Sheri Fink is a #1 best-selling, award-winning children’s author, creator of “The Whimsical World of Sheri Fink” children’s brand, and an international speaker. Sheri writes books that inspire and delight children while planting seeds of self-esteem.
Her children’s book series received the 2013 Gold Mom’s Choice Award for excellence in family friendly entertainment. Sheri was recently selected by CBS Los Angeles as one of the top three authors in her local area, a distinction she shares with Dean Koontz.
For what age audience do you write?
I write for children ages 2-10. The majority of my books are children’s picture books written for 5-10 year olds. I have one book for children ages 2-5 that takes them on an alphabet adventure through the garden.
Tell us about your latest book.
The ‘Little Firefly’ is an enchanting tale about a late-blooming firefly who can’t wait to be all grown up. When all the other fireflies are glowing except for the Little Firefly, she discovers that true friends will love and support her just the way she is.
What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?
I hope that kids will have fun reading about the Little Firefly and her challenges while discovering a piece of themselves within her. In doing so, they will learn about love, friendship, and acceptance.
What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?
The most challenging aspect for me is editing. It’s so important, and yet so difficult to rewrite your stories over and over until they’re the best they can be.
Henry: I agree with you about the importance of revisions. Personally, I find getting the first draft out more challenging than revising.
What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being a writer?
If you write your story completely from the heart (and don’t let your head get in the way), it will really resonate with readers and they will enjoy the reading experience so much more.
What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been a writer?
Last year I won my first book award. It was a Gold Medal in the 2012 Readers Favorite International Book Awards. I got to go to Miami and to accept my medal at the awards ceremony. It was an amazing experience that I never dreamed of before becoming a writer.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Follow your heart and never give up. If you have a passion for writing, pursue it and play to win in life. Don’t settle for less than what you really want. Playing to avoid losing doesn’t keep you safe, it just keeps you small. Really go for what you want … it’s the only way you’re going to get it.
Henry: As Randy Pausch said, “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
Do you have any favorite quotes?
“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.” ~ Chinese Proverb
“Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.” ~ Ray Bradbury
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss
Henry: Three good quotes! And there’s always “Whether you think you can or you think you cannot, you’re right.”
Do you have any strange rituals that you observe when you write?
I’m not sure how strange it is, but I listen to a creativity meditation before I begin writing a new story. I listen to brainwave music that stimulates inspiration and creativity while I’m writing. It sounds like rain and it’s relaxing to help me focus on my writing.
Henry: Well, it’s obviously working for you!
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I would have the super ability to ignite the spark in others … to help them instantly see what’s possible for their lives and to go for their biggest, juiciest dreams.
Henry: Well, as a writer, you are well on your way to having that superpower!
If you could have three authors over for dinner, who would it be?
J.K. Rowling, Richard Adams, and Stephen Cosgrove. Each of them have written books that have dramatically contributed to my life and inspired me to write in their own special ways. I admire and respect them and would love to chat with each of them.
Henry: Ms. Rowling wrote ‘Harry Potter’, Mr. Adams wrote ‘Watership Down’, and Mr. Cosgrove wrote the ‘Serendipity’ series.
What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?
My favorite mythical creature is the unicorn. There’s something about them that’s so magical and has captivated me since I was a child. As a matter of fact, my 2015 children’s picture book is The Little Unicorn.
Henry: Ha! I see what you did there. Author Shannon Messenger has unicorns with wings and sparkly poop!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love spending quality time with people I love, traveling and having adventures, having fun doing exciting things, watching movies that make me think and laugh, and watching the sun melt into the ocean.
What would you like it to say on your tombstone?
Touched the World
Where can readers find your work?
Henry: See also http://www.AuthorsWithReallyLongWebsiteAddresses.com
Her books are available at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Sheri-Fink/e/B004T9ZJA4/
This interview is also posted to the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.