By Guest Blogger, Sherry Derr-Wille
Where do I begin telling you about my writing or should I say my passion? I write not because I want to but because I have to. This is what I’ve done since I was 15 years old and 50 years later it’s just too late to change things.
I wrote my first book, DOUBLE M: THE MALLONS when I was a sophomore in high school as part of my English assignment. Having written it, I put down my pen and said no more. Like sure, that’s how it worked. I wrote two more books in that series and continued writing until I had tons of spiral notebooks filled with words and stories I knew would never be of interest to anyone but me.
In the early years of my marriage I submitted to lots of New York houses and have the rejection notices to prove it. My first so-called success came when a Vanity Press said they wanted my work. Thank goodness my husband knew an attorney who got me out of that mess.
It wasn’t until the spring of 2002 when I realized my friends in the writing world were becoming published. Knowing I’d receive a rejection, I sent in one of my manuscripts, OUTLAW’S SON. By the end of that year I had signed 17 contracts with three different e-publishing houses. The next year I signed a contract with a new company for SUMMER’S CHILD, which became my first published work.
My books cover every genre of romance other than fantasy and regency, family epics, and most recently murder mysteries. Under the name of Shari Dare, I also write erotica. In that genre I’ve touched on over the hill heroines, time travel, contemporary, western and historical.
Over the years I have had 57 books published and have found if I want to market them it must be up to me. At this point, I attend several craft fairs over the summer months, have just started going to our local farmer’s market, and have signed books everywhere from dress shops, coffee shops, bagel shops, donut shops and parties at my home, to sitting in front of the office of an accountant with a card table and a pen in my hand.
I’ve also done several speaking engagements. Just recently, I debated about setting up the entire selection of books, since I was speaking to a group of blind adults. At my husband’s urging, I finally set up a full display and to my surprised sold seven copies of my books. One never knows where one’s success will come from.
In an attempt to promote my work even further, I have advertised in local papers, sports programs for the local high schools, and recently while acting in our little theatre production of SHE WAS ONLY MARGINALLY MODEST, I purchased an ad to be printed in all the programs to be handed out at each of our four performances.
I also give out pocket calendars every year and with every sale, I give my fans one of my pens. As one fan said, “I really don’t need another book, but my pen ran out of ink.”