Monday, March 26, 2012

Is This Real Life? by Sherri Johnson

“Is this real life?” This is a phrase my 21-year-old daughter uses quite often these days. Why? Because life—where it involves singles trying to make a way for themselves in the modern dating world—is stranger than fiction. She says on a regular basis that her life is a movie. It’s not like a movie; it is a movie. She gets asked out by the strangest guys and always attracts the socially awkward or the stalker. The “Mr. Collins” character from Pride and Prejudice seems to love her—the ones that are a head too short and don’t seem to mind being chest-height. She attracts the Mr. Darcy types, too—you know…the brooding, passive-aggressive types who never tell you what’s on their minds but get angry if you don’t read their minds and understand their plight? They glare at you from across the room if they see you talking to another guy but won’t claim you as their own. In fact, they couldn’t have you even if they wanted to because they simply are not up to your standards. And maybe that’s what the problem is anyway. They know they can’t have you.

Being a Romance novelist and a woman who concocts romances out of every single scenario I see, I find it difficult to believe that single Christians have such a tough time finding each other when they are all right there together at church or in the same community. I also have a hard time understanding why so few guys actually want to be the hero in a real life story. The Atlanta scene (where we live) is teeming with young, vibrant, single Christ followers who can’t seem to find their way to each other for many reasons. I think a main reason is: everything has gone virtual and while young people know how to text, like, chat, tweet, Skype and all of that, great fear comes upon many of them when it comes to actually doing an in-person, face-to-face encounter. If only I could write a perfectly quirky and charmingly edgy love story for each one of these kids and have it come true, I would do it. But I can’t.

So that is why I enjoy reading and writing those kinds of stories. You know what they say: If you can’t do, teach. So I write. I imagine perfect scenarios full of frustrating pathways where the two eventually find their way to one another. It makes life fun. Nothing is better than getting lost in a story that inspires you to believe that everything works out okay in the end and encourages you to stay on the path, to be faithful to your call, and to have fun while you’re doing it.

Sherri Wilson Johnson is an Inspirational Romance novelist, a speaker, and a former homeschooling mom. She lives in Georgia with her husband and two children. She loves to dream of romantic places and romance in general. She’s a bird-watcher, loves roller coasters, tigers, ice cream, her family and her Chihuahua, who faithfully sits by her side every day when she writes. She longs to do something exciting like sky diving one day. Sherri is the author of TO DANCE ONCE MORE(OakTara) and SONG OF THE MEADOWLARK (due out in May by OakTara). She is currently writing TO DANCE ONCE MORE’s sequel.

Want more info about Sherri's book? Here's the book blurb:

All Lydia wants is to travel the world before she has to settle down with a husband. But she may not have that choice anymore.

April 1886
Debutante Lydia Jane Barrington lives a carefree, protected existence on Live Oaks Plantation in Florida. But while her sisters happily learn the traditional tasks of women and talk of courting, Lydia dreams of adventure and independence. Even her friendship with handsome Hamilton Scarbrough isn’t enough to hold her back.

Then one day Hamilton opens Lydia’s eyes and her heart to love. But before they can receive permission to court, Lydia overhears a secret conversation about an unscrupulous business deal. Worse, it has everything to do with her and her future. Now she’s faced with the biggest decision of her life—to concede or to fight. Either choice will require great sacrifice…and, perhaps, countless rewards.

Passion. Friendship. A bitter enemy. A life-changing decision.
Set in Victorian-era Florida.

And how about a sneak peek of To Dance Once More? Click here to read the first couple of chapters!

Sherri has offered to give one lucky reader an electronic copy of her book To Dance Once More! Just leave a comment here with your email address between now and April 9.

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