The Sheridan Hall Series
Jessica Calla and the Inside Scoop on Sheridan Hall
I’m so excited for the release of Book 2 of my Sheridan Hall series! Thank you, Paula, for hosting me during my blog tour.
If you’ve read Book 1 of the series, She Laughs in Pink, you know that the characters live in the basement of their dorm. I’ve never told anyone this, but Sheridan Hall is based on my freshman dorm at the University of Delaware (Go Blue Hens!).
My freshman year at Delaware was spent in the basement of Cannon Hall. I’ll never forget opening that housing slip during the summer before I started and the excitement of moving to college. Tripled up in a double, my two roommates and I took over room “001.” Of course, we didn’t realize room one was in the basement until we moved in! Despite that fact, I had a great year.
The Cannon Hall basement (circa the 90’s) is exactly what I imagined while writing She Laughs in Pink. The rooms were on one side of the hallway, the lounge and bathrooms on the other. In fact, the only differences between the real Cannon Hall and the fictional Sheridan are that in Cannon, the dorm’s laundry room was in the basement (early drafts of She Laughs had the characters in and out of the laundry room too), and that the lounge in Cannon was an unusable dump. The Sheridan lounge is much nicer and the floormates socialize there often.
My roommates and I shared the room that I imagine Juliet and Pooja in. The room that Rocco and Frank share, room four, was occupied by two handsome bodybuilder brothers in Cannon Hall. Poppy and Darcy in She Laughs symbolize the mysterious roommates from room five who we never saw in Cannon. Even the external set up of the fictional New Jersey University—the parking lot behind Sheridan, the placement of the Student Center, north and south campus—is taken from the Delaware campus at the time I attended.
There were pros and cons to living in the basement. For the pros, we were able to stay out of the drama on the upper floors. As an introvert known for three hour naps, I was happy to hide in my room and let the world happen over my head. Also, like the group at Sheridan, we were a close-knit bunch. With only six or so rooms, we knew and understood each other. Mostly, we watched out for each other like family, much like the Sheridan gang.
As for the cons, well, I guess I could list the same things! Life was happening above us, and the basement crew was considered the weird clique who never got invited to anything. Being underground, we also had some bugs. Not fun.
The name “Sheridan” comes from a phone list on my desk at the time I drafted the book. I worked for a nice man named Sheridan, and I liked the way it sounded. I’m sure he has no clue that (a) I wrote a book, and (b) named the entire series after him. After the first book published, I realized that “Sheridan” also starts with “She,” which is the common name of the books’ titles (She Laughs in Pink, She Runs Away, and Book 3 coming in May 2017, She Wants it All).
I love writing the series and new adult college contemporaries. College was such a strange, wonderful time for me. I met awesome people who taught me so much about life, family and love. My roommates were my best friends for a long time. We’ve all since moved on into our own lives, but I think of them often. In some ways, they saved my life. That’s how important they were to me, and I’ll always cherish them.
Now that I’m “older” (*clears throat), I have a new perspective on my time as an older teen/young twenty-something at Delaware. I didn’t realize the extent to which my college years and the people with whom I surrounded myself would mold me into the person I am today. During college, I experienced so many “firsts.” When I write my characters, I try to have them experiencing their “firsts” too, in this new setting of their college lives.
A little spoiler: Book 3 moves out of the basement a bit. It involves a character living on the second floor of Sheridan, affectionately nicknamed “Second Floor Dave” by the basement crew. You’ll meet Dave in Book 2 when he causes some stress between Ben and Meg.
I wish I could stay in Sheridan for a hundred more books! At the moment, the series will end with Book 3. But you never know what the future may bring. I may succumb to the urge to keep going with it and surprise you all (and my publisher as well!).
Thank you for checking out this post and for trying the Sheridan Hall series. Shout out to the folks at U of D, and especially those who’ve had the privilege to live in the basement of Cannon Hall. Sheridan Hall is written for you.
Jessica’s Bio & Links
Jessica Calla is a contemporary romance and women’s fiction author who moonlights during the day as an attorney. If she’s not writing, lawyering, or parenting, you’ll most likely find her at the movies, scrolling through her Twitter feed, or gulping down various forms of caffeine (sometimes all three at once).
Jessica is a member of Romance Writers of America, involved in the Contemporary, Young Adult, and New Jersey Chapters, and is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She recently became the oldest marketing intern ever at BookFish Books, and was named a Young Adult mentor for the FicFest writing contest. A Jersey girl through and through, she resides in the central part of the state with her husband, two sons, and dog.
Find Jessica on Twitter (@jess_calla) or at her website (www.jessicacalla.com). She loves to make reader and writer friends.
The Sheridan Hall Series
Check out and one-click She Laughs in Pink, and Jessica’s latest release, She Runs Away, here: https://paularadell.com/away-sheridan-hall-2-calla-review/
You’ll love Second Floor Dave, so get ready to read his story next! You’ll find it right here on Passionate Reads.