Thank you to All Author for the following interview!
Tell us about your life and your struggles.
I am a mother of four and a grandmother of ten, and I am also an Award-Winning Best-Selling Author! My books have received forty-five 2011-16 National and International awards. I have been writing poetry since before I could write! (My mother wrote down the poetry I wrote as a four-year-old.) I have written eight published rhymed children’s stories – as well as seven published rhymed musical plays for elementary school children, which have been performed internationally in over 20 countries. All of my books are also part of two separate fund-raising efforts: http://sbpra.com/curejm/ is for the CureJM Foundation, to help find a cure for Juvenile Myositis, an incurable children’s disease. 50% of the cost of the books is donated to the fundraising cause. Another Fundraiser is also available, with the same terms, but this one for an anti-bullying campaign at http://sbpra.com/imbullyfree. Here’s a little bit of my background: A real-live Eloise, I grew up in the Willard Hotel in Washington DC (my Dad was the manager), was married and lived in Northern Virginia for twenty years where my husband and I raised our four children. We later moved to Bucks County (Philadelphia PA suburbs) where we lived for 14 years before moving to the Binghamton NY area for 18 years, and we have just now moved back to Bucks County PA. We celebrated our 56th wedding anniversary in June! We are now retired, and we travel in our RV from the east coast to the west coast each year to spend time with our children and grandchildren. I have had a varied career: I was a teacher and coach for ten years in the Washington DC area, and then became a “stay-at-home-Mom” who in my spare-time was a professional newspaper sports photographer and columnist for several years when our boys were playing competitive soccer. When our girls became interested in theater, I became a Dinner Theatre Company Stage Manager (as well as lighting and sound technician) and also was an Assistant Talent Manager for Cathy Parker Talent when our youngest daughter was doing commercials and professional modeling in NYC. When we relocated to the Binghamton NY area, I became the Business Administrator for a software development company handling payroll and contracts. Now, back in PA, I am retired and spend my time marketing my books (which is the other half of writing!)
How passionate are you about writing? Not so much anymore. I am under contract for my ninth book for a 2017 release, which will probably be my last children’s book.
How long have you been writing and what inspired you to become a writer? My love of poetry, and my love of children combined… Dr. Seuss was also an influence! How did you get the idea for your first book? My first written book was Peter and the Whimper-Whineys, which was a story my mother told (not read) to me and my brother and later to her grandchildren, which I wanted to capture in written form. Because I love poetry and rhyming, I decided to write it in verse.
While choosing a name for your character, what aspects do you consider that determines what you finally call them? I use family and friends’ names when possible. It’s fun for them to see when the book is published. Some of my illustrated characters are also based on family and friends.
Do authors in general and you in particular plan series beforehand or do they just happen? I think of The Magic Word, Gimme-Jimmy and Manner-Man as my series of “manners books” since they all have a theme of being polite and thinking of others. Thanks to my awesome illustrator, Kalpart (a team of artists who have illustrated all my books) I am able to use former characters in subsequent books, so they are all about a classroom of kids.
How do you choose which stories to tell? Most of my books have the same underlying subliminal message of the Golden Rule, and teach consideration of others disguised as fun stories.
Do you ever get writer’s block? No. Once a story idea is in my head, the rhymes start to flow.
Do you have a “reader” in mind while writing? No. I have children in mind and want to be able to help them become better people.
Who is the first person to read the first draft of your books? I have been writing my stories for a very long time – long before I submitted them for publication. So my first “editor” now is my youngest daughter, who happens to be an editor in real-life!
How do you get reviews? Which was the best review you ever got? I submit my books to many contests, which leads to some excellent reviews. Reader’s Favorite, Midwest Book Review, and Feathered Quill are favorites. I have been fortunate in getting many awesome reviews.
What does the word “story” signify for you? To me, “story” is a children’s story…
Do you think an author should be bound by Genre? I can’t speak for other authors, but I think one should write about what one knows or feels strongly about…and be sure of one’s facts! (I wouldn’t be able to write a novel, for instance!)
Are you currently working on anything? As mentioned earlier, I am working on my last children’s book, My Little Angel, which is for a slightly younger age-level – 3-6 – and also for those who believe in angels!!
Do you have a special time or place for writing? No. I prefer my computer to my old typewriter I used when I first started writing, but I still revert to scratching notes on paper to capture a thought!
How do you promote your work? How will QuotesRain help you in your book promotion and sales, would you like to refer this platform to your author friends? I feel that entering contests has helped me market my books, since winning an award gives instant credibility. QuotesRain has been very helpful!
Would you like to share something with your readers and fans? Please teach your children to be kind to one another!!!
Here is the link to the interview: https://allauthor.com/interview/sherrillcannon/