Interview with Sherry Peters

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was about the hijacking of the Space Shuttle. Both were big in the news when I was a kid. Terrorists hijacked planes back then, and the Space Shuttle was fairly new and looked like a plane, so I wondered what would happen if the Space Shuttle was hijacked. I think, though, that's where my political imaginings ended, because I believe the story ended with the Space Shuttle landing in my back yard and I got to go into space in it. A bit of wish fulfillment there :)
What is your writing process?
I'm more of what they call a pantser than a plotter, but I always need to have a strong character with a strong story, an opening scene, and the climactic moment or ending in mind before I write. Without it, I meander endlessly. I do take the time to outline some basic plot moments at various times during the writing process, usually when i reach the half-way point. But I have more recently started plotting from the beginning, figuring out the goals, motivations, and conflicts for the characters, what makes their story interesting and unique, and why they are the ones most impacted. Then I write the very rough draft which I like to call draft 0, and then I edit it to death.
When did you first start writing?
I have been writing from the moment I could pick up a pencil. I used to scribble thinking my big loops and circles looked just like my mom's handwriting, so I was writing too. I was writing letters and stories then, but the first story I ever put on paper was when I was in grade 2. That's when i decided I was going to be a writer.
What's the story behind your latest book?
A blog post I did for Anne E. Johnson's Jester Harley's Manuscript Page says it best: http://anneejohnson.blogspot.ca/2014/09/sherry-peters-sends-teen-girls-positive.html

Sophia Vargara was put on a pedastal during the most recent Emmy broadcast so that the audience had something (the presient of the Television Academy did say something, not someone) intriguing to look at. Our young girls are under growing pressure to sext their boyfriends or even boys they like in hopes of getting some kind of attention. Teens are committing suicide after relentless bullying because they are gay, or overweight, or different. Many of us feel like we need to do and exceptional and perfect and if we aren't, no one could possibly love us.
These kinds of pressures have always existed. They seem to have multiplied and intensified in the last number of years. Even as there is a growing emphasis on tolerance, there seems to be a polarization toward increased discrimination.
And that polarization, that increased pressure, upsets me.
I'm a big believer in story being a way to look differently at important social and political issues. When I started writing about Mabel the Lovelorn Dwarf, I spent a lot of time thinking about what life would be like as a female dwarf. The more I thought about it, the more the social issues became clear. I also saw how I could shed a new light on those issues while using humor. I wanted to write a story where the main character has a happy ending, but it isn't in finding love or losing weight or getting the promotion at work. I wanted the happy ending to come from within--from self-acceptanceand self-love.
I started with the tropes that I'd seen in so much epic Fantasy, both in books and the movies, like the ever-present enchanting female elf, the female dwarves with beards, mining gems of all sorts from one mountain, and I played with them, turned them around or exaggerated them. I used them to my advantage and created the perfect world for a character who didn't fit in.
In Mabel the Lovelorn Dwarf, females make up less than a third of the population. They are the ones responsible for procreation. But just like the rest of us, they have to look a certain way too, they need to be stout and they need to have full beards.
So what if Mabel decided she didn't want a life-mate or have dwarflings? What if she wasn't as stout or her beard wasn't as thick as was considered attractive? She's stuck trying desperately to conform to what her family and community expects of her, knowing that her true happiness and finding the place she belongs, lies somewhere else. No spoilers, but there comes a point where she has to choose.
I've just released Mabel, and so far reception has been positive. My hope is that at least one person who reads Mabel is given hope that there are others out there like them, who don't conform to society's standards, that they are wonderful and deserving of love--be it from family and friends or a significant someone--and happiness, just as they are. My hope is that at least one girl who reads Mabel stops pressuring herself to starve herself to look a certain way, or to sext a boy just to feel acceptable. My hope is that our young people and adults alike, will accept themselves and find others who accept them for who they are, regardless of appearance, profession, or any number of social constructs we use to discriminate against.
What are you working on next?
Right now I'm busy editing the sequel to "Mabel the Lovelorn Dwarf". https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/457271
As well as writing a new YA Fantasy series. But it's early days on that one :)
Published 2017-04-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Ballad of Mabel Goldenaxe: The Complete Series
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 242,850. Language: English. Published: August 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
Join Mabel Goldenaxe as she navigates family secrets, tangles with the elven mafia, battles to own her notoriety, and find her place in society.
Mabel the Notorious Dwarf
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 79,280. Language: English. Published: August 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Will Mabel finally find a way to live her life of infamy on her own terms? It’s been three years since her tango with the Dwarven and Elven Mafias, and Mabel Goldenaxe has been busy. Her movie making career has soared, she has the support of her friends, and has even found love. She’s the dwarf who has it all—or does she?
Blueprint for Writing Success
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 36,030. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Creativity, Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing
There is no magical trick to writing. Writing itself isn’t hard. Persisting at it, completing a story, pursuing a career as a writer is. The distractions and self-doubt get in our way. It doesn’t have to be that way. We are the architects of our own success. Our writing lives are our masterpiece designs. This book is a template, a starting point, for you to build the writing life you want.
Mabel the Mafioso Dwarf
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 75,940. Language: English. Published: June 2, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
New family, new friends, a run in with the mafia . . . and Mabel thought dating was hard!
Mabel the Lovelorn Dwarf
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 88,200. Language: English. Published: July 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Mabel Goldenaxe just doesn’t fit in with the other girl dwarves—and she likes it that way. Dealing with her overbearing family, jealous friends, and deep family secrets, Mabel will have to summon all her strength to conquer her fears and become her own dwarf—lovelorn or otherwise.
Silencing Your Inner Saboteur 2nd Edition
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 29,100. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Motivation and inspiration, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Creativity
All writers experience times when we don’t feel like writing, or have difficulty getting words on the page. We give these situations the umbrella name of writer’s block and blame our censor, critic, or editor. Silencing Your Inner Saboteur explores these issues and situations to discover that it is really a saboteur behind it all, preventing writers from achieving their dreams.