I met Sherry Rentschler through a mutual friend, Terri Wilson. Terri invited me to participate in a few FaceBook takeovers and Sherry happened to be attending them as well. I loved all of her posts, and we got to chatting and became friends. I can honestly say that she is one of my favorite people that I’ve met in this self-publishing industry, and she’s incredibly talented to boot.
Sherry Rentschler is a best-selling, multi-award-winning, multi-genre author, writing coach and speaker.A retired US Air Force non-combat veteran, Sherry Rentschler completed her bachelor and graduate degrees while serving her country. Her background includes bylines in newspapers and online journals, plus previous work as an assistant poetry editor for an online poetry journal, a freelance columnist, and a photojournalist. In addition to her authorship, Rentschler is a writing coach and freelance editor.
Rentschler has been a featured author in Southern Writers’ Magazine and in Focus on Women Magazine, as well as a featured guest speaker on numerous radio shows (The Ron Shaw Show, La Femme de Prose, Off the Chain, and Hangin’ With Web Show).
Her causes include the National Network to End Domestic Violence well as programs to end bullying like StopBullying.gov. Also, Rentschler is a strong advocate of SmileTrain (seeing children get corrective surgery for cleft lips and palates), and Stand Up 2 Cancer programs.
On the horizon, Rentschler plans a three book workbook series for anyone who want to learn the habit of writing every day. Also, she plans on a middle grade fairy series alsong with some ebook vingettes showcasing her characters from her vampire series.
Amazon recognized her latest book, Time and Blood, as a Hot New Release and a Best Seller.
Sherry’s guilty pleasures include indulging in fine wine, dark chocolates, and old b&w movies. A recognized vampire scholar and dragon collector, she and her husband live in North Carolina.
1 and 2. Which writers inspire me? Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, VE Schwab, Benedict Jacka, Nalini Singh, Deborah Harkness, Anne Rice and I read them often. Looking forward to Jim Butcher’s upcoming release of PEACE TALKS and Nalini Singh’s latest in the Guild Hunter series, Archangel’s Prophecy.
3. What famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Katharine Hepburn. A ground breaker for working women, she was ahead of her time and I would love to talk to her about events going on today and ask her about certain individuals. She was direct and blunt and I loved her laugh.
4. When you aren’t writing, what are you doing?
Reading, watching TV (I call it mental bubblegum), doing things with hubby (once a week we try to have a night just for us where we play some games or binge some movies or go to dinner. I shop online (currently buying for Christmas), and of course, I must spend time being a domestic goddess doing housework.
5. Do you ever get Writer’s Block and how do you combat it?
I don’t believe in writer’s block and I’ve spoken out against this often. When a writer is stuck it’s because of insecurity, uncertainty, laziness or fear. We can talk ourselves out of working. We can make excuses for our plots not working or our characters not cooperating. We can complain that we don’t know where to start. But all we have to do is sit down and start writing. Anywhere about anything will do. The muse will come once engaged in any form. I also believe in mood setting. Mood music is important to me. As are my “fake fireplaces” (virtual fireplace on computer or tv), sound effects, candles, totems — all work. Find your tools and use them but no more saying “I’ve got writer’s block.”
6. Where do your ideas come from?
You hear this often from many folks, but it’s true for me as well – dreams. My best ideas came from dreaming of them. Characters also speak to me in my dreams. When suffering from insomnia (as writers often do) I can call upon my favorite character and alter ego, Drahomira, and say “Talk to me about…..” and I’ll work a problem and fall asleep. The next day I’ve got my answers. I’ve also had new characters introduce themselves to me in my dreams.
7. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
I never “decided.” Writing was always a part of my life. My first published piece came when I was seven, a poem called Fork In the Road. When I was 13, my “what I did on summer vacation” was published in the newspaper and they paid me five dollars. Well! To write and be paid was an amazing moment. Following that I won awards in school and then in the military I continued my writing with a newspaper byline, winning writing contests, doing poetry by commission and being published in a college press. In the back of my mind, somewhere along the way, I had dreams of being immortalized with a book in the Library of Congress. In other words, I wanted to be published. I tried and tried to secure an agent or get a publisher to take me. When that failed I got online jobs as columnists or editors with journals. I tried a novel collaboration that failed but taught me so much about writing a novel. But I was 54 when my first book was published – a photography book. And 59 when I finally published my first book, poetry. When I filed for my Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN), let me tell you that was a day. Just like getting that first official copyright registration. That made me “official” in my eyes and heart.
8. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
STUDY WRITING. I really get irritated by writers who decide to self-publish when they:
1. Don’t know how to write, what defines a good plot or how to build a world
2. Do not understand plots or arc, scenes or tropes.
3. Have limited vocabulary. A book needs more than three syllable words. Language is an incredible art and demands attention and study. How to use it, when, correct spelling, are all important.
In other words, learn the craft. Go to school. Take creative writing. If out of school, take some online courses and catch up with what you need to know. Learn from the experts.
Good writers are prolific readers. You can’t write well if you don’t know what’s already out there, why it works, what works better than other things, what authors in your genre are selling. Also, reading other genres other than yours is helpful to ensure you had a broader perspective.
Write write write
Ansel Adams said something like he took 1000 photographs to get one perfect shot. I remind others of this all the time. It will take practice and lots of stories before you finally fine your voice, your style and your genre. Then more writing to develop the techniques of good storytelling. There are very few phenoms in the writing world. No one is born a James Patterson, JK Rowling or Patricia Cromwell.
Build your credits
Short stories, literary presses, competitions. Build your writing reputation. Worry less about social media and more about honing your craft and producing quality products. Chose your path carefully and experiment.
Remember social media is forever
If you want to be taken seriously by publishers, other authors, colleges presses, agents, editors or anyone in the business, then remember that what you say and how you behave online represents YOU. There is no such thing as two of you (professional and personal). You are a total package. Don’t let your mouth or your butt ruin your reputation or your chances of being seen as a serious writer before you even get started. And after publication, remember that people will be watching. Don’t sell yourself short by being a less than reputable person online. Ever.
9. What are you working on now?
The next book expected for this fall is the second in my Evening Bower series, Love and Blood. This continue the story of Rhea, JL and their friends as they fight to keep their love and life built in Time and Blood, the last book. In the last book, it was said, “when time and blood converge, love must win.” In Love and Blood, we learn, “when love and blood collide, blood never lies.”
10. Give us some insight into your favorite main character?
I have two. Rhea, the immortal scarlet phoenix, is over 10,000 years old and has transmorphed into human form but maintains a “heartfire.” She weilds fire, can summon nature. Rhea is what I think is the best of me and her attitudes and personality is quite a bit of my mother. Drahomira, my redheaded sexy and dangerous vampire who kills without regret, is a bit of a sassy and bawdy chick who wears red leather and rides a motorcycle. She’s my alter ego. I adore her. Most of the time she’s my go-to gal when I need to work things out or my stories need something “extra.”
Rhea and Dra are best friends. I guess you can say they are my ying and yang. They’ve been alive since about 1996 and began in an online world I created in 1997. JL was actually created by a friend for that online community but I inherited him and have continued to develop him through the years.
Rhea and JL’s love story is based on how I believe love can be and isn’t always happily ever after but it survives and thrives with work and determination and deep caring. It is also romantic and dangerous.
Follow Sherry on Social Media:
Books by Sherry Rentschler:
I WISH YOU JOY (Blurb Books, 2008)
Hardover, softcover, and iTunes ebook ISBN-13: 978-1320029049
Photography taken over 30 years from around the world, with an uplifting message
Available online through Amazon and Blurb.com
PAPER BONES (AuthorHouse, 2013)
Hardcover, softcover and ebook ISBN-13: 978-1481766869
Contemporary poetry reflecting current issues including domestic violence, teenage prostitution and suicide, HIV, yellow journalism as well as housework, love and childhood.
Available online: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, and others
BY LIGHT BETRAYED, Poetry of the Vampires (Bookstand Publishing, 2014)
Hardcover, softcover and ebook ISBN-13: 978-1618639394
Dark, compelling poetry from the mind of seductive vampire. His words will open a new vista into the vampire’s soul
Available online with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million and iTunes
MIDNIGHT ASSASSIN: A Tale of Lust and Revenge (CreateSpace, 2015)
Softcover and ebook ISBN-13: 978-1515359227
An urban fantasy novella with a noir flavor and a seductive “bite.” A fast-moving tale of murder and revenge including a dangerous redheaded vampire.
Available online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ingram and others (including overseas)
THE BOOK OF NOW (CreateSpace, 2016)
Softcover and ebook ISBN-13: 978-1534854963
Compelling and sometimes controversial, nonfiction poetry. Topics ripped from news headlines include terrorism, politics, abuse(both domestic and international slavery), and nature (human and Mother).
Available online through Amazon, B&N, Ingram, and other online retailers (including overseas)
BREAKING THE GLASS SLIPPER (CreateSpace, 2016)
Softcover and ebook ISBN-13: 978-1539887133
A fictional memoir; true story of my search for love and that elusive happily ever after
Available online through Amazon, B&N, Ingram and other online retailers (including overseas)
THE GYPSY THORN (CreateSpace, 2017)
Softcover and ebook ISBN-13: 978-1545436530
Dark paranormal prequel novel to the new Evening Bower series
Drahomira must leave her people, her throne, and her lover, cross a continent for vengeance, die, and be reborn. Only then will she discover that she is the rose’s legendary thorn in the Evening Bower.
Available online through Amazon, B&N, BAM and other online retailers
TIME AND BLOOD (Evening Bower #1) (CreateSpace 2017)
Softcover and ebook ISBN-13: 978-1975947170
A dark paranomral romance. When Atlantis sank into the sea, The Great Book of Forgetting and a mysterious prophecy held with it, survived thanks to the last surviving phoenix.She will cross the millennia to find and complete the prophecy with a two hundred and fifty year old vampire. Together they will risk everything for love, for the future, for the prophecy. When time and blood converge, blood must win.
LOVE AND BLOOD (Evening Bower #2)
Coming Fall 2018
Breaking The Glass Slipper
2017 Metamorph Publishing 2017 Summer Indie Book Award Winner (Biography)
2017 Kindle Ebook Awards Semi-Finalist
2017 Global Ebook Awards Honorable Mention (Autobiography/Memoir)
2017 Readers Favorite International Book Awards 5 Star Review
The Book of Now
2017 Global Ebook Awards Silver Medal (Poetry)
2017 eLit Book Awards Silver Medal (Poetry)
2017 International Press Award (IPA) Distinguished Favorite (Best Non-Fiction Cover)
2017 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist (Poetry, and Best Interior, Nonfiction)
2017 Readers Favorite International Book Awards 5 Star Review
2016 Metamorph Publishing Summer Indie Book Awards Nominee (poetry)
Midnight Assassin – A Tale of Lust and Revenge
2016 Global Ebook Awards Bronze Medal (Fiction-Paranormal)
2016 Global Ebook Awards Honorable Mention (Best Overall Ebook Cover)
2016 Readers Favorite International Book Awards 5 Star Review
By Light Betrayed: Poetry of the Vampires
2016 Metamorph Publishing Summer Indie Book Awards Nominee (poetry)
2015 National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist (Poetry)
2015 Global Ebook Awards Gold Medal (Best Overall Ebook Cover)
2015 Global Ebook Awards Silver Medal (Best Ebook Photography – no gold given)
2015 Global Ebook Awards Silver Medal (Poetry – no gold given)
2015 Readers Favorite International Book Awards 5 Star Review
2014 National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist (Poetry)
2014 Global Ebook Awards Gold Medalist (Poetry)
2014 Readers Favorite International Book Awards Honorable Mention
2014 Readers Favorite International Book Awards 5 Star Review
2013 AuthordB Cover Contest Gold Medal