Interview with Sherrie Cronin

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love the sense of discovery. Making up stories has always been a joy for me, but now that I plan my tales and put them down on paper I have come to appreciate those moments when something happens that totally surprises me. It's great fun and the twists that I didn't see coming turn out to be my favorite parts of each of my books
What do your fans mean to you?
Far more than I would have guessed. I began with the idea that my stories were a creative form of self-expression, and it wasn't until I had that first novel finished that it occurred to me that I desperately wanted to find like minded souls who would read and enjoy what I had written. I'm a shy introvert, so this sudden need for others surprised me.

My books are kind of idealistic and intellectual. There is a fair amount of action and drama too, but at their heart my books are most appreciated by people who like to learn things while they read, and by people who enjoy wondering about human capabilities and the nature of reality and the meaning of life. So when I find a fan, I know that I've also found a kindred spirit of sorts, and that means the world to me. I'm driven now to keep writing the kinds of books that my fans will like.
What are you working on next?
Right now I’m editing and rewriting d4, the fifth book in this collection of six called 46. Ascending. I’m looking forward to starting the sixth book early in 2015. I can’t imagine that I will ever stop writing fiction now, but I can’t say exactly what will be next after these six stories. I have a lot of ideas.
What motivates you the most?
I confess to being an idealist. In the end, I want my books to add to the sum total of hope in this world, to add to the joy, to add to the love. That sounds pretty syrupy, I know. But if I accomplish this even a little bit, I’m going to be very happy that I picked up my laptop and started writing.
Who were your favorite authors when you were growing up?
Two authors affected me a lot as a young girl. Madeleine L'Engle and her “A Wrinkle in Time” hadn’t been out all that long when I first read it and I thought it was greatest thing ever. Of course it went on to have sequels and win all sorts of awards. The other author, Jane Langton, wrote a book called “The Diamond in the Window” and I obsessed over that book in grade school. Both authors shaped my young view of the world and convinced me that there was real magic tucked in-between and all around the layers of ordinary reality.
What made you want to be a writer?
All my life characters have marched their way through my head, having all sorts of adventures and interactions while I waited at traffic lights. It was more a matter of deciding that I really had to start writing this stuff down.
What bothers you the most?
I’m terribly intolerant of intolerance. I firmly believe that the best and worst human qualities are well distributed among every age group, both genders, every race, culture and religion, every sexual preference, every style and every income level. To me, one of the missions of a writer is to take a reader outside of their own day to day world and into that of another, and to thereby increase our understanding and appreciation of each other. (Yes, even our appreciation of intolerant people.)
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love to travel but to be honest travel is seldom relaxing. Sitting on my front porch with a glass of wine is relaxing. I do garden, yoga, watch more crime procedurals on TV than I should, and I play a lot of online word games.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
I’m always trying to see things through the eyes of others. It makes it harder to dislike people, and I suppose that it helps with my writing too. Yet sometimes I find myself defending or explaining a stranger’s behavior that’s just awful and then I think “what am I doing?”
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
I’m such an introvert. Like, at work I actually will stay in a bathroom stall until another woman is done at the sink and leaves the restroom, just so I don’t have to talk to her. Is that weird? I don’t know, but I’m sure that I’d be better at promoting my books if I had more of the extrovert in me.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world?
My front porch. I know that sounds boring, but I live in the country and my front porch is exceptionally nice. It’s about fifty feet wide, ten feet deep, filled with flowers and surrounded by birds and butterflies. Seriously, it’s so perfect its almost a caricature. It’s also where I write.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Best advice I got, and I don’t know who to attribute it to, is to write what you like to read. If you enjoy your own writing, then there are some other people out there who will enjoy it too.
Published 2014-08-23.
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