Author Spotlight: Sherrinda Ketchersid

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If you’ve been following this space long, you know I have a special love for historical fiction. I’ve heard it said that stories set in other eras are the closest thing we have to time travel, and I’ve enjoyed my voyages into eras such as the Civil War, World War II, and the American Revolution.

My guest today, Sherrinda Ketchersid, has written a book set in a time period I’ve not yet visited in fiction, but can’t wait to dive into: medieval times! Here’s a little more about Sherrinda’s debut historical romance, Lord of Her Heart.

Lady Jocelyn Ashburne suspects something is amiss at her family’s castle 
because her father ceases to write to her. When she overhears a plot to 
force her into vows—either to the church or a husband—she disguises 
herself and flees the convent in desperation to discover the truth.

Malcolm Castillon of Berkham is determined to win the next tournament 
and be granted a manor of his own. After years of proving his worth on 
the jousting field, he yearns for a life of peace. Rescuing a scrawny 
lad who turns out to be a beautiful woman is not what he bargained for. 
Still, he cannot deny that she stirs his heart like no other, in spite 
of her conniving ways.

Chaos, deception, and treachery threaten their goals, but both are 
determined to succeed. Learning to trust each other might be the only 
way either of them survives.

Doesn’t that sound great? You can pre-order your copy here (it releases next Tuesday!), or enter Sherrinda’s giveaway for a free copy of your very own! Details on that at the end of the post. For now, let’s give Sherrinda a warm welcome and get to know her a little better!

Thanks so much for being here today, Sherrinda!

Thank you for having me!

What was your inspiration for Lord of Her Heart?  

While researching about women in history, I learned that rich young women were sent to convents for an education to prepare them for their duties as chatelaines (managing an estate or castle) after marriage. I wondered if girls ever chose to remain at the convent and take their vows to become nuns. Then I wondered what would have happened if a family left a girl at the convent—or ceased communication with her—or she was forced to take her vows to God or be married off to an old man? These ‘what ifs’ helped to create the plot for my story about Jocelyn. Her father stops writing to her and then the abbess of the convent tries to force her to either take her vows or marry an old man willing to pay the convent a large sum of money.

What drew you to set this story in medieval times? What’s your favorite thing about writing that era? What do you find most challenging?

My dad loved medieval fantasy stories—like those by George McDonald. He’d read to us girls when we were little and even drew coloring pages filled with knights and fair maidens. The Middle Ages have always been a favorite time period for me. My favorite thing about writing in that era is creating manly, warrior heroes. I love the chivalry and protectiveness of knights in shining armor. What I find most challenging is creating dialogue with a medieval flair. There are so many sayings that you just can’t use because they are too modern. It’s difficult to create something completely new or tweak something to sound ‘old world’.

That would be a special challenge!

Next question: How did God change you during the writing of Lord of Her Heart? What spiritual truth do you hope readers take away from the book?

Oh goodness, what a good question. I’ve wanted to write since I was in high school, but, like many others, put off writing while I had young kids. It wasn’t until I turned forty that I decided I wasn’t going to let life pass by without at least trying to write a book. I’ve always been one of those who didn’t have a lot of self-confidence, so as I wrote, God helped build my confidence level. Not a confidence in myself, per se, but a confidence to at least try new things and trust God with the outcome.

I would love readers of LOHH to come away with the spiritual truth that God is trustworthy. So often we think we have to work out our problems and then ask God to bless our efforts, but God is our Father who loves us and wants us to run to Him first. He longs to hold us close and give us strength to face whatever life throws at us.

What does you writing routine look like, if you have one? What obstacles or challenges do you face in making time to write?

Before December of 2018, I wrote from 9am-12pm and 1pm-5pm every week day. I have an empty nest and it was easy to devote that time just to writing. But I got a puppy in December and my life has been crazy ever since. Who knew puppies were so time-consuming?! Now I pick up around the house, get ready, take Phineas for a walk, and then sit down to write while he naps. Usually that is from 10am-12pm. After lunch we go out in the backyard and I wear him out playing fetch or I will write on the back porch while he plays. I try to write during the afternoon, but depending on Phineas and his energy level, it is hit or miss. Evenings are spent either watching TV with the hubby, reading, or blogging.

Phineas!! That just might be the most adorable puppy name ever!

What is one thing you’ve learned on the writing journey that you would go back and tell your younger Writer Self?

 Just write a little every day. Your words will add up over time. Also, don’t compare your journey to anyone else. God’s timetable for your stories are the best for YOU! Oh, and don’t wait for the muse to hit. You won’t ever get anything done if you wait. Just sit in the chair and write.

 If you could have coffee/tea/gratuitous amounts of carbs with any author(s), living or dead, who would you choose? What would you talk about?

Oh dear, this is a difficult question, but I would have to say Pepper Basham. She was one of the first writing friends I ever made online and she has been such an encourager and supporter of my writing. Plus, her brain is just plain fascinating. The stories that bubble around in her head … whew! But what I really love is her heart for the Jesus and how her stories point to sweet truths found in Him. I would love to sit and have her detail every minute of a normal day for her. How does she find time to write all the stories brewing in her imagination? Maybe I could learn something. ;)

 What do you do when you’re not writing?

I love to read, watch Netflix, or hunker down in my art room to do some Bible journaling. Playing with paint frees my soul. I don’t know what it is about getting my fingers all messy, but the creative process lets my mind rest from all the pressures of marketing and writing. Bible journaling has become a sweet time of worship as I meditate on the scripture I’m journaling. My Bible is getting so thick from all the painted pages within.

 How can we pray for you?

What a sweet question! Goodness, I would love it if you could pray that God would unleash my writing to better communicate the truths He wants to use in my current story. I had originally wrote the sequel to Lord of Her Heart (the story of Ian, the head guard) as a clean read, but didn’t feel good about the final product. So I’m adding a faith thread into the storyline and am paralyzed with fear that I’m not going to be able to communicate the theme of worthiness. Pray that I can rest in God’s leading and be free to let the words flow. I’m tired of procrastinating the rewrite!

Definitely praying for that, Sherrinda!

If you’d like a chance to win an electronic copy of Lord of Her Heart, just leave a comment on this post! We’d love to know your favorite period in history to read about, what era you might travel to if time travel were an Actual Thing, or anything at all! We’ll draw the winner randomly and notify a week from today!

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Meet Sherrinda:

Sherrinda Ketchersid is a lover of stories with happily-ever-after endings. Whether set in the past or present, romance is what she writes and where her dreams reside. Sherrinda lives in north-central Texas with her preacher husband. With four grown children, three guys and a gal, she has more time and energy to spin tales of faith, fun, and forever love. Connect with Sherrinda on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, Book Bub, Amazon, or at her website.