This interview is another of Idaho Writers Update’s monthly series profiling Idaho authors.
In our online interview with author Sherry Briscoe, she stresses the importance of authors finding a support system and supporting each other along the way.
Sherry primarily writes mystery thrillers. Recently, she’s begun to switch focus and is developing some women’s fiction projects that include subplots of suspense and romance.
Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?
As a full time writer, I am at my desk by 8 am Monday through Friday. I treat it pretty much like any other job except I’m at home doing what I love.
What do you do when you hit a wall with your writing?
I have a treadmill in my office, and spend about 45 minutes a day on it. I get on it usually when my writing starts to slow down for the day (afternoon) or I hit a bump and need to think things through.
The eternal question: Are you a “pantser”, a “plotter”, or something else entirely?
Plotter totally. In fact, I use the program Plottr, which I love. And I also created my own outline form to fill out before I start a book and that helps me as I write. I also have everything lined out and pictures of my main characters on a white board in my office.
What’s the last book you read that made you go “wow!”?
Tana French’s Faithful Place. I love her writing.
What book or author do you often find yourself recommending and why?
Because I work to help other writers and people starting out in this field, I always recommend On Writing by Stephen King. Nothing motivates me like that book.
What advice do you have for readers?
The same as Stephen King: Read a LOT and write a LOT!
What’s the first book you can remember reading on your own?
Maya Angelou I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I know I read some scholastic books in grade school, but I don’t remember them much.
What books and/or authors have most influenced you as an author?
Tana French, Nora Roberts, Alice Hoffman, Dean Koontz
What do you most enjoy about being a writer?
Telling my character’s stories. I’m just relaying what they share with me, and it’s a wonderful ride.
What would you tell a new writer?
Find a support system. Join groups. I’m the President of the Idaho Writers Guild, and I highly recommend this group. I’m also a member of Coeur du Bois, Boise chapter of the Romance Writers of America, and Women’s Fiction Writers of America. I also have a small private group (eight of us) that I formed many years ago of close friends who are also writers and editors. We critique each other’s work in this group, which is very important, and support each other along the way. The big organizations and the small intimate groups are equally valuable to your writing career.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
I’m a U.S. Army veteran. I served during the end of Viet Nam and was stationed in Germany for two years. It was one of the best times of my life. I love adventure, and I prove it time and time again by doing such crazy things as downhill skiing, skydiving, snorkeling, and snow shoeing. Find your passion in every area of your life and explore it.
Thanks to author Sherry Briscoe for participating in our Idaho Author Interview series. If you’re interested, or would like to recommend someone, please contact the IWU website editor.