DEB: Cheryl, tell us what you’ve been up to since you were here last?
CHERYL: I’ve been branching out a bit. In addition to the Cat Star Chronicles series, I’m writing erotic novellas for Siren and working on a manuscript to self publish on Amazon. Before I started these new projects, I only thought I was writing all the time. Now I’m really doing it!
DEB: Tell us a little about your latest book, Virgin? This is the seventh book in the Cat Star Chronicles series; will we see characters from previous books in this one?
CHERYL: Since the story arc of the first six books was resolved in book six, Virgin begins a new arc. Only Jack, the heroine of Slave, makes an appearance in the opening scene. Some of the characters from the previous books are mentioned, but they don’t play an active role in the story.
Books seven through nine involve men who were rescued from the destruction of Zetith and have spent the past twenty-five years aboard a refugee ship. Now that the nemesis of their world is dead and his considerable assets have been divided among the surviving members of the species, Zetithians are free to settle wherever they wish without the fear of being hunted down by Nedwut bounty hunters. However, they discover that the Nedwuts aren’t the only threat to their continued existence.
Virgin is the story of Dax, who has been a refugee since the age of two. Now that he has his own starship, he takes passengers anywhere they want to go and only charges as much as they can afford to pay. He’s never been in love and has yet to meet a woman he values more than his freedom.
Ava is a cross between a human mother and an Aquerei (an aquatic alien) father. She is trying to escape from an abusive boyfriend, and winds up as a passenger on Dax’s ship—but she is intending to go back to her old boyfriend on Rutara. Ava is doing her best to keep from falling for another bad boy, which is how she sees Dax. Now that Dax has finally found a woman who interests him, he realizes that he hasn’t got a clue about where to go from there. Their adventure together begins when Ava discovers that she holds the key to ending the civil war on her father’s homeworld.
DEB: What was your inspiration for this series? How did you get interested in writing a Sci-Fi series that has feline-like heroes and heroines?
CHERYL: My inspiration for Cat, the hero of Slave, was a knight at Medieval Times in Myrtle Beach. I don’t really remember why I chose to give him feline characteristics. I’ve had a cat living in my home ever since I got my first apartment, and I’m sure that had something to do with it, but when I try to think back to the time when I was creating the Zetithian characteristics, all I can recall is that I was attempting to create the ultimate male.
I became interested in writing Sci-Fi when I was twelve years old and saw Star Trek for the first time. I thought it was unfortunate that Captain Kirk always got the girl because, for me, Mr. Spock was a far more intriguing character. When I finally wrote the Sci-Fi romance I’d always wanted to read, I gave my Zetithian hero ears and eyebrows like Spock’s.
DEB: When you are researching for a particular book, what kinds of resources do you use and what is most helpful to you in finding out what you need to know for your novel?
CHERYL: That depends on what I’m researching. Mostly, I use the internet. I can’t imagine how much time I would have spent in libraries prior to the invention of the web. Of course, I invent a lot of what I write, but there are some things that are universal, whether you’re in outer space or here on Earth.
DEB: A lot of my readers are writers and they are interested in how you first got started writing. What gave you the confidence to try to sell your manuscript?
CHERYL: It’s funny, but the first manuscript of mine to be published was sent off to an editor almost on a whim. I’d tried very hard to sell others and had been rejected repeatedly. Then I saw that Sourcebooks was taking erotic paranormals, so I sent them the manuscript for Slave. I’d almost forgotten about it when Deb Werksman called me. A lot of what happens in this business is a matter of luck, timing, and guts. If you don’t put it out there for someone to find, they never will!
DEB: Do you have advice for new writers?
CHERYL: Learn your craft and the business before you sign a contract. I did it all backwards and I’ve been playing catch-up ever since. For example, I didn’t even know what “head hopping” was until I was accused of it! I’ve learned so much since I joined my local RWA chapter and I can’t stress enough the importance of getting together with other writers. Networking is crucial, especially with all the recent changes in the industry. A critique group or partner will help your writing more than anything you can do on your own.
DEB: My readers are also interested in you as a person. Name one pet peeve that you have?
CHERYL: I don’t like it when someone smiles to your face and then complains about you behind your back. Not nice!
DEB: Tell us one thing that readers may not know about you?
CHERYL: My feet hurt all the time. LOL! You probably didn’t need to know that. Hmm… Let me see now… How about this? I absolutely love extra dark chocolate.
DEB: If you could travel to any time period when and where would it be?
CHERYL: I think I’d prefer the future. The past has already been done. As for where, I think anywhere in the future would be interesting, especially if it’s another planet!
DEB: What books are you most interested in that are coming out in 2011?
CHERYL: Too many to name. Since I’ve become friends with other authors their successes mean almost as much to me as mine do, and I look forward to each new release.
Look for my review of Virgin coming soon!
Sourcebooks is offering two copies of Virgin by Cheryl Brooks to two winners from Debbie's Book Bag!
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~ US and Canadian addresses only! (Publisher Request)
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST June 27th.
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