To Dance Once More by Sherri Wilson Johnson
In the tradition of Lucy Maud Montgomery and Georgette Heyer, Sherri Wilson Johnson has written a beautiful and captivating story chronicling the trials and love of Lydia
Instead of Victorian-era England, To Dance Once More portrayed the conservatism of Victorian-era Florida.
What I found enjoyable was the prose and lyrical writing, drawing me in as though watching each scene play out before me on stage. From heartache to hope, the reader discovers the joy and rewards of sacrifice and waiting for God's plan. Highly enjoyable and a worthy read.
Read more about Sherri Wilson Johnson and her book To Dance Once More:
SWJ~ To Dance Once More is the story of Lydia Jane Barrington, a Victorian debutante. Lydia lives on a plantation in Florida under the watchful eye of her father. She’s quite an independent young lady who does not want to fall into the trap (as she sees it) that her mother and sisters have fallen into—marriage and motherhood. She wants to travel the world and experience life before giving her heart to a man. One day, her eyes are opened to love and no matter what, she cannot forget the blissful feeling it causes. She begins to believe that love isn’t such a bad thing after all. Then she discovers a secret that prohibits any of her dreams from ever coming true. She begins a quest to free herself and her family from a future of bondage. Hearts are broken and lives are torn apart because of Lydia’s own selfishness. Will she surrender to a call that God placed on her life and be able to experience love after all? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Here’s a link to the sneak peek: //sherriwilsonjohnson.com/sherris-books/to-dance-once-more/
How did the idea and/or inspiration of writing this book come about?
SWJ~To Dance Once More is a special project originating from my love of pure romance, and inspired by the love stories of my ancestors. It is set in Victorian Florida, which is a combination of two of my favorite things—the beach and Victorian times. Of course, there has to be more to a novel than just the romance and so there is betrayal, sacrifice and a bitter enemy that Lydia must overcome.
Your book has a strong faith element. How natural was this to write about?
SWJ~The faith element is always easy for me to write about. One thing I vowed from the very beginning was that I would never write anything that would shame my dad, who was a preacher, but mainly that would shame my heavenly Father. Because God has been so amazing to me throughout the years and has never left me in the midst of my trials, I can’t help but season my writing with my faith.
What do you hope readers take away from your books?
SWJ~The theme of To Dance Once More revolves around the purity of both my heroine and hero. I long to encourage my readers (both young and old/married or single) to live a life of purity and to feel the hope of forgiveness when they do not. Whether the book is historical or contemporary, inspirational fiction is the only fiction I will write because it allows me to share Jesus with people who may already know Him, but who are struggling in their walk. To share the message of purity and forgiveness with the world has been one of my greatest longings and writing inspirational romance helps me accomplish that. Therefore, I’m pressing on toward that goal.
What’s your favorite and least favorite part about being a writer?
SWJ~I love to write. I love the entire process. The research, the dreaming, the plotting, the actual writing part. I hate waiting to hear YES when I've submitted a proposal!
What advice would you have for writers hoping to follow in your footsteps?
SWJ~I would tell anyone who desires to be a published author--"Prepare your field." That’s a line in the movie Facing the Giants. We always wish for the end result. As writers, we want to be published authors. That sometimes takes precedence over the writing itself. But if you don’t spend time writing and perfecting the craft (preparing your field) then when will the seeds ever take root? If they do take root, how will they ever survive the heat? They will wither and fade. Take courses, join groups, study the craft, and write, write and re-write your work. Be willing to put it aside when another project pops into your head. Come back to the old story and perfect it more. You’ll grow a healthy crop that way.
Whatever you do, don't ever give up on your dream. Step through open doors only after much prayer. Be ready for rejection because it’s part of the path to publication. Always write what God puts on your heart and even if you don’t find a publisher for that story, it will honor the Lord.
Establish yourself on the Internet now. Start a blog. Review books that you’ve read. Make friends on Goodreads and Facebook. Publishers look for that kind of thing.
Other than writing, what else occupies your time?
SWJ~Other than family, I work on our women's ministry team at church. I also have three part-time work-from-home jobs that allow me to contribute to our income while having the flexibility of continuing my writing.
Sherri Wilson Johnson lives
in Georgia with her husband and two
children. She is represented by Les Stobbe, is a member of the ACFW, a graduate
of the Christian Writers Guild writing course, an active blogger, and a former
homeschooling mom. She loves to dream of romantic places and romance in
general–good, clean romance. She is a bird-watcher, loves the ocean,
roller coasters, ice cream, her family and her Chihuahua, who faithfully sits
by her side every day when she writes. Sherri is the author of To Dance
Once More (OakTara) and Song of the Meadowlark (OakTara)
and is a columnist for Habits for a HappyHome and Choose NOW Ministries.