authors, books, christian fiction, fiction, interviews, urban fiction

In the Words of an Author: An Interview with Sherylynne L. Rochester

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

There are many authors that have influenced my work. Frank Peretti is a huge influence. The spiritual aspect he gives with the spiritual warfare is just amazing. I love Brad Meltzer. He’s one of my favorite thriller conspiracy authors. I also love Vanessa Miller. She’s an amazing writer under the Urban Christian Fiction genre. They all have influenced my work.


Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

That’s a hard one. It’s between my first book Sasha or my latest book Lailah. But if I have to choose it would be Lailah from God Send Me My Husband. She’s my favorite because she is just like the majority of single women today. She shows you what she deals with as a single woman. You get to see her insecurities, her choices, and the consequences of not waiting on God.


What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

The most rewarding part of being an author is when readers come back and say that my books have really helped them. I love hearing how people have turned their lives around because of the books I have written. Also, hearing that my book made it to Iraq and even a prison in the U.S. has been so rewarding to me as well.


What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

The advice I would give to authors just starting out in their journey is to just write and put your best work out. Writing in today’s world is hard and will be hard but keep writing and don’t give up. Write a good story and self-publish it. Do it now because now is the time to follow your purpose in life. When you step out and follow your purpose, watch what God will do when you write.


Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

Mostly, I just pray before I write. I want to make sure that when I write that it is inspired by God. He gives me what to say and I write it down.


Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Definitely not. My dream was to become a Worship leader and to sing around the world. I am a worship leader but I haven’t had the chance to sing around the world just yet. But, I never thought I would be an author with four books written.


If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

I would love to have a conversation with David from the Bible because he was a psalmist and a great writer. He was also a musician. So, I would love to sit and have a conversation with him and learn everything that I could.


Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

God Send Me My Husband Chapter Excerpt

Sherylynne L. Rochester

I really wanted to see Miles again, but I hated first dates. I do all this grumbling about having one and now that the time is here, Im a nervous wreck. I guess I am nervous because of all the bad dates Ive had recently and over the years. I didnt want to think about it right now, so I wondered about what Miles would be wearing. Not to lump all Africans in the same bucket, but most African men are always dressed to the nine when they go out. Was I underdressed? Its just ice cream. I didnt want him to think Im fat and a slob. I loved getting dolled up. I decided to overdress for the occasion but just enough that I didnt look out of place. The entire drive there, I was thinking about what questions I should ask and what Miles might say. I practiced my laugh and my good-listener face.

I arrived early to the place on purpose so I could find a place to stand while I waited. Big girls needed more room and I couldnt get caught with my butt overflowing off of a little chair. So, I found a comfortable spot to stand. I checked my phone over and over in case Miles was trying to contact me. I didnt want him to think I stood him up.

I saw him walking up. He was wearing a Henley, khakis and loafers. Ooh, he is so fine but a little too skinny for my taste. Yes, he was fit but he needed a little bit more weight along with the muscles he had. I liked my men big with muscles. Thats fine, once he tasted my cooking, Ill add some meat to his bones in no time. I waved him over when he walked throw the door. I hugged him. Whatever cologne hes wearing should be a sin. Even though hes not a big guy, I loved that I dont feel overly huge in his arms. It is like I fit perfectly in his embrace. Oops, he just kissed the side of my cheek. Do I kiss his back? No, hes just saying hello. I needed to stop thinking so much before I ruin this date.

You look lovely,he said showing those pearly white teeth.

Thank you. You look handsome as well.

Oh, well thank you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet you here. Im sorry its not more formal and I am sorry for it being so late too. I couldnt find parking and had to park in the parking garage down the street.

No, this is fine. No need to apologize. Its Manhattan and theres never any parking on the street. There’s only parking in the parking garage. Plus, it takes some of the pressure off. And I love ice cream.

Good! Have you been here before?

Yes, I have. I go to the one in Brooklyn though but Ive been here too.

They have great ice cream. I take my niece here anytime were in the city. They make great Ice Cream Shakes too.

Mm, maybe Ill get one of those.

Cold Stone Creamy a great place to have freshly made ice cream. I havent been to the forty-second street location in a while but I loved the fact that if you gave a tip theyd sing to you. I gladly gave them a tip and true to fashion I got a song out of it too. I got the Love It Pink Lemonade Sorbet mixed gummy bears, yellow cake, Reeses peanut butter cup, and rainbow sprinkles. Its a fat girl trying to get skinnys dream. Out of my peripheral vision, I watched Miles. He didnt bat an eye as I ordered nor did he make a face like Chanel would. Yes, my creations and tastes buds were weird but it tasted so good going down.

Miles smiled at me and I smiled back. Miles then orders a Strawberry Banana Rendezvous as a Gotta Have It with rainbow sprinkles. To top it off he also asked for Reese peanut butter cup. I wondered if that was his first choice or if hes trying to show me we have something in common. We took our creations and begin to eat.

Wow…a man after my own heart,I said licking my spoon.

I love Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. I can eat those all day every day,he said watching me with his eyes.

I didnt get to have ice cream often thanks to the meal plan Chanel had me on but a Love It from Cold Stone Creamy wouldnt kill me.

As we walked out the door and down forty-second street enjoying the scenery, I checked out Mile’s hand for a ring. I’ve learned to check. I was out on a date with a married man once a few years back. He had forgotten to take his ring off evidently and had a lot of explaining to do when he tried to hold my hand at the table of the restaurant. I paid my portion of the check and bolted. I wasnt going to hell with him and I surely wasnt going to be a mistress. But as far as Miles, there were no ring and no mark that he may have slipped it off and put it in his pocket to come out here tonight. I was relieved. Maybe God had sent him to me?

As I continued to take small portions of the sorbet, I wondered what he sees in me. I thought of that movie Shallow Hal. I know I shouldnt be putting myself down like this but when youve been single for a long time and men have hurt you, these thoughts flood your mind. Ive heard some men have weird fetishes and I dont want to be anyones sick sexual experiment. Its hard for some men to look past all this body and he didnt at all seem embarrassed to be walking with me down forty-second street. I tried not to analyze it too much.

You know I was nervous about tonight,he said.

Really? I was nervous too,I said.

He smiled. I mean Ive been on some bad dates and I am glad so far this one is going well.

I couldn’t help but chuckle.

Whats so funny?He asked.

I’m laughing at all the bad dates Ive had,I said, wiping my mouth.

Oh, Ive had more than I can count. I remember this one girl, named Tyler. She was supposed to be very promising. We made plans to go on a date after talking on the phone for weeks. I was excited until I got there and had the surprise of my life. She was there and so was her grandmother. Not once during the date did she explain why she was there. I had to pay for the both of them. I mean, at least she could have let a brother know.

This guy named Thomas was a bad date for me. That man had the nerve to give me a three-dollar budget to eat at Starbucks. Now you know a small cup of your favorite Starbucks drink is way more than three dollars. There was no dollar menu there. You guessed it, I had to pay for my food. But at the end of it all, he proceeded to tell me he wanted to have kids with me. Excuse me were the only words that could come out of my mouth. He could only afford a three dollar date, how could he afford kids?I said.

He laughed. “Let’s see, one girl, named Taylor left to go to the bathroom. She came back twenty minutes later very drunk. I didnt even know you could get drunk that fast. Well, I quickly ended the date and as we were leaving and in her drunken stupor, she revealed that she had multiple felony assault charges from stalking.

No way,I say, laughing in shock. But this one to me tops it all. His name was Tad and he said to me that we were going to the most expensive place in town. It was McDonalds. Ok, I have no problems with McDonalds. Someone I knew had a first date at McDonalds and they were married until he passed recently. So, I was open to it. But guess what, I had to pay. Then he had the nerve to call me a slut, and that I wasnt even worthy enough to be with him or worthy enough to be taken to a place like McDonalds. Yes, he said that and I walked away balling my eyes out when I got home.

Wow, Im sorry,he said with concern.

Then there was Travis, the guy that left to go to the bathroom and never returned. That hurt my heart. I guess he didnt like what he saw, but whatever,I say, shrugging my shoulder and trying to hold back the tears.

I’ve truly had my share of bad dates too, both from online dating to just meeting girls in regular places, so dont you worry and I like what I see,he said rubbing my back.

I smiled. “Thank you. Such a fine guy like you having bad dates, its unbelievable.

Oh, you think Im fine, huh?

Youre alright,I said.

All the dates Ive been on never turned into anything but disappointment but it is cool because if they went well I wouldnt have met someone as awesome as you,he said winking.

I melt when he winked at me. My stomach filled with butterflies.

Dating is hard and I guess thats why I was nervous too. Ive tried speed dating, online dating profiles, social media apps, meeting people at the supermarket and other places but I havent found my knight in shining armor. The dates Ive been on were true disasters. I guess now I can look back and laugh at what a train wreck they are, but it surely wasnt funny then.

I hear you.

I always wondered why I got the bad end of the stick. One thing I did learn was to avoid anyone whose name started with the letter T. I am so glad your name didnt start with a T or I would have headed for the door.

No, you wouldnt have. You couldnt resist the Miles,he said, enjoying his ice cream.

Yeah, okay,I said. Well, Im thankful for every bad date because it taught me what I dont want in a man and what I do want.

After talking about our bad dates, we walked in silence. It was a beautiful night. I was so glad to be out on a date that hopefully wont end badly like the others did.

So whats on your mind,he asked.

Well, I dont like to waste time Miles, so forgive me if this is a bit forward. Are you looking for a committed, long-term relationship?

He looked down at the pavement and now hes smirking. Oh boy, here comes the, ‘let’s take it one date at a timething guys do when they didnt want to say, no. My heart sunk.

Its not forward. Im glad you asked because thats on my mind, too. Im looking for a wife. Im not getting any younger and want to get married and have a family. I just wonder if Im good enough for you.

I want that too,I said, smiling.

God, is this my future husband? I asked myself. This is too good to be true. I tried not to smile so wide. I didnt want to look overly excited and scare him off.

Tell me about your previous relationships,I asked.

He smiled again. They just didnt work out. I was in a relationship with this one lady for nine years.

Really, thats a very long that.

Yeah it was but she cheated on me.

Wow, really, that sounds like what happened to me.

Someone cheated on someone as beautiful as you.

Yeah,I said licking my spoon again.

Well, its their lost,he said.

I nodded in agreement. Yes, their lost.”

So what is the number one thing youre looking for in a man?he asked.

I thought about that for a moment. The number one, most important thingthat hes a devout Christian.

I was going to say the same thing about the woman I’m after.”

I stopped and stared into those deep, dark brown eyes and saw a little slice of heaven there, too. Maybe all hope wasnt lost. To find a man who wants me to be as submissive to Christ as he, is a beautiful thing to have. Its the type of relationship Ive been dreaming of and wanting.

Being with a man whose heart isnt in Christ is just difficult and Ive had my heart broken so many times, I just want to start off on the right foot,I said.

I understand. I’ve had my share of bad breakups too. The next person I call my girlfriend will be my wife. I take that seriously and I mean it too.

I nodded. So what else are you looking for in a woman?

Well, I am looking for a woman that knows how to handle someone like me. I can be a bit much at times. I want someone that will be with me through it all. That wont leave me when times get tough. You know the song, Can You Stand the Rain?

Oh, I love that song,I belted the song out right there on forty-second street. Miles stands there amazed. He wanted to hear me sing, so there. He looked taken aback.

Wow, you have a lovely voice,he says, finally finding the words.

Thank you!I said taking more of my ice cream. This sorbet was everything I needed right now.

Your voice is so pure. You should be on the radio.

I smiled at the thought. Since this afternoons talk with the girls, the singing bug was returning.

I’m ready to settle down,he said.

Me too! Its so hard to find people my age who are ready to take that next step. I didnt want to be someones second wife or a childs stepmother.

I hear you, well Ive never been married and also do not have any children. I assume you are in the same boat?


Good,he said.

So Miles, tell me what are your short term and long term goals.I felt like I sounded like an employer, but I needed to know if he had the foundation Im looking for.

He laughed before answering. Youre the first girl—excuse mewoman to ask me that,he paused to think it over. Well, my short term goal is career oriented; to get more people who want and need loans and provide more products as well.

I cut him off. You must have a lot of money and what type of products do you sell?I had to ask to see what type of financial state he was in. It might have been weird and bold but I needed to know.

Yes, thanks to my dad, I have a hefty amount. I sell pharmaceutical products to physicians. I go to their office and tell them about the new products and sell it to them.

Something inside me wants to question it more but I don’t. “And your long term goals?

My long term goals is to be a billionaire. Some in my field have become billionaires and that is my goal.

Interesting,I said. I didnt want Miles to think Im a gold-digger. You can have the same problems crying in a Prius as you can in a Maserati. I just wanted a man who is faithful to God and his family. So what are your views on relationships? How do you feel about a monogamous relationship? Do you want kids?

Lailah, slow down. We have plenty of time to get to that, my Queen.

You are right,I said a little disappointed. Was I moving too fast?

But to answer your question, I only want one woman and one woman only. I know a lot of people think African men want multiple wives but as a Christian, I want to follow Gods way of life. I want kidslots of them. I come from a big family and I loved growing up with so many brothers and sisters.

He grabbed my free hand and kissed it. His kiss on my hand was soft but urgent. My queen, Im glad I met you. We have so much to talk about and so much to see together.

I couldnt believe it. So quickly I was being swept off my feet. Was this really happening? Were my prayers being answered?

He smiled wide, his deep brown eyes crinkling slightly at the corners. I took all of him in, he was tall and thin, yet his muscles rippled underneath the tight shirt he was wearing. I was quickly falling for this guy. But was quickly snapped out of it when another warning flooded through me.

Let his actions catch up to his words,said the inner Voice.

I didnt want to hear that at this moment. I just wanted to enjoy it. God please, I thought, dont ruin this for me. Dont say now. I dont want to be lonely any longer.

After saying that in my head, I felt as if God backed away a tad bit. I just wanted to be loved by a human beinga man. You did say, God, that it isnt good for man to be alone, I rationalized to myself.

There was no answer.

Lailah,” Miles said snapping me out of my talk with God.

Yes,I said.

This may be a bit bold and a bit fast but I am going to do something I have never done ever in my life.

What was he going to do or say? I wondered. Was he going to propose? Its too soon, I thought. No need to think that. Although, Ive heard of many people who got married a week after having their first date. But no, dont over think it. Stay in the moment Lailah.

Okay?I said, wondering and questioning him with my eyes.

I know this is fast…” he said pausing again. I have been thinking about this since our conversation Saturday. Im usually a quick and fast guy and maybe I should slow down but I cant. Will you be my girlfriend?

I stopped and took it all in. We just met. This is our first official date. I searched his eyes. He must want something. No, he just wanted me for me.

Lailah, I am sorry for being forward but I am getting older and I dont have time to waste any longer. Will you be my womanmy girlfriendwhatever we are at this age?he asked laughing. I know girlfriend sounds so grade school but you understand what I mean.

I smiled and buried my face into his chest. God couldnt have written a better love story, I think. All this worrying for nothing. God had this planned out all along. This was better than a fairytale. This was amazing. I already couldnt wait to tell my future children.

Yes, of course, I will.

Miles wrapped his free arm around me as I had already done the same.

Hey,he said. Look at me.

I looked up at him. Looking deeply into my eyes, something clicked. I stared into his eyes longing for our lips to touch. Slowly, he leaned in with his lips half opened and kissed me with all the passion in his heart. His tongue created a chill in through my body and it traveled down my spine. I felt the electricity pulsing through my veins. This kiss engulfed us as we were so close I could feel the heat of his body warming mine.

I hadnt felt this way in a long time. I clung to him as he let go. I clung to him like a lifeline.

He again looked at me, his eyes squinting and his mouth smirked in this smile that made me know he was thinking something.

What?I asked.

He took in a breath and said, That was magical.

I smiled and said, Yes it was.

I forgot who was around us and where we were. This was something I had always prayed for. I had finally found my husband. He did say that the next person he called girlfriend would be his wife. Finally, I said to myself, Thank you. Thank you. God, if Miles is meant to be my husband, show me the way. Show him the way as well.

It seemed too good to be true. That was the phrase that filled my mind. Maybe it was but for right now I was happy. Happy to be taken and happy that someone wanted me.

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