Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Creative Process

I wanted to share the creative process... for me creating a cover. Author Tifani Clark contacted me to create a cover for her new novel On Liberty's Watch. I was thrilled. She already had the girl in mind for the cover because it was the girl used on the two other covers in her series titled Soul Savers.  She sent me a picture of the guy she wanted to use and gave me a rough idea of what she wanted, then said what every cover artists dream to hear: Feel free to change it up!
Freedom! I have had people who micro manage their cover so much any creative juices are squelched. The covers are...boring! So please trust your cover artist! If you have reviewed his/her work and like it enough to hire them, then trust them!
That being said, a good cover artist listens to the author also. As I mentioned, Tifani sent me some pictures of the guy and girl she wanted and the watch. The picture of the watch wouldn't work and we went through a couple different ones until we found one that did. The original picture of the girl was of just her head. Not good. It looked like a floating head! I hunted down another picture of the same girl but with her full body. I presented it Tifnai along with several drafts of the cover to choose from and together we chose the things from the different covers to create the "perfect cover" for her book.
At the last minute as I was cleaning everything up, I had a brain storm to switch things around so the front and back cover on the paperback flowed as one big picture. I then added other elements like colored clouds, a few spider webs, and even a spider! See if you can find it.
Here are some of the pictures I used, along with elements from others:
In the end this was created:

I really love this cover! I appreciate Tifani for asking me to design it and for being a dream to work with!
Check out more of my work here:

Thanks for stopping by!
Sherry Gammon

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Hungry Family cookbook

I am not a fan of cooking…I really suck at it. Finding cookbooks that are easy to use and have recipes that actually taste good are a godsend. That is what The Healthy Family Slow Cooker is. Great recipes you make in the slow cooker without tons of prep! So far I have successfully made the Butternut Squash Soup (!!), Citrus Pork Salad ( I used chicken since I didn’t have pork…so good!) and the Slow-cooked Molasses Roast. (AMAZING). Next on the menu: Chicken Quesadillas. The whole house smells edible! I can’t wait for dinner! This is my new favorite cookbook. I keep it next to my slow cooker for ease. I HIGHLY recommend this book. I also recommend Dymock's Bacon Lovers cookbook!! See my review here:

Thanks for stopping by!
Sherry Gammon

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

An interview of me!

       Thank you for taking the time to participate in this interview. Below, you will find twenty questions; some are serious while others are playful. Answer as many as you like.

1.       Talk about your latest work. Is it a novel? Short story?  Nonfiction? Give a brief synopsis, sharing as much (or as little) as you like. My latest is the Audiobook of Not So Easy. Of all the books I’ve written, it is my favorite story

 Not So Easy (YA Fantasy) 

Senior Max Sanchez has it all. 
He’s the star pitcher for Port Fare High’s baseball team. He’s dating the 
head cheerleader, Emma McKay, and he has a great group of friends. 

Junior JD Miller’s life is Not So Easy. 
Unlike Max, JD struggles with making friends. He’s a social misfit, and 
he’s being bullied at every turn. He’s also barely surviving.
A tragic accident changes everything, merging their lives together, 
and Max soon learns that life is not so easy for everyone. Max works to the point of exhaustion trying to help JD survive the chaos that is his life, and his eyes are opened to a world he had no idea even existed. 
Not so Easy is a story about hope, surviving, and never giving up.

2.       Where did you get your inspiration to write you latest work? Or, where do you find inspiration for writing? All over! The world, the news, friends. Also music. It really helps me to play the “song” I feel represents the book I’m working on. I post a playlist for my books on my web page to help the reader get into the story more.

3.       Describe your writing process. Blood, sweat, and tears. Along with lamenting, rethinking, and some head banging…then I begin writing the story.

4.       How important are names to you in your book(s)? Do you choose names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend? Names! I hate trying to come up with names. For the “bad guys” I tend to pick mean people that I know. For the good guys I search and search and search the internet name sites and my Facebook friends until a name rings true.

5.       Is there a certain type of scene that is harder for you to write than others? Not really. Once I’m in the grove all is well.

6.       What is your least favorite part of the writing/publishing process? The first draft. After that it is gravy!

7.       Have you read your work since it has been published? Sometimes.

8.       What is your best marketing tip? Search out bloggers and get reviews for your books.

9.       What are you working on currently? What is your next project? I am in the middle of 2 projects right now. The first is a short story. It is a mystery/comedy. The main character, Aleixa, is a writing who wakes one morning to find the man she’s been dating dead in her living room. The second is a full-length novel about 2 high schoolers struggling to survive not only high school, but their families.

10.    What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors? Write write write and read read read books in your genre!

11.    If you could cast your characters in a Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters? Unlovable is being made into a movie actually by Films by Serendipity. If I were casting it I would pick Lily Collins for Maggie and Liam Hemsworth for Seth!

12.    Do your characters’ personalities reflect your personality or the personalities of people you know? Mostly people I know. I do try and give the characters one of my traits so I can relate to them better.

13.    What is one place you want to visit that you have not visited yet? Greece, and Italy (Tuscany).
14.    What were you like as a child? What was your favorite toy? As a child I was strong and fearless. And I LOVED dolls!

15.    If you had a superpower, what would it be? To fly!

16.    If you were a superhero, what would your name be? What would you wear? My name? No idea, but I can tell you I would NOT wear a skimpy super hero outfit that you see the heros in the movies wear. It’s FREEZING cold the higher you go! I want a nice worm coat… and goggles.

17.    What literary character is most like you? Cinderella…except both my parents are alive and I have no sisters…Hmmmm…Guess I need a new character.

18.    If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be and why? Monkey. The look like they are having so much fun. I’d be a smart one and figure out how to escape, that’s for sure.

19.    What is one thing you would like to accomplish before you pass away? I’d like to write and uplifting book on motherhood to help encourage mothers and woman everywhere. There is so much negativity out there and I’d like to encourage them to avoid the naysayers.

20.    What do you want your tombstone to say? She came; she tried; she left…and she was a pretty good mom! (I had my 16-year-old son proofread this and he said to change the 'pretty good mom' to awesome mom  ;'}
Thank you for letting me be a part of your author interviews!!

Find me:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Summer in Snow Valley

#1 Bestselling Authors of Christmas in Snow Valley, have teamed up again with six wonderful summer novellas that are sure to make your summer sweet and sassy!

***Only $.99 until June 6th***

Catching Caytie by Amazon Top Seller Cindy Roland Anderson

On the night Caytie Holbrook intends to break up with her cheating boyfriend, he blindsides her by announcing their engagement at a dinner party. When Caytie discovers her father is in on the scheme, she runs away from her home in Beverly Hills to hide out at her uncle’s ranch in Snow Valley, Montana. While Snow Valley is a beautiful place, Caytie only plans to stay until her twenty-fifth birthday when she’ll inherit a trust fund her grandmother left her, allowing her to pursue her dream to move to Italy. That is until she meets Jace McAllister, an incredibly sexy—although somewhat grumpy—cowboy who threatens to disrupt her plans.

Tin Foil Tiaras by Amazon Top Seller Jeanette Lewis

Cameron Elliott has come to Snow Valley to coach Annalisa Drake in the Miss Snow Valley pageant, and prove to her demanding boss that she deserves a place at the prestigious Westbrooke Agency. But Annalisa’s handsome and protective big brother, Kyle, is determined to keep his sister from becoming a reluctant beauty queen. As Cameron tries to win Kyle over, Kyle insists some things are more valuable than a title and as crazy as it sounds, Cameron might just believe him.

A Touch of Love by Amazon Top Seller Cami Checketts

Annie Stirland has endured a lifetime of teasing, embarrassment, and isolation due to her speech impediment. When irresistible cowboy, Luke Wilson, seems to be falling for her, she’s certain he’s too good to be true. A tragedy involving his ex-girlfriend proves she’s right. What man can resist sheltering someone they once loved? Annie knows she should walk away, but Luke isn’t ready to give her up.

First Love by Amazon Top Seller Taylor Hart 

Janet Snow doesn’t expect to get caught in a full-blown make out session at her brother’s wedding. Especially not with Michael Hamilton, the boy she’d written off ten years ago. Even though they both agree to no complications, Janet's not sure they can stick to it given their past. After a trip to the hot springs, a helicopter ride, and a proposal, even the most cautious single mother would start to wonder if true love really is just about the timing. Now Janet has to make a choice—play it safe or trust that her first love could also be her last. 

Romancing Rebecca by Amazon Top Seller, Kimberley Montpetit

Rebecca Dash loved spending her teen summers swooning over Jane Austen and helping her aunt at the Starry Skies Bed & Breakfast in Snow Valley. But as a recent college grad, she’d rather write sappy romance novels than go out with guys that make her a nervous wreck. When a team of fire-fighters set up camp on the lawns of the B&B and Captain Wade catches her eye, Becca soon learns that there’s more to a happily-ever-after than a flirty fireman with muscles the size of the Montana hills.

Love in Light and Shadow by Amazon Top Seller Lucy McConnell

Mercedes O'Shay has sworn off gorgeous men because they have a tendency to break her heart. When she meets her new neighbor, Chet Bauer, she immediately puts him in the Do Not Date category based on his well-defined muscles and stunning blue eyes. But the more Mercedes learns about the cowboy who reads classics and forges iron, the more she realizes the heart doesn't see in black and white; it sees light and shadows.

Excerpt from A Touch of Love

“Do you ever write down what you’re thinking?” Luke asked.
Annie's eyebrows arched. He loved the way she did that.
“Would you write for me? What you’re thinking?”
She shrugged her shapely shoulders and studied him for a few seconds before pulling out a notepad. She wrote for a few seconds then handed it to him.
I’m thinking that this cowboy is a nice guy who’s uncomfortable with my silence.
“I guess you got me there. I don’t really talk too much, usually just swear at the cattle. So I’m not a nice guy at all.”
She took the pad back, wrote, and handed it to him again.
You’re definitely a nice guy. I knew that when you bought the thoughtful gift for your sister. Why do you want to take me to dinner? Feeling bad for the new girl in town?
He grinned. “Nope. Feeling intrigued by the new girl in town and wanting to get to know her better.” He handed the pad back to her.
You don’t have the time to get to know me better, it would take hours for me to get anything out with my stutter.
He laughed. “Sweetheart, I’ve got the time and the desire to get to know you better. I really do love the sound of your voice, but if you’re more comfortable we could communicate like this.”
Her grin widened. How about we give it a few days? I don’t go to dinner with men I don’t know.
“How about I come back tomorrow and see you so you don’t have to go to dinner with a man you don’t know?” He paused. “Dang. Tomorrow we’re checking the range cows. Friday?”
She looked dubious.
“I’d like an appointment Friday at five for...” He looked over the list of options. “A foot zone. If you’re available, I’d like to take you to dinner after.”
She wrote quickly. Reading your feet will definitely help me get to know you. Are you sure you’re ready for that kind of disclosure?
A surprised laugh escaped him. “You can tell stuff about me from rubbing my feet?”
She pointed at the word reading.
“Reading my feet?”
She nodded, looking very smug.
“Okay. I have nothing to hide. You’re sure we can’t go to dinner tonight?”
She waved at him.
Luke inclined his head. Annie was a challenge. He liked her more each minute.

Thanks for stopping by!
Sherry Gammon

Friday, May 8, 2015

Winners of my audiobook Not So Easy

Winners of my audiobook Not So Easy are: Brandy G and Kimberly M! Congrats! I hope you enjoy the book!
Not So Easy (Souls in Peril) has a new cover, exciting edits, (a new chapter has been added), and now Not So Easy is an audio book, narrated by the talented Ryan Shaughnessy.
Not So Easy has a 4.9 out of 5 star rating on Amazon!
Not So Easy  
Senior Max Sanchez has it all.
Junior JD Miller’s life is Not So Easy. He’s the star pitcher for Port Fare High’s baseball team. He’s dating the 
head cheerleader, Emma McKay, and he has a great group of friends. 
Unlike Max, JD struggles with making friends. He’s a social misfit, and 
he’s being bullied at every turn. He’s also barely surviving. 
A tragic accident changes everything, merging their lives together, 
and Max soon learns that life is not so easy for everyone. Max works to the point of exhaustion trying to help JD survive the chaos that is his life, and his eyes are opened to a world he had no idea even existed.

Not so Easy is a story about hope, surviving, and never giving up. 
What other are saying about Not So Easy (from the Souls in Peril series):

*Once Upon a Twilight: As I try to compose all my emotions to write this review I feel an overwhelming responsibility to do justice to this book through my review. I laughed, I cried, I felt such bewildering sadness and in the end I laughed again. Sherry Gammon takes us on an astonishing journey through the eyes of Max Sanchez. Handsome and athletic with a wonderful and supportive family, Max lives a charmed life. Even as a seventeen year old Max knows that his girlfriend Emma will be the woman he grows old with. Em's beauty and brains are only out shone by her inner compassion and kindness. Max already recognizes that he can learn from her sweetness and tolerance. For the full review click her (Warning: SPOILER ALERT!)

                 * Dani of Wonderful, Amazing, Fantastic Stars. This story will stay with me forever. It spoke to my soul...This book is amazingly written and so awesome. I will never forget this book. It got me deep... I recommend it to everybody with children, children, and adults alike. Everybody should read this amazing book. 

*Camelia SkibaSherry drives the reader to real emotions masterfully creating trials, conflicts and doubts. You'll cry and laugh, ache and root for these heroes. I also liked the messages that come with this book, that life is worth living, that we should never give up and we should always try our best.

                   * Cindy Bennett: Souls in Peril is seriously one of the best books I've ever read. It had me in turn laughing and crying, my heart aching for all the characters involved. 
Gammon's writing is full of humor, sorrow, realism, and pulls you into places you might not want to go, but will be happy you did when all is said and done. I HIGHLY recommend this book!  

    *Kindle booklove: Dani: 10 Wonderful, Amazing, Fantastic Stars This story will stay with me forever. It spoke to my soul because I know what it's like to be bullied relentlessly by kids at school and then go home and have to deal with an abusive stepfather and feel like you have nobody to turn to, nobody to trust, and nowhere to go. I know as it said at the end of the book that not all people being bullied have the same home situations but mine almost resembled Izzy's experience with some differences of course. My heart broke while reading about JD's and Izzy's story. I cried for them and their situation. I fell in love with Emma's character because she was one of those rare people with an untarnished soul who doesn't look at people and judge them by what they look like....Read the full review here:
    Momma's Books. Brandy: If I could rate this book a 10 I would but Goodreads as well as amazon will only allow a 5. So it is 5+++++++  It was such an emotional read for me. It took me less than 24 hours to read this book once I started I could not put it down. I am honestly at a loss for words to explain how I feel about this book. But I will try so here I go… You will be taken on an emotional ride and your heart will hurt more times than not. You will wish you could just jump into the book and just rescue JD. I know I absolutely fell in love with Em she is the sweetest and kindest kid. I can only hope that my children turn out to be like her... It is absolutely AMAZING! Read full review (and check out the old cover;) here:
* Donna~ The Romance Cover Heart wrenching, sobbed and sobbed through this book, so many familiar circumstances it was like reliving my school life all over again...very sad, very emotional but unfortunately oh so very true. A fabulous book, that puts you through an emotional wringer..not my usual romance but a great YA book that had some very important messages throughout the book..brilliant.

More reviews herehere and here.

Purchase links
Not So Easy ebook is specially priced for the next few weeks as I introduce the exciting audio book. 
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Scrib | Audio

Here is a fun interview with my narrator Ryan Shaughnessy

  1.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I’m from a cornfield an hour and a half southwest of Chicago and the oldest of three children. I was high school valedictorian and passed the CPA exam after obtaining a Masters degree in accounting. Then I followed my dream and moved to Los Angeles to make a career in acting and not from a cubicle. Every day brings a new adventure!
  2. What do you do when you are not acting/narrating? Every day I’m doing something that relates to my acting. Whether it be auditioning, shooting, or social networking, the acting never stops. Even when I’m watching shows on Netflix, I watch certain shows that would appeal to my age demographic.
  3. What is your favorite smell? Mom’s pot roast coming from the slow cooker when I travel back to Illinois.
  4. What was your first acting project? There were the spring concert shows in grade school, but my first main gig was in the summer before my 8th grade year where I was the ventriloquist’s dummy in the radio show in a production of “Annie”.
  5. How/Why did you get into acting? I love entertaining people. After getting a feel of making so many people laugh with my lines, I was hooked. Looking back, I wish I would have pursued in sooner, but I didn’t realize I could make a career of it because of how and where I was raised.
  6. If you had 24 hours to live, excluding spending time with your family, what would you do? Skydive, ride in a hot air balloon, bungee jump off a bridge, and take my family to the gorgeous beaches of Thailand
  7. What is your favorite kind of cheese? Pepperjack
  8. Is there any particular actor or book that influenced you growing up or as an adult? I grew up watching all the James Bond and Indiana Jones movies. It’s been a goal of mine to be James when I’m the right age. But Harrison Ford has always been an influence because he is also from Illinois and wasn’t given much of a shot at the beginning of his acting career. I feel I am very similar to him in that regard in that we both have had a chip on our shoulders to prove the world wrong.
  9. Would I find anything growing in your refrigerator right now? Nope. I keep things pretty clean. If I let one thing go, it would probably be the dust in my bedroom.
  10. How would you describe yourself in three words? Intelligent, sarcastic, loyal
  11. Who is your favorite actor? It’s hard to pick just one. Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, Denzel Washington, Matt Damon, and Tom Hanks are at the top of the list.
  12. What is your favorite part of acting and why? Your least favorite and why? Favorite: Things are always changing but yet they are still structured. You may be on the same set, but the storyline is changing and things don’t get stagnant. Worst: Rejection aha.
  13. Chocolate or Brussels sprouts? I’m a fan of both actually, especially if the brussels sprouts are doused in butter.
  14. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an actor? I was new to a class and the teacher thought I wasn’t taking the scene seriously. He said I wouldn’t amount to anything.
  15. What has been the best compliment given to you as an actor? I took a three week intensive with a casting director, and after we finished the scene in the last week, he told me he could easily see me as a contract role on the show.
  16. What is your least favorite smell? Rotten eggs
  17. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring actors? If a kid from a small town in Illinois with no formal training can move across the country and find a place in this crazy entertainment world, there is no reason you can’t do the same. You will most likely need lots of patience and a strong backbone, and most people from back home won’t understand the extent of what you are doing. But you will. As long as you believe this is what you were made to do, you will find a way to make it happen.

Ryan's Links
@RynoShaughnessy (Twitter and Instagram)

Thanks for stopping by!
Sherry Gammon