Monday, November 23, 2020

An Attitude of Gratitude

The great Turkey Festival and Food Frenzy Season is upon us--albeit in a smaller portion. This year, in deference to a virus that loves a crowd, we'll be keeping it small with our "bubble" family. As I reflect on the meaning of this holiday in this lull before the storm, I thought it would be good to make a list of everything that I am grateful for this year not only as a wife and mother, but also as a romance writer.

As I sit down with a cup of coffee, fall is blowing into Maryland, stripping red, yellow, and orange leaves off the trees. I am so very grateful for all in my life today—even the trials and tribulations that forced me to leave my comfort zones and grow. We cannot know what life will bring us. We can only know our path upon looking back. And along that path, are many helpers to whom I give thanks. The following is a list of people who have enabled me to become an award-winning author and who never doubted my efforts—although I often did.

First and foremost, I’m grateful for my family and the support they provide for me in my professional and writing endeavors. When I was given the opportunity to direct the graduate program of my dreams, my husband and son cheered me on, knowing that I love teaching and mentoring young professionals. They also realized I would need to carve time out of my family life to continue my fiction writing. To this end, my husband, son, daughter-in-law, and even my grandson, have supported me with enthusiasm and without reservation.  

Second, I continue to be enormously obliged to my subject matter and sensitivity experts, and alpha, beta and gamma readers who have forced me to rethink characters and motivation, as well as smacked me with reality checks on factual and physical matters in my works. They reminded me at every turn that representation matters and that it is important to know about real people when I write my characters. Without careful readers, I know my writing would be less polished.

Third, I’m deeply indebted for the time and efforts from my editor and friend for the past ten years, Amanda Barnett. She has been my midwife, coaching me through the delivery of my book babies.

Fourth, I am beholden to the larger community of writers and bloggers who support me with social media, blog visits, and shout outs on every forum known to man. I can’t keep up with all the platforms and am learning new ones each day. Thanks for having my back!

Finally, my books and stories would be meaningless without my readers. Every time a reader tells me that a book has moved her or him, I am humbled and honored. My deepest thanks to those who not only read, but also take the time to give me feedback in comments and reviews. Writers live for those moments.

I wish you comfort food, loving families, and warm friendships. May your plates be full, your cups overflow, and your hearts be bursting with love and joy!

Sharon Buchbinder

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Interview with Sherry Perkins, Author of “These Are for Tears” Book 3 of the Will-o’-the-Wisp

Indie author Sherry Perkins has a natural curiosity and love for life-long learning. When not on the beach collecting shells or sea glass, she can be found in her garden avoiding the snakes or following the Dave Matthews Band to snake-free venues on the East Coast. During a once in a lifetime visit to Northern Ireland, she was inspired to write the beginning lines to what would become the Will-o’-the-Wisp Stories. The Wisp Stories are serialized tales of well-known folklore, reimagined in a contemporary form with small town sensibility and scientific inquiry added. Books in the Wisp Stories have previously been short-listed for “best in genre” at the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice Awards. In addition to the Wisp Stories, she has written blended genre sci-fi thriller and romance, or cozy murder mysteries. Her books invite the reader to imagine what they might do in tough situations  and challenge beliefs—because as she learned in Northern Ireland, nothing is what it seems and you really should leave a saucer of milk with a slice of cake at the back gate every night if you want to keep in the good graces of the wee folk (and maybe banish the garden snakes). Learn more at:

What made you decide to be an author?

It was the faeries. They made me do it! To be honest, I’m lucky enough to come from a family of avid readers, very fanciful storytellers, and dogged naturalists. We were always encouraged to question, explore, and share our adventures—the grander, the better. I began writing quite early, partly because it was expected in one form or another, and also because I liked to tell stories. A lot. 


What do you like best about being a writer?

Telling a story that is inclusive and engaging. Although it might be paranormal, it has basic science. Willful suspension of disbelief is important too. But only if you already have investment in the characters or story. Being able to incorporate the occasional subliminal message is fun. Other than that, I like being able to show we are all more similar than not.


How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and mysteries?

My dad was in the Navy, and after that, he worked in the Department of Natural Resources. My husband was in the Marine Corps. It’s easy to understand we moved often, were culturally adaptive and always anticipating disasters, adapting to the unexpected, and facilitating conflict resolution. Plus, being a mom and a nurse was just on-the-job training, lol. Storytelling was an integral part of a highly mobile lifestyle and the intensity of our jobs. Sometimes, the sudden appearance of the paranormal or the ability to kill off characters willy-nilly was all a girl needed to make it through a rough shift or long deployment!


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?

All my writing is like that. The words seem to have a natural ebb and flow, and a destination. Not only is it a sense of receptivity to dictation but it’s also intensely visual. I can see the characters in action and the hidden magic swirling around them.


You’ve written four novels and one short story, and are working on two novels, and another short story. What’s your favorite time management tip?

Oh, no! My secret’s out—I am terrible at time management because I truly am a dyed in the wool procrastinator. Or a sometimes-scatterbrained multi-tasker. It probably comes from being a mom, a nurse, a writer…like everyone else who has a robust family, social, and professional life, things can get chaotic. Nowadays, you read a lot about finding balance in life. Balance is good; however, integration is a better word for my lifestyle. Each life sphere blends into the next but everything falls into place, often at the last minute! I suppose my favorite (or most used) time management tip is to use a personal calendar. But post-it notes, scraps of paper and a string around the finger work too.


Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer?

Definitely a by the seat of my pantser writer. I don’t outline. I don’t do word counts, writing sprints, character cards or storyboards. I just write. And write until I feel as if I’ve come to a natural stopping place.


If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be?

Write what you feel. It’s part of that “write what you know” train of thought. I’m fairly emotive. It shows in my writing. When you write objectively, it’s not as easy to make a connection to the character or story because it’s more observation than immersion. Try to include your reader in the experience and not just in the story.


Do you listen to music when you write? Do you have a theme song for this book? What music did you go back to over and over as you wrote it, or as you write, in general?

It’s no secret (even the faeries know it) I’m a huge Dave Matthews Band fan. They’re my go-to band. Dave Matthews Band’s song #41 is the default theme for this book. It’s a song about best intentions, getting just what you need and learning to live with the things we can’t change. Having said that, you might have a clue what “These Are for Tears” is about, wink, wink. 


For me, Dave Matthews Band is not only about the melodies and harmonies but the words as well. Dave tells quite a story, one that’s accessible. I often listen to DMB for that reason or as background hum but usually, when I write, there is no music or tv on. I have the curtains open and I’m sitting at the big desk my father-in-law built, under the window that looks out on the back yard. The birds are singing, leaves are rustling—that’s all I need to be connected to the faeries, alien-shifters or the occasional murderer next door! 


However, if I’m writing about being in Northern Ireland again and need intense inspiration, Mumford and Sons is perfect. Evocative and haunting…

Tell me more about “These Are for Tears.” 

“These Are for Tears” is the third book in a serialized set of stories. I suppose you could say I write trilogies for the Wisp Stories, except each book can be a standalone since there is enough background given to offer a sense of placement. The stories end on a cliffhanger or reset to “normalcy” before the next crisis. The tentative plan is to write twelve books, but we’ll have to see…

Because the series is built upon discoveries, and the characters are entwined, it would be unfair to tell you too much about “These Are for Tears.” Suffice it to say, Morgan Patterson is a plucky heroine, very INFJ-ish and coming into some powers with little scientific explanation.

Tiernan Doherty, to all appearances, seems to be a policeman in the local constabulary except he’s also a faerie lord with a messy past who finds instant attraction and eventual love (for the first time in his extremely long life) with Morgan.

There is more than one obstacle to happily-ever-after between Morgan and Tiernan. Ex-wives and lovers, blood feuds and a complicated chain of duty are among them to say nothing of Morgan’s disbelief about the discovery of faeries in contemporary Ireland. And then there’s Connor Doyle.

It's what happens between Morgan and Connor that is the focus of “These Are for Tears.” And it’s fair to say there are plenty of tears to be had.

How about an excerpt from “These Are for Tears”?

            “Boy, I tell you this, if it were not for your mother, you would be dead and long gone for running that gob hole of yours. Every-fecking-thing you do concerns me. You would do best not to forget that.”

            “Because I am your loyal subject, d’ya mean?”

            “You watch your mouth!” The Erl leaned back in his chair. “It is more because I cared for your mother and less because you are a loyal subject.” He paused to consider his words. “And it is because of Morgan. She’s something in mind for you lads. To be sure, I truthfully can’t suss what it might be. That disturbs me a bit, it does.”

            Connor snorted. “Well, that would make at least two of us.”

            The Erl frowned. “Boy, you understand she continues to feel love for Tiernan, even as she is married to you. I don’t know if I like the dynamic of it. There’s more to it than what is on the surface. That is what’s of primary concern here. Morgan’s feelings for Tiernan might be what vexes me. It might be that I know you are keeping something from her. Or she is keeping something from you. Or that slowly and quite deliberately, she is teasing you away from Em—you and Tiernan, both. It creates an imbalance of power. I won’t have it. Do you hear me, boy?”

            “You should have thought about that before you put the crazy twit on the throne, if you were so damn worried about the balance of power!”

            With a tolerant smile, the Erl pushed away from the table and stood. He leaned close to Connor. “Your wife, she is not to be trusted.”

            “Not to worry,” Connor said. “Neither am I.”


Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?


Amazon author page:  





Or write to her at G-mail:

Buy Link:

Thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.