The first thing you’ll want to know about Sherrie Lynn is that she is particularly particular about her name. Since childhood, she has gone by both her first and middle name. So even though Sherrie Lynn acknowledges that three syllables does make for a rather long name, if you call her Sherrie, she will call you out and correct you. She is so proficient at this that there have been times when acquaintances of hers have corrected others for saying her name wrong—even when she is not there. She is pleased that she has trained them well.
Sherrie Lynn dreamed of being an author as a child. She wrote one-page stories in a thin spiral bound notebook. However, English classes proved a struggle for her to the point of banishing the dream to the deepest corner of her mind.
In college, Sherrie Lynn first pursued a music degree, believing it was her only skill worth a higher education. English 1010 was, naturally, a required course to graduate, and she begrudgingly took it. She didn’t know it then, but that teacher was the turning point in her writing career. He was her first English teacher that made her believe that she could write, though her childhood dream still hadn’t come back to the surface just yet. After three years of college, she gave birth to her first boy and stepped aside from higher education for a time.
During her college hiatus, she popped out two more boys (one of which died from SIDS). It wasn’t until she had a dream that she began writing again. Her husband, Justin, had gotten her into anime and in this dream, Sherrie Lynn had felt like she was a character in an anime. The background, the other characters in her dream all moved as an anime. It was so vivid and engaging that when she woke up, she started writing and couldn’t stop. It was during this time that she not only remembered her childhood dream, but also how her English 1010 teacher made her believe that she could write. It was with that belief that she returned to college–not for a degree–for the education.
Sherrie Lynn’s early work tended towards the cathartic. The grief of her second son’s death haunted her for many years, and she worked through a lot of that with her writing. She has always believed that her first piece to be published, Mirrored Realities, was aptly named, because if circumstances in her life were different, it could have been her reality.
After graduating, she joined the League of Utah Writers to continue her education and as a way to continue writing. She worried that without deadlines (reading a new piece at each meeting), she would get lost in mothering and never write again.
The Cache Chapter took her in and beat her—or rather her writing—into shape. In college, Sherrie Lynn and her classmates were not only learning how to write but also critique. As such, often, the critiques were less than helpful. The Cache Chapter critiques are truthful and therefore more conducive to growth—though they often sting.
Also after graduating, Sherrie Lynn found Shorinji Kempo – a Japanese martial art. There she learned how to grow physically as well as emotionally. There were times that were so emotionally taxing, she had panic attacks. But by pushing through, she grew stronger and old fears began to lessen. Three years into it, she earned her black belt. In the dojo, she was able to learn how to deal with her past pains and grow strong enough to work through them. Sherrie Lynn wanted to find a way to describe this journey with her writing.
In 2014, she decided to put her ideas to the test and write a fictional novel about her emotional journey in Shorinji Kempo. She wrote the first draft of True Strength as her Nanowrimo novel that year. It was the first year she finished Nanowrimo. Blood, sweat, and tears later (and many many revisions), she decided to publish it in 2020. But 2020 threw everyone for a loop (first rule of 2020 is do not talk about 2020), and she had to move her deadline back to 2021.
You can find works of Sherrie Lynn under the name Sherrie Lynn Clarke on Amazon. She is published in multiple anthologies under that name until she landed on the pen name S.L. Clarke.