About Randi M. Sherman: A native Californian, raised in “the valley,” Randi moved to San Francisco decades ago and more recently makes her home in California’s wine country. Trying her hand at country living Randi describes herself the Eva Gabor of the Sonoma/Napa area.
Until Randi’s huge success as an author, or until potato chips are considered a vegetable and wine is accepted as a fruit, Randi continues to split her time between writing, laughing and actually enjoying her life with more undesirable tasks such as being a stuffy corporate-type using her Bachelors of Science Degree from Chapman University.
In five words, describe yourself: Creative, Devoted, Risk-Taker, Brave and (if Risk-Taker is considered one word) fortunate.
Tell us about your writing/editing/publishing routine: Coffee, write when it hits me. I keep a working copy open on my PC all day everyday, and read dialogue out loud. When editing – I read the entire book paragraph by paragraph and ask myself if it says exactly what I intended. I have to admit that I want to control every aspect of the publishing process, so I spend most of that time trying keep to it moving and calm myself. I also try to focus on promotion planning.
Have you always wanted to be an author? I was a stand up comedienne in Los Angeles, the did improvisational theater in San Francisco – when I didn’t become rich and famous doing that – my humor took another form. Being a writer wasn’t planned – but I’m glad it happened – it makes me a better and more thoughtful person.
Do you have any writing rituals? Hmm, that’s a good question. I’m not sure we should probably ask the people I live with – I’m certain they could point out something quirky.
Hard/paperbacks or eBooks? I prefer Paperbacks, I like to hold something in my hands. Its the same with newspapers. I do make my books available in all formats to reader – because everyone has their own preference.
What is the best advice you would give to new authors? I’ve learned that a writer needs to take off her shoes, untuck her blouse, raise her hands up over her head and run full speed down the hill. A writer need to let go of all inhibitions and fears and “go for it.”
How do you come up with the titles of your books? I wish I could tell you take there is some exhaustive research and focus group activity – but the titles simply come to me – because, perhaps they are so simple.
Which author would you love to meet? Unfortunately she has passed away – Nora Ephron because she could make the mundane entertaining and poignant.
What is your favorite word? “Yes”
Is the social media more of a help or a hinder? Its a good option to getting the word out. However, recently I read the book Contagious that suggested that word of mouth is the most effective method. As much as I try, I’m still a little social media challenged anyway.
What do you want readers to take away? As I developed all of the many characters in THE LOBBY I created a history of each as well as the full reason why they were in THE LOBBY -it occurred to me what the purpose of the book – I want readers to realized that if we all just put down our phones and look up there are people standing right in front of use, with full histories and reasons for being where they are at that moment. Take a minute and acknowledge and maybe even appreciate the person standing in front of you.
Blurb: Welcome to The Shipley Hotel, where the perky and attentive staff provides the gold standard in artificial concern and comfort to all the colorful characters who pass through its polished brass revolving door and find themselves in The Lobby. Practically engineered for eavesdropping, San Francisco’s juiciest hotel lobby offers the perfect place to witness the comings and goings—and the most comedic intersections—of staff, long-term residents, and eclectic guests. Featuring over fifty stories all transpiring in a single twenty-four hour period and intersecting in the Shipley’s elegant lobby, readers will meet an eccentric and vast array of characters, most of whom will look awfully familiar and all of whom will speak to the heart. Employing acute skills in human observation and a keen understanding of the essential human needs—frequently unplanned and unexpected rendezvous, ready laughter at others’ expense, and maybe even a little love and acceptance—Randi M. Sherman’s unique wit and candor will surely make the reader sit up, stand up, roll over, or assume an interested leaning position and take notice. Get comfortable (on the exquisitely upholstered lobby couch) and spy on those checking in and out of the Shipley. Careful: you might just encounter a version of yourself among the ornate balconies and intricate woodwork.
Slump-shouldered and dizzy from exhaustion, Peggy stretched her neck, took a deep breath and rubbed her eyes, willing herself to be awake and perky. Dressed for the day in her high-rise, poly-blend walking shorts, a muted-colored Madras blouse, and an oversized pastel pink Jazzercise visor, she stood in the hotel lobby. It was only 6:00 a.m. Looking out through the front windows of the hotel, she could see the streets were still practically empty, and even the sun was having second thoughts about starting the day. Waking up before six o’clock in the morning was just too early, especially on a vacation.
“Hank, dear,” she said sweetly, holding a Mylar-wrapped breakfast bar. “Have one of these energy grain bars. It has fiber.”
He snatched it from her, peeled back the wrapper, then shoved it into his mouth and ate it in just two bites. Crumbs flying, he said, “Damned right. I’m not going to wait in line at some overpriced coffee shop for a plate of twelve-dollar eggs. We can have an early lunch.” He spotted a basket of shiny red apples on the registration desk. “Mary Margaret, go get a few of those too. They will tide us over.”
Peggy’s movements are hindered by the beige naugahyde pocket-for-everything purse that was slung over her head and shoulder, crossing her chest. The purse strap was too short for it to be worn this way. It cut tightly between her breasts and rested at her side, just below her armpit, causing her arm to hang at a forty-five degree angle from her body.
“You can never be too careful, Mary Margaret.” Hank checked the positioning of her bag. “I hear there is a lot of purse snatching going on in this city.” He stood back to take a look at her. “Maybe you should put on your sweater—you look like a tourist. You’re just inviting trouble.”
It was big talk from Hank, who was dressed in brighter than-white walking shoes with Velcro closures for efficiency, an AARP fanny pack, and his new short-sleeved sport shirt which was tucked tightly into his underwear beneath his sans-a-belt, high-water polyester dress slacks, replete with a bulging back pocket due to an overstuffed wallet. Clutching his cartoonish city map like it was the map to the Holy Grail, Hank marched toward the morning clerk who was standing behind the front desk. He pointed at Peggy’s feet. “Pick ‘em up and lay ‘em down. We have a lot to do today, and it’s already after six.” With purpose, Hank asked the desk clerk Candice, “Is the conger . . . conseer here?”
Another typical tourist, Candice thought. Ready to go at the crack of dawn. Should I tell him that with the exception of a Starbucks, nothing in this city is open before nine? “Good morning, sir,” Candice smiled. “I see you are up early. I’m sorry sir, but Philippe, the concierge, does not get in until nine o’clock. Perhaps I can help you with something?”
“Yes, you can. We have a heavy day of sightseeing ahead of us, and I want to be efficient about it.” Hank slapped the map down on the counter.
“Okay, I’ll see what I can do. What would you like to do today?” Candice smiled again, as she was trained to do.
“Well,” Hank began, “today we want to walk across theGolden Gate Bridge, ride on a cable car, go to the Cable Car Museum, Fisherman’s Wharf, that curvy Lombardo Street, Golden Gate Park, the Legion of Honor, the Cannery, and Alcatraz.”
Peggy tapped Hank on the shoulder. “And don’t forget Union Square, Hank.”
“You can shop at home,” He called over his shoulder. Turning back to Candice, “What’s the best route? I’d like to work from furthest to closest.” Hank was all about efficiency. “It’s all about organization,” he explained. If a household task could be wrapped up in five minutes he found a way to do it in four. “In the military . . .” Hank would say and then fill in the blank with the most Hank-a-fied, time-efficient way to do something. He meant well, but Peggy knew that he usually made it up as he went along.
Peggy had always hated being called Mary Margaret, Hun, or Marge, but Hank insisted. She endured Hank’s bossy, blow-hard-headedness all for the sake of keeping him calm. They had been married for thirty-five years, and she figured it was probably her fault that he was the way he was. After all, she had been raised to be agreeable. But she secretly wanted to break free of the middle of the row, middle class, very average, superefficient life she was leading and do something wild, something unplanned. Thursday night Bingo just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Anything new or different would be welcome. Dining out somewhere other than the two places in town where Hank was comfortable and where he didn’t spend twenty minutes raving about the “cost of things”— that would be good. Sex with the lights on or for longer than two minutes would be a welcome change. But neither would be enough. Peggy craved the life that she saw on the morning and afternoon talk shows. The life where people were frivolous and chatty, who drank champagne any day, for any occasion, not just at 11:55 PM on December 31st. Wearing a piece of clothing that wasn’t labeled “wash-n-wear” or blended with some fabric that’s name ended in -ester or -oline would be heaven after years in flammable synthetic clothing.
**Click HERE to see other stops on Randi’s Chick Lit Plus Blog Tour!