Romance Author Cheryl Brooks on The Changing Landscape of Life & Authorhood
A member of my local Romance Writers of America chapter recently gave up writing after producing more than ninety published works. She didn’t arrive at this decision lightly, taking roughly two years to finally reach the tipping point. I doubt if I have that many stories in me, although I’d like to at least make it to thirty-five.
The Cat Star Legacy #2: Mystic marks my thirty-fourth published work. I’m currently working on a third book in the series, but whether there’s a market for it remains to be seen. There are, of course, a number of manuscripts under the bed that will never see the light of day, but as I embark upon my sixty-third year, I feel my writing career winding down.
I can understand why many authors stop writing. The publishing business is a lot tougher than you might expect. After spending years honing your craft, while you might be able to write a good story, selling it is another matter altogether. Even after finding a publisher, a large part of the marketing responsibility falls to the author. And if you’re indie-pubbed, you either do it yourself or pay someone else to do it for you. As a former critical care nurse, experience in sales has never been one of my talents, and collaring someone in order to go on and on about how wonderful my books are is not in my nature. Book signings can be loads of fun, with a marvelous opportunity to interact with readers, but they often involve hours of mind-numbing boredom. Watching shoppers pass by with perfunctory smiles, leery sidelong glances, or panicked expressions as they hurriedly shepherd their children away from my sexy novels is only entertaining for about the first ten minutes. Signings geared exclusively toward romance are better, but even then, there’s no guarantee that anyone will stop to talk, let alone buy a book.
The decision to hang up my nurse’s uniform spanned several years. As a critical care nurse almost from the time I got my license, when the new owners of the hospital where I worked closed our ICU, I felt that my skills were no longer needed. Sure, I could have gone to a different hospital, but having already embarked on my writing career, I decided to try my hand at being a full-time author.
Initially, I had no idea that there would be similarities between those two careers. Then a lady stopped by my table at a signing and said she was thanking all of the authors whose books helped her through her cancer treatment, and that I was one of them. I gave her a big hug and wished her well. Since then, I’ve received emails from readers who also thanked me for writing books that helped them through their own difficult times. Other readers have encouraged me in no uncertain terms to “keep ’em coming!”
I can understand why that is. As a means of escape from the turmoil of daily life, books are hard to beat. Your own problems pale in comparison with the trials and tribulations endured by the characters in a novel. Sometimes, you read it thinking “I would have done that differently.” Every time I reread Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca, I tell myself that if I had been in that rather timid heroine’s shoes, the ending would have been much happier, although not nearly as powerful. Other books take us to strange new worlds, different times, and exciting locales, making us forget our own troubles for a while. My favorites are those that give me goose bumps, no matter how many times I read them. Perhaps that’s why I’m reluctant to stop writing altogether. If what I write only benefits one person, it’s worth doing.
So if you’re looking for an escape, which is essentially what entertainment is all about, hop aboard a starship and take a ride to planets that exist only in my imagination and fall in love with another of my charming and incredibly sexy feline aliens. And I’ll do my best to keep them coming.
Mystic - Cat Star Legacy, #2
"Sexy space travel at its finest...[a] phenomenal series." —Night Owl Reviews for The Cat Star Chronicles
Her love is the one thing he never saw coming...
Sulaksha Enduran is still reeling from the death of her lover. He died of a mysterious plague—and it's out of control. Sula is determined to find answers on her own, until an impossibly sexy Zetithian saves her life and joins her quest.
Despite the prescient abilities and power over the wind that enable Zetithian mystic Aidan Banadänsk to rescue Sula from certain death, he couldn't have predicted her unique effect on him. It shrouds her future in mystery...and fills him with unparalleled desire.
But Sula's investigation has put her in the crosshairs of a deadly conspiracy. With an entire planet's population at stake, Sula and Aidan must risk it all to save the planet, the galaxy...and each other.
Maverick - Cat Star Legacy, #1
Zetithians are back. And they're hotter than ever...
Having the Zetithian feline gene gives Larry Tshevnoe awesome beauty, fearsome strength, sensuality and sexual prowess unmatched by any other males in the universe. But it can make the quest for true love...complicated.
Enter childhood friend and fellow Zetithian Althea Banadänsk. Her empathic powers make her the only one who can show Larry what he truly desires, and she'll do anything to help...even if that means hiding her desperate craving for him.
But when a distress call sends them off course—and into danger—they find more than their hearts are at stake. Now it's up to them to become the champions of truth and justice throughout the galaxy...or risk losing it all.
The lucky print copy winner is: Tracee
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Cheryl Brooks is a former critical care nurse who resides in rural Indiana with her husband, two sons, two horses, four cats, and one dog. Her Cat Star Chronicles series was first published by Sourcebooks Casablanca in 2008, and includes Slave, Warrior, Rogue, Outcast, Fugitive, Hero, Virgin, Stud, Wildcat, and Rebel. Her Cowboy Heaven series includes the Cowboy Delight novella and two novels, Cowboy Heaven and Must Love Cowboys. Self-published works include Sex, Love, and a Purple Bikini, Midnight in Reno, The Soul Survivors Trilogy: Echoes From the Deep, Dreams From the Deep, and Justice From the Deep, and the Unlikely Lovers series: Unbridled, Uninhibited, Undeniable, and Unrivaled. Look for Maverick, the first book in her new Cat Star Legacy series in September 2018. She has also published If You Could Read My Mind writing as Samantha R. Michaels. As a member of The Sextet, she has written eight erotic novellas published by Siren/Bookstrand. Her other interests include cooking, gardening, singing, and guitar playing. Cheryl is a member of RWA and IRWA.