I am delighted to have my friend from the Paranormal Romance Guild, Sheri Fredricks, with me today to talk about her new novella release, Portals of Oz.
Always on the hunt for the uncommon things in life, award-winning author Sheri Fredricks thrives on creating adventures in her mythological kingdom.
A former engineering secretary, Sheri lives on California’s beautiful central coast. “I wanted to move away from inflexible right angles and create an unboxed world with no boundaries.” A voracious reader since her early years, Sheri found her brain crowded with stories and characters of her own. “Ultimately,” she says, “my husband encouraged me to write them all down.”
Sheri loves to spend time at home. A computer hutch keeps her focused on creating stories, but the panoramic view of life on a ranch will call her outside to play in the sun.
Sheri, what made you want to be an author? At what age did you start telling stories and then writing them down?
In high school, I took a creative writing class. It was really easy for me. Next thing I knew, I was getting paid to write stories for the other kids in class so they could turn them in. LOL I don’t think I ever made the conscious decision to write stories at that age, but it always stuck with me. What was once a hobby is now a career. What’s the saying? Love your job and you’ll never work a day in your life.
What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?
Best: The freedom of creation without ridicule.
How do you think your life experiences prepared you for writing paranormal romance and other novels?
I’ve lived with horses most of my life, therefore I know their nuances and funny quirks. Writing about shapeshifting centaurs is right up my alley and I feel the characters before they’re born.
Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book–as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with?
Sometimes when I write and I’m in “the zone”, the words come easily and flow. The next day I’ll go back and edit before I start writing again, and I’m amazed at what I’ve written. It happened with both Remedy Maker (whole chapters!), and Troll-y Yours.
For a variety of reasons (day job, children, elder care, book marketing), writers often complain about not having enough time to write. What’s your favorite time management tip?
I have a schedule and do my best to stick to it. Not only do I write full time, I also work in my husband’s home office full time. Plus we have two teenage boys. It’s important to treat my writing as a business and work smart, not hard.
Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer?
For the most part, I plot. But it’s a skeleton outline and I leave room for creativity on how I arrive at the next bullet point. Without a frame in which to build my stories, I find I drift without purpose and end up having to delete. In order to not waste time, I’ll plot to stay the course.
If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be?
Cherry Adair told me: Stick your ass in the chair and write the damn story.
Is there a particular song or type of music that you listened to often as you wrote this book?
No, I find music distracting while I write. I can listen to sounds of nature that blur in the background, but for the most part I’m partial to silence. It’s not often I get that around my house!
Abelia is a Boronda Forest Wood Nymph who comes to Willow Bay to satisfy her curiosity of human life, and ends up getting more than she bargained for. Jack is an archeologist bent on discovery. He can’t wait to leave Pennsylvania and return to his explorations in Australia, where life is filled with dingos and roos.
Danger abounds when human hunters stalk the enthralling Abelia, and Jack comes to her rescue. The hunters back off, but she suddenly vanishes, and he’s left confused as he returns home to the rugged Outback.
When Abelia magically appears in Jack’s kitchen, she must divulge who and what she really is and risk the mythic people’s secret for his help to return home. Meanwhile he risks his heart in convincing her to stay.
How about an excerpt from Portals of Oz?
Here’s a cute part. It’s when Abelia, the Wood Nymph, magically appears in front of Jack, the human, after he supposedly left her in the U.S. and now he’s back at home in Australia.
Inside the tree, the bonsai wasn’t cramped for breathing space, though no Wood Nymph had ever made it a home. That much was clear; the living quarters were bare. Not even a cup to get a drink of water. Back in Boronda, the taproot tree of her heart held two bedrooms, living room, kitchen, and bath. This mini tree, she glanced around, was more of a studio—everything in one big room.
Connected to a single tree from birth, a Wood Nymph’s existence remained joined as one, taking on life and living for centuries. With all things mythological, there lay a flip side to their longevity—whatever affected the tree, would also affect them. Clear cutting and environmental pollution were the Wood Nymph’s number one cause of death.
Abelia shimmered close to the bonsai’s bark surface, but didn’t pop all the way through. She took in her new environment from behind a screened window of natural wood grain.
Cream colored marble covered the modern kitchen countertops. Blond oak cabinets hugged the walls, and a type of cooking range she’d never seen before sat center stage. The home—whomever it belonged to—was nice, clean, and tidy. And if it were hers, she’d add a few green plants and a vibrant splash of color.
As much as she liked hanging around and ogling the home interior of others, it was time for her to leave. Uneasiness prickled her spine. In this last adventure, her curiosity had gotten the better of her. For what seemed as long as a day, the walls and floor shook inside the boab, the last few hours being the worst. Impossible to stand upright, she resorted to crawling, or sat in the corner with her back braced against the walls.
Energy grew deep within her, and her body’s temperature increased with the howl of a false wind. In true mythic fashion, not a hair on her head stirred. Agitated molecules spun and danced. The whirling motes created exotic patterns as they vibrated the still air around her. Wood Nymph shimmer in full effect, displaced air popped like a finger in the mouth and a moment later Abelia stood on the cool tile floor, facing the bonsai.
Behind her a deep voice gasped, “Oh, my God.”
Abelia spun around, her heart in her throat, and threw a hand over her mouth to hold in a scream.
The human male from the park stood shirtless a few feet away, eyes saucer wide. In his right hand, he held a blue can halfway to his mouth. “What the hell?”
Shock wrote a novel across his face, invoking a sense of panic inside her. She glanced past him to the luggage bag sitting on the floor, and through the adjoining room was a door with an inlaid arched window. Sunlight streamed through and sparkled on the reddish floor.
Based on her education and life experience, he wouldn’t know if what he saw was real. She’d have to place her bet on that guess.
“Hi. I bet you’re surprised to see me.” She smiled, though her facial muscles fought the uphill pull.
Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?
My Website : www.sherifredricks.com
Blogging At : http://sherifredricks.blogspot.com/
Buy link for your book
Sheri, thanks you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.
Sharon, it’s been a pleasure. I want to let everyone know that my novella, Portals of Oz is only 99 cents!