Today I am pleased to welcome author Sheryl Letzgus McGinnis. Sheryl's sweet romance, The Purrfect Romance, is a recent release from Topaz Publishing. She was kind enough to answer some questions for us about herself, her writing, and her book.
SLM: I’m reading. Sometimes I manage to get a little gardening in and if I have any spare time I look at the vacuum cleaner and try to figure out what it is. Okay, so it’s not quite that bad but reading and writing do take up an inordinate amount of my time, along with spending quality time with my husband and our two spoiled rotten cats.
PK: Housekeeping is definitely not high on my list of priorities, either! What would your fans be surprised to know about you?
SLM: I was born in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia to an Australian mother and an American GI father and have lived most of my life in the US with occasional visits back to my homeland.
PK: Fascinating! We have the same sort of background, except that I was born farther north than you. What life experiences helped you become an author?
SLM: Unfortunately it was the devastating loss of our youngest son at the age of 31 to a drug overdose. He was a paramedic and an RN. I was still in shock I think four years after his death when I decided I had to do something to try to help others who were suffering the same loss. So I wrote my first book “I Am Your Disease (The Many Faces of Addiction) and included true stories from other bereaved parents who were desperate to have their stories told too.
PK: What a traumatic time for you! But I'm so glad you found writing to be therapeutic. How did you choose the genre you write in?
SLM: I write in two genres. My first 4 books are on drugs and addiction because of the untimely death of my youngest son. His death inspired me to reach out to others. Now, ten years after his death I’ve decided to tackle lighthearted topics and write romance novels. I self-published my first 4 books and then received a contract from a traditional publisher to write romance, which I love!
PK: Wonderful! What has been the best compliment?
SM: My best compliments are the ones from people whose lives have been shattered by addiction and the stigma of addiction. They’ve reached out to me thanking me for writing the books and for giving them hope that there can be life after addiction if they will dedicate themselves to their recovery.
PK: It's always wonderful to know people have been touched by your writing. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
SM: The best advice I can give to aspiring writers is to write! Don’t just talk about it or dream about it, actually write something, anything just to get your ideas down on paper. Then be prepared to rewrite!. Even if you have to throw out a favorite sentence or thought because it doesn’t fit in the final draft, it’s just something that writers have to do. I often joke that I’m not a writer but I’m a rewriter.
PK: I think we can all agree with that description. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
SLM: My favorite author is Nelson DeMille. Although he would really be considered a “man’s” author his books are full of humor and have me laughing out loud.
PK: Do you work with an outline, or just write?
SLM: I start with the outline of the plot and quite often by the time I’ve finished the story, it may have only a resemblance to my original thoughts. The characters seem to take on a life of their own and while writing their stories I find they have changed direction, just like what happens in real life.
Here's Sheryl's description of The Purrfect Romance:
The Purrfect Romance is about a beautiful southern gal who meets and falls in love with a handsome Australian man who is living in Vermont with his uncle. It’s a delightful love story about two people from different cultures. But it’s the Tuxedo cat, named Jingles by his companion, who will steal your heart. Jingles seems to have magical properties, helping people heal from illness or injuries.
Everyone in the small hamlet of Ascot Vale, Vermont is crazy about him and they all have their own pet name for him. Lacey, the heroine of the story calls him TC, short for Tuxedo Cat. But Jake, the taciturn hero, calls him Boofhead, a not so nice name in the Australian slang known as Strine.
Readers will learn a lot of Strine as there is a glossary of popular Aussie words in the book. Cat lovers and lovers of romance will fall in love with this charming story and will wonder if Jingles can work his magic on Lacey and Jake and bring them together.
Interested? Sheryl can be found at her website and on the Facebook pages for her books: I am Your Disease and The Purrfect Romance.
The Purrfect Romance is available at Topaz Publishing and Amazon.