Monday, March 6, 2017

Alabama Writers Conclave Interview

1. Your favorite novel.
It’s hard to nail down a favorite, but beginning in my childhood, I was drawn to true-life stories, historical in nature, like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, a girl who survived in the tough times, when America was a young and developing nation.
Today, I continue to be drawn to the same historical genre, and in my library, Lincoln’s Mother (the backstory, or the making of President Abraham Lincoln), by Dorothy Clarke Wilson, and Driving Woman (a tale of one 19th Century woman who took on the tobacco industry), by Elizabeth Pickett Chevalier. Those titles stand apart, as some of my favorites.
2. What inspired you to start writing?
An avid reader, I spent my latter years of career writing nonfiction (technical writer, newspaper journalist). In time, writing a novel worthy of honoring a life, lived well, became my challenge. I suppose people are my truest inspiration, those long-forgotten lives inspire me to bring them back again. I have enjoyed my journey into the past, while writing Trapped in the Crossfire, a Civil War era novel, inspired by my grandparents twice removed (October 15, 2017 launch). Those 19th Century true live characters had determination, fortitude, moral courage, and they continue to inspire me every day.
3. Do you have (or have you ever had) a muse? If so, who/what?
None whatsoever, but I do have encouraging and supportive people in my life, one being a dear cousin who I call, “the wind beneath my wings”.
4. Your favorite poem.
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892), wrote “The Barefoot Boy” and others depicting 19th Century life. The words conjure visions from my childhood, my mother quoting this from her memory:
“Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheeks of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by the strawberries on the hill…”
5. Your favorite Alabama plant.
I love our stately longleaf pines, juicy ripe blackberries in the summer, native ferns and mossy rocks in the winter, redbud and dogwood trees in the spring, red maple and yellow hickory leaves in the fall. Pick one.
6. Five words which describe you.
Tenacious, organized, dedicated, authentic, honest.
7. One way in which AWC changed/impacted your life.
I first joined AWC several years ago, and received a Novel Award. One of the instructors was especially encouraging of my writing ability. Today, I encourage other writers on their journey.
8. What are you working on right now?
My novel, Trapped in the Crossfire, (Ardent Writer Press, October 2017), to be sold on,  portrays the true life trials of Sarah Hammett and Oliver Perry Williams, Union Loyalists who were driven from their South Carolina home by the portents of war, only to be caught between battling armies in the North Alabama wilderness.
9. Your favorite place in Alabama and why.
The mountains around Mentone often beckon. Alabama has astounding natural beauty, especially her northeastern mountains.
10. One thing you need right now to help you as a writer.
I’ve received tremendous respect and support from the Alabama writer community, and will continue to give back, supporting others in development of their writing talent.

To learn more about Gladys Hodge Sherrer, visit or search for her on Facebook; after October 2017, go to to purchase her novel Trapped in the Crossfire.