Flamingo Diner. I had lost two incredibly dear friends to suicide and wanted to deal with that theme and the effects it had on a family and a community. I shed a lot of tears writing that book! Within the new Ocean Breeze trilogy, I probably struggled the most with Wind Chime Point. It was hard to see how any woman could resist Wade, even in the complicated situation in which Gabi Castle found herself.
Robin: Do you do most of your research on the internet or are you a hands on researcher? What is one of your favorite topics to research and did it turn into a hobby?
Sherryl: Although I have certainly set books in places I’ve never been and put people in situations I’ve never experienced, most of the time I tend to write about worlds I know well. For the more topical books, I do a lot of research online and, whenever possible, like to talk to people in the field as I did in great depth for the Sweet Magnolias books that dealt with anorexia. I’ve never developed a hobby based on research for one of my books., though it might be fun to learn to make wind chimes as Gabi did in Wind Chime Point. Like her, though, I have zero artistic talent!
Robin: Do you have any special treats that you can’t live without while writing?
Sherryl: When I’m writing in Florida, I start the day with an iced mocha from Starbucks at my fingertips as I write. No snack foods, though. And in Virginia each summer my nearest Starbucks is about 45 miles away, so it really is a treat when I get there before writing.
Robin: If you could have married a fictional character, who would it be and why?
Sherryl: I have to go right back to the Kevin Costner character in Bull Durham. I do love my boys of summer and he was the epitome of the sexy, intelligent bad boy for me.
Robin: What’s next for you?
Sherryl: I have two reissues — Twilight and Temptation — back in stores this fall along with another holiday visit to Chesapeake Shores with the O’Briens in A Seaside Christmas. That’s in stores in October. There will be a new sequel to Seaview Inn — Home to Seaview Key — out in February and I’m about to start writing another Sweet Magnolias book and another Chesapeake Shoes book for late 2014! The next few months are going to be wildly busy for me.