Featured Author: Sheri Lynn Fishbach/ Sheri Langer
Contributor
Written by
Maryanne Johnson
November 2018
Contributor
Written by
Maryanne Johnson
November 2018

Sheri Lynn Fishbach/Sheri Langer is a New York-based chocoholic, writer, and editor who, as Sheri Lynn Fishbach, authored the young adult novel, DEX, (Persnickety Press ‘16), based on her screenplay of the same name. Over the years, Sheri has contributed to local, regional, and national publications including Gannett’s the Journal News, the Jewish Reporter, Steppin’ Out, Psychology Tomorrow, and the New York Times network of newspapers. Sheri holds a B.A. in History from SUNY Binghamton, an M.A. in English Education from Brooklyn College, and is a Meisner-trained actress. She has performed in various regional productions and has been a featured voice in local commercials and audiobooks. A consummate fan of romantic comedies, Sheri has been known to reenact scenes from When Harry Met Sally, and others, on demand. Her second novel, LOVE-LINES, based on her screenplay of the same name, is due shortly. Sheri is currently at work on her third novel, THE PLANE TRUTHalso based on her eponymous screenplay. Please find Sheri on social media to help her procrastinate by engaging in a spirited exchange or to see pics of her great-looking family and ridiculously adorable cat, Zoe.

Book(s)

DEX (YA/Middle School Fiction)

Website:  http://screenluvr2.wixsite.com/sheri

All online booksellers, including, but not limited to:

https://www.amazon.com/DEX-Sheri-Lynn-Fishbach/dp/1943978042

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dex-sheri-lynn-fishbach/1120139917

https://persnickety-press.com/dex-page/

LOVE-LINES (release pending) (Women’s Fiction)

What sets your book apart from all others?  What makes your book unique? 

DEX is unique because the central character is a natural, relatable icon. As a kid in middle school, his life is ordinary, but as a gifted kid chef he’s summoned into a world typically reserved for adults. Through his experiences, Dex innately understands that food is an expression of caring, a way of nurturing at a basic level. Food is love and when we feed the world, we serve humanity. To his credit, Dex is never consumed by pressure or fame, providing a good lesson about humility in these me-centric times.

Although DEX isn’t a cookbook it is a foodie’s dream, laden with original ideas for recipes that will inspire readers to get into the kitchen and embark on their own culinary adventures.

All my work is mired in the notion that tenacity, faith, and believing in oneself, others, and the universe will ultimately result in success.

Diverting from Young Adult fiction, LOVE-LINES is a classic romantic comedy, a genre I sorely miss. It was first written as a screenplay, and later novelized. I wanted to write a movie I’d look forward to watching over and over again while sitting in bed eating hot and sour soup and steamed vegetable dumplings.

It’s a modern-day fairy tale about preserving one’s faith in love even after catastrophic disappointment. It’s kind of like Cinderella meets Ben & Jerry’s, after disappointing dates with guys who could be Bens and Jerrys.

I won’t focus on LOVE-LINES for this interview, but I’m excited about it and look forward to sharing more once it’s released.

Who is your target market, who should be reading your book(s) or who would be interested in reading your book(s)?

My target group for DEX based on academic guidelines would be ages 8-14, but since the story involves characters of all ages, everyone is enjoying it!

What authors inspired you most and how so?  What do you admire about each one?

Creative story-telling, language, and humor energize and inspire me. I appreciate the work of many different authors, but I find myself hearing Nora Ephron, Jennifer Weiner, Woody Allen, Jane Austen, and Charles Dickens in my head a lot these days. Yeah, it’s an eclectic group.

What advice do you have to offer in support of other authors?

Your editor(s) is your best friend. Be open to objective advice. Just because the story comes from you doesn’t mean you automatically know the best way to tell it. Usually, you don’t. You’re too close to it. An editor’s job is to improve and elevate what you’ve given her/him, and if you listen, your work will be all the better for it.

What is your genre(s) of choice and why?  How did you come to write in that particular genre(s) or niche(s)?

I’m not sure I have a favorite. I enjoy telling stories that highlight a character’s evolutionary journey. DEX was born out of a desire to step into smaller shoes and tackle life’s issues and concerns from that perspective. But, when all is said and done, I think adults are just kids with more mileage on them.

How’d you come about discovery of your writing talent, gift or ability?

Need. I started writing when I was ten and have never stopped. Thankfully, I was encouraged by mentors who saw promise and passion in my work and encouraged me to continue.

What are your future writing endeavors?  What’s next on your authorship agenda?

I’m currently working on another women’s fiction novel, THE PLANE TRUTH. Like all my work, it was a screenplay first. I also have an idea for a sequel to DEX that I’d like to combine with a cookbook. There’s another screenplay, THE SNOW ORCHID, a drama/mystery I co-wrote with my son that I may opt to novelize. And the idea of writing Hallmark movies intrigues me. Last but not least, I have a small boatload of poetry that I’d like to arrange into a collection. In my fantasy world, General Hospital discovers my work and hires me to be part of their circle of writers.

Is writing for you synonymous with living and breathing, or just something you do as a hobby, and how so and why?

I have to write. Sometimes, if I’m in between projects, or just in a slump, I may write a poem, or pound out my thoughts on social media. But, I’m never away too long. Like a lost puppy, I always find my way back.

What do you feel we need to hear or read more of, that is rare today in a book?

We need to lighten up and be funny again. Of course, it’s important to address the world’s ills, but we don’t have to be mired in stark realities when we’re seeking entertainment. I want to have the opportunity to laugh more when I open a book.

What changes in the literary world would you most like to see?

I’d love to see more opportunities for new talent. Big publishing houses stick with well-known authors and/or celebrities and Hollywood performs more reconstructive work on old titles than plastic surgeons do on patients.

Indie/Self-Published Author and/or Published?  What do you favor more and why?

I much prefer a publishing house. I had a small stint of publishing on my own and it was a major hassle. I wasn’t taken seriously or afforded the same opportunities. In fact, it ended up costing me more to try to get anything going.

How is your writing controversial, profound or mind boggling, or how would you describe it?

If writers didn’t think they had anything profound to offer, they wouldn’t write. I feel I have a unique way of looking at the world and an even more unique way of describing what I see and feel. I think DEX as a movie and TV series would be fascinating. Both scripts were written to use celebrity chefs in a variety of roles. Merging scripted with unscripted material would be a fun departure from the typical format for both TV and film.

What do you hope to accomplish with your literary creation?  What change, or enlightenment do you want to bring about in your reader if any?

My work is predominantly meant to entertain, and I’d like to achieve that by connecting my books to big and small screens which would offer a wider possibility to do that. Ultimately, I’d like readers to be flooded with all kinds of emotions while they embark on the journey along with my characters. If they close the book feeling hopeful, inspired, and satisfied, I’ll have done my job well.

What’s the greatest compliment that you ever received regarding your literary accomplishments and what did this remark do for you, how did it transform your life or your writing?

A reviewer wrote me saying her son read DEX twice because he loved the story and it inspired him. I knew then and there that I’ve chosen the right path, doing what I’m meant to do, and, like my characters, must continue to persevere.

What’s the most memorable criticism you received regarding your literary works and how did this remark transform you as a writer or influence your writing if at all?

An editor once said, “There’s not enough of a hook.” It was an interesting criticism because in ways she was right, but, in ways, she was also wrong. In fact, the story didn’t need to be changed, it needed to be restructured-big difference. Once it was given the proper respect and attention, it was everything it could be and more. I learned that diamonds in the rough shouldn’t be discarded, a little polish and they’ll dazzle with the best of them.

If you could ask a question of your favorite author of all time, what would the question be?  How would you answer that question -yourself?

Although I don’t have a favorite author, I would ask any of the best if they’d co-write something with me.

What have you sacrificed, if anything, to be a writer, or to write as you do?  What have you gained from writing, how has it rewarded you personally?

Being a creative writer does not yield to a conventional lifestyle. I always carry a pen and note pad with me and curse if I think of something while I’m driving. I’ve talk texted ideas while shopping or walking around the lake. There was one day I asked my husband-to-be if he’d go to the race track with me, so I could gather info for a chapter I was working on that needed the benefit of a realistic experience. That’s why I didn’t pursue this career as heartily when I was raising my kids in my soccer mom town. It was too difficult to juggle the necessary mind set with my other obligations and responsibilities. Instead, I did freelance writing for local publications and took a variety of writing and acting classes to stay connected. I loved my improvisation workshops and still use many of the ideas I learned when I’m writing. But, there was no way I could have made the same kind of commitment then as I have now. It has taken a while, but now I’m certain I’m just where I’ve always been meant to be.

 

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