Madison author Sherry Lucille loves to develop and tell stories where she writes about interesting people and relationships. Her new novel “Falling,” her fourth, departs temporarily from the interracial relationships she highlighted in her first three books and ventures into her first Black-on-Black love story.
“Falling” is set in 1970 in the fictional town of Three Falls, Tennessee at the All Saints Negro Christian College. Lucille’s previously published works include the “Love” trilogy of Love Changes, Love Dreams and Love Promises — interracial love stories set in Chicago in 1969.
“Despite all my assertions to the contrary, you know how I said, ‘Oh, I’m done with this trilogy — Love Changes, Love Dreams, Love Promises … I’m all done.’ But this book is kind of a spin-off from ‘Love Dreams,’ which is the story of James and Kimberly. I am touting ‘Falling’ as my first Black-on-Black love story.”
In “Love Dreams,” Lucille alluded to a character named Jasper Johnson, the younger brother of James, the lead character. Jasper is now taking the center stage.
“‘Falling’ is about James’s brother whose name is Jasper who’s been really negligent concerning his family and family responsibilities,” Lucille explains. “And he’s been like cavorting across Europe and Africa, and his benefactor feels like he’s getting out of control. So he snatches him out of Europe and sends him to this small Christian College in Tennessee.”
It’s at the college where he meets this young woman who, initially, has no interest in what Lucille describes as a “playboy-type guy.”
“And so then it becomes their story. There’s some trauma that happens to her in the story, that sort of derails everything,” Lucille says. “And she flees to Chicago, and then he comes to Chicago after her, but he’s also facing all of his past because that’s where his brother lives. And so, yeah, so it picks up like a whole other sequence of events once they get to Chicago.”
How long did it take Lucille to write this novel?
“Ten years!” she exclaims. “That’s compared to the other books that took six and seven years, and I originally thought to myself, ‘Oh, this will go so much faster, because I know what I’m doing.’ It did not go so much faster, but I feel good about my development as a writer in this novel because you’re always learning new things and taking classes and all of this kind of stuff,” Lucille says. “So I just feel that this is a culmination of all of that.”
“Falling” takes place in 1970 with a 1971 epilogue.
“I like writing during those times because I know those times … that’s when I was young,” Lucille says. “You could get away with more [back then] because there were no cell phones so people couldn’t know things instantly. You know you had to pick up a phone … you had to find a phone. So that allows for more intrigue.
“With the ‘70s, I feel very nostalgic about all of that stuff — the stereos, the record players, and colored refrigerators where you would use ice trays and just all of that stuff … the lamps attached to the tables,” she adds. “And it brings the readers back to that time. And of course, the music to me was a lot more meaningful.”
Some aspects of “Falling” will be familiar to fans of Lucille who have read her last three novels.
“I snuck some of the old characters into this book – at least one character from each of the other novels,” Lucille smiles. “And so people who have been waiting will be like, ‘I know this person or I know that person.'”
As founder of Inspiring Destiny, Sherry Lucille works toward helping people fulfill their life’s purpose. Lucille had been a guidance counselor in the Madison Metropolitan School District for 28 years and has also been a life coach and motivational speaker. In 2016, Lucille was honored with the YWCA Madison Women of Distinction.
Writing is one of her life’s passions and she says she’s really excited about her latest work.
“I just I want the message of hope to come through in this novel because there is some kind of tragic and traumatic stuff that happens here,” she says. “But I don’t think that it’s written in such a way that you will dwell heavily on that. But the final message is that no matter what you go through, you can overcome it, and you can still have love and you can still have success and forward movement. And I think those are some of the real messages that I wanted to convey through this novel.”
Be among the first to own Falling: Get signed copies of this and other great books written or published by Shery Lucille, by ordering direct from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Unsigned copies are available at Amazon.com