Interview with Sherri Coner

What's the story behind your latest book?
This book, entitled Hissy Fits Set You Free, is about a group of women who initially think they have nothing in common. But as they share more with each other in a support group setting, they discover a common thread. Each woman feels unappreciated. They discover some pretty nasty anger. And then the hissy fits erupt like volcanoes. It's a funny jaunt through womanhood, setting limits and deciding to nurture ourselves as often as we care for everyone else around us.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
For nearly nine years, I worked as a senior writer and humor columnist at an Indiana newspaper. My readers have always been wonderfully supportive. And so, because I already had a great readership, I pursued my longtime dream of writing books.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is a wonderful new avenue for me to share who I am and what I try to give to women through my work. It's also an opportunity to see the work of other new authors and to read and learn about so many different facets of publishing.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I fall in love with my characters. They are so real to me that I am surprised that I don'r look up and see them sitting around me. I love to give away laughter and surprises, twists in the plot and moments when my readers send me emails that say they see themselves on my pages and find strength in how my characters find and celebrate their own power.
What do your fans mean to you?
I love them. And I mean that. My readers reach out to me. They tell me about their personal struggles and pain just as easily as they tell me what parts of my work made them laugh so hard they peed their pants. I treasure that they trust me. It encourages me to be totally authentic for and with them.
What are you working on next?
My next book, Flamingo Floozies, has been delayed. I recently survived breast cancer with bilateral mastectomy. Since the day I was diagnosed, Nov. 4, 2013, I have shared every single step of this journey with my readers on my blog. I now have more than 17,000 women reading the blog and I am hoping to do something positive with something that took me- quite literally- to my knees. I am committed to reminding women to get annual mammograms. I am committed to passing the word around about BRCA testing. I will also do a book about this experience... which will include the voices of other breast cancer survivors.But at this point, I am not sure which book will be completed first. I kinda leave that decision to my creative spirit.
Who are your favorite authors?
I really love Sue Monk Kidd, Elizabeth Berg, Jodie Piccoult.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Lots of things inspire me... I now live on the beach, so I enjoy walking and feeding the gulls. I enjoy talking to my friends on the phone and reading/returning emails and Facebook messages. My work never feels like "work" to me. I fall in love, as I said earlier, with my characters and I can't wait to spin new stories. There are many happy reasons for me to start each new day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to read. I love the beach. I love to spend time with other women. I also attend a couple of writing groups and I really enjoy the other writers there, too.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Either by word-of-mouth or Internet
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
yes, I was in third grade. I wrote a story about bunnies coloring and decorating huge eggs in a cave. My teacher taped a purple note to my story, telling my parents that I was very creative and talented with words. That purple piece of paper meant the world to me. And still does.
What is your writing process?
Usually a character or two will just suddenly show up in my head and the story around them begins to appear. When I sit down to write, I never know the length of the piece, the number of characters or the ending. I do not do outlines or anything like that. I just "go for it." ha
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes, I read Little Women by Louisa Mae Alcott. I was in love with the pictures in my mind. Some parts made me cry. I was so moved and mesmerized too by the power of words.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to think of ways to set the mood for the book, through the cover.. through the graphics, color choices, font style
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Little Prince and The Velveteen Rabbit, both are just beautiful, forever books the world will always need.
The Prophet, Gibran's gift with words never seizes to amaze me
The Secret Life of Bees, I loved the characters
The Help, the characters, the plot... so powerful
What do you read for pleasure?
I like to read light-hearted books a lot of the time
What is your e-reading device of choice?
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
My Facebook pages, twitter, website, blog, and now!
Describe your desk
Oh lord, it's a mess... always a mess... it has piles of notes, etc. strategically placed. Most of the time I work on my laptop, outside on my back porch, in the middle of the night. And somehow, I also manage to make a mess there, too!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born here in Florida but we moved to Indiana when I was a little girl. My parents are both from the South so I had the constant influence of very Southern culture mixing with Midwestern culture. I spent time on the family farms and on the beach. Those experiences are almost always drawn from in my work.
When did you first start writing?
As a little girl, I wrote stories to read to my little brother. As a teenager, I wrote love stories for my friends.
What makes you different from other authors?
I spend a lot of time developing my characters. If I can't clearly see them, I'm very sure they would be a blur to my readers, too. I love to write about what women really think. I like the shock value of saying it all in print and thrilling readers with some sarcasm and humor while I also add messages to my books about women taking care of themselves and knowing how they deserve to be treated.
Published 2014-02-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Forever the Willows
Price: $6.49 USD. Words: 97,540. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2014 by Whitesides Words. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Inspirational
The strength of friendship is explored in this beautiful and powerful story. Under the branches of the weeping willow tree, Jen, Babby, Ivy and Bizz grew from little girls to teens, to mature women. Dubbed the Willows, all of their secrets and fears are brought into the light as they grapple with a terminal diagnosis that makes them face the truth about one another and the bonds that connect them.
Hissy Fits Set You Free
Price: $6.50 USD. Words: 109,440. Language: English. Published: February 16, 2014 by Whitesides Words. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
If you've never thrown a hissy fit, chances are good that you need to! By the time you get to know the girls in Sherri Coner’s latest book, you will much better understand the concept. The recipe for saving one's self often includes a big load of truth and pure honesty, raw moments of pain, hysterical laughter and ...yes, a great big, messy hissy fit!