Harford County resident, parent crafts fantasy novel

Grace Feldbush, Social Media/Event Coordinator

          Sherri Woosley, the author of the fantasy novel Walking Through Fire, says she has had her short stories published in several anthologies. “In 2021, I’ve had a story published in Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2021, Once Upon a Dystopia, and Black-Eyed Peas on New Year’s Day. Woosley has another story coming out this month in Dark Cheer: Cryptids Emerging – Volume Blue,”  Woosley says.  

     “I wrote the rough draft of Walking Through Fire while I was in room 833 of Johns Hopkins with my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter,” Woosley says. She explains that her child was being treated for leukemia and it was terrifying, painful, and isolating. “My son was in first grade at the time, he felt the same way I did, but I didn’t realize it because I wasn’t home,” Woosley says.  

     Woosley explains while she was at the hospital and her son’s teacher called her. She says that on the phone call the teacher explained that her son  stretch-spelled, “I wish I had leukemia so my mom would spend time with me.” In response, Woosley told her son that she would tell a story about her and him and everything they did together and make it into a book.  

     Woosley explains when reading the book, you will see familiar places around Maryland including parts of Baltimore, Harford County, and Harper’s Ferry.  

     Woosley explains that in the book, “A mother is trying to care for her son with cancer when ancient Sumerian gods return and cut America into pieces of a board game as a struggle for power.”  

     “This book is dedicated to my son, and it was for him first,” Woosley states. She explains it is also for mothers who’d like to see themselves in the role of the protagonist, but she also found multiple teenagers loved the premise and figuring out which deities’ territory they would choose to live in.  

     “A book, to me, is like running a race. It’s so hard when you look at what you want to accomplish and the only way to make progress is to keep putting one foot in front of the other,” Woosley says. 

     Woosley explains the book as a reference to both the Christain idea of having impurities burned away as well as the fact ancient gods each returned to earth in a firestorm.   

     Woosley believes she identifies with Rachel the most from her book because she is intuitive, wants to make people happy, and is extremely protective of her family. She loved writing the character Tamaki and enjoyed creating her so much she is giving Tamaki her book, which is coming out in 2022.  

     Casting a movie for her book Woosley says she would choose Angelina Jolie for Rachel and Brad Pitt as Captain Lewis. “Would it be awkward because of their history? I mean, yes. But that’s the kind of relationship the characters have anyway so it would be good cinematography,” Woosley says.  

     Her daughter, Evelyn Woosley, crocheted her a two-headed moose from the book. She explains they have always, “been fantastic sports about coming to my readings and letting me brainstorm plot points and putting up with me when I lock myself in a room until I can finish a scene.” Woosley says she is so thankful for the support her family has for her. 

       Woosley attended UMBC and has earned a B.A. in English with a minor in sociology. She also went to graduate school at the University of Maryland and earned an M.A. in English where she focused on comparative mythology. She now works as a teacher at John Carroll High School.