Thanks to Andy Mulberry, author of middle-grade fiction, for this wonderful interview! One print copy and one eBook of My Fingerpaint Masterpiece will be part of her Giveaway.
Please click here for complete Interview and Giveaway:
I asked: Please recommend a children’s book for me to read.
Sherrill answered: Other than my own books, which I’d love to share with you, please pick any Dr. Seuss book – although I have to say that Horton Hatches the Egg is my favorite… I love his ability to rhyme with meter, and the underlying validation of loyalty and commitment. (Nature vs. nurture?)
I asked: What is your favorite dessert?
Sherrill answered: A single piece of Dove Dark Chocolate with Almonds…every night!
I asked: If you were an animal, what would you be?
I’m very happy with being myself, but I can see myself as a dog… I tend to like people, and love to give…and especially enjoy hugging.
I asked: Do you have any strange writing habits?
Sherrill answered: Many people ask me if I always write in rhyme, and that happens to be what I consider a “strange writing habit” since I often think in rhyme as well. Of course only my children’s stories are in rhyme – but it’s definitely a different process. One has to have something to say, and some point to make, but it all has to be conveyed not only by using rhyming words, but also by putting them into a specific meter. This involves having the accents of the words fit into a pattern – which I usually refer to as the “music of the words”. It’s not enough to have words rhyme at the end of a line – and this is where many authors of children’s books have problems.
I asked: What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Sherrill answered: The most important investment any author should make is to have your book edited! Nothing turns a reader off more quickly than repeated typos, grammatical errors or lack of proper punctuation. Since my experience is in rhyming children’s books, I’d like to offer some additional advice about this. Please be very diligent about staying within a specific meter (or cadence) and always read your books out loud before sending them anywhere official. Editing is imperative, but often editors don’t really understand the need for meter. Sometimes editors forget that “said”, “answered” and “responded” are not interchangeable in lyrical poetry!!! Consequently, you should read your book aloud again after editing, before accepting any changes! I could go on and on, but If anyone has any further questions, please write to me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I asked: What are you working on now? What is your next project?
Sherrill answered: I have just gone into illustration for my seventh children’s book, to be released in April 2015 (hopefully.) The title is Teacher’s Warning. It differs a little from my previous books, although it still attempts to teach values to children disguised as a fun story. This one emphasizes the need to be a good listener! It is fun to be working with my illustrator, Kalpart, again. Since this talented artistic team has illustrated all my books, I am able to request repeat cameo appearances from previous characters, as well as covers from my other books, within the pages (which my fans seem to love to find!) It also includes the names of those who have contributed through the fundraisers…so if you hurry, you might get your name included in Teacher’s Warning also!
Thank you so much, Sherrill, for being a guest on my blog today and generously offering to give away your book! I very much enjoyed reading it and had fun trying to figure out if the artist is a boy or girl! Reader tip: read the “Special Note from Sherrill” at the end of the book, for some advice at looking at the “masterpiece”!