BIO: Author Sherrill Bodine claims that family is her number one passion, writing second, and philanthropy or travel as a dead pan for third. She has written books under the pen name Leslie Lynn, (Buried Shadows, A Soldier’s Heart, and Autumn Loves), and also under the pen name Lynn Leslie, (Street of Dreams, Defy the Night, and The Other Amanda.) The other title under her name is Talk of the Town. Sherrill resides in Chicago, Illinois with her husband, children, and grandchildren.
Thanks for being here, Sherrill. It’s a pleasure.
#1- Tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing career…
I love film. I'd watch a movie every day. When I was growing up in my grandmother's house my job was to take my mother to movies. She has been developmentally challenged since birth and cannot read or write but she loves going to the movie theatre. We saw every movie that came through Lafayette, Indiana from the time I was five until I went away to college.
I passed my love of film on to my children. When I'm not writing, seeing films with family and friends, I'm active on four charity boards in Chicago - The Service Club of Chicago, The Parkways Foundation, The Chicago Academy for the Arts and The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum. We've moved 22 times since we eloped my freshman year in college but I consider Chicago really HOME.
#2- You write contemporary romance under three different names. What made you go that route and are you planning to stay with your real name (Sherrill Bodine) from now on?
When I started writing for Harlequin they wanted an exclusive on my synonym so when I sold to Fawcett I had to come up with a new one - so I simply reversed it. I'm fascinated by the Regency period and adored writing as Leslie Lynn for Barbara Dicks at Fawcett. I had some great editors at Harlequin and I'm very proud of my last book as Lynn Leslie -- THE OTHER AMANDA won The Wisconsin Romance Writers of America Write Touch:Readers' Award for Long Contemporary I LOVE BEING MYSELF!! I think my editor, Michele, at Grand Central Publishing is quite simply the best I have ever worked with and I'm thrilled to be writing for such a supportive publishing house.
#3- As you know, I reviewed your title A BLACK TIE AFFAIR for Bookpleasures and loved it. But how do you handle the negative reviews and critiques you receive?
Thank you so much for your generous review. It was one of the first I read and it really meant a great deal to me that you liked A BLACK TIE AFFAIR. I'm my own worst critic. When I read my ARC's I see dozens of places where I could have made the book better, but at that point it's too late. I always vow to keep rewriting until I get it just right but I must eventually let my fledgling creations leave the nest.
I ALWAYS read all the reviews because I truly appreciate readers taking the time to read and write about my books. I learn, and hopefully improve my writing skills, from studying what readers have to say --even the negative comments --although I admit some have driven me to the bath tube with a cup of tea or a glass of champagne -- my panacea for all stress. My record is five baths in one day. It was an RT review for SINGAPORE FLING. While I was soaking for the fifth time, a writing friend called and told me to get out of the tub - another reviewer had given the book 5 stars and called it "Die Hard" on the water.
#4- You travel a lot. How has this affected story ideas for books and what was the most interesting place your travels took you?
I grew up at the movies and so many films introduced me to the fascinating world outside of my home town. I wanted to cruise on the Nile, go on safari in Africa, party in Paris, sip tea in London -- I've been fortunate to be able to do all of this and more. I hate to pick favorites but my travels in India, the Middle East, my safari in Africa, attending the Olympics in China, and my recent trip to Milan Fashion Week are pretty high on my list. I try to bring aspects of my travels and the fascinating people I've met a long the way to my stories. I love travel and I want to share my experiences with the readers.
#5- Assuming you get any time to read, what authors do you like to read, and were there any books that stand out from your childhood as favorites?
As a child I read Classic Comic Books to my mother. I wish I could find
some old copies -- they were my favorites then. Now my favorite author is Dorothy Dunnett and my favorite books are her brilliant Lymond Series --6 novels that are truly historical literature. She created a world and characters I want to revisit again and again. And do. Plus I try to read books written by my friends. I have a bag packed with "must reads" when I travel -- my favorite time to catch up on my reading.
#6- Are there any upcoming releases we would like to know about, and could you give us your web site so readers can check it out?
My website is www.sherrillbodine.com It recently got "a face lift" so I'd love to hear what readers think about it. I'm on facebook and twitter -- I LOVE to hear from readers!
In A BLACK TIE AFFAIR I introduce two powerful Chicago families -- the Smith Sisters and the Clayworth Men. I told Athena's story -- now I'm writing about Venus and Diana -- I love their stories! Like they said on that old television series . . . "There is a thousand stories in the The Naked City" -- just change the name to Chicago. I'm planning to tell as many as I can.
#7- This about concludes it. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I'll never get over my feelings of awe and gratitude that readers spend their hard earned money and precious time to read my books. Their support means everything and I wish I could thank all my readers personally. Thank you, Kelly, for giving me the opportunity to talk to them here. xoxo