Tuesday, August 1, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special with Sherry Lewis

The Write Way Café welcomes Sherry Lewis, who takes us behind the scenes of That Woman in Wyoming. 

Good morning, everyone! I’m delighted to be here at the Write Way Café again and excited to share a few things about my contemporary romance novel, That Woman in Wyoming. On my own blog, I have a feature I call “Behind the Scenes,” in which I share a few secrets about a book, and I thought I’d follow that format here, as well.

That Woman in Wyoming is set in fictional Serenity, Wyoming, a small town nestled in the mountains near Jackson. (For those of you not familiar with the area, Jackson Hole is the valley. Jackson is the town, although many people call the town “Hole” as well.) It’s one of my favorite areas on the planet, and I love sharing it with readers.

Reagan McKenna is a single mom who is raising two teenage daughters. They came to Serenity after Reagan’s husband, a police officer, lost his life in the line of duty. All she wants is a quiet place to raise her kids and a chance to move forward with her life. Max Gardner is a bounty hunter on the trail of a minor criminal. When that trail brings him to Serenity, life changes for both of them in a big way.

With that background, here are five things you may not know about That Woman in Wyoming in no particular order:

Photo credit: Photo by Javier Molina on Unsplash
#1 – In my first draft of the book—the one I submitted to my editor for approval—I wrote a “meet cute” scene for Reagan and Max set at Serenity’s local drive-in. My editor felt that it was too clichéd and asked me to revise it, which I did. At the time, I was a bit annoyed. After all, my version was…well, cute!...but I’ve since come to realize that she was right. My meet-cute version has been done so many times in books and movies it’s almost eye-roll worthy. In fact, I learned a lot about clichés during the writing, revising, and editing process of this book.

#2 – The Chicken Inn in Serenity is based on Larry’s Spring Chicken Inn located in Morgan, Utah. I’ve eaten at Larry’s many times. Especially on Memorial Day, it was the place to be. My kids and I would visit the cemetery and then drive down the hill to Larry’s where we’d inevitably run into aunts, uncles, and cousins. In later years, when my parents moved back to Utah, they joined us every year. I also went to a few movies as a kid when the building was a theater. I never lived in Morgan, but I have lots of family there, so during our annual visits to Utah when I was a kid, if I was lucky, we’d go to the movies. Larry’s really does serve the best chicken anywhere. I’ve never found better. I had a great time revisiting the restaurant with Max and Reagan. If you’re anywhere near Morgan, Utah, and you haven’t gone to Larry’s to eat, you really should!

Photo credit: Sherry Lewis#3—I liked Serenity so much, I set another book there. The Christmas Wife (aka Christmas Homecoming) and I’m seriously contemplating revisiting the town a few more times in future books. If Serenity were a real place, I’d move there. Too bad it only exists in my head. It does make me wonder, though, why I’ve never moved to a small town. When I was working at other jobs, I had to live closer to the city. Now, I suppose I stay where I am because my daughter needs to live closer to the city. I do appreciate the diversity and choices available in a bigger town, the proximity to stuff like groceries and gas stations. But there’s something about the pace of a small town that appeals to me, and though it’s true that everybody knows everybody else’s business, it’s still appealing, which is probably why so many of my books are set in small towns.

Photo credit: Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash#4—Creating the character of Travis Carmichael was my way of dealing with a family issue I was struggling with at the time. I have two daughters, and the oldest had become involved with a guy I tried to like, but just couldn’t. I desperately wanted her to see some of the things I saw about him, but for a while she wore rose-colored glasses where he was concerned. Nothing I said or did made any difference. Even worse, nothing he said or did seemed to make a difference. Eventually, she did see him for who he was, just as Reagan does with Travis, but it was a struggle for a while. Writing the characters and getting into their heads helped me realize that someone else’s epiphany isn’t going to happen just because I want it to or think it should. Letting Reagan slowly realize what kind of person Travis was helped me develop patience for what Older Daughter needed. This is one of the reasons I love writing so much. It’s just so powerful!

#5—One of my favorite characters in the book is Max’s partner, Donovan. Even though he only
Photo credit Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplashappears in a couple of scenes and plays a very minor part in the story, I liked him immediately. He’s one of those “gentle giants” who act tough and look intimidating, but who are really good guys with hearts of gold. After revisiting him in this book, I might have to find a way to make him a bigger part of another book. I’m not sure quite how to do that. Since he’s already appeared in one romance, logic tells me he should be part of another romance, but to make him the hero of a novel I’d have to get rid of his wife and that seems a bit cruel. I’d really like to get to know him better, though. Maybe one of these days I’ll figure it out.

written by Sherry LewisAnd there you have them: 5 things you might not have known about That Woman in Wyoming before today. The book is available in Kindle format and in paperback, and it’s free to read if you have Kindle Unlimited. I hope you’ll give it a try!


About Sherry:  Sherry Lewis is a national bestselling, award-winning author who writes across several genres. Along with her writing career, she is the owner and instructor of Dancing on Coals Workshops for Fiction Writers, where she has been teaching writing workshops for more than 20 years.
     In 1993 Sherry launched her mystery-writing career with the sale of her first three books in the Fred Vickery mystery series to Berkley Prime Crime. In early 1994 she sold her first romance to Harlequin Superromance, launching her career as a romance writer.
     As Sammi Carter, she wrote the Candy Shop mystery series set in Paradise, Colorado and featuring Abby Shaw. As Jacklyn Brady she wrote the Piece of Cake mystery series set in New Orleans, featuring cake artist Rita Lucero. She is a long-time member of Romance Writers of America, where she served several terms on the board of directors, including one term as president. She is listed on RWA’s Honor Roll.
     Originally from Montana, Sherry spent several years living at the base of Utah's Wasatch Mountains. She now lives a block from the beach along Florida's Emerald Coast. It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

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Lynn said...

Very interesting post! Glad to have you on our blog!

Unknown said...

Thanks Lynn :)

HiDee said...

It's fun to learn what is behind the scenes of books. Thanks for being with us and sharing today, Sherry!

Jo Jones said...

I enjoyed slipping behind the scenes with you, in That Woman In Wyoming to learn more of your process and really see the heart of the book and its characters. Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Thanks or stopping by, Jo!