As a corporate attorney and the mother of twin 8-year-old sons, Sherrie Nachman (NY/Lit./’97) does not lack for literary inspiration. The impetus for her first published short story, The Benefits of the bPhone, was a toddler her boys befriended during a family vacation. The new friend was obsessed with his father’s phone, though unclear on the nomenclature — iPhone, bPhone, whatever.
“I liked that he was talking about the benefits of something that doesn’t really exist,” Sherrie says.
A 1988 graduate of Yale Law School, Sherrie started her career as a defense attorney at a Manhattan boutique and a securities attorney at a white-shoe firm before joining the audit, tax and advisory company KPMG. In 2006, she joined Skadden’s litigation practice, where she worked on several securities fraud matters before rejoining KPMG a year later. She presently serves as the thought leadership director in the company’s M&A advisory group.
Along the way, Sherrie has established herself as an accomplished writer. She was a staff reporter for The American Lawyer for three years and won a fellowship to work for ABC News in London. She wrote a Fodor’s guidebook on Vietnam and has written travel pieces for Travel and Leisure and the Huffington Post. Her first full-length book, the recently released Ms. Pepper Goes to School, blends schoolhouse intrigue with the eclectic characters she has encountered throughout her legal career.
“As a criminal defense attorney, I met some amazing characters,” Sherrie says.
The parodic Ms. Pepper Goes to School centers on a corrupt teacher at a tony Upper East Side nursery school. Ms. Pepper exchanges prime spots on her classroom’s rug for cash and other favors, but her main racket capitalizes on that most central of contemporary concerns: getting your kid into the right kindergarten. Ms. Pepper is happy to write the most exemplary recommendations for her favorite families — those who make the largest donations to her tax-exempt (non-existent) “Kindergarten Fund.” The school’s newest crop of parents includes our hero, federal prosecutor Nikki Bell, who is soon on the case.
“It’s kind of a ripe world to make fun of,” Sherrie says.
Sherrie currently is working on her third book, Six Crappy Hours of Our Lives (SCHOOL), which is inspired by her sons, David and Ian, and targeted at 6- to 8-year-olds.
“There aren’t that many books for that age group,” Sherrie says. “You go right from picture books to Harry Potter.”
Balancing her two careers is becoming easier with each book, she says.
“I write at night, on weekends, the occasional early morning,” Sherrie says. “The first book took at least two years. This one should take less than that.”
Ms. Pepper Goes to School is available at amazon.com, and Sherrie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.