Have you ever loved, been loved, been confused about love, or suffered from loss of love? All these feelings have been captured and shared in the word of heartfelt poems, compiled over many years by a retired teacher and award-winning author.
Sherrill S. Cannon now shares her thoughts in this book of feelings. “As a teacher, I used poetry to help counsel many troubled teens and friends, and have continued this pattern throughout the years.”
There are three sections in her book: Heads, Spinning, and Tails . . . (Love & Loss: Coin Toss?). The variety of lyrical poetry forms includes free verse, blank verse, haiku, and sonnets. Some poems are simply plays on words.
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Sherrill S. Cannon whose book A Penny For Your Thoughts moved and charmed me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love poetry but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for Sherrill, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Sherrill will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Sherrill
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 55th 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 I have time to write, when I’m not marketing (which is the other half of writing.) I spent many years collaborating with my daughter on rhymed musical plays for her elementary school, and now seven of our plays, “Have You Seen My Little Lamb”, “The King’s Spell”,”When You Wish Upon a Star…fish”, “The Wonderful World of Weather”, “ABC December” , “The Alphabet Trip” and “We Have Character” are available at Lazy Bee Scripts – http://www.lazybeescripts.co.uk. The plays have already had many performances in the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as Australia, Austria, Botswana, Cambodia, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates. I am trying to “make a difference”.
Now, how wonderful does Sherrill sound?! Sherrill is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of Sherrill’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and Sherrill, I hope that you enjoy Sherrill’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
A Penny for Your Thoughts is a compilation of many years of writing poetry. I was born on Valentine’s Day, so perhaps that is why I have been preoccupied with love in all its many forms throughout my life. Since I also have loved writing rhyming poetry since the age of 4, it has always seemed to be a way to put feelings into words. As a teacher I used poetry to help counsel troubled teens and friends, and I have continued this pattern throughout the years. My intent was to ask my family to publish my poetry after I died…a la Emily Dickinson…but my children convinced me to submit it for publication while I had a publisher interested in publishing it! I’m very happy to have taken their advice!
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
Since this is a poetry book, my advice would be to be very careful with rhyme and meter. Rhyme without meter is rarely successful, (and will turn off most editors – not to mention readers – right away!) If you choose to write free verse, then you have to be careful with meter as well, although you do not have to rhyme. If you write blank verse, then please try to stay concise and succinct with your poetry. Poetry should never be prose, broken into short lines!
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
The most important thing about a poetry book is that your poetry should reach as many readers as possible. Keeping the poetry simple helps readers relate more easily, since flowery language often turns people off. An example of this is a word substitution suggested by my mentor at The American University many years ago. The closing line of the sonnet was …” When you gave me of love the primal taste.” The change was …”When you gave me of love the first taste.” Simplicity…
What is your writing process like?
I don’t really have a “process”. Much of my poetry has come to me at night – hence the notepad and pen next to my bed. I find that if I don’t take the time to write an idea down, I’ll struggle to remember it in the morning. I also always carry a notepad with me. One never knows when an idea will strike!
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
Poetry is a demanding muse… When the words flow, one has to capture them. This is frequently the result of empathy, where I actually feel the way another person is feeling and try to capture that feeling in words. Occasionally I will deliberately write a poem in order to write a personalized one – for instance, one where the first letters of the poem spell a person’s name down the side (acrostic poetry) – or if I am writing for a special occasion.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I love to read – much more than watching TV or movies. My favorite poets are Sara Teasdale, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. I do not care for e.e.cummings, (except for I Carry Your Heart), or most of the current poetry I try to read today.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
My second volume of poetry, A Dime is a Sign, will be released later this year. It is formatted very like A Penny for Your Thoughts, and contains similar style poetry. The title is in reference to a Psychic Medium who once said that if you find a random dime, it is a sign that someone that you have loved and lost is thinking of you.
A Penny for Your Thoughts also won the Innovative Poetry Award in the Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards this year. The podcast of the interview can be found on the Reviewers Choice Awards site or here:
Inside Scoop Interview
Just as an aside, I am also the author of nine rhyming children’s books which have won 54 awards. They are also rhyming, and focus on kindness and consideration for others. In addition, I am a playwright with seven published and internationally performed plays for elementary school students which have been performed in over 20 countries in addition to the US, UK and Canada. They can be found at www.lazybeescripts.co.uk
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Sherrill! If you have liked what you have read about Sherrill and are interested in learning more about Sherrill and reading Sherrill’s work, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,