The Forest Acres Barnes and Noble welcomed Georgia author Sherry Meeks on Sept. 10 for a stop on her promotional tour for her debut novel, “Finding Tambri."
Meeks stop in Columbia was part of her 100 Barnes and Nobles in 100 Days Tour, on which she plans to hold signings at Barnes and Nobles all across the nation. While this may seem like a daunting task, Meeks said she is motivated and prepared to give it her best shot.
“It may not happen in 100 days, but I love this part of it, you know, talking to people, signing copies of the book, so I’m game,” Meeks said.
Meeks graduated from Southern New Hampshire University and is now a college professor who has experience teaching creative writing, English composition and business communications. Meeks uses her writing skills in her teaching, but her interest in reading and writing has a much earlier origin that dates back to her elementary school years.
“I started probably when I was in elementary school, and I just used to love to read all the time,” Meeks said. “I remember in fourth grade my fourth grade teacher would read the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ series and that was my favorite time of day.”
“Finding Tambri” follows Tambri, a woman who, after losing her young son and her seemingly perfect marriage, begins to look for happiness in a string of different men. Meeks said that despite its depressing subject matter, “Finding Tambri” is actually a positive and funny book.
“Even though it’s a heavy subject initially, there’s a lot of laughter in the book and there’s a lot of joy in the book,” Meeks said. “It’s definitely an uplifting book.”
Meeks also spoke about her experiences with people who lost children of their own coming up to her at signing events and sharing their stories with her.
“So at that point, even though this is fiction, at that point it turns into more than just selling a book,” Meeks said.
As someone who just published a novel and is going on a nationwide tour in support of it, Meeks stands as a success story for those looking to get their work published. Meeks said that she is always trying to encourage people to pursue writing.
“Write as much as you can,” Meeks said. “Sometimes the hardest part is sitting down to write. If you can get into the habit of it, before you know it you're writing short stories, you're writing novels.”
While publishing is the ultimate goal for people seeking a career from their writing, Meeks believes that writing is beneficial regardless of whether you share it or not.
“Even if you don’t publish, writing is good for your soul,” Meeks said.
Meeks cites a number of authors as inspiration for “Finding Tambri,” but especially William Faulkner whose iconic novel “As I Lay Dying” served as inspiration for Meek’s use of multiple points of view. Meeks has already begun writing her next novel which, according to her, combines mystery and literary fiction.
The Forest Acres Barnes and Noble has two more signing events in September: Cynthia Graubart on Sept. 23 and Wilson Casey on Sept. 24.