Happy Friday All,
Some people have mentioned they're having trouble posting comments on here. I apologize. I don't know why that happens, but I know it happens on some other blogs. You can always email me your comments and I will post them for you if you find you can't post them here.
Now...drum roll please...today's an author interview day. I'd like you all to meet my friend and chaptermate, Cheri Jetton. Cheri has published "Sweet" Romances and a Romantic Suspense. She's also worked as an editor. I've read one of her Sweet Romances and her Romantic Suspense.
Me: Earlier this year you put out a Romantic Suspense entitled Crimson Snow. Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired the story?
Cheri: I think the setting spawned this one, Bethany. I was born and raised in California and have spent all but a couple of years of my adult life here in Houston. Very little snow in either place, but in 2001 I went to visit my brother on Sugar Island, MI and ended up spending the winter. It was awsome! By mid-winter the snow was hip deep. He and his wife keep bird feeders outside the breakfast room windows. A show unto itself. The pristine expanses of snow were marked only by little bird feet, rabbit tracks, and fox tracks. The trees sparkled under heavy pillows of snow that weighed down the branches.
It was all new to me and I savored every snowflake. Then, like a good writer I began to think, "what if...".
Me: Crimson Snow isn't the only novel you've published. Can you tell us about your other work and how it differs from Crimson Snow?
Cheri: My other three books are traditional (read, sweet) romances published by Avalon Books. Although "Texas Dawn" has a bit of suspense to it when someone starts harrasing the heroine, they wouldn't be considered mysteries, or even suspenses. "Blue Plate Special" and "Jessie and the Ranger" have no mystery at all, just men and women looking for love.
Me: You've done some editing as well as writing, what do you look for as an editor? What do you think makes a great novel?
Cheri: My editing job requires evaluating the manuscript for continuity, balance, and pesky writing errors. I take out redundant and repeated words, every "that" I possibly can, and trim overly verbose paragraphs. In short, I try to make the story more attention grabbing and readable.
Me: For Fun: What sort of movies do you enjoy?
Cheri: Romantic comedies, hands down!
Me: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Cheri: Study and pay attention! Nothing drives me battier when I'm working with a private client than to point out a problem, and find the author repeating that mistake again and again. If you can't learn from your mistakes, you aren't going to make it!
Keep it simple. Don't try so hard to impress with big words, long sentences, and unnatural dialog. Anytime you have the chance, attend workshops and take notes.
Me: What do you think is harder: Writing or editing? WHY?
Cheri: At this stage of my life, writing is probably harder, because I can't give it the time I'd like. I work full time with the public and unfortunately, I'm a person who needs a couple of days to decompress before my muse can come out of hiding. By then, it's time to go back to work!
Editing has its own frustrations, to be sure, but I don't usually need to call on my creativity to edit.
Me: For fun: What's your favorite color?
Me: How do you feel about the options authors have in publishing nowadays as opposed to 10-20 years ago?
Cheri: I think they're awesome! It will be interesting to see where the self-published ebook trend takes the industry. I want to make a major point here, though. ONLY PUT UP YOUR BEST WORK!
Find an impartial critic to read your book. Listen to what they say. Maybe even show it to another one. These should be seasoned writers, with good publishing credits. If you go out there with weak, flawed writing, not only will you fail to win a following you'll weaken the market for everyone else who isn't Nora Roberts or Debbie Macomber.
The same is true if you go through an epublisher. Read some of the books they've published. Are they the same quality of stories you see in Harlequin, and the other print houses? If not, look elsewhere.
Me: What's some of the best experiences you've had as an author?
Cheri: LOL! I think the most special moment was when my youngest daughter called to tell me "Texas Dawn" kept her up all night. That is one of a writer's greatest accolades, and to have it come from your own child (who takes you for granted, right?) was just so special.
Me: Who are some authors you admire and WHY?
Cheri: I have the complete collection of Laveryle Spencer's books. I can't tell you why, I just love her writing. "Spring Fancy" had real emotional punch.
Me: Anything else you'd like to add?
Cheri: Um, if the man in your life needs a new suit, come see me?
Cheri Jetton's Crimson Snow is available on Kindle and Nook. You can find her other titles through Avalon Books / Amazon
Have A Fabulous Friday!