Monday, December 12, 2011

Interview with Sherrill Cannon, author of Santa’s Birthday Gift

Tell us about yourself:

I am a mother of four and a grandmother of nine. I have written three published award-winning children’s books, as well as four published musical plays for elementary school children. I will have a fourth children’s book released in early 2012.  A former teacher, I have had varied careers including Varsity Coach, professional Newspaper Sports Photographer and Columnist,  Dinner Theatre Company Stage Manager, Talent Manager, and Business Administrator. My husband and I celebrated our 51th wedding anniversary in June!  We are now retired, and we travel in our RV from the east coast to the west coast each year to spend time with our children and grandchildren... sharing my books along the way!

Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you:

1.     I grew up (from 6-16) in the Willard Hotel in Washington DC, where my father was the manager.

2.     In 2011, I have been fortunate enough to win seven awards for my three picture books.
a.     The Magic Word:                                    Readers Favorite Gold Medal Award,
      NABE Pinnacle Achievement Award
Global  eBook Finalist Award.

b.     Santa’s Birthday Gift:                                    Readers Favorite Silver Medal Award
National Indie Excellence Finalist Award

c.     Peter and the Whimper-Whineys            Readers Favorite Bronze Medal Award
USA Best Books Finalist Award
3.     I sometimes think in rhyme.

What inspired you to write the book(s)?

Santa’s Birthday Gift was in response to my granddaughter’s question, after I read her the story of the Nativity.  She asked, “But where’s Santa?” (ISBN 978-1-60860-824-9)

Peter and the Whimper-Whineys was a story that my mother told me as a child, and shared with my children and grandchildren as well as numerous elementary school students in her long career as a substitute teacher.  With her blessing, I put it into rhyme. (ISBN 978-1-60911-517-3)

“What’s The Magic Word?” is something I always ask, whenever my children and grandchildren ask for anything without saying “Please”.  The book focuses on having consideration for others and trying to live the Golden Rule.  (ISBN 978-1-60976-909-3)

What are your favorite children's authors/books?

Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein, since all of my books are written in rhyme and meter.  I love poetry, and the music and rhythm of words.

What advice would you give other young aspiring writers?
Find your niche in the writing world, and then concentrate there for submissions as well as for marketing after publication.  Send out query letters to traditional publishers, but don’t be afraid to explore the world of self-publishing or “help-publishing” as I refer to my publisher Strategic Book Group.  I have been very happy there. It’s hard to break into the traditional publishing world without an agent (who isn’t interested in you if you’re not published) so I have been happy to put my faith in my writing and let the public decide whether or not they like my work.

What are you working on now?

My next rhyming children’s book, Gimme-Jimmy, is now in illustration and should be released early in 2012. It’s another book about manners and coping with bullies – only in this case it’s the bully who has a problem!

What do you hope your books will impart to children?
Consideration for others and good manners – thoughtfulness – the Golden Rule as in “try to treat others the way you would like” (from The Magic Word) – all are at the heart of my books.  I guess once a teacher, always a teacher; since I try to teach good manners, disguised as fun stories!

What obstacles have you experienced in your writing journey?
I have been writing all of my life, but my main obstacle has been lack of time – as it is for most authors who also have a day-job, not to mention child-care!   Now that I’m retired, I have been able to submit my manuscripts, and also have more time to market them (which is the other half of being an author!)

Where can people buy your books/.Do you have a web page or fan page?
My books (which are all also eBooks) are available at most online stores including and   They are also featured at Red Room: and there are signed books available at as well as on eBay.
Peter and the Whimper-Whineys is also an iTunes App:
My website and blog is 

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