Sheri WhiteFeather Author Interview

Author Sheri WhiteFeather chats with RT's Web Editor Morgan Doremus about the women who inspired her to write Private Dancer. The pair also discuss reincarnation, Native American culture and what fans can expect from Sherri WhiteFeather next.

Morgan Doremus: In your latest book, Private Dancer, your main characters Beverly and Jay are a recently divorced couple that reconnect for a guiltless affair. However, since they care so deeply for each other, the no-strings-attached rule falls by the wayside pretty quickly. Do you think these two are fated to be together from the very start?


Sheri WhiteFeatherAbsolutely. That was a key ingredient in how the story was plotted. In spite of their divorce, they never really stopped loving each other. The idea was to give them a do over, but with a “soul mate” twist. By learning about unsolved conflicts from a past life, they were able to reevaluate their conflicts in this life. 


MD: Private Dancer starts out with a bang – your heroine is on stage working as a topless pole dancer. Not a viable career choice for most readers. How does Beverly justify her job as a stripper even after it causes the break up of her marriage? 


SW: What she did for a living wasn’t the issue in her mind. It was the lack of support she received from Jay. He met her at the club, fell in love with her and asked her to marry him. But once she became his wife, he changed the rules and wanted her to quit dancing. Later in the story, she thinks long and hard about why dancing is so important to her. Is it her empowerment? Or a statement of defiance?


The research on this book began years ago. I used to go to a strip club with friends, and it triggered an idea to write a strip club-themed book someday. I bonded with many of the dancers. They were a diverse group of women. Some were single moms working to take care of their kids, others thrived on the attention, others were putting themselves through college and keeping their dancing a secret from family and friends, and others were partying dangerously and supporting drug habits. But all of them were gracious women who were willing to share their lives and emotions with me. 


MD: In Private Dancer, the characters learn that they had a relationship in a previous life. This is not the first time that you connect the present with the past (I am, of course referring to 2008’s The Art Of Desire as well as Masquerade which was released earlier this year.) What draws you to this plot device? 


SW: One of my all-time favorite books is Kathleen Eagle’s Fire and Rain, a beautifully executed story that connects the past with the present. I love all of Kathleen’s books, but this one inspired me to try my hand at contemporary novels with historical subplots, only I penned mine as erotic romances.


MD: Follow up question: Do you personally believe in past lives? 


SW: Truthfully, I’m not sure. But I’m leaning in that direction. I enjoyed researching past life regression in Private Dancer. And since then, it’s a subject that has been presenting itself to me. Recently I was told by a psychic that I was bohemian in my past lives. I hadn’t asked her about past lives. She simply brought it up. But what she said felt right. I have always considered myself as having a bohemian spirit, so much so, it dictates almost everything I do. Even my first erotic romance, The Art Of Desire, is a reflection of this. The historical heroine was a nineteenth century bohemian artist. 

The psychic wasn’t familiar with my writing. She didn’t even know my last name. So it wasn’t a case of her using one of my books to create a “phony” reading. 


If anyone is interested in delving deeper into this subject, I’ll be blogging about all of my psychic experiences on Borders True Romance Blog on Aug 24th.



MD: Reincarnation is not the only paranormal element that you incorporate in your writing. You have also been known to introduce voodoo priestesses (a la your short story in Wedding Favors), ghosts and other supernatural elements. Are there any other paranormal plotlines that fans can expect to read about in the future?


SW: Funny you should ask. I’m working on another Berkley Heat entitled Demonic. It involves an exclusive sex club where members gather to play and dress up as supernatural beings. The story centers around three mysterious heroes and three love-struck heroines. The conflict: One of the men is rumored to be a real demon, with the other two protecting his secret. 


This is a tricky subject matter for me. As a child, I was raised Catholic and can’t help but harbor a fear of demons. But the “rumored” demon in my story has a background that will hopefully surprise readers and make him a formidable hero in their eyes. Demonic is scheduled for a June 2011 release.


MD: You are well known for incorporating Native American elements into your books. In fact, a striking number of your series romances have ‘Cherokee’ in the title. When were you first exposed to Native American culture?


SW: I have always been intrigued by other cultures, and one of my former husbands is Native American. I became close to his culture through him, his family, and our children.


MD: Another follow up question: Why do you think you have such a strong connection to Native American culture? 


SW: Having children with Native blood will always keep me connected to it. Also, I am currently involved in a romantic friendship with a Native man whom I consider my muse. He inspires me in ways no one else has. 


MD: For many years you wrote series romance but recently you have been delving into some very spicy erotic writing. What brought on this change? 


SW: I used to push the sexual envelope in my series romances. Early on, readers kept telling me that I should write erotica. So when the erotic romance subgenre exploded on the scene, I took their advice and went for it.


MD: Your first Berkley Heat erotic romance Masquerade delves into the complicated relationships of a ménage relationship. Pretty hot stuff! Do you find it difficult to put such intimate subjects on the page? Are you ever stopped by your own inhibitions when writing?


SW: Oh, my goodness, yes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ll write a passage and worry if it’s too graphic and if I should delete it or clean it up. Sometimes I do. But mostly I don’t. Creating hot fantasies is my job. 


I will admit, though, that I did tone down my voice in Masquerade. Since the subject matter in itself was so steamy, I thought the ménage told its own erotic tale. Later, the feedback was mixed. Some readers would’ve preferred that I’d used a stronger sexual voice and others thought the book was scorching hot with wonderfully wild love scenes. Like everything else in this business, it’s subjective. I just do what feels right at the time and hope readers will be pleased with the outcome.


MD: What’s next for Sheri WhiteFeather?


SWI plan to continue writing erotic romances, but I’d like to pen more series romance books. I would also like to write single titles that aren’t erotica, but are still sexy romances. I always wanted to write family sagas, too. Basically, I’m looking forward to following an eclectic path and see it where it leads.