The Splendiferous Sherri Lupton Hollister

Meet the Incomparable Sherri Lupton Hollister

Sherri is a warm and welcoming person in addition to weaving quite a tale of mystery and romance in her books. The books are set in the Washington, North Carolina, area, which gives her a lot of creative room to describe the waters of the area, in addition to the small towns and the people who inhabit them. But who is she other than that?

Hey Sherri, I’m looking forward to seeing you and your books at our upcoming Authors’ Sunday, which is being held at the New Bern Farmers Market, 421 S. Front Street in the charming little city of New Bern. She and I are just two of the thirty-five authors who will be there. Along with most of the authors who will be there we also sell our books at Next Chapter Books and Art at 320 S. Front Street, New Bern.

Sarah: First off, Sherri, tell us what you and your family are up to. Did you grow up around here? Is this where you and your handsome devil met? How many children/grandchildren do you have? I know you have at least one granddaughter who is as passionate about horses as I am. What is she doing with her riding at the moment. And what are the other members of your family up to?

Sherri: My handsome devil is a mechanic and he’s always busy between being president of our local Lion’s Club and his work with the Boy Scouts, we meet for lunch just to have a few minutes together. We both went to school here in Beaufort County. My parents are from this side of the river though my mother actually grew up in Pamlico County. The handsome mechanic and I met at Pamlico Community College when his dad and my mom were taking night classes. I thought he was cute until his sister told me I was three years older. We didn’t get together until many years later. Together we raised six sons and as of last count we have twenty-two grandchildren. A couple of our sons are trying to catch up with us.

Hailey, my horsewoman granddaughter is doing really well with her horse shows. Dressage, western, farm horse competition (they didn’t do as well with it but still had fun) and western dressage. She even got my son to compete this year and he’s never ridden a horse before. He and his wife are Army veterans and they participated in honor of disabled vets.

When Hailey and her family were here this summer, I asked her about the best horse for my story, The Americans are Coming. I wanted a smaller horse for my trick rider main character. She suggested an Appaloosa. When I researched them, I thought they would be the perfect horse for my character.  

Sarah: Native American tribes especially liked colorful horses such as Pintos and Nez Perce, a.k.a. Nimi’ipuu tribe developed the Appaloosa. They are sweet horses.

Sarah: I know you’re the chairperson of the Pamlico Writers Group, but what other organizations you belong to. And we can look forward to another conference from PWG? They are always so good and interesting and inspiring.

Sherri: I am a member of the Romance Writers of America, vice president of communications for the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, and I’ve been hosting a monthly writing challenge called Book in a Week with them for several years. I am also a member of the Kiss of Death RWA chapter. I recently joined Alli (Alliance of Independent Authors). They are an international group for self-published authors.

I would love to have another PWG conference, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen any time soon. We’ve buried three very important members of our group and since Covid, we’re rebuilding our group. I’d like to start with an in-person workshop and build up to the conference. Know anyone who wants to volunteer?

Sarah: Tell us a bit of how you came to be a writer and especially a writer of mystery and romance.

Sherri: I’ve written since I was a little girl. My first story was a romance written in red ink. I started out as a historical romance writer. After we lost our house to fire and all of my research books were gone, I turned to contemporary romantic suspense. I blame my sons and my husband for turning me to suspense and mystery. I was such a nice person and they corrupted me. All of my books have at least one murder, and something usually blows up. I can’t help it. I still love romance, but stuff has got to happen. I’m afraid I’m having way too much fun creating murder and mayhem.

Sarah: What is the title of your next book? And what it is about. What inspired you to write this story?

Sherri: The Americans are Coming releases November 3rd. It is a cozy mystery. I shocked everyone by toning things down, no sex on the page and very little foul language. The main character, Winnie Applegate and her family own and perform in a wild west show. When an accident happens resulting in the death of another performer, Winnie is determined to prove her brother’s innocence. With the help of a lady Pinkerton agent and the man Winnie plans to marry, they discover it was murder, and her father was the real target.

Sarah: Most writers find themselves pushed aside by their characters while writing a book. I know that has happened to me and a writer friend of mine had one of her characters push my friend aside and say, “No, no, I’m not the villain, I’ve been misinformed.” Have you ever had such a thing happen to you?”

Sherri: All the time. I think when you listen to the characters you get a more realistic take on who they are and what needs to happen in the story. I am a pantser or discovery writer, so I might know where I’m going but the journey is an adventure. Occasionally, I have to rein in my characters, so they don’t go too far off script but for the most part, I let them take the lead. (There are two types of writers, or so I’ve been told. The Outliners (methodical types) planner everything out first on paper and then write their stories. We pansters have an idea about what the story is about and then sit down to write what comes off our fingers onto the page.)

Sarah: When you decide to take a break from writing, organizing, being a family member, etc., what do you do? I like to read or ride my tricycle or play my computer games, but I expect your much more energetic than that. Does your husband inspire you in your writing? How?

Sherri: Ha, break, is there such a thing? I have a group of friends whom I meet for breakfast once a week and we plan day trips. My husband and I love to watch movies together and I, of course, love to read. I am also on my town’s planning committee and I enjoy painting and crafting.

Sarah: Including front cover photos, and the back cover blurbs, please give us a list of the books you’re bringing to the market. For those who would like to buy a copy or two, but can’t come to our event, please give us the links to where else we can buy your books.

Sherri: I have 11 books now. One completed series—The Leeward Files, one nearly complete—The Harrell Family Chronicles and my new series—An Applegate Mystery.

The Leeward Files: Three friends return to the town of Leeward and uncover a dark secret that threatens their lives and those they care about. Can they stop the past from destroying their future? A dark, small town romantic suspense series. A pink motorcycle, a dating club, reunited lovers, second chances, and revenge. Everything heats up in the town of Leeward when one victim takes the law into their own hands.

Chrome Pink

White Gold

Titanium Blue

Evergreen Crystals

Red Steel

The Harrell Family Chronicles: The Harrell Brothers: one married young, one married well, one married a psychopath straight from hell. Welcome to The Harrell Family Chronicles where three brothers, their families and friends battle those determined to take over the rudderless sex trafficking cartel that has bullied their town for decades. Old family secrets entwine with ghosts of the past to threaten the family and the town, with new threats popping up where they least expect.
The Harrell family might fight among themselves but when one of them is threatened they will come together to battle all foes.
The new generation of Harrell adults will meet the threats head on. They won’t hide from the past. They will take strength from each other and open themselves for love.
The Harrell Family Chronicles is filled with suspense, family drama and romance set in the small town of Leeward, North Carolina and the Harrell Family Campgrounds.

Willow’s Retreat

Janie’s Secrets

Roxy’s Betrayal

Christmas Inn at Teach’s Island (novella)

Trent’s Melody

An Applegate Mystery:

The Americans are Coming

Seventeen-year-old Winona aka Winnie Applegate is a trick rider and archer in Colonel Bill Dexter’s Wild West Extravaganza traveling show. Her first act was throwing knives with her younger brother, Riley, who likes to invent things. He especially likes things that go boom.
When a mysterious benefactor offers to bring their show to England, a series of sabotages turns deadly, and Riley becomes a suspect. To protect her brother, Winnie teams up with a lady Pinkerton agent and Harry McDonald, the young man she believes she is destined to marry.
Secrets and sins come to light as it becomes apparent it isn’t just the show they are trying to stop. Someone doesn’t want the Applegates to reach England.
The Americans are Coming is An Applegate Mystery, the first in a new Victorian Era Mystery Series.
Winnie is more comfortable throwing knives than knowing which fork to use. She prefers boots and britches to ballgowns and dancing slippers. Will England be prepared for the arrival of the Applegate family?

Sarah: It will be good see you on November 20th

Sherri: Thank you for hosting us and planning this event. I can’t wait. It’s going to be so much fun!

Sarah: I look forward to buying a copy of The Americans Are Coming!

Another Author Coming to Author Sunday

Nathan Black is the second author interviewed by Sherri L. Hollister for the upcoming Authors’ Sunday at the New Bern Farmers Market on November 20th. Sherri does an excellent job with her interviews as you will have noticed yesterday when she interviewed me for the same event.

I will post my interview of her this afternoon.

Welcome to Creekside Café, Author, Poet and Screenwriter, Nathan Black

Sherri Oct 30 Bio:Nathan Black from Greenville, North Carolina, ECU graduate in English, has worked for various magazines and publications. Writes works of poetry, screenplays, novels, and short stories. Focuses on self-discovery, self-love, religion in the modern world, inspiration, conquering adversities, hatred of pop music, love of pop culture, spiritual awakenings, and love of Sunday mornings. Lives with his wife, Christina and their two cats, Zoey and Yeti.

Sherri: Nathan, it’s good to have you at my virtual café. I read that you are a slam poet. I have had the opportunity to experience slam poetry and it is fantastic. Tell us how you got into it and what slam poetry is.

Nathan: Slam poetry like poetry itself is hard to describe with any solid definitions. Like good art, you know it when you see it, or in this case, hear it. With any art form there are movements amongst the community of Slam poets that give some distinctions to it. The use of cadence, its qualities as a speech more than verse, more akin to free verse, possibly even divorced from what most would consider a poem all together and instead can sound like a rant or prose poetry. There is a very common connection to social justice issues and soci-economic woes. I suppose because I am entrenched in these subjects that is what led me to poetry to begin with. The call of poetry was magnetic for me and so I sought out what it meant for me and what I could gain from it. I went to ECU for English with a concentration in creative writing and so while I was there, I found the spoken word group, Word of Mouth (WOM). It was through them that I got into the challenge and love of writing slam poetry. Even though I will write in this style, I do write prose and more traditional poems as well, but I have found the performance aspect of slam poetry the most engaging and the shot of life that poetry needs in our modern day. Much like rap, I find the most commonality between rhyming verse of hip-hop and slam poetry above all other styles.

Sherri: You are a poet, an author and a screenwriter, that’s a lot of hats and takes different talents. What is the biggest challenge when switching genres and what does each offer the other? What have you learned from one genre that you use in the others?

Nathan: That is a big question. Each of these styles offers different things. Different ways of expression but it boils down to what you are trying to express and how do you feel that message will be best expressed? Sometimes the dialogue of conversation can bring it about in a screenplay. Sometimes the full development of story and mood through a novel is the most grand way. But sometimes a few lines of well placed verse are all you need. And sometimes you write hundreds of pages just to get to that one sentence that sums it all up. There are many ways to get that and as a writer I have tried to search as many as I could without forgetting what it was, I was trying to say to begin with.

Sherri: You have a degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, what do you believe has been the best thing you learned in college and what have you had to un-learn as a published author and poet that you were taught in school?

Nathan: ECU and Pitt Community College gave me everything in a way. Yes, I did the work but these school gave me the ground to take off from. It gave me the experience to express myself openingly. The teachers guided without restricting me, but at the same time they pointed out what needed to be improved and what I could do better in, and I really think we all need someone like that. Creative writing isn’t a concrete direction but a lifetime of development and a continuous revision that never ends. There are no right or wrong answers, only the product that either yields something or brings something that could be redone. There are no mistakes. I love that. I can think of no other school of learning that can give this kind of confidence, but that is my experience and my mindset. For someone else this might be completely different. But my years at university gave me everything, from confidence to perspective, to insight on the craft, to clarity of purpose, to enhanced empathy. It didn’t help me learn how to navigate the literary world or how to publish a hundred percent, but it did give suggestions and that has been useful. I don’t think there was anything I needed to unlearn from this period because it really only gave me a chance to learn myself and I wouldn’t want to undo that.

Sherri: Are you traditionally published, small press or independently published? What do you feel are the pros and cons in each?

Nathan: I am self-published, although I have been published in magazines and small presses. There are benefits to both. One: having traditional publishing means you don’t have to worry about the hard parts which I believe are advertising and promoting. Two: the writing part is the blissful work that comes with the job. The marketing, finance, and promoting part can make you feel like a hack and a second-rate Barnum and Bailey, but when it pays off it really feels like a win. I can’t fault self-publishing for that, but it is nice when someone does the heavy lifting for you. Because I have been playing music in bands around Greenville for more than ten years, a college town, I’ve grown accustomed to being in front of crowds and putting myself out there so it’s not such a struggle for me but promoting always seems like such a feat when you first get started. I love it all the same.

Sherri: Born in 1984 in Augusta, Georgia, at in a military hospital at Dwight David Eisenhower Medical Center, Nathan Black and his parents moved to Indiana where his parents joined a Christian learning academy. They moved to Greenville in 1987 where Nathan would be raised. Here he went to JH Rose High School, Pitt Community College, and eventually ECU where he got his degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. In that time he wrote articles for Mixer, G-Vegas Magazine (WhereUParty), REBEL, and ENC Community Magazine. While at ECU he joined Word of Mouth (WOM) as one of their slam poets and competed around the state winning contests with the group against UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, NC State, and other schools. He has written three books of poetry, Where The Breeze (2016), The Frozen Garden (2017), and The Things We Have Lost (2022). Apart from this, he has written a stage play, Weathermen, a small book of short stories, Portals (2018), and a novel, Sparrow’s Fall (2019). In this time he has made it a centerpiece of his life and has involved himself in other writing circles and poetry groups across the state. Nathan continues to write and perform to this day. His new novel The Knight of Red and White is set to be released in early winter 2022.

Sherri: If you enjoyed this interview with Nathan Black, come visit us at the New Bern Farmers Market, Sunday, November 20th, 2022, 1 to 4 pm. Nathan is one of the 35 featured authors at this event.
Sherri’s Interview with Nathan Black

Book Selling Event Blog

On November 20, 2022, we are having an Authors’ Sunday book-selling event at the New Bern Farmers Market, 421 S. Front Street, New Bern, North Carolina. We will be open from 1 to 4 and will have 35 authors selling their books. The genres range from Childrens Books, Poetry, Fantasy, Romance, to non-fiction and places in between. Since this will be just after church, people may be a bit hungry so we have a vendor coming who will sell hot drinks and munchies. As part of the promotion for the event, the clever Sherri Lupton Hollister, is doing a series of blog posts about the authors. I will forward those post to you, my readers, in cases any of the books interest you. Here is the blog Sherri did with me.