Abandoned children become an inspiration

Published 4:50 pm Monday, November 28, 2011

By SHELBA NIVENS / Community Columnist

Gladys Sherrer’s inspiration for her new novel has been the 500,000 children abandoned annually in the United States, she said, along with a compassionate adult from her own childhood and Cain’s words to God in Genesis 4:9, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

“Touch a person with tenderness, and you’ll give them love,” Sherrer said. “Touch them with love, and you offer hope for eternity.”

This message is highlighted in Sherrer’s “The Mall Street Sleuth” through one abandoned child’s story – her trials, determination and triumphs. The abandoned young girl, who is bullied and harboring suicidal thoughts, makes a decision to never quit. She bucks up and becomes a crime fighter, turning tragedy into triumph.

This coming-of-age plot includes other younger generational threats like addictions and pregnancy, and shows the way to Christ. Sherrer said the novel began as a short story written when she was living in Phoenix, Ariz. in 2006.

G.H. (Gladys) Sherrer signs copies of her new novel, “The Mall Street Sleuth,” at a recent North Shelby Baptist Arts and Crafts Fair. (Contributed)

After returning home to Birmingham, she joined a writer’s workshop and was encouraged by novelist Anne Nall Stallworth to make it into a novel.

“Four years later it is a novel which earned an award from Alabama Writers Conclave,” she said.

“The Mall Street Sleuth” is volume one in Sherrer’s “Mysteries with a Message” series, titled “The Keeper Chronicles.” It is a book club edition with questions in the back to lead in discussion, and will soon be available on eBook, she said.

Volume two, “The Mountaintop Hijack,” is due out in 2012.

More than 20 copies of “The Mall Street Sleuth” were placed in the hands of readers at a recent signing and sale at North Shelby Baptist Arts and Crafts Fair. It can be purchased at Amazon.com and BuyBuyBooksOnThe Web.com or ordered toll-free at 1-877-289-2665.

Sherrer has worked as a columnist and journalist (She wrote for the Shelby County Reporter 2007-2010), and a health information services project director, where she did extensive writing.

Other than Alabama Writers Conclave, her work has received awards from Birmingham Quill Club, American Pen Women, Southern Christian Writers Conference and NLAPW. She graduated cum laude from UAB in 1990 and from Jefferson State School of Nursing in 1984.

This, her first novel, is “a message of hope, perseverance and determination for the world’s youth,” Sherrer said, “and a call to action for the forever young.”

Gladys Sherrer can be reached at ghsherrer@gmail.com.


Shelba Nivens can be reached by email at Shelbasn@juno.com.