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Friday, October 4, 2013

Author Showcase: Sheri Wren

  Sheri Haymore grew up in Mt. Airy, NC and lives
thereabouts with her husband. Together they run a
couple of small businesses and are always dreaming
up their next vacation. A graduate of High Point University,
she settled into her first job as a writer at a
marketing firm and she’s been scribbling ever since.
If an adult ever says they don’t know what they’re supposed to do with their life, I tell
them to think back to when they were ten years old. What did they want to do then?
Hidden within that desire is their life’s purpose.
When I was ten, I would write new episodes of Bonanza. I could put Little Joe Cartwright
into all sorts of predicaments more interesting, in my mind, than those television writers
could do. In High School, I co-edited the school paper; in college, I learned the elements
of a good story from John Foster West at Appalachian State University. From there I
transferred to High Point College (now University) and immersed myself in great world
literature. I even taught creative writing, once, at GTCC. That didn’t work out too well
because my students were more interested in the CREATIVE part while I was determined
to emphasize WRITING.
I’ve been a writer for a marketing firm; I’ve written procedure manuals for the sewing industry.
As a matter of fact, my second job out of college was in the Engineering department for
a garment manufacturer, back in the day when sewing was big industry in Mt. Airy. Believe
it or not, I got that job, not because I graduated seventh in my class from High Point, nor
because of my great business wisdom. No, I got it because I was the first college graduate
they had ever seen who could take shorthand and type 120 wpm. I’ve written song lyrics
for our church choir. Original Bible studies for ladies. Reams of advertising copy for our
businesses. Websites. Blogs. Even a screenplay, loosely based on the same characters who
found their home in A Higher Voice, which was so terrible I think I burned it.
In short, I’ve never stopped writing since I was ten.
In the late nineties, I wrote a suspense novel, which now is titled A Deeper Cut. I had it
professionally edited and went through the wrenching process of finding an agent. Even
with an agent, the novel didn’t sell. And so, while I was working on A Higher Voice, which
I lovingly call my period of insanity, I would darn near have a panic attack every time I
would think about going through the process of finding an agent and probably not finding
a publisher. And yet I was determined to finish it, whether I did anything with it or not.
Wisdom House Books
www.wisdomhousebooks.com • 919-883-4669 • Clara@wisdomhousebooks.com
I sent the manuscript over to local author Jane Tesh. She didn’t tell me, as I was afraid she
might, that it didn’t have a plot. What she said was, “You’ve got too many adverbs and too
many named characters. You’ve got point of view shifts . . .” (How could I have missed that!
I taught writing, for crying out loud!) “. . . and the ending isn’t satisfying.”
Well there you go. I cut out adverbs and characters, shifted my POV (mostly), and had
another go at the ending. TA-DA! Now what? Traditional publishing made me panic.
Publishing independently made me confused, but peaceful. And so I found Ted Ruybal at
Wisdom House Books, and a few thousand words of editing later, we have what I think is a
respectable novel.
So why did I write these two novels? First of all, the story begins with the characters, for me.
These characters walk around in my head a while, and they begin to tell me their stories.
As the story progresses, I more and more hear the way they would speak, understand the
way they would think. One thing grows out of another. For example, I didn’t intentionally
introduce the concept of accountability in A Higher Voice. After writing the story, I realized,
hey, this guy has instinctively made himself accountable to his wife in subtle ways. And so I
played with that a little, and brought it out in ways that make the concept obvious.
Beyond the characters and my desire to tell a good story, however, I wanted to tell a story
that has meaning. And not in the “shove-it-down-your-neck, you have to believe what I
believe” kind of way. In A Higher Voice, we explore the universal concepts of hope, gratitude,
forgiveness. And we raise the question of whether there is somebody bigger than us, and if
so, does that somebody care enough, as the story says, “to hang with you even when you’re
beaten?” Might there be a Higher Voice and a larger purpose to life? I leave the answer up
to the reader’s interpretation.
Why will I continue to write? I’ll tell a story to explain. I was sitting beside my daughter on
an airplane while she was reading A Higher Voice for the first time. She closed the book and
said, “Sixty more pages.” Assuming she was tired of reading, I jokingly asked, “Are you going
to miss Britt and Dena?” Her answer surprised and gratified me. She said, “I don’t want to
leave their world.”
Isn’t that why books continue to be written and readers continue to read? We get to enter a
world that feels real, with characters who speak to our hearts, and we don’t want to leave.


Legendary rock singer Britt Jordan is at the pinnacle of his career—at least as far as
the world knows. But Britt’s voice is failing and a terrible event in his past haunts
him every moment. He thinks that his life is a hopeless shipwreck . . . until the
night he is stopped dead in his tracks by a woman’ s smile.
With the same determination that propelled him to stardom, he begins to create a new
life with Dena and her daughter, Bonnie. Britt’s presence in Dena’s life brings more
than paparazzi, however. His baggage includes a brother who wants to destroy him and
a stalker intent on killing his wife. Willing to sacrifice any price to save his family, he
finally must find a higher plane on which to face his past and hi s future.

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