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Former Messenger columnist publishes new book

Posted on 24 February 2016 by calvin

Sherri Donovan Moore writes fictional novel, “You’ll Be Nothing Without Me”


Sheri Donovan MoorePoised with a cup of tea with cream in hand at Merlin’s Rest, Sherri Donovan Moore sits at ease discussing her life’s unexpected roads and alleyways.

“[My] third career is as a writer, and I love it.”

If you think you might recognize the name, it’s because you likely do. Donovan Moore was the author of the flagship monthly column, “The Old White House,” her first paid writing gig that appeared in the Longfellow NokoMessengermis  for nearly 15 years.

The column focused on Donovan Moore’s single-handed feat (with the help of her less-than-handy but helpful husband and some contractors) to renovate her old south Minneapolis home from top to bottom.

“We painted the entire interior, did major work on the furnace…put in a wood burning fireplace, knocked down the wall, changed all the lighting fixtures – stripped all woodwork on the first floor … We only have one room left: the master bedroom.”

She even flipped houses for a few years with her son. But now, the days of writing about her old, white house (in which she still lives) has turned into a full fledge career for the south Minneapolis resident who calls Lake Hiawatha home.

But Donovan Moore hadn’t always realized she was a writer. Before her writing career took off, she worked in sales. It wasn’t until she took a writing class while she was in college for her Bachelor’s in sales and marketing where her fun past time seemed to have the potential to turn into something else.

“My mother always told me I had an active imagination—she lived long enough to see my writing in the columns, but never anything [more]. When I found this writer’s group it was like I finally belonged somewhere,” said Donovan Moore.

Up until now, the Messenger column and a few contest entries were the extent of her published writing. But her active imagination never ceased, calling her to a new adventure as a published novelist.

“The story has been with me for so long…I started writing the book in 2006. I worked for 3M for five years and survived four layoffs, but the fifth one got me. The women in my writing group asked me, ‘when are you going to turn your book over and let me edit?’”

Eventually, she did. Donovan Moore’s first self-published book, “You’ll Be Nothing Without Me,” is a fictional work taking place in the Como neighborhood of St. Paul. It tells the story of Kiki Halloran, an Irish Catholic woman in her early 30s who decides to change her complacent marriage and take charge of her life. The story covers four years through marriage, separation and the new life she creates for herself and her son.

“This woman is pushing herself forward to live exactly how she wants,” said Donovan Moore, “she redesigns herself, her house, and works on a new career.”

Donovan Moore says the idea for the book came from all of her friends’ divorces in the 1980s, mixed in with some love and drama she says she would have liked to have had at the time. Donovan Moore says she sees a lot of herself in Kiki, as at one time she was a divorced, single mother looking for a fresh start.

“For several years when I was young, I gave that power away to my first husband,” said the author. “You have to decide what you want and then go about planning to get it. When getting a divorce, plan so you’re not taken by surprise.”

Donovan Moore credits Barbara Taylor Bradford’s book, “A Woman of Substance,” as an inspiration for her personally, as the main character’s independence taught her that she too can be an independent woman.

“She was absolutely independent and running her own life. I thought, hell, if she can do it, I can do it.”

She also credits writers such as Erin Hart, and local authors Lorna Landvik, Susan Schussler and Patty Janes as other inspiring authors.

Donovan Moore is currently working on her second book, which will be a continuation of her first, based in South Minneapolis and Ireland where Kiki explores the idea of marriage once again.

“What I want women to take away is that you really are the controller of your life. Nobody can tell you what to do. You give away your power recklessly sometimes, and you have the chance to live the life you want.

“You’ll Be Nothing Without Me” is available for purchase on Amazon and Kindle, and at Permanent Solutions hair salon on Minnehaha Ave. To find out more about the book, or about Donovan Moore, visit