Wife. Mother. Teacher. Urban Planner. Author.
These are just a few words that describe novelist Sheryse Noelle DuBose. With always having dreams of being a writer, Sheryse decided to hit the ground running when she stopped teaching to pursue her dreams of writing full-time. Her upcoming book, Marshland, will be released this Friday, which also happens to be her birthday. “My newest novel is fictional, but I received the inspiration from my family’s story,” Sheryse states. “Marshland is set during the Civil War and tells the story of a slave family that escapes the mainland (of South Carolina) and flees to Pickney Island then to Hilton Head Island. The family meets various people along the way-some who are friendly and some that are not.” As a native of Hilton Head Island, SC, Sheryse has always been fascinated with life in the Lowcountry. While teaching U.S. History, Sheryse discovered the Civil War era was her favorite. She learned that Black people volunteered and were drafted to fight for the North and the South. “If any Black (Northern) soldier was caught by the Confederacy, he would be put to death,” DuBose states. “I tried to stay true to what occurred during that time period in the novel. While most of it is fiction, I did a lot of reading to include various events and topics. A number of things that pertain to the family in the story are taken from the stories told at the Aiken Family Reunion (my paternal grandmother’s family). No one knows where, how, or why we ended up in Hilton Head, so I tried to fill in the blanks. This story was heavily influenced by my family.”
DuBose’s first novel, The Promise of Palmettos, debuted last October and tells the story of family legacy, land, and loyalty. DuBose states, “I was inspired to write this book because the places I visited when I was young, growing up in the ’80s, are gone. This story tells why it’s important to ‘maintain the land’. I was taught not to sell family property because my grandparents and parents worked hard to obtain it.” DuBose sat on The Promise of Palmettos for six years, mainly because she wanted to go through a major publishing company. After speaking with other authors and receiving helpful links, she decided to self-publish. She advises if you decide to self-publish, to market yourself and your book before it debuts. “Marketing yourself is a challenge, but you have a lot of freedom.”
Marshland will be available on E-reader first, then will be published in Paperback. The Promise of Palmettos is currently available on Nook, Kindle, and Amazon. For anyone that has a dream of becoming an author, DuBose states, “Don’t give up. I know it’s a cliche’, but it’s so true. If it’s something you want to do, keep at it.” No matter how much of a cliche’ it might be, those are words to live by!