Sheryl Grace is a contemporary fiction author, Licensed Professional Counselor, and award-winning radio host of the internet radio show, “The Authors Lounge”. As host of ‘The Authors Lounge”, Sheryl has interviewed over 200 authors of all genres since 2017.
Her profession as a mental health clinician fused with her active imagination has served as the inspiration for her two novels. “He Calls Her Blue” and “King, Duke, and Prince”.
BPM: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Dedicated, Imaginative, and Spiritual.
BPM: Is writing your full-time career? How much time do you spend writing?
I wish it was my full-time career. Most of my writing time is on the weekends.
BPM: Tell us about your first published book. What was the journey like?
My first book, “He Calls Her Blue“, was written under different circumstances in that I only had the story in my head for a number of years and did not write one word of it down until I hired an author coach. And even then, that was not the book that I hired her to help me write. Instead, I had begun to write sort of “an inspirational-self-help” type of book in other words, a safer book. With her encouragement, I was advised to commence to write “He Calls Her Blue” instead.
I struggled with the thought that my book would not be embraced and that the “Christian” community would not support it. I’m happy to say that I was incorrect in my thinking. He Calls Her Blue is the first installment of a coming-of-age drama by an up-and-coming new voice in literature. The book has been very well received with readers eagerly awaiting the sequel.
He Calls Her Blue by Sheryl Grace
Loyalties will be tested. Secrets will be exposed. And not everyone will survive.
Indigo Jones’ life seems destined to be complicated from birth. Immediately after she is born to the very young and very beautiful Ruby, she is abandoned by both parents, but a turn of events forces Ruby to reluctantly care for the child she wishes she never had.
Provocative, shapely, and self-absorbed, Ruby is more concerned with getting a man’s attention than giving any attention to her child. Ruby’s contempt for Indigo grows as the child gets older.
Meanwhile, the identity of Indigo’s father is shrouded in mystery. Emotionally broken, sexually confused, and unaware of her beauty, Indigo’s desire for love and acceptance is fulfilled by an array of unforgettable characters. Some despise her and some love her but each leaves an indelible mark upon her soul.
The love she craves the most arrives in the form of the strikingly handsome and suave restaurateur Tyrone Mayfield. But his love comes with a price as he draws Indigo deeper into his other businesses. While Indigo does not have much of a life without Tyrone in it, with him she may die.
BPM: Introduce us to your new magazine, SURA Literary Life Magazine and The Authors Lounge Radio Show.
SURA Literary Life Magazine is the premier magazine for the creative community. SURA is a Swahili word translated as chapter, look, identity, expression, feature, or contour. I added the acronym, Savvy, Uniquely Relevant Authors.
SURA is available in print and digital format and is published quarterly. It will feature book excerpts, book reviews, poetry, featured stories on authors, publishers, and filmmakers. It will also provide tips for aspiring authors.
The Authors Lounge Radio Show is an internet radio show airing live every Tuesday from 4PM to 5PM to an international audience. The show has been interviewing authors, poets, and publishers of all genres since 2017 and has won several awards. As a contemporary author myself, I know first hand the challenges many authors encounter in their efforts to get their books noticed by readers outside of their friends and family.
Author’s Lounge Radio Show
Tune in: Tuesday Evenings at 4PM – 5PM
How to Listen: Go to the Grey Stream at – http://fbrn.us
Hosts: Sheryl Grace and Lynda Jones-Mubarak (Returning Soon)
Listen: Go to the Grey Stream at – http://fbrn.us
Show page: http://fbrn.us/shows/authors-lounge
BPM: Did you learn anything personal from publishing your SURA magazine?
Well, yes I learn that people had more confidence in me than I did in myself since beginning this venture. I suppose that my reputation precedes me in a good way. This was not my goal last year and when I expressed what God was leading me to do to one of my friends, she encouraged me to go for it without hesitation.
BPM: Is there a specific place/space/state that you find inspiration in?
My inspiration comes from the stories I hear on a daily basis from my clients and friends. I’m most inspired by nature and beaches. I need to be where I can focus but also observe others since I’m a “people-watcher”.
BPM: Where do your editorial ideas come from?
My editorials ideas come from human interest stories, social issues, and current events. For example in the next issue, my editorials will spotlight Mental Health awareness since May is Mental Health Awareness Month. However, since mental health is not discussed nearly enough, I’m thinking this may be a regular feature since as a mental health professional, this is an area that I’m passionate about.
BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing and developing the first issue of SURA?
I truly love creating something that people will think and talk about for years to come. Writing and developing the first issue was nerve-wracking but very exciting! Since I was literally “learning as I go”, I was happy that people were willing to “trust” me to tell their story in my magazine.
BPM: Is writing books easy for you? Do you feel lonely being a writer during the creative process?
No, writing books for me is a challenge because I’m not able to write full time and the creative images come at the most inconvenient times. Once, I get in the “zone” and commit to a time, I can make progress. I do feel lonely often during this process because my friends and family don’t understand the process or the sacrifice.
BPM: Tell us a little about your creative process in writing novels. Do you use a computer or write out the story by hand?
My author coach advised me to write on the computer. However, I have quite a bit written by hand prior to that time. I usually outline my books by hand first and then type it on the computer so I can easily access it.
BPM: When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene in your novels how do you get in the mood?
That’s a hard one at times. It’s important for me to have the right settings for such scenes. I may sit in a quiet room without any noise at all or often I use music to channel the emotions that I’m trying to convey on the page.
BPM: Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips self-care for creative folks?
Yes, it can be! I advise writers to set aside a time schedule that allows for breaks and use those breaks to get up and move around. Also, reward yourself when you have written a certain difficult scene or chapter even if you may not be on schedule.
Don’t deprive yourself of food or movement for long periods of time. Set your phone alarm for every hour or so if you need to remind yourself.
Don’t let other people dictate your writing schedule or shame you for example by saying things like “you’re still writing that book. or I thought it was done by now”. In my case, these people are my family…LOL.
BPM: How do you personally deal with emotional impact of a book as you are writing the story?
I have to take breaks after difficult scenes. I have literally cried a tear after killing off a character. I believe all our characters have a part of us in them so as characters use you to write their story, you (as the writer) are sometimes caught off-guard by how they turn out. It’s like watching an emotional movie but you are the only one that can see what’s playing in your head.
BPM: How much planning goes into writing a book in general? How long does it take to complete one of your books?
It took me about seven months to write both of my novels. Had I been working on it every day, I’m certain that my time could have been cut in half. I write the characters down first followed by an outline. Once those characters are written down, it activates the imagination often at the oddest times. I often end up recording scenes as they appear in my mind on my cell phone while I’m driving.
BPM: What were the key challenges you faced when writing your latest book?
In my last book, King, Duke, and Prince, my challenge was making sure my characters had an authentic male voice in terms of dialogue.
King, Duke, and Prince by Sheryl Grace
Three Brothers, Three Mothers, One Father and whole lot of drama!“
Charge it to the game cause everybody’s trying to score”
Ten years ago, James Miller walked out of prison vowing to leave the past behind. That past included his sons and their mothers and though he told himself that he would return, he never did. Now, he has a new name, a new family, a new career and a best-selling memoir. Meanwhile, the sons he left behind navigated their way to manhood while dealing with the questionable choices of their mothers.
King relies on his looks, charm, and sexual prowess as he methodically plans to find the next successful woman to support his lavish lifestyle. Simply because he works only when he feels like it. When he finds the one, it is not business as usual. But will he reexamine his trifling ways when it nearly causes him to lose those he loves the most?
Darius has a penchant for pursuing the wrong women. However, his mind for business manages to keep him afloat despite his challenges to keep his emotions intact. Working for a stepfather he despises only builds resentment between he and his mother.
What happens when the worlds of the two men collide unexpectedly, causing all to question their love and loyalty to one another?
Prince is awkward and highly intelligent. His hard-working mother is thrilled beyond measure upon receiving the news that her son has been given the opportunity of a lifetime. But Prince’s world is shattered by someone he and his mother trusted dearly. The secret is killing him.
What will happen when the secret is exposed? The sons do not know they are brothers but when they find out, they are determined to make James pay the price for leaving them behind.
BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book,King, Duke, and Prince?
Yes, since I wanted to assure that the three men I wrote about were represented truthfully, I had some of my male coworkers critique part of the book which included a lot of dialogue between two of the brothers. I also interviewed barbers and other men from various walks of life to get an authentic viewpoint.
BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
Writing has opened me up to a new way of thinking. I’ve had wonderful opportunities to share my books all over the country. I now have the confidence to share my writing with others.
BPM: What does literary success look like to you?
Literary success to me looks like New York Times bestseller, Oprah’s Book Club Selection, and Essence bestselling author. It also looks like a movie based on one of my books in the future. But, most importantly, my greatest pleasure and personal literary success comes from readers enjoying my books.
BPM: What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Carl Weber, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Mary Monroe and Mary B. Morrison.
BPM: Do you have anything special for readers that you’ll focus on this year?
This year, I really want readers to support SURA Magazine. I also want them to stay connected because my next feature will be unlike previous ones. I’m also wanting the readers to embrace “King, Duke and Prince” because it didn’t gain the same momentum that “He Calls Her Blue” received from readers.
BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
My next project is a historical picture book for children based on the life of my grandmother. It’s based in the 1930 rural Louisiana and centers around a one-room schoolhouse.
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
I’m on Facebook at Author Sheryl Grace
My website: www.sherylgrace.com
SURA Magazine: https://mzgracebookz.magcloud.com
SURA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SURA-Magazine-108420120782091
SURA (Savvy. Uniquely. Relevant. Authors.)
Swahili word for chapter, feature, or expression.
SURA Literary Life Magazine is the premier magazine for promoting literary artists and other creatives. Although our primary focus is authors, we also highlight others in the creative community including but not limited to filmmakers, poets, artists, and screenwriters. In addition to feature stories on authors of all genres, SURA also features book reviews, book excerpts, and poetry.
SURA is a resource for writing tips and advertising literary events. Read more and order copies at: https://www.magcloud.com/user/mzgracebookz
SURA Literary Life Magazine is an outlet for independent writers and creatives. “It’s no secret that authors and creatives need exposure and promotional opportunities to be successful.” said Sheryl Grace, SURA Editor-in-Chief. “Most literary magazines do not cater to independent authors.”
SURA Literary Life Magazine is a quarterly publication. As an author and award-winning internet radio co-host, Sheryl Grace is bringing her interview experience of more than 200 authors to the magazine. Her understanding of the industry’s needs is displayed through the offering of tips, special articles, and promotional opportunities.
Why the Need for SURA – Although SURA is dedicated to authors, special attention will be given to publishers, filmmakers, screenwriters, actors, artists, and entrepreneurs. SURA Literary Magazine is poised to become a leading resource for independent creatives delivering quality works and actionable opportunities for author growth and development. “The publishing industry has seen a surge in independent works over the past few years, particularly covering spaces of diversity,” said E. Danielle Butler, CEO, EvyDani Books.
“SURA is a much needed, dedicated resource for amplifying these stories.”
For SURA ordering information visit: https://mzgracebookz.magcloud.com
ABOUT THE EDITOR
Sheryl Grace is a contemporary fiction author and award-winning radio host of the internet radio show, The Authors Lounge. Her two novels, He Calls her Blue and King, Duke, and Prince are currently available at www.sherylgrace.com and Amazon.
As a radio host, she has interviewed over 200 authors representing all genres. With the launch of SURA Literary Life Magazine, more authors and creatives will have the opportunity to shine. Website: www.sherylgrace.com