Sheri Chapman, welcome to my blog today.
- Tell us about your book and how the story came to be.
One of my favorite genres to read and write is young adult. I also love murder shows and the magical aspects in life. I got inspired to write a short story for a contest, but I ended up submitting it to Muse instead.
“Eyes with No Soul” is about a sophomore girl who has her psychic door thrown wide open when she bumps into a murderer at the local mall. Unfortunately for Laurie, she looks just like the man’s victim and becomes his new object of interest. No one takes the teen seriously, so it is up to Laurie, her friends, and the adults in her life to keep her safe.
What three words best describe your main character?
Survivor, strong, psychic
- Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
I don’t really have a method – I believe I get inspired by a story line and then go with the flow. I notice that some characters have some beliefs similar to my own – or have some resemblances to people I have met or encountered in my life. Some of my characters are also inspired by how I want people to be or not be.
I use a lot of dialogue in my stories, and I let the reader see into the character’s minds. Many of their thoughts, fears, beliefs, etc., are similar to what the reader would experience if they were in the character’s shoes. This definitely helps make the character real.
I also work with teenagers and have a lot of children in their teens in my home. I know how they walk, talk, work the system, etc. I know what they read, listen to, sports they play, and much more. Because so much of my life is spent with teenagers, I feel like I have never grown up, in a sense, as well. It makes writing about them as if I were one much, much easier.
- Do your characters follow your plot path or do they take on a life of their own? Do you keep them in check?
My characters basically take a life of their own. Sometimes I go with the path they take and weave in the plot. Other times, they naturally follow the plot line. Editing is the best way to keep them in check! J
- Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?
I have started a lot of stories – and sometimes I put them away for a while when I’m stumped on where to go next. Sometimes, I pray and meditate to open the flood gates again. Occasionally, I return to the story and work further on it; other times, I don’t. Usually if I get a good foundation started, I haven’t gotten writer’s block too badly to date. It’s the first three chapters (in that area) that sometimes challenge me the most.
- What types of books do you like to read?
I love to read many kinds of books. My favorite is fiction. I love paranormal, murder mysteries, romance, witch & werewolf books, and more. I’ll read anything that strikes my fancy. I also like spiritual self-help and inspirational books, but I notice they are a slower read for me – it helps me absorb what the book is saying.
- What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
My life revolves around my family including my pets. My husband and I try to work in time to ourselves between our eight children (only four live with us) and our one grandchild (just born).
I am always at sporting events for my girls. Among choir, track, soccer, and volleyball, our schedule is limited. It seems we are at some practice or game EVERY day… sigh.
I also own a dog kennel full of cute, fluffy, ADORABLE Pomeranians. Poms are my passion. I can’t be happier surrounded with Poms, reading, writing books, and being with family!
Running is my preferred form of exercise. I try to run four or five miles three times a week. In addition, my husband owns a Harley, and we will go for rides with friends.
- What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
I actually began a sequel for “Eyes with No Soul”. I think it is okay, but I’m not sure whether I’ll change it up or not… I think I might have a touch of writer’s block in getting it started. It just doesn’t have the flare I want.
I have another start to a story about a girl with powers who is trying to be incognito, but she has caught the eye of others involved with power. Some want to protect her and others want to use her. I am still beginning this book… a little blocked there, too. L
Then I am working on another romance book – Indian captive – and its sequel.
- What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
My editor, Chris Speakman, is amazing! She helped me with wonderful advice for my hook. In unedited writings, I tend to want to explain things – it’s the teacher coming out in me. I give too much information too quickly, losing the interest of my reader. I need to hook first, get rid of unnecessary information, and slowly give background details. I also tend to reuse words a lot. When I write, I go with the flow. Then I have a lot of editing to do! Chris has helped me to make my introductions more interesting! I have the utmost respect for this wonderful lady! <3
- Where can readers find you and your books?
MuseIt Up Publishing (on-line book store) http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/our-authors/52-our-authors/authors-c/447-sheri-chapman
and also at:
· Indigo (print books)
· Apple iBookstore
- Flipkart - India
- Wheelers ePlatform for New Zealand/Australia/Pacifica (Hawaii,Fiji, etc.) & Maori
- Ebook Eros (search by title or author)
My review of Eyes With No Soul. I loved this book. Great title. Laurie has a gift of precognition. When she bumps into a stranger, it triggers her to see a murder scene and she knows this stranger is the killer. The strange part is Laurie looks like the girl that he killed. Full of suspense. I look forward to reading more books by Sheri.
Laurie is a high school student who has been blessed with a touch of precognition her entire life. When she bumps into a stranger at the mall, her psychic door is thrown wide open, unlocking it for eternity! The action triggers a bloody murder scene to explode in her mind, numbing her ability to think… Unfortunately for Laurie, he notices her peculiar reaction and begins stalking her…she’s his perfect victim. With no “proof” for the police, Laurie and her friends must try to survive. In a race of life and death, only one can win!
Blood. Blood spilled everywhere. On the walls, on the floor…I was sickened by the overpowering smell flooding my senses. I did not see a body, just the thickening black pools and splatters staining the entire living room…
I bent forward to try to hide my reaction, a gag reflex. I took a steadying breath and turned to face my friends.
Worry was etched in their faces, overcoming any playful antics; I could tell they were concerned because I was acting so out-of-character. Vaguely, I wondered if I was as pale as I felt.
“Laurie, are you all right?” Kim asked.
“No, not really,” I said with a gulp. “Okay, you know how I always tease you guys and tell you I’m psychic?”
“You really get me going with that,” said Kim. “You always know what’s wrong with me without me even saying!”
“Yes, well, uh, I’m just really good at reading body language. I know you guys,” I said. “But this is the first time that I’ve had a truly psychic episode…”
I took a moment to let that sink in. Comprehension widened their eyes.
“What happened?” Angela breathed. “What did you see?”
I shuddered, and goose bumps puckered my skin. “Blood. That’s all I could see at first. It was so strong. It was all I could see...or smell.”
Traces of doubt were reflected in Julie’s eyes, but I think the others believed me.
I suddenly exclaimed, “That man is the devil. He killed someone, and he got away with it!”
Since I was very young (I want to say about fifth grade), I have always wanted to be a published author. (Why “published”? – because I would have liked it to have been my full-time job and not work for someone else). LOL! Because that didn’t work out at the time in my life when I needed to start bringing in money, I became a teacher.
I work with high school students who have normal to high intelligence as well as learning disabilities (mostly in the areas of reading and/or writing). I also work with students with Attention Deficits (ADHD) and mild behavioral issues. Every other instructional day, I spend in my classroom working with the students (mentioned above), and the opposite day I go into the English I classrooms to co-teach. This is going to be my twenty-sixth year working in Missouri Public Schools.
Luckily for me, my dream is about to come true! I will be able to retire with full benefits (thanks to the 80 and Out program in Missouri), and with my toe in the door at Muse, I plan to retire in five or six years, write books, and raise my Pomeranian babies. I am so excited for my future! My only sadness about the whole retiring thing is that my children will all be graduated and move away from me. So much of my time is spent on them, that I am very thankful that I’ll have hobbies and passions I love in place to help me deal with the big changes coming my way!
I have four teenaged girls of my own. I married a man a year ago with four of his own children. My husband and I were very close friends (but never dated) in high school. His son is 12 and he had three daughters (17, 19, and 20). We recently gained a grandson as well.
A year ago on July 20, I married my husband, Keith.
"Eyes with No Soul" (summer 2014)
"Eyes with No Soul" (summer 2014)
http://sherichapman.weebly.com (Author website)
http://www.prayerpawpuppies.com (Pomeranians for sale)
http://www.prayerpawpuppies.com (Pomeranians for sale)
Thank you, Sheri, for letting me interview you. I have enjoyed getting to know you and I look forward to reading more of your books.