Sherry A. Phillips

Suspense Author

Virginia – Home Sweet Home

It’s always fun to travel and see new sights, or sometimes, as I did last weekend, revisit old ones. However, no matter how much fun you have, it is always good to get back home.

For me, that place is Virginia. I was born and raised here, as were my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents … well, you get the idea. I come from a long line of Virginians.

When growing up in Richmond, I often dreamed of living other places. And as an adult, I have. After graduating college with a degree in Theatre, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue my life-long dream of becoming an actress. I learned two things while living there. One, the guy in the $5,000 suit can be more dangerous than the leather-wearing rocker with full arm tattoos and two, I could get as much satisfaction from writing as I ever did from acting. In fact, I took one of those extensive job personality tests and when it was all said and done, it said I should be a director or producer. This makes sense, as anyone who knows me will tell you how much of a control freak I am.

After Los Angeles, I moved back home and began writing romance novels. I was close to getting published (which means the rejection slips were turning into 3 page handwritten critiques from editors asking me to make these changes and they wanted to see the book again). Then, I met an Assistant DA from Memphis in an online writer’s group. That ADA and I have now been married for almost 17 years and have three children.

When I married Judson, it was easier for me to move to Memphis than for him to pick up and move to Virginia. So, I lived in Memphis for a while. I was not happy there. In fact, I told him that when I died I wanted my tombstone to read, “Born, Lived and Died a Virginian.” Eventually, Judson and I decided to move to Franklin, TN, a suburb of Nashville. I once had a conversation on an airplane with an agent for William Morris who traveled between LA and Nashville. She summed up Franklin perfectly. It has a small town feel, but you have all of the big city amenities. I never considered Memphis “home.” Franklin felt like home from the start.

My parents moved to Tennessee and lived with us until their deaths. While Franklin was not where I dreamed of living, it was a wonderful place to raise a family. Still, I was restless. I did not want to live out the rest of my days there.

My husband’s career took a turn. He has always loved politics and as fate and God would have it, he is now involved in politics full-time. Because he was no longer practicing law and we were not reliant on his Tennessee law license, we were free to move where we wanted. We considered California, Texas, Miami (which I love), Sarasota and Tampa. Then, one day, Virginia entered the conversation. The more we talked, the more sense it made. After visiting last spring, we moved here last summer.

It was a new experience for my husband and children who were all born and raised in Tennessee. For me, it was like settling down with a comfortable blanket. While I enjoyed my 15 years living in Franklin and made many new friends, Virginia has always been and will always be, home.

I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes I read while growing up here. It reads,

“To Be A Virginian either by
Birth, Marriage, Adoption,
or even on one’s Mother’s side,
is an Introduction
to any State in the Union,
a Passport to any Foreign Country,
and a Benediction from Above.”

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