Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
At the moment, I'm a fifty-two-year-old ICU nurse who is trying to become a writer. Maybe someday I'll be able to say I'm just a writer, but every woman has more than one job. I'm also a mother, wife, cook, gardener, horse breeder, and all-around animal lover.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
The last time I answered this question, I said the heroine of Slave, Jack, but there are elements in Tisana, the heroine in Warrior that I also admire. Aside from her ability to control fire and communicate with animals, Tisana is an herbalist, something that I have always found fascinating. In my nursing career, I've been questioned on that-why would I be interested in herbal medicine when I work in a very non-herbal environment? The reason for this is that medicine has become so far removed from the lay person. We look to doctors and hospitals to promote wellness, and they don't: they treat illness. I like the idea of taking responsibility for my own health and not leaving it to someone else.
What's your favorite genre to read?
Lately, I've been reading the novels of Erik Tarloff and have been getting a big kick out of them. Something in his style appeals to me-though I don't know exactly what genre you would say he writes.
Who or what influences you when you write?
I'm influenced by everything I see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. I'm inspired by the words in a song, by a line in a movie, the way a man moves, the way he smiles.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
Write, eat, write, eat, and get very, very stiff.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
Rogue is due out in March of 2009, and Lover in May 2009. Rogue is about two Zetithian slaves of a queen and the piano teacher. Lover is different. It is written in third person-the others are all in first-and it's about Lynx, a Zetithian boy who was enslaved and placed at the disposal of a harem full of beauties who couldn't resist him any more than anyone else could. Basically, they wear him out. This story is what happens after that. It's a bit of a tear-jerker, but, as always with romance novels, has a satisfying ending.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
I think all of my Zetithian men are my heroes, but in different ways. What they all have in common is that they lack arrogance which is important to me, and they are all very dedicated lovers!
What do you do for inspiration?
I look at every situation for inspiration. Any movie I watch, any person I meet, any song I hear, I think: What can I get from this experience? How can I use it in my writing?
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
I'm writing the science fiction romance I've always wanted to write, but I also like the idea of writing contemporary romances about NORMAL people who find romance-and don't necessarily have to be involved with solving a crime or a mystery to find it! I've written several of these which I hope to publish in the future.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
I think I've always worked to meet a deadline whether I was published or not. I've had friends who say things like: "When we go to the lake, we need something to read!"
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I was encouraged by friends and family to seek a publisher, but I really don't think they had any idea just how hard a thing it is for me-as much from an emotional standpoint as from a professional one. It's a very scary thing to submit your work for publication, because when you do, strangers will be reading your innermost thoughts. If they like them, that's fine, but if they don't, it's very difficult not to take it personally because your writing is nothing if not personal! Also, another thing happens when your work is finally published: it gets edited. What was once a personal journey now becomes a group effort, and I've found that very difficult to deal with.
What would you like to tell your readers?
Don't stop reading! So many people say they don't have time to read, but they do! If I can find the time, anyone can! Watching TV isn't the same because you don't get the opportunity to use your own imagination. We encourage children to use their imagination, but adults sometimes forget how, and using that part of your brain is important, whether you're a child or an adult.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I start with a general idea and go with it. Along the way, I add new scenes and characters that I might never discover if I stuck to the original outline. I wrote a synopsis before writing Lover, and then had to go back and rewrite the synopsis several times because the story kept taking different turns. I guess it's okay as a starting point, but I try not to let it stifle my imagination.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
The Cat Star Chronicles: Slave published in April 2008 by Sourcebooks Casablanca.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group? Website: cherylbrooksonline.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Blogs: casablancaauthors.blogspot.com and wickedlyromantic.blogspot.com Group: Discovering Romance with Sourcebooks How can readers find out more about you and your books? Email me @ email@example.com and ask!
Thank you for this opportunity!