My latest book, HALLEY, awarded 2015 Jefferson Cup Honor for Historical Fiction, awarded the Moonbeam Silver Medal for Young Adult Fiction, and awarded the 2016 Frank Yerby Award for Fiction. Available at: NewSouth Books: www.newsouthbooks.com/halley and Amazon.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that my blog has a whole new look these days, and it’s all due to a talented artist named Sherry Meidell. Sherry lives in West Bountiful, Utah. With her husband Dave, former member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Though Utah is home, they venture everywhere. Recently they were on a long term mission to Hawaii. Though hit by the Covid pandemic, the mission continued online. The Meidells have five grown sons and several grandchildren.
Sherry illustrated three of my picture books published by Boyds Mill Press, so we go back a long way. She studied a lot of my old family photos to get the feel of Georgia mountain country of bygone days. And did she ever get it right! She didn’t need the photos to capture the love of family—we already had that in common. I learned that when my husband and I visited her on a trip out west a few years ago. She and her family took us in as if we were long lost relatives. They even included us in a family dinner. It made me realize that all over the country—and the world—family is still what nourishes and renews us all.
Aside from family, Sherry has other interests. She paints, and she illustrates for publication. She attends conferences, and teaches art. Her biking and hiking adventures give her ideas for her painting. She also speaks to children in schools everywhere. At this point, you may well be asking what doesn’t this woman do? Not much!
When I decided to give my blog a fresh new look, I knew Sherry would be the one to capture the whole concept of strollicking—having fun, frolicking, wasting time creatively, kicking up your heels. And I was right. Did she ever nail me on that ramshackle motorcycle with my two hounds, traveling the curving mountain roads of my childhood. Okay, I’ve never ridden a motorcycle, and never intend to. Or at least not until I’ve learned to ride a bicycle without falling and shattering my one remaining “good knee.” And, no, I don’t have—and have never had—hounds. But I’ve had many dogs, sandwich mutts (half bred), and if I were going to travel on a motorcycle, I’d take my present dogs with me, along with my husband and two or three grandkids.
Also, the Faye in Sherry’s art has a better figure than the real Faye, and she has better hair (which is FINE with me, Sherry). Other than these small points, I will paraphrase Huck Finn when talking about Mark Twain: She told the truth mainly. She certainly made an eye-catching improvement in “Strollicking.” And as far as I’m concerned, for a woman whose home is in Utah, she miraculously captured the spirit of the Georgia mountains as I remember them from my childhood. Thanks, Sherry.
If you would like to learn more about Sherry, visit her at: sherrymeidellart.com