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June 2011

My First Sale: Sherry Kyle

Since college, debut novelist Sherry Kyle’s life verse has been Jeremiah 29:11-13, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” And God has been building a hope and a future with Sherry’s writing—read her story. —Lisa Jordan

Debut novelist Sherry KyleWhen Sherry Kyle learned Abingdon Press wanted to buy her first book, Delivered With Love, she listened to the message left by her agent at least 10 times and ran around the house screaming. She did, eventually,  calm down enough to return the call and learn the details.

Delivered With Love came out in April and is the story of Claire James, who finds an old love letter in the glove compartment of her late mother’s ’72 VW Bug. 

Theme of trust

Kyle’s love for the small coastal town of Capitola, California inspired the setting for her novel. She thought the location would be a fun place to set a story with romance and a hint of mystery.

Forgiveness is a spiritual thread throughout Delivered with Love. Kyle used Proverbs 3: 5-6 as her theme verse for the novel:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Characters who ring with truth

Kyle has a talent for helping readers identify with her characters.

Author Virginia Smith, one of Kyle’s critique partners, feels Kyle has a talent for helping readers identify with her characters. “In Delivered with Love, we feel Claire’s longing for home and family, and we want to see her find love and security,” Ginny said. “It takes skill to create a character who resonates with readers like that, and Sherry has it.”

Delivered With Love book coverHaving written for 13 years, Kyle sold My Special Someone—a story of adoption from a child’s perspective—in 2002. The children’s book was co-written and illustrated by her daughter, Brittany. Kyle also has The Christian Girl’s Guide to Style, a book about beauty, fashion and character for girls 8-12 published through Legacy Press.

She’s a ‘pantser’

Kyle envies writers who are able to write chapter-by-chapter plots, believing it would make the writing easier. But that’s not how her brain is wired. She appreciates how her vivid imagination helps the story flow as she writes her daily goal of 1,000 words.

Mentors and influencers

Kyle admires many good writers and has profited from their influence. “But those who have specifically influenced me are my critique partners past and present,” she said. “One person I really look up to as my role model as a mom and author is Deborah Raney. She’s a wonderful writer and one woman who has her priorities straight!”

Raney isn’t the only author who has impacted Kyle as a writer. She’s attended the Mount Herman Christian Writers Conference since 2006, and has been mentored by Gayle Roper, James Scott Bell, and Brandilyn Collins. Kyle joined ACFW in 2007 and has learned much through the monthly courses and annual conferences.

She received terrific advice from an award-winning author who told her to “enjoy the journey of learning the craft because life gets more difficult once you’re contracted.” Delivered with Love was completely written when Sherry received the contract. Now that she has a deadline, juggling writing, editing, and marketing is a challenge. 

Future career

Her fans will look forward to each new book because they’ll be able to count on her for stories that delight, inspire, and stir their hearts.

Karen O’Connor has been a friend and colleague of Kyle’s since she started her novel. She has seen her grow as a writer and storyteller. Karen is excited about the fiction career Kyle has ahead of her. “Her fans will look forward to each new book because they’ll be able to count on her for stories that delight, inspire, and stir their hearts and imaginations.”

Before she types a word, Kyle prays and asks God to help her put words on the screen. She recites the verse from Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Without God, she doesn’t have a purpose.

Kyle continues to move forward in her writing career. She finished the second book in the Christian Girl’s Guide series and has another book contract with Abingdon Press for The Heart Stone, scheduled for release in the spring of 2013.

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