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Faith is like WIFI, it's invisible but it has the power to connect you to what you need.

Someone once asked, ‘what kind of Writer are you?’  I hesitated to answer that question. My desire has always been to write many genres – from magazines and books to television and film. I was naïve, perhaps, but today, I can proudly say that I wear the title, New York Times Best-Selling Author of three books; journalist for several publications and online websites as well as Television Writer/Producer and filmmaker. 

 

I realized at Emerson Junior High School as a Reporter for the Emersonian newspaper that writing made me happy. Everything from conducting the interview, to sitting down to craft the story and reading my byline in print was a thrill. That thrill continued at Beverly Hills High School working on the student-run radio and television stations, KBEV, and the weekly school newspaper. At Atlanta’s Spelman College, I continued to build my byline as a Reporter for the Spotlight newspaper and by learning more about film, radio and television, earning a degree in English and Communications.


After a brief career with American Airlines and a move to New York, I stepped out on faith and landed my first television job on a daytime talk show, but never stopped writing. Instead, I balanced my day job with my passion for print and expanded my resume as a freelancer for various newspapers and upstart publications. Since then, I have interviewed and worked with countless Emmy, Oscar and Grammy Award-Winners, NBA champions, top standup comedians, and business professionals, and contributed numerous articles on the subjects of Food, Health, Fitness, Adoption, Foster Care, and more to a variety of publications and online websites including: LA Parent, InStyle, Essence, Ebony, Upscale, Black Enterprise, Heart & Soul, the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper, and PBS, just to name a few.


My interest in writing for television was piqued after an interview with a childhood friend who became a Writer on the classic television sitcom, “Martin”. He encouraged me to try my hand at writing for the screen. I started to pen television scripts.  My first television pitch was the true story about pledging Delta Sigma Theta Sorority with my mother and landed a job, membership in the Writer’s Guild of America, and it to became the premiere episode of the sitcom, “The Parkers”. Since then, I have gone on to write and produce everything from daytime and late-night talk shows, reality series, cooking shows, game shows, award shows and competition shows for ABC, Comedy Central, Showtime, VH-1, Oxygen, BET, and Aspire. One thing remains consistent – the writing process is still enjoyable and interesting no matter the genre.

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16 Fun Facts About Sherri

Journalist/TV Producer/Author

01. I GREW UP: All over. My father was an Air Traffic Controller in the United States Air Force.  My mom was an elementary school teacher.  We lived in the Philippines.  Then moved to Yreka, Oregon. At six, my father retired from the military, and we settled in Los Angeles.

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02. BEFORE I WAS A WRITER: I interned for renowned author, Alex Haley, and worked as a Service Representative for American Airlines at New York's LaGuardia Airport. What I wouldn’t do to have those travel benefits again.

03. BIG BREAK IN PUBLISHING: There were three big breaks. (1) My first professional paid byline was in a magazine called, Urban Profile; (2) my first byline in Essence Magazine after trying to get published by the iconic magazine for Black women for more than a decade; (3) and my first book deal with Simon & Schuster for Skinny Women Are Evil, the memoir co-written with Oscar Award-winning actress/comedienne Mo’Nique that went on to become a New York Times Best-Seller. We also published two other books: the NAACP Image Award nominated cookbook, Skinny Cooks Can’t Be Trusted (HarperCollins) and the NAACP Image Award nominated YA novel Beacon Hills High (HarperCollins).

04. BIG BREAK IN TEVEVISION: My first television pitch, about pledging a sorority with my mom, became the premiere episode of the sitcom, “The Parkers” and earned my first television Writer’s credit and membership in the Writer’s Guild.

05. BIG BREAK IN FILM: I was offered an opportunity to co-write the film, Hair Show, produced by NBA great, Earvin “Magic” Johnson. It starred Mo’Ninque, Taraji P. Henson, Gina Torres, and Kellita Smith.

06. CRAZIEST SHOW: The Showtime comedy special, “I Coulda Been Your Cellmate” shot entirely on location at the Ohio Reformatory for Women. I had to interview inmates who were serving time for everything from car theft to murder, and women who gave birth while in prison.  It was the most memorable – and the saddest – show I’ve ever produced.

07. SCHOOL DAZE: While at Spelman College, Director Spike Lee (who graduated from the nearby brother school, Morehouse College) made his classic film, “School Daze.” Some of my classmates were in the film and every time I watch it, it brings back wonderful memories. The fictitious Hillman College from the sitcom “A Different World” was filmed on Spelman’s campus.

08. BEST WRITING ADVICE EVER: One of my mentors told me ‘if you say you are a Writer, then write whether you are being paid, or not because you never know when someone will ask to see your work.’ That taught me if I stay ready I don’t have to get ready.

09. I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT: Scrabble. I enjoy playing with friends and with complete strangers from around the world. My highest game score is 564. Highest word score is 194 points for the word, “Friskier”.

10. GIVING BACK IS IMPORTANT: I am on the board of a non-profit organization called “Hope in A Suitcase” that provides children entering foster care with essentials to make life a little easier.

11. I ATTENDED BEVERLY HILLS HIGH: Rocker Lenny Kravitz would drive us home from school. Back then he went by the name Romeo Blue. He was the nicest person then and still is.

12. THE PERSON I WAS MOST NERVOUS TO INTERVIEW: Oliver Stone. It was a phone interview for the film, “Any Given Sunday”. He ended up being cool as a fan.

13. MOST FUN INTERVIEW: The talented actress, Regina King for the film, Ray for Essence Magazine. It started out as dinner and lasted several hours.

14. FAVORITE QUOTE: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”

15. FAVORITE MUSIC: I love everything from Jazz and Old- school R&B to Hip Hop. I am a Biggie Smalls fan and can rap his hit, “One More Chance” verbatim.

16. FAVORITE BOOKS: The Autobiography of Malcolm X; Anybody’s Daughter by Pamela Samuels Young.

Lenny Kravitz formally known as Romeo Blue
First Big Break in Television
First Big Break in Film
Me and Earvin "Magic" Johnson
Can not Live without Scrabble
School Daze at Spelman College
A Different World
Philippines
Craziest Show
Nominated for NAACP Image Awards
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