Meet Author Sherry Stahl

Sherry, tell us about your faith journey.

When I was a child, my grandparents brought me to Braeside Camp in Paris, ON. It was there in Kids’ Church where I heard the gospel message for the first time and received Christ. I remember it like it was yesterday even though I was only about four or five years old. That choice changed my life and that camp has helped shape my life. Year after year I have gone there and been strengthened, encouraged, and often challenged in my faith. God even saw fit to have me meet my wonderful husband at Braeside! God has been the centre of my life ever since I was a little girl and there is no turning back. He’s shown Himself faithful and for that I will be forever grateful.

Your website says you love to share with people the message of God’s goodness to bring them water in their desert. Tell us about that.

My book Water in the Desert is a product of my life’s journey. It’s the culmination of years of Bible study. research, and teaching, coupled with real life experiences. Although this book does not discuss my life story, it does share the Scriptures and a great deal of the insight God used to help me walk victoriously through the deserts of my life: my tumultuous first marriage and divorce, and the most devastating desert, helping my teenage daughter battle depression–a battle she is now winning.

Since writing the book, God has been using me to bring messages of encouragement to His church. Messages that God is with us in our desert times. I’ve been privileged to have my book used in places where I can’t go. This past Christmas my book went into prison. My mission is to get people interested in, excited about, and studying God’s life-giving Word.

Water in the Desert was self-published. Why did you go that route?

I researched different ways to publish books and felt self-publishing was the best route for me. There was an urgency in my heart to get this book out. Waiting to connect with a traditional publisher would have saved me some money initially, but I felt it would take too long. I chose a self-publishing company that is somewhere in between traditional publishing and self-publishing. Xulon Press had the right mix of marketing and distributing tools that I needed to help get my book where I felt God desired for it to go. There are always difficult issues when publishing, but overall it was an awesome experience.

At Write Canada you will be presenting a continuing class, "Marketing Your Book for Optimum Exposure." Who would benefit from attending this class and what can people expect to take away from it?

This course will be helpful to the unpublished author, the published author, and those planning on publishing again. It will give creative ideas and practical marketing aid to all who attend. If you haven’t seen the success that you were hoping for and if you want to reach new levels in book exposure, this course will be just what you’re looking for. Attendees will be inspired as they are given tools to formulate their personal marketing agenda. They will leave the conference with a plan set in place to optimize their marketing exposure. 

What life experiences have helped you write and market your book?

For 10 years I ran a very successful company in the automotive business. Working in the racing industry, we were always looking for sponsors and always producing materials to advertise our events. I was involved in creating marketing packets; writing for our racing magazine; and producing ads, flyers, posters, and brochures. I was also involved in the administrative side of marketing. As a youth pastor and women’s ministry leader, I was involved in marketing events. All this has provided the experience necessary to write and promote my book.

You husband, Todd, created the illustrations in your book. Tell us what it is like to work together on this project.

Working together with Todd was a dream come true. It’s so wonderful to work with someone who supports you and understands you. I remember when we were discussing the illustrations for Water in the Desert how crucial Todd’s creative genius was. I wanted sketchy drawings, not art for the book. His illustrations make an impact on people that I can’t with just words. I often receive comments from people on how one of the illustrations has stuck with them reminding them of a particular “lesson from the desert.”

Interview by Fred Ash