About Author

S L Hollister

S L Hollister

I'm an only child, married to my own romantic hero for over 30 years. Together we raised six sons, have 23 grandchildren, published 12 books in contemporary romantic suspense and historical romantic mystery. My family is both inspiration and co-conspirators in my stories. They help me plan the murders.
I’m the chairperson for the Pamlico Writers’ Group, a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America) and VP of Communications with Heart of Carolina chapter, a member of Kiss of Death RWA chapter and an ambassador for AlLi (Alliance of Independent Authors). That’s me in the nut shells.
You can find me on social media from Facebook to TikTok talking about books and writing.

S L Hollister's Books

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(5) $2.99 kindleeBook, Paperback, Audio, Signed Paperback,
The Americans Are Coming: An Applegate Mysteryby Sherri HollisterPublish: Nov 03, 2022Series: An Applegate MysteryHistorical Mystery Action & Adventure Historical Romance Western Romance
(3) $3.99 kindleeBook, Paperback, Audio,
Remy’s Dilemmaby S L HollisterPublish: Aug 08, 2023Series: The Harrell Family ChroniclesContemporary Romance Romantic Suspense
Next Door Santa
$0.99 kindleeBook,
Next Door Santaby S L HollisterPublish: Nov 19, 2023 Contemporary Romance Romance Humor
Trent's Melody: Book #4 The Harrell Family Chronicles
(2) $3.99 kindleeBook, Paperback, Signed Paperback,
Trent's Melody: Book #4 The Harrell Family Chroniclesby S HollisterPublish: May 26, 2022Series: The Harrell Family ChroniclesThriller Suspense Contemporary Romance Romantic Suspense Romance
(2) Free kindleeBook, Paperback, Audio,
Chrome Pink (The Leeward Files) (Volume 1)by S L HollisterPublish: Nov 26, 2017Series: The Leeward FilesSuspense Romantic Suspense Women's Fiction
Bonfire: A Campfire Anthology
$2.99 kindleeBook,
Bonfire: A Campfire Anthologyby Pamlico WritersPublish: Sep 22, 2022Thriller Supernatural Suspense Action & Adventure Literary Fiction Science Fiction Fantasy Horror Poetry more»
Christmas Inn at Teach's Island: The Harrell Family Chronicles Holiday Novella
(2) $0.99 kindleeBook, Paperback,
Christmas Inn at Teach's Island: The Harrell Family Chronicles Holiday Novellaby S L HollisterPublish: Nov 14, 2021Series: The Harrell Family ChroniclesContemporary Romance Romance
Only in My Dreams: World War 2 Holiday novella
(2) $0.99 kindleeBook,
Only in My Dreams: World War 2 Holiday novellaby Sherri Lupton HollisterPublish: Oct 29, 2021Historical Romance Romance
Willow's Retreat
(3) $3.99 kindleeBook, Paperback,
Willow's Retreatby S HollisterPublish: Aug 24, 2021Series: The Harrell Family ChroniclesContemporary Romance Romantic Suspense
Roxy's Betrayal: The Harrell Family Chronicles
(3) $3.99 kindleeBook, Paperback,
Roxy's Betrayal: The Harrell Family Chroniclesby Sherri HollisterPublish: Feb 05, 2021Series: The Harrell Family ChroniclesContemporary Romance Romantic Suspense
The Leeward Files Trilogy: The Leeward Files 1-3
(4) $2.99 kindleeBook, Paperback,
The Leeward Files Trilogy: The Leeward Files 1-3by Sherri HollisterPublish: Aug 08, 2020Series: The Leeward FilesThriller Suspense Contemporary Romance Romantic Suspense
Evergreen Crystals: #4 of the Leeward Files
(3) $2.99 kindleeBook, Paperback,
Evergreen Crystals: #4 of the Leeward Filesby Sherri Lupton HollisterPublish: Oct 19, 2019Series: The Leeward FilesSuspense Contemporary Romance Romantic Suspense
Janie's Secrets: The Harrell Family Chronicles
(4) $3.99 kindleeBook, Paperback,
Janie's Secrets: The Harrell Family Chroniclesby Sherri HollisterPublish: Jul 09, 2020Series: The Harrell Family ChroniclesThriller Suspense Contemporary Romance Romantic Suspense
Titanium Blue: #3 The Leeward Files
(2) $2.99 kindleeBook, Paperback,
Titanium Blue: #3 The Leeward Filesby Sherri Lupton HollisterPublish: Apr 29, 2019Series: The Leeward FilesThriller Contemporary Romance Romantic Suspense
White Gold: Sequel to Chrome Pink (The Leeward Files Book 2)
(2) $2.99 kindleeBook, Paperback,
White Gold: Sequel to Chrome Pink (The Leeward Files Book 2)by Sherri Lupton-HollisterPublish: Sep 08, 2018Series: The Leeward FilesSuspense Contemporary Romance Romantic Suspense
Red Steel: #5 of the Leeward Files Series (Harrell Family Chronicles)
(2) $2.99 kindleeBook, Paperback,
Red Steel: #5 of the Leeward Files Series (Harrell Family Chronicles)by S HollisterPublish: Feb 09, 2020Series: The Leeward FilesThriller Suspense Romantic Suspense

S L Hollister's Series in Order

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S L Hollister Interview On 14, Jul 2020

"At ten years old, Sherri Lupton Hollister wrote her first love story in red ink, it was titled “True Love.” Sherri has a wonderful way with words and the descriptions make you feel like you can see the scenes. Her books are a great page-turning read to those looking for a thriller peppered with romance. Her first piece of advice is, don’t be afraid to make mistakes."
What has been your childhood being a lonely only child?

I often talk about being a lonely only child. I was a quiet, timid child. I know, most people who know me now can’t believe this loudmouth was ever quiet, but I was. I lost my baby sister just before I turned six years old and that early loss affects a person. After my dad’s mother died, we moved from Hampton, Virginia to a rural community in eastern North Carolina on the Pamlico River where my father and grown up. There were only about a dozen kids living there at the time. By the time I graduated high school, it was only about half that.

At what age did you first dream of being a published author?

I was nine when we moved back to North Carolina and we lived next door to my Granddaddy Bill Joe who even after having throat cancer still told the best stories. I always knew I wanted to tell stories like Granddaddy. At ten years old I wrote my first love story in red ink, it was titled “True Love.” I think that was my first attempt at being published. I have been writing ever since.

Have any of your six sons read any of your books?

My son Gary has read all of my books, I think or most of them. I don’t think any of the others have read them even though I’ve threatened to put them in the stories. Two of my daughters-in-law have read some of the books. My mother, mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law have read them all numerous times. My sons hear all about the stories and even answer questions about details I want to add. They have proved to be great resources.

Where did you meet your own romantic hero for going on 29 years?

David and I met at our local community college student lounge when I was thirteen and he was ten. His father and my mother were going to night school and we rode with them to keep them from making that long drive by themselves. We’d shoot pool and talk. I thought he was older until I met his sister. We went to school together and then lost touch. We met again after we each divorced our first spouses. He told me we were going to get married and I laughed at him. I’m not sure which of us is laughing now.

How did you begin writing The Leeward Files series?

The Leeward Files started with one character, Rae Lynne Grimes. I was taking an online class, the instructor asked us to describe someone. I chose to describe my husband. The next day she said to change the gender, ethnicity, and other things but keep the core values and some of the other details. That is how Rae Lynne came to be. My husband proudly tells everyone that he’s the heroine of my first published novel.

From that class to now, it became a series of questions that needed answers. Why was this pretty girl tattooed and pierced? Why did she drive a tow truck? Why did she battle addiction? What happened to her mother?

Who inspired the character of Rae Lynne Grimes, the heroine of Chrome Pink and Evergreen Crystals?

While my husband was the seed that started Rae Lynne Grimes, it was a friend of my sons who gave me the complete picture. This beautiful young woman who was tattooed and pierced, was kind to my son during a rough patch in his life. She brought him to see us and I was struck with her beauty. When I said something to my son about her piercings and tats, he simply said, she’d had a rough life. Half Hispanic, this woman gave me a deeper insight into who Rae Lynne needed to be.

What sort of cultural, spiritual, or social value do you think reading and books hold?

Through books I have traveled the world and into new worlds. I have gone back in time and into the future. Reading has allowed me to discover new ways and old, religions, gods, prayers, saints and monsters. I have experienced life as a gay teenaged boy with elemental powers in the YA Elemental Series. I have solved crimes in the streets of London with many sleuths of different genders, ethnicities and at different time periods. I have hidden in a house while German soldiers searched it. Through books I have been able to understand another person’s point of view, live in their shoes for a few minutes and experience a little taste of their lives. I believe that by reading, we open our hearts and minds to others and the possibilities of peace and understanding.

What are some books that have really impacted your writing?

This is difficult to answer because I believe every book, I’ve read has had some impact on my stories. I’ve read a lot of craft books on how to write good books especially fiction. James Scott Bell is one of my favorites, his Plot and Structure book is one I refer to occasionally even now after six books. I recently bought his Write Your Novel from the Middle. Another great craft book is Don’t Sabotage Your Submission by Chris Roerden. I highly recommend these books.

Recently I have been listening to a lot of author interviews on YouTube and found out I love to hear authors talk about their journeys: Steven King, Lee Child and Brian Sanderson are three of my favorites to inspire a writer to write with passion.

Authors I read religiously whom I admire and would love to be compared: Jayne Ann Krentz, Sabrina Jeffries, Reese Ryan, Donna Steele, Deanna Raybourn, M K Graff, David Baldacci, Will Thomas, and James Rollins. These are just a few who have inspired me.

Do you get inspiration for your romantic stories from your own second-chance romance?

I think my own happy marriage has made me believe in happy endings. Our lives are far from perfect, we’ve known loss and trials, but we’ve weathered them together. In my stories, I don’t want readers to just see perfect couples having a perfect life. I want them to see real people with real problems, facing scary stuff together and still finding their happy ever after or at least their happy for now.

Why did you decide to set Titanium Blue, the third book in the Leeward Files series in the small town of Leeward, North Carolina?

My small fictional town of Leeward, North Carolina has become as much a character as the people who inhabit the town. For me, the series needed to be set in the town of Leeward. It was okay to travel some, but the town was an important part of the story. It was the history of the town that held the secrets to what was happening in the present. Like pealing an onion, each story in the series uncovers another piece of the town’s history and hidden secrets, allowing us to solve the final mystery.

Your thoughts on conventional versus self-publishing? What route did you choose and why?

I started out believing the only real way to be a published author was to get an agent and get picked up by one of the big publishing companies. I tried for years to get published through the conventional method. I even had an agent interested in Chrome Pink. But while I still feel there are some great perks to the traditional route, the one thing you don’t have is control. With self-publishing you have all of the control, you also have all of the headaches. Both have their pluses and minuses. With conventional publishing you have their name and reputation to help boost yours, you might also have venues of advertising and selling that may not be available to self-published authors, although that is changing. I chose self-publishing because I got tired of waiting for someone else to think I was good enough. I think which ever route you choose nowadays, much of the responsibility for marketing still falls on your shoulders.

What advice would you give to writers struggling with their first novels?

My first piece of advice is, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Like anything new, there’s a learning curve. It takes time to learn both the craft of writing and later the business of being an author. Take risks both in your stories and in life. Don’t be afraid to write what is in your heart. Write with passion. If you are not feeling it, your reader won’t either.

When writing a story, what do you like to give the most importance to the buildup of suspense, the witty dialogue, the interesting characters, etc?

Dialogue seems to come easy for me, I guess I can hear the characters talking in my head. The characters develop as the story progresses, I usually have a bit of an idea, but I don’t plan them ahead of time. I think the suspense is what takes the most work and where I spend most of my development time. I don’t plot but I do plan. I have a series of ideas I write out usually on sticky notes, color coordinated of course, that tell me scene ideas, when a new character shows up, the importance of a character, a new place/setting description. I can move these around on the wall allowing me to figure out what happens when. With suspense you often have to go back and plant something in a prior scene in order for it to work. I write my rough draft very bare bones and then go back and add details.

How did you keep your grandchildren busy during quarantine?

Ha, thankfully they don’t live with me and though we’ve been unable to do somethings because of the virus, this is one of those times when living in a rural community is actually a blessing. We’re pretty quarantined on a regular basis. Our town has about 400 people. We have a large back yard that connects with my youngest son’s yard. His two young sons run around both.

Walks and bike rides to the waterfront a few blocks away is another outing. We also have a golf cart the kids enjoy riding and the older kids drive.

The oldest grands are in Scouts, so we have worked on badges, finishing paperwork and doing projects. Two are approaching Eagle so we have to plan their Eagle project.

Coloring, writing and reading, playing games both on the computer and boardgames and cards, have all been great forms of entertainment but aren’t that different that normal. Our biggest difference since the virus is having fewer of the kids together at a time.

What is your takeaway based on your experiences with AllAuthor?

I’ve only been with you a short while, but I love that you post Tweets for me once a week. That is an awesome benefit of promoting with you. The graphics look fabulous and I repost them on Facebook and Instagram. I feel like I’m getting seen more. I know it takes time to build up a following and I’m hoping this is the right direction, it feels right. I’m still learning how to make the best use of all you have to offer. So far, I’m very pleased.

Ask S L Hollister a Question

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    • AllAuthor AllAuthor 3 years ago
    • Have you ever experienced "Writer's Block"? Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
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      • S L Hollister S L Hollister 3 years ago
      • Writers block often comes from outside interference and be a simple case of being overwhelmed and needing to regroup. I find taking a walk, putting on music and dancing, or just doing a chore can get the writing moving again.
        A second case of writers block is writing yourself into a corner you cannot see a way out of, go back a read what you've written until you find where you went off the rail. Sometimes it's an easy fix, other times it is a complete rewrite, ugh.
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      • S L Hollister S L Hollister 3 years ago
      • Believe in yourself. Don't be afraid of failing. The only way to succeed is to take chances. My dad often teased me when we played cards, "Scared money don't make money." It's true of any endeavor. If you allow fear to stop you, you won't do it. Risk a little if you need to be cautious but do it.
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      • S L Hollister S L Hollister 3 years ago
      • I started writing as a child. My first love story was at the age of ten. It grew out of my love of reading. Growing up in a rural community I was often alone and had to entertain myself. My books, writing, drawing and crafts became my entertainment. I used these talents at school, church and later when I started my family.
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      • S L Hollister S L Hollister 3 years ago
      • Living in a small town and working with the public I am well known locally but it still surprises me when someone recognizes me for my writing. I am overjoyed when someone has read my books and liked them. I even listen and try to learn when they are not as complimentary. So far, I haven't been accosted by strangers but I am hopeful.
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