Monday, May 16, 2016

Meet Sherry Derr-Wille

This week, meet Sherry Derr-Wille, another of my co-authors of the Aspen Grove romance anthologies. Sherry participated in all six books in the series. We met at a conference in 2006. She lives in Wisconsin. I live in California. I read a couple of her books, so I knew she would fit with the kinds of stories I wanted to tell in the anthologies. She was the first person I asked to be a part of the project. Thank goodness, she said yes. I hope you enjoy getting to know a little about her.

When did you first start writing?
I was a sophomore in high school in the fall of '61, and the teacher said if we got an A on the first test, we could sit in the room and write for a year. I was never told to stop the assignment, and forty years later, I found out I was the only one who liked the it. OOPS, it was a little too late as I'd already signed seventeen contracts. You might say I became an overnight success after forty years of writing.

What do you like about storytelling?
I just love to bring characters and stories to life. As I go back and read previous books I've written, I am amazed that these are really my works.

Where do you get your story ideas?
Some just come to me, some are things I've seen or heard about, and others begin as dreams. Each one is different.

How do you create your characters?
To be truthful, my characters create themselves. What I have in mind when I start, usually changes as their personalities come to light. Are they based on real people? Some are and some are a combination of many people. No matter which they are all visible in my mind.

Besides the Aspen Grove romance anthologies, of which you are a co-author, what other books or series have you written?
The Becky Series, The Birdsinger Series, The Quade Series, Those Gals From Minter Wisconsin Series, The Double M Series, The Rhonda Pohs Series, The Secrets Series, The Outlaw Series, Summer’s Child, Donegal’s Mistress, Port of Fear, Transplanted Love, When Their World Died..., Never Too Late for Love, Never a Bridesmaid, Family Secrets, The Tour, RX Love, Mockingbird, Mistaken Identity, Montana Rose, A Father's Love, and Blue Eagle Feather. I think I have all of the Sherry Derr-Wille books, but if I've missed a couple, I apologize.
Aspen Grove is based on two Colorado mountain towns.
Have you created any other fictitious locations for your books? Most of my towns are fictional. The most famous is Minter, WI based on Milton and Janesville, WI. I've also created fictional worlds when I'm writing fantasy.

Did you enjoy writing as part of a group? Why or why not?
I do, and I don't. I love the challenge of writing as a group, but to be truthful, I'm a solitary author. I've had fun with the Aspen Grove anthologies and have learned a lot from my writing partners.

The Aspen Grove romances are collections of novellas. Do you like writing at that length? Why or why not?
It depends on the day. There are stories that unfold in the shorter version and others that need 30,000-70,000 more words to come to fruition.

Of everything you have written, what is your favorite book to date?
That's a loaded question. It's like asking who is your favorite child/grandchild/great grandchild. In a pinch I guess I would say Summer’s Child, Donegal’s Mistress, Mistaken Identity, and The Outlaw Series, but to be truthful, I love them all.

Sherry Derr-Wille is a country girl at heart but gave that lifestyle up when she married her high school sweetheart, Bob Wille, 52 years ago. After living in the small town of Milton, WI for over 30 years, they moved to the big city of Janesville, WI [population 60,000]. Together they have three children, nine grandchildren, and four and a half great grandchildren. Sherry is the author of seventy-six books in the genre of romance, family epics, murder mysteries, and naughty books. Books number 77 and 78 are The Return of the Ancients, a work of science fiction, and Sky Eyes, a Native American story.


  1. Thank you so much for profiling me Lorna. I really did enjoy writing the Aspen Grove books. I think they made me a much more rounded writer.

  2. We enjoyed writing with you, too. I love these books. I just reread them, and they hold up well.

  3. I loved reading this--I could hear Sherry speaking. I miss seeing her at the Epic conferences. She's one of the e-book pioneers like I am. Great interview, thanks Lorna and Sherry.