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Sherer, Michael W. 1952-

Sherer, Michael W. 1952-

PERSONAL:

Born December 3, 1952, in Highland Park, IL; son of William H. and Patricia R. (a homemaker) Sherer; married Melanie A. Kearney (a flight attendant), August 12, 1978 (divorced, 2001); children: Brendan Patrick, Morgan Harrison, Megan Elizabeth. Education: Hamilton College, B.A. (with honors), 1974. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, cooking, golf.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Mercer Island, WA.

CAREER:

Warehouse Restaurant, Denver, CO, assistant manager, 1973-75; William Jennings Photography, Chicago, IL, vice president, sales representative, and assistant photographer, 1976-77; ASDM Ltd. (computer systems design firm), Chicago, cofounder and vice president of operations, 1977-78; Cahners Publishing Co., Des Plaines, IL, associate editor, 1978-82; Burson-Marsteller (public relations agency), Chicago, account supervisor, 1982-87; Noble Communications Co. (marketing communications agency), Chicago, director of public relations, 1987-88; founder of Michael W. Sherer Communications (marketing communications consulting company), 1988. Member of board of directors of International Foodservice Editorial Council, 1985-87.

MEMBER:

Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America (former regional vice president).

WRITINGS:

"EMERSON WARD" MYSTERY SERIES

An Option on Death, Dodd, Mead (New York, NY), 1988, e-book edition, iUniverse (Lincoln, NE), 2000.

Little Use for Death, HarperPaperbacks (New York, NY), 1992, e-book edition, iUniverse (Lincoln, NE), 2001.

Death Came Dressed in White, HarperPaperbacks (New York, NY), 1992, e-book edition, iUniverse (Lincoln, NE), 2000.

A Forever Death, Five Star (Unity, ME), 2001.

Death Is No Bargain, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Michael W. Sherer is the creator of Chicago-based former stockbroker, now freelance writer and amateur detective, Emerson Ward, the main character in a series of mystery novels. The fourth installment, A Forever Death, revolves around the murder of professional photographer Brady Barnes, a friend of Emerson. Emerson hires on at the advertising agency that previously employed his friend and discovers many suspects and motives for the deed. Recurring characters include Brandt Williams, Emerson's best friend, and Nell Reilly, with whom Emerson falls in love. Several critics praised the work. Writing in the Library Journal, Rex E. Klett applauded Sherer's "slick narrative, quirky suspects … fast-moving plot, and likable protagonist," while Booklist reviewer David Pitt called the whodunit "capably written and perfectly enjoyable."

In Death Is No Bargain, Emerson is accused of seducing and harboring Ellen Forrester, a young girl he had helped a year earlier when he found her drunk on a beach. The girl has run away, and the mother asks for his help while her father threatens Emerson, who has no knowledge of her whereabouts. Meanwhile, Emerson's girlfriend Nell, is pregnant. She decides to keep the baby, and Emerson proposes marriage. While Nell decides whether she wants to marry him, he imperson- ates a friend of the Forrester family and travels to the town where the missing Ellen is found dead. His investigation takes him to a convent that cares for unwed mothers and places their babies for adoption. Booklist Wes Lukowsky described the characters as being "as complex as the issues with which they wrestle," In a review for Reader Views online, Regan Windsor commented that the book "brings more to the reader than the thrill of a good mystery. It is brimming with controversial subject matter successful in transporting the reader to a higher level of intellectual stimulation."

Sherer told CA: "I was introduced to writing in 1973 by author John Nichols. Now I am compelled to write. It's all I want to do with my life. I joke with family and friends about retiring and sitting by a sunny pool somewhere and writing books for the rest of my life. Writing novels, though, is perhaps the hardest job I've ever had.

"Writing is a solitary business by necessity. Writers must lose themselves in the fantasy world they create in order to understand their characters and bring them to life on the printed page. It requires time, discipline, and distance from the everyday interruptions of kids and telephone calls—all of life's little demands. I endured thirty-four rejections before finding a publisher for my first Emerson Ward mystery. I think anyone who wants to be an author truly must be committed to the arduous task of writing.

"Emerson Ward, my series character, is a Chicago-based freelance writer who gets involved in mysteries through a sense of righteous indignation, a desire to help friends, and a need to do his small part to right wrongs in a complex world. He is a sort of yuppie anti-hero, a baby-boomer who longs to be part of another generation and simpler times. Emerson is a sort of everyman, a man of our time who solves problems in spite of himself, and who comes of age in the process.

"I think the mystery genre is so popular now because it enables authors to explore characterization while holding readers' attention with a strong emphasis on plot. I created Emerson Ward on that premise. The principle of drawing a reader into a fictional world of murder and mayhem is at once simple and tremendously difficult. Give the character some qualities with which the reader can identify—good or bad—then make him just a little larger than life. Give him plenty of motivation, stack the odds against him, tell a good tale, and readers will keep coming back for more."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, December 15, 2000, David Pitt, review of A Forever Death, p. 793; March 15, 2006, Wes Lukowsky, review of Death Is No Bargain, p. 32.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2000, review of A Forever Death, p. 1580; January 15, 2006, review of Death Is No Bargain, p. 67.

Library Journal, February 1, 2001, Rex E. Klett, review of A Forever Death, p. 127.

ONLINE

Reader Views,http://www.readerviews.com/ (February 3, 2006), Regan Windsor, review of Death Is No Bargain, Juanita Watson, "Interview with Michael Sherer."

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