DEB: Cheryl, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
CHERYL: I’m pretty normal, actually. I’m married to a wonderful sweetie, have two sons, six cats, three horses, and a dog. I’ve been a critical care nurse for more than thirty years, and now I write steamy romance novels. It’s a natural progression. ;-)
DEB: Tell us a little about The Cat Star Chronicles and what readers can expect in your latest addition to the series, Hero?
CHERYL: The Cat Star Chronicles has action, adventure, romance, suspense, delicious men, bizarre aliens, strong heroines, and a touch of humor—all set 1000 years in the future when space travel is common and aliens come in every size and shape. The series follows the lives of six Zetithian men who were captured and sold into slavery near the end of the war in which their world was destroyed. With their handsome cat-like features, amazing sexual prowess, and the ability to purr, these men are so hot that someone got jealous enough to disintegrate their planet. Hero, the new release, is the sixth book, and features Trag, the younger brother of Tychar, who was the hero of the third book, Rogue. After twenty years as a slave, Trag is now a starship pilot and is searching the galaxy for a woman who can make him forget the love he feels for his brother’s wife, Kyra. He finally finds Micayla, a young Zetithian woman who was raised on Earth, ignorant of her homeworld and even her species. She has never met a man who can arouse her passions, and when she meets Trag, all she wants to do is bite him! When they’re thrown together in the quest to bring the bane of Zetith to justice, sparks fly and an exciting adventure begins!
DEB: What was your inspiration for these books? Have you always been interested in science fiction?
CHERYL: Star Trek and Star Wars got me going on the sci-fi, but the romance was in my soul, and I’ve always wanted to combine the two. This is not to say that I haven’t written contemporary novels, because I have. But the thing I love most about science fiction is that there are virtually no limits on where your imagination can take you. I have friends who just shake their heads and wonder where all of this stuff comes from. I honestly have no idea, but since it comes from my own mind, I have to assume that I’ve got slightly different wiring.
DEB: What type of research did you do for your books?
CHERYL: Very little, actually. The most research I did was for Outcast when I looked into the climate of central Africa and researched how to grow avocadoes. I also did some research for the herbal remedies used in Warrior. Other than that, most of it comes from my own experiences or from that spot in my brain that spits out ideas.
DEB: What is your normal writing day like? Do you have things that have to be in place to write comfortably?
CHERYL: That my computer needs to behave is a given, but other than that, I don’t need a whole lot. I stop for meals, potty breaks, and trips to the barn to take care of the horses, but mostly I just write. I have to have a cup of tea or my trusty insulated Boy Scout cup full of ice water sitting right beside me at all times, along with a box of Kleenex for when things get emotional. English Breakfast tea in the morning has become an essential, though I think it’s really all in my head. I do just as well with Darjeeling.
DEB: What was it like when you got the word that your first novel would be published?
CHERYL: My husband actually took the first call from my editor when she requested the full manuscript. I was asleep and she wouldn’t let him wake me up! Then she read it and loved it, but it was too short and there were some areas that needed revision. So I rewrote it and sent it back, and I’ll have to say, I wasn’t too surprised when she called because she had been very enthusiastic about it, and I’d done what she told me to do. It was still pretty cool, though. However, I’m not one to start jumping up and down and screaming with joy. My editor was probably disappointed in my reaction, but that’s just not me.
DEB: Do have any advice for new writers?
CHERYL: Join your local RWA chapter and go to the meetings faithfully! You will learn things there that you can’t get anywhere else. Plus the kinship that chapter members feel for one another just can’t be beat. Learn the craft, write constantly, listen to your critique partners, go to RWA Nationals and pitch your ideas to agents and editors and see where it takes you. Be prepared for the reality that you will not become rich and famous overnight and that most writers do not earn enough through their writing to support themselves, let alone an entire family.
DEB: When you’re not writing, what kinds of books do you like to read? Do you have a favorite author?
CHERYL: I’ve always enjoyed the novels of Daphne DuMaurier, Mary Stewart, and Georgette Heyer. I don’t really have a current favorite author, unless you include JK Rowling. I love the Harry Potter series and read it over and over. It helps keep me sane.
DEB: What are you working on right now?
CHERYL: Book eight of the Cat Star Chronicles series, which is currently untitled. I’m about 10,000 words into it, but I’m taking a little time off to write an erotic short story. It’s been fun writing about the Zetithians, but I needed to wrap my brain around something a bit different for a change, and it’s helped get my creative juices flowing again.
DEB: Tell us one thing that people may not know about you?
CHERYL: I’m much more shy and sensitive than most people realize. You might not think it when you read what I’ve written, but the emotions are mine, and I feel them very strongly.
The rules are simple:
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3.) You must leave a comment on this post with an e-mail address where I can contact you.
4.) Deadline for this giveaway is: Midnight EST, Tuesday September 9th.
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