Hi. I’m Sherry. And, at the risk of seeming completely self-indulgent, let me tell you a bit about myself. I was born in the year when people could find answers to their most pressing questions with the power of the Magic Eight Ball, Sid and Marty Croft’s shows seemed entertaining not creepy and Arthur Fonzarelli’s monosyllabic vocabulary consisting only of “Aayyy” made him cool not unintelligent.
Growing up I was always imaginative, creating worlds that harbored characters inspired by books, television and my own creation. When I wasn’t bending steel bars as the Bionic Woman (I had the broken crayons to prove it) or struggling with the onset of blindness as Mary Ingalls (well, more broken stuff), I was in my best friend’s closet as we pretended to be Jewish refugees hiding from the Nazis (I was very pale that summer).
Another summer was whiled away running through the woods behind my house, which doubled as an elaborate make-believe world where my friend and I were alone on an island trying to escape an evil elderly couple (disclaimer: I am not an ageist; it just worked with the story). Because you see, I always have had characters and stories running through my mind.
Even now, as a self-proclaimed responsible adult my make-believe world is usually only one to two thoughts behind the grocery list and the next laundry load. But these characters still need a place to live. And their stories still need to be told. Since my husband would question my sanity if I spent long durations of time in the closet and running around in a patch of weeds riding a stick would seem odd at this age, I keep my characters and their stories alive on the page.
My first story was written when I was six years old and inspired by my desire to use the stapler which my mother insisted could only be used if I had papers to clip together. My first attempt at a novel was made during a slow summer week spent with my cousin (it remains incomplete and cringe-worthy). Soon short stories and ideas for the next novel pervaded my every thought. From elementary school through college, pages of journals and legal pads were filled and secretly kept.
After graduating college and working several uninspiring jobs, I decided the characters could no longer be silenced. So with a bit of trepidation, ceaseless spousal support, and a story to tell, I sat at the computer and typed the first sentence. Soon that sentence became a paragraph and that paragraph became a chapter until a story was told and the characters quieted. Of course, until the next story needed telling…
I have spent my entire life captivated by books. As a child, I lay sprawled across the fat limb of an apple tree reading about Anne Shirley’s spirited adventures in Green Gables; as an eleven-year-old, I sat sun-soaked poolside reading about Pony Boy and the pain of being an outsider. I made it through the uncomfortable moments of puberty with Judy Blume. I learned to enjoy the thrill of the unknown and fear from Stephen King. In college, I learned about love, passionate and unrequited, from the Bronte Sisters. As a young woman, I have counted Jane Austen, Willa Cather, and Edith Wharton among my friends. Books have been my constant companion, creating worlds into which I can escape, dream, and live for a moment outside of my own life.
So I can only humbly hope that you may for a moment find yourself pleasantly and completely wrapped up in my story, “Let the Willows Weep.”