Xulon Press Successful Author Spotlight: Sheri Easter

Filed in Successful Author Spotlight by on November 2, 2012 0 Comments

Today’s Xulon Press  Successful Author Spotlight features Sheri Easter, respected singer/songwriter and first time author, www.jeffandsherieaster.com , who is well known as one half of the singing husband and wife duo, who have been featured guests on Bill and Gloria Gaither’s Homecoming Concert Series for several years. The Easters blend blue grass and gospel to provide a soul stirring, foot tapping, hand clapping musical experience that is sure to stir any crowd.

Sheri has written the book “Hear My Heart, When There Are No Words To Say” which recounts her life changing journey to victory as she battled breast cancer. Her book was written as a “package of life lessons” she and her family went through during the year and a half journey battling and eventually winning the battle against breast cancer. This “collage”(as friend Gloria Gaither called it) of reflections, including journal and blog entries, passionate stories and inspirational moments, became the foundation for the collection of experiences Sheri brought together and penned into “Hear My Heart”, meant to encourage and inspire others battling cancer.

Xulon Press author Sheri Easter

Sheri’s passion for telling this story resonates through the excitement in her voice. When asked about her vision for writing this “Collage of Reflections”, she stated “Going through breast cancer, I found that there were a lot of stories, details of my struggles and victories, inspirational moments and words of encouragement that I can offer! It doesn’t matter who is the audience: Whether kids, family or fans. With this book, I’m just putting it all under one roof. It took a year and a half of our life. I was told “you Hold it and Touch it and then… Offer it to someone”. My friend Gloria Gaither gave that to me. That’s been my impetus to do this. I just wanted it to be a package of life lessons: A collage of my experiences that even I would love to see. To share what I gleaned from the experiences, not just tell what you experienced. What did you glean? That’s the important thing!”

When I asked Sheri what one past experience changed the course of her life, Sheri couldn’t settle on just one. She shared three! “First, when I was just twenty years old, my Dad died of a sudden heart attack. That catapulted me into a sudden personality change. My passion went deeper. I had to take care of my family, from “How do we plow the field” to the sobering understanding that I started making adult decisions for my mom. I was her rock. She leaned on me for strength. Second, my meeting Jeff. Music became its own entity. We found our own voice. We made That Unique Sound that became our brand. And lastly, Breast cancer. It’s really the greatest fulfillment. It led to this road. Breast cancer makes you face your mortality. As a songwriter, I’ve always known the power of a song immediately. As a writer I had to write the book, put it out there, wait for the return. The reward for them understanding what you meant to say. I’m a word person. I will stop and say “did you guys hear that?” There is such an economy of words. Like Max Lucado, one of my favorite authors, I now wait for the return – I’ve put it out there!”

Questioning Sheri on her writing method, she stated “Waiting on creativity. When writing songs, I never want it to feel forced. I don’t like to work over a song or a book. I try to avoid the working part of it. When you are inspired and your creative juices get going, that’s when you write. With song writing, I grab a voice recorder. If that’s not available, I write down a line. The ultimate is to be inspired and go into a quiet place. But that just doesn’t happen often. In 2008, breast cancer struck—I had never been sickly until then. I became very quiet and amazed at how loudly God spoke to me during that time.”

I asked Sheri how others would draw inspiration from her relationship with Christ. She responded “I have no proof to offer other than my own experiences. I have found that with every one of those experiences, God is faithful. We don’t know what the world will hand us next, but I have always seen God to be faithful. We have a twenty-three year old son. My Son is a thinker. Do you remember the story of Jonah and the whale? He asked if this was a literal story. I explained that it is a story saying “wherever God wants me, that’s where I will be”. I just want to always be available for whatever God wants from me!”

Sheri shared her favorite scripture and explained why it meant so much to her. “They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31). I found it when my Dad passed away. It has gotten me through all of my tough times.  At the Gaither Homecoming recording session, we start with devotions. During one of those devotionals, we had an exercise for us to go around and write on a sticky note the one word that we would use to describe that person and place the tag on their back. At the end, we collected our “tags” and read them aloud. My tags were: strong, steadfast, strength of character, strong woman of God. I was shocked. Never saw myself as strong! Independent and determined yes, but I would never say strong. Apparently, there’s something that I emit that says that I am strong. The realization that, all these years of living with myself, I didn’t know that! Others think that I am strong. Others knew, but I never did. I’m still amazed by it all. We can all learn from others what we actually say to them through our life.”

As we came to the end of our conversation, I asked Sheri what would she want written on her gravestone? She answered with a story. “I remember being onstage onetime when someone was testifying about what would we want written on our gravestone? It just hit me and I excused myself, went to our bus, sat down and penned the words to a song that we now sing.” So I asked her, “what were the words?” Sheri responded poignantly, “She loved!

I had to go find that song. And there it was, under the title of those exact words, out on YouTube. After listening to the musical version of her simple yet strong statement that succinctly summed up Sheri’s life, I am sure of one thing:

All those who know this strong woman of God, all those she believed in, can testify… She loved!

And we are better because she did!

Find Sheri Easter’s book Hear My Heart in the Xulon Press Bookstore.

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About the Author ()

Alan P. Scaglione is a writer who reflects on the simple contradictions and complexities to living this ”gift from God” called life. He believes that Life is a journey that, with compassion, a little levity and perspective, we help each other get through. His greatest compliment was being told “you draw pictures with your words!” He has devoted his life to “drawing”…in his poetry, his songs, his weekly “Reflections of Life” blog entries, his monthly SAS articles, his short stories and now, his novels! Alan is an everyday guy who refuses to let circumstances dictate his view to life; he lives an attitude of gratitude and spreads his positive outlook everywhere he goes. His BEST day is a day shared making a memory that will last a lifetime! Please check out Alan’s books “One Unexpected Event – How Would Your Life Change?” and its sequel “One Unexpected Event – Aftermath!” in the Xulon Press bookstore.

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