Sherry Kyle graduated from Biola University with a degree in Communications and a minor in Bible. She is the author of three books: The Christian Girl’s Guide to Style, a book for ‘tween girls about beauty, fashion, and character; Delivered with Love, a contemporary Christian novel; and her latest release, The Heart Stone, also a contemporary Christian novel.

Sherry and her husband live along the coast of central California. They have four children, three biological and one by adoption.

As a communications major, did you set out to pursue fiction, or do you have a journalism/non-fiction background?

No, I didn’t set out to pursue fiction, nor do I have a journalism background. My communication degree is in Speech Pathology. I didn’t consider being a writer until I was a stay-at-home mom with four children in tow. But before I wrote women’s fiction, I studied the craft of writing for children at the Institute of Children’s Literature. It was after I had The Christian Girl’s Guide to Style in print that I pursued writing women’s fiction.

How does your faith play into your writing?

My faith plays a big role in my writing. I’ve been a Christian a long time, since I was in fourth grade when I accepted Jesus into my heart right along with Joy Sparton of Parsonage Hill. (I still own my revised copy of the 1958 book.) I also grew up in a Christian home and heard the Bible read daily. What a blessing! I can’t imagine not inserting my Christian worldview into what I write because God IS the reason I write.

Has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?

I would say going to Biola University was my divine detour. I had always wanted to be a special education teacher, but I knew God wanted me at Biola even though they didn’t have that major. My parents could see it too. The second week of college I met my husband. God wanted me at Biola to find the love of my life. I never practiced Speech Pathology, but I earned my M.R.S. degree. And that is priceless!

Let’s talk about your new book, The Heart Stone (Abingdon Press, April 2013). Please tell us about it.

Thanks for asking. The Heart Stone is a contemporary story about two women’s journeys to find hope and forgiveness and a season that may change their lives forever.

When the alcoholic father of Jessica MacAllister’s son reappears in their lives, Jessica takes Jacob to Santa Cruz to visit her uncle George for advice and refuge.

Following a year of grief, Evelyn Sweeney is finally ready to move on. As she ponders her new path in life, her mind drifts to her first love, George MacAllister.

When the lives of these two women cross, they discover that one heart-shaped ring binds their stories together. But will the results be a rekindled faith and new hope? Or will it lead them both back into the darkness they’ve fought for so long?

What was the catalyst for the story idea?

The heart-shaped diamond ring. I thought it would be interesting if a ring was offered to someone forty years ago, but now is worn by a single mother to fend off any unwanted advances. This idea intrigued me and propelled the rest of the story.

God often uses our stories to teach us when we’re writing them. What did you learn (about life, faith, and/or even yourself) in the process of writing this book?

I learned the importance of releasing my fears to God and taking the step of faith to forgive someone who has hurt me. Otherwise, my heart will become hardened and bitter. My hope is for readers to want to forgive someone who has hurt them after reading The Heart Stone.

A few fun questions…

When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?

Dark chocolate. I like to have a small bite of dark chocolate every day. Sometimes I make my own trail mix with peanuts, raisins, pretzels, and whatever else I have around the house. : )

This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?

No. I had a couple of years of piano lessons when I was a girl, but other than that I don’t play a musical instrument. I do love to sing, but I reserve that for the shower or during worship time at church.

If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?

Hmm. Good question. I think an upbeat song with positive lyrics. : )

In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?

The girl next door. I’m casual and tend to wear my heart on my sleeve.

I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.

I’m a dog lover too! We have two dogs from the animal shelter, a female black Lab named Sophie and a male Chihuahua Terrier mix named Bandit. Sophie is super soft and her ears feel like velvet. I call her my “black bear.” Bandit is my little cuddle dog. He likes to wedge himself next to me on the Lazy-boy chair or on the couch. Yes, we allow them on the furniture. What can I say? I love my dogs.

Thanks, Sherry! It’s great to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.

Thank you for having me.

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For more information about Sherry, visit her website.

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