It is with great pleasure that we welcome back Sherri Browning Erwin author of this month’s selection Jane Slayre. Sherri guest posted with us last week sharing her perspective on mash-ups. Our members submitted some questions of their own, which Sherri answers here.
Miss Temple is such a ray of sunshine for Jane. She’s the model of a good teacher. Is there any Miss Temple in your life? Meaning, is there a teacher that encouraged you in your own life; maybe in your writing so as to make a difference in your life?
I feel very fortunate to have studied under many great, inspiring teachers in my school days. Charlotte Bronte’s Miss Temple reminded me of a few of them. When I wrote my own version of Miss Temple, though, I was usually thinking of my dear friend Kathleen Givens. Kathleen was more of a friend than a mentor to me, but she was the one I could go to and trust for sound advice on life and in writing. When I had the idea for Jane Slayre, she is the one who pressed me to pursue it and encouraged me through the writing process. Sadly, she passed away suddenly in January 2010, before Jane Slayre was released. I still feel her with me, though. I think of her every day. I also have her books and I read them often. She was an incredible writer.
Are you a lover of all Bronte’s or just Charlotte?
I’m a Bronte fan. I’m fascinated with their family history, and the fact that they were all so close and dependent on one another. Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Emily’s Wuthering Heights are books I’ve read and enjoyed. Charlotte’s Jane Eyre is still my favorite.
Of the three main monsters (vampires, werewolves, and zombies), which do you find the most interesting and which the most terrifying?
Normally, I would say that zombies, creepy dead things in quest of brains, are the most terrifying, but I made them more a source of comedy in Jane Slayre, which made them less terrifying and most interesting to me. I had fun writing zombie scenes, trying to find ways to make them threatening but also funny. Adding a comedic element dulls the terror, but I still get letters from readers who have nightmares from the zombie scenes. I love the movie Sean of the Dead, very funny and scary, too. The most frightening thing in Jane Slayre, for me, is the werewolf, wild, out of control, beyond reason. Jane knows that creature in the attic could tear her apart. Brave as she is, I think she’s less certain of how to actually face a werewolf. Vampires hold more familiarity for Jane. Vampires still retain a sense of their humanity, it seems, so the characters can be spoken to and reasoned with– at least until Jane plants a stake in them.
If you had to assemble a monster slaying team who might you choose?
My fantasy monster slaying team would include Van Helsing, of course, as portrayed by Hugh Jackman, for obvious reasons. Jane Slayre and Estella from Grave Expectations would be on the team, because I know their abilities and trust them completely. I would want Buffy the Vampire Slayer on board, too, and if she could bring her whole Scooby crew, so much the better. In real life, I would surround myself with my good friends, the Whine Sisters. We share a group blog and we have discussed how we would survive a zombie apocalypse. I trust my Whine Sisters with my life. Together, we would make it.
Do you have any particular writing quirks or rituals?
I try to write ten pages a day, but I’m easily distracted. I love research, and being caught up in a new project. I find so many interesting things online, and it can really take away from writing time if I let it carry me away. I have to keep reminding myself to stay focused.
Is there anything you’d like to share that we have not thought to ask?
I love to hear from readers, and I’m especially excited when book clubs read and discuss my books. Thank you for reading Jane Slayre and for asking me to blog. I’ve had a lovely time.
We invite our readers to pose their own questions that Sherri may answer here in the comments or you may contact her through her site.