Artists & Authors: Today’s Featured Author

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Winter Drive Inspires Author to Write First Novel

Sheryl CarterSheryl L. Carter is the author of ‘The Quiet Road’, a Christian Historical Fiction Novel set on the prairie in the 1860s and published in 2012 through the assistance of The Write Place in Pella.

The concept for ‘The Quiet Road’ occurred to Sheryl some years ago while driving one winter day on Highway 6 between Newton and Grinnell.  “I was inspired by a scene where a lone quiet track—pristine with snow—went up a hill between some trees.  As I drove, the story began to spin out in my mind and as soon as I got home I started writing. I never knew what was going to happen as even the ending was a mystery to me, the same as what was at the end of the quiet road I had seen that afternoon.  As I wrote, new characters emerged and the story evolved.”

The story follows Hannah Monroe who, one snowy winter day, sees in the distance a cabin with faint chimney smoke.  Nearly exhausted, Hannah reaches the cabin only to find Dow Coulter near death.   She helps him recover and face his own challenges as she faces her own.  “This is a story of faith, romance, evil, marriage, babies and redemption.  As I wrote and edited my book, I kept reconnecting emotionally to the story.  If there is one thing I want to get across is for people to answer their own question, ‘Why am I here, what is my purpose?’  I like to see how God and people intervene with evil in godly ways. I also hoped the story would be entertaining in a Christ-like way, and from the feedback I have received, it has been.”

After trying to connect with several Christian publishing houses, Sheryl decided to self-publish.  “There were so many barriers with the big publishing houses that I became frustrated. I wanted to get my book out and accessible to readers.  When The Write Place had a contest in the fall of 2011, I tightened up the manuscript and sent it in. Although I didn’t win I was one of the finalists and received a small monetary assistance to publish my book. My editor at the Write Place was patient, giving many good suggestions. It’s amazing how many things you miss when editing.”

Sheryl’s journey into writing and self-publishing her novel was a family affair.

bookcover“My family encouraged me to take the leap.  I wanted my daughter and granddaughter who are also artists, to create my cover, however my daughter suggested using the painting my mother had done when she was 18. With a few modifications, it was perfect.”

A second book is now in the works.

You can purchase Sheryl’s book by contacting her at her home by calling 641-594-4297 or emailing at

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