Bonjour! Merci Beaucoup for stopping by sherylcornett.com. I love conversation, so would enjoy hearing from and about you. A bit about myself and soul: I’m a gal from the American South. Born in Texas, I grew up in Virginia (later nearby in North Carolina) until my early teens when my dad’s job moved our family to Paris, France. Yes, it came as a shock but also a great gift—the city of light to this day is my most important Alma Mater, since the formative high school years (American School of Paris) and first year of college (American University in Paris) were spent there. I’ve also lived in East Africa and been a summer resident of London, England, on and off for 20 years. Thus, as a traveling Southerner and I have come to be a dual citizen of North Carolina and South Louisiana, where I live with my husband, T-Mike.
I’ve been writing my whole life, publishing poems and stories since the age of 17 and, for the last 15 years, publishing Literary Journalism and Creative Non-Fiction, including food writing for North Carolina’s Independent Weekly. The print world of arts journals and magazines may be a dying breed, but it’s been the writing life for me while teaching English and Creative Writing fulltime for many years at NC State and raising four amazing children. A list of recent publications with online access is available here.
Now: writing fulltime after stepping down from teaching, mentoring and presenting academic conference papers, it’s time to find a home for this novel-length book-baby: The Art and War of Island Secrets: A Story of Family Love Across Four Wars set on North Carolina’s Remote Ocracoke Island. I can’t wait for you to meet Maddie, Trish, Clare, and Mama Avila—and, of course their babies, friends, and men. And share their secrets and stories, which unfold amidst life on North Carolina’s atmospheric, other-worldly remote barrier island. An Island set forty miles off NC’s mainland, out in the Wild Atlantic, Ocracoke is also known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, which German U-Boats’ torpedoes made even more real during World War Two. Art and War tells the story of decades’ long fallout on this family of women.
I write stories, poems, essays, and now this first novel Art and War, about International Southerners: women, children, men: displaced, transplanted from afar, root-bound homebodies, and those searching for home in so many ways and places. The New South, the New Southerner at home and abroad. Transformed by encounters with natural world, by the arts and history—personal and global—and transformed by many kinds of love.
When I’m not writing or traveling with T-Mike, I’m loving family and friends for dinner and long visits. I’m gardening, cooking, biking, and, of course, reading. I love low-key fiber arts: simple sewing and knitting, and I dabble in the dreamy world of watercolor motifs—but I won’t post any in the photo gallery, that’s the purview of my talented daughters.