A native Californian, Sheri Levy and her family blazed a trail across the U.S. in their van during a January winter in 1976. Traveling with a Siamese cat, a seven-month-old and a four year old, to Greenville, S.C., imbedded memories she’d never forget. Through the years, Sheri has turned into a southern gal, learned to dance The Shag, and her CA friends tease her about her southern accent.
As Sheri settled into her new city, she taught Special Ed and strived to change her student’s outlook using positive reinforcement. After a neighbor’s German Shepherd joined her family, she became a devout dog person.
Now on her sixth and seventh dog, Sheri enjoys writing her YA novel series, Trina Ryan: Dog Trainer Series. Her debut novel, Seven Days to Goodbye (Barking Rain Press) is a compilation of her memories on Edisto Beach and her experiences with dogs and special children, woven into a fictional story. September 11 is her one-year anniversary of her first book launch!
Judy: Your protagonist in Seven Days to Goodbye is thirteen. What about that age resonates with you, as a writer?
Sheri: Thirteen is fun age for me to write about, but not necessarily for the character. Girls can be so emotional and when a best friend matures faster than the other, it brings conflict into every aspect of their lives. Trina believes in helping others, walks to her own drum beat, and cares nothing about guys, or clothes. And it seems to Trina, her best friend, Sarah, has changed overnight.
Judy: What inspires you to write?
Sheri: I grew up with a book always in my hand. While teaching, I longed for my students to become readers. I read aloud every day, leaving them begging for more, and eager to return the next morning. I believe my students’ love of reading inspired me to write my own stories.
My upstairs office overlooks the tree tops of our wooded backyard. My mind wanders as I spy on the squirrels, birds, and deer, and enjoy the sounds of the cicadas, owls, and whippoorwills. When I need to clear my head, I walk my dogs, or listen to singer song writers, and let the rhythms guide my thoughts. But when I’m writing, there is only silence and the chatter of my characters.
Judy: Do you belong to any professional writing associations?
Sheri: I do, the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators). I have learned much from workshops, my colleague’s writings and discussions. I read many genres to keep my ideas fresh, but my favorites are usually emotional dramas and an extra bonus is if the settings take place on the beach. After I’ve completed a project, instead of just reading before bed, I give myself permission to read during the day. It’s like being on a luxurious vacation.
Judy: What’s next for Sheri Levy?
Sheri: I have a sequel coming out from Barking Rain Press, titled Starting Over. The only information I can add without being a spoiler: it includes horseback riding, the characters are fourteen and fifteen, and it takes place in my neighborhood. Book three is in the beginning process and hasn’t earned a name, yet.
Thank you, Sheri.
Trina is broken hearted after her dog dies and swears she’ll never own another. But after learning about Puppy Raisers, she believes she can train puppy after puppy to be service dogs and never get attached. On Edisto Beach, her first trained dog, Sydney, makes a magical connection with a young boy with autism and the girls meet his older brothers. Trina finds herself competing for her best friend’s attention and dealing with her unexpected grief over returning Sydney at the end of their week. As emotional as this event is, Trina wonders every day what her next decision will be. Is she strong enough to train another?
Thanks for reading!