Deirdra: What made you decide to become an author?
Cheri: Writing found me. I enjoyed reading, but I hadn’t considered writing until high school. And it was several more years before I started taking myself seriously.
Deirdra: When did you start writing?
Cheri: High school. But there was a huge stretch in my 20’s where I hardly wrote at all.
Deirdra: What genres do you write?
Cheri: I prefer romantic fantasy, though I have done some contemporary with some mystery thrown in.
Deirdra: Is there anyone who has inspired or influenced you in your career?
Cheri: Too many to count. Josi Kilpack, Richard Paul Evans, Annette Lyon, Heather Moore, LuAnn Staheli, Tristi Pinkston, Julie Wright—I could go on here.
Deirdra: What is the most exciting thing that has happened in your career?
Cheri: To date, holding a copy of my book in my hands for the first time.
Deirdra: For you, is writing a full time job, part time job, or a hobby?
Cheri: Is it fair to say I have two full time jobs? If not, then a part time job, but that hardly gives it justice.
Deirdra: Writing a novel is time consuming. What is the most effect method you have found for managing your time?
Cheri: I’m actually terrible at managing my time. My peak creativity is late at night. I tried for a solid month during the summer to write before the kids got up in the mornings—could not make it work for me. I steal the minutes when I can, or I sacrifice when inspiration strikes.
Deirdra: What is the most difficult thing about being an author?
Cheri: The uncertainty. It doesn’t matter how many people tell us we are awesome. It only takes one to say, “eh” for it all to come crashing down inside. We struggle to publish and wonder if it will ever take. We publish one book and wonder if we can publish another. Etc.
Deirdra: What is the best thing about being an author?
Cheri: Connecting with others who love books as much as you do—and not always the same kinds of books.
Deirdra: What are your goals as an author for the next three years?
Cheri: I plan to publish the full 3 books of my current trilogy and start on my next series.
Deirdra: Is there anything that gives your writer’s block? How do you solve that problem?
Cheri: I used to never get writer’s block, but then I wasn’t trying to write every day, or every week. It creeps up occasionally. I find taking a break from the project usually does the trick. I’ll either try to sort out the scene in my mind, or work on something else for a while.
Deirdra: Do you have a favorite writing snack food?
Cheri: Chocolate, probably. Used to be Hot Tamales candy
Deirdra: Where is your favorite place to write?
Cheri: Any place where my back and shoulders don’t start to hurt after half an hour. Or my computer doesn’t randomly shut down. I know; I’m spoiled.
Deirdra: How do you come up with your character’s names?
Cheri: I use multiple sources. I have the Character Naming Sourcebook, which is great, but sometimes I’ll use baby names or I’ll make a spelling twist on an old favorite. Sometimes they just come to me. Recently, I started naming lesser characters for members of my extended family. Boy, will my cousin be surprised when she reads book two! And for the first time, this year I met a girl who has a name I am going to use for the main character in my third book.
Deirdra: What is the best complement you could receive from a reader?
Cheri: I think every author loves the “couldn’t put it down” variety of comment. My doctor bought a copy and had the first chapter read before he came in for my exam. And someone told me they read the first 6 pages and was so hooked, they ordered a copy that day. Always great to hear things like that.
Deirdra: If you have any books published what are they and where can readers find them?
Cheri: The Peasant Queen will be in stores in the second or third week of December, but it can be found online http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/159955416X/ref=ord_cart_shr?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER
And readers can click the book on amazon’s page to read the first 6 pages!
Here are my worthwhile links: