Sherry Kyle is a graduate of Biola University with a degree in Communications, and a minor in Bible. She is the author of The Christian Girl’s Guide to Style (Legacy Press, 2010) and Delivered with Love (Abingdon Press, 2011). Sherry and her husband have four children, three biological and one by adoption. When she isn't writing, she enjoys jazz concerts, watching movies, reading and spending time with her family and friends. She lives in California. You can find her on the web at: www.sherrykyle.com
Tell us about your new release.
Delivered with Love is about a young woman who discovers an old love letter in the glove compartment of her inherited 1972 Volkswagen. After losing her job as a waitress and kicked out of her sister’s home, Claire James leaves her life in Los Angeles and drives up the coast to the small town of Capitola, California to find the writer of the letter.
How did you come up with this story? Was there a specific 'what if' moment?
I enjoy writing stories of self-discovery with romance and a hint of mystery. Once I decided to set the story in the small coastal town of Capitola, which is a character in itself, I let my imagination go and asked myself the ‘what if’ questions. I specifically remember a day when I was vacuuming and Claire’s story unfolded as I cleaned. Agatha Christie said, "The best time for planning a book is when you're doing the dishes.” I agree. There’s something to physical labor that gets the creative juices flowing.
Did anything strange or funny happen while researching or writing your book?
When I visited The Bridal Veil, a wedding shop, as part of my research, the owner of the store hugged me tight and said, “I’ve been here forty years and no one has ever put my shop in a book.” She wants to host a book signing! Wouldn’t that be fun?
Every novelist has a journey. How long was your road to publication? How did you find out and what went through your mind?
My road to publication started by writing children’s books. My first book, co-authored and illustrated with my daughter Brittany, is titled My Special Someone about the adoption of my youngest daughter from foster care. I started writing women’s fiction in 2007. Surprisingly, Delivered with Love is my first novel.
I’ve had some wonderful mentors along the way and I can’t say enough about Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference and American Christian Fiction Writers. I found out Delivered with Love was going to be published by a phone message. I listened to it several times to make sure I heard it correctly and ran around the house screaming. My poor kids didn’t know what was happening!
Do you ever bang your head against the wall from writer's block? If so, how do you overcome it?
I usually don’t have writer’s block. In fact, I have too many ideas floating around in my head.
Do you consider yourself a visual writer? If so, what visuals do you use?
I’m a very visual person. I like to find pictures of my characters and look at them while I write as well as act out movements or facial expressions. I have a vivid imagination and want my readers to use theirs too.
Novelists sometimes dig themselves into a hole over implausible plots, flat characters or a host of other problems. What's the most difficult part of writing for you?
Funny you should mention implausible plots . . . an area I constantly work on. While some may view Delivered with Love as having unlikely circumstances, others have told me they really enjoy a book that focuses on “coincidences” only a loving God could orchestrate. We all have them every day and if we open our eyes and hearts, He can use them to draw us closer to Him!
How do you overcome it?
I need to make sure my imagination doesn’t get away from me. I’m also part of a critique group who will tell me when I’ve gone too far.
Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy attic nook?
A year ago we had a shed built specifically for my writing. It’s a small space, only 8 1/2’ X 9’, but perfect for my needs. We put in insulation, drywall, and Pergo floors and furnished it with a new desk, bookshelves and a love seat. I need a lot of natural light, so we also included a skylight, big windows, and a French door. I absolutely love it! I also have a MacBook Air laptop and have been known to go to a coffeehouse when I need to be around people.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Once I get my husband and four children out the door for school, I check my e-mail and go on Facebook while I eat breakfast. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I post a blog on my website, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I go to Zumba at my church. On a good day, I’m in my office until the kids need to be picked up from school. Once they’re home I call it quits, but there are some days when I keep going. On those days, my husband picks up pizza or burritos for dinner. I try to write every day, but sometimes life takes over.
Some authors report writing 5-10 thousand words a day. Do scenes flow freely from your veins or do you have to tweeze each word out?
I envy writers who can write 5-10 thousand words a day. I’m definitely not one of them. I tend to edit as I write, which is not the best way to add to my word count, so I guess you can say I’m a tweezer. My goal is to write 1,000 words a day or two chapters per week.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve heard?
“Don’t edit as you write.” LOL! Instead, let the story flow freely and rewrite later. I’d love to master that one.
Do you have any parting words of advice?
Pray before you put your hands on the keyboard. I truly believe Philippians 4:13, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
Thank you so much for having me on Novel Journey! What a blessing.
Delivered with Love
An old love letter found in the glove compartment of a young woman's inherited 1972 Volkswagen propels her to leave her life in Los Angeles and go to the small town of Capitola, California. There her dream of finding the writer of the letter leads her on an unexpected journey that changes her life forever.
Claire James, age twenty-three, is ready to make it on her own. When she's fired from her job as a waitress and subsequently kicked out of her sister's home, she sees it as an opportunity to start over. But even before moving, a thirty-five-year-old love letter written to her mother keeps Claire stuck in the past. Michael Thompson, a middle-aged real estate agent, wants to keep the past where it belongs--at least until his grown daughter is married. But, then a young woman comes to town...