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Interview With Cheryl Wolverton

Meet Cheryl Wolverton
Interview by Sandra Moore

1) Tell us a little about yourself -- age, married/single, children, how many books authored, etc.

Despite her recent diagnosis of MS, 39 year old Cheryl Wolverton is still keeping her nose to the grindstone and writing those books readers love to read.

With over 15 books to her name as well as Rita, Holt and RT finalist for many of those books, Cheryl invites you to enjoy exploring her web pages about her books, her beliefs and her Family as well as latest news on what's going on in her life.

Cheryl has two wonderful children, Christina, 19 who is getting ready to go off to missions school next August (after she finishes her associate in Early Childhood Education) and Jeremiah, 16 who is in Cross Country, ROTC and Track, as well as just getting his license. She and her husband have been married 20 years and are thoroughly enjoying life!

2) How did you become interested in writing?

I wanted to stay home with my children, so when I married and became pregnant, I gave up nursing college and happily settled down to raising my daughter and then 3 years and 15 days later, my son as well. I was an army wife and mother. It wasn't until my husband got out of the military (going into the reserves) and moved to Baton Rouge that I wanted to do something more.

I decided to write science fiction. It's nice and clean and fun, but I was told newbies couldn't break in so I started writing romance--supposedly easy to write. However, i wasn't happy writing the books I was writing...fortunately for me, before I was published, someone told me about a new field called Christian Romance. Excited I jumped at the chance and immediately sold my first book to a very new line that had only been announced two months before--Steeple Hill.

3) What was your biggest obstacle in regards to writing and/or getting published? How did you overcome it?

My biggest obstacle to writing was believing in myself. I didn't have a degree. My entire family (not my parents) had degrees and I wasn't sure if I could sell. It seemed like every writer I met had a bacherlor's in something....And I wasn't happy writing the stories I wrote. That's not entirely true. I wasnt' happy leaving out my Christian faith. That was really waearing on me.

Overcoming the degree thing was simple...I sold a book. Overcoming the Christian problem was resolved when a friend told me about new companies (Multnomah) starting up Christian Fiction lines. I purposed in my heart that if I couldn't sell Christian fiction, I wouldn't sell.

4) What has been the highest moment of your writing career?

Nominated for the Rita. Hearing my editor tell me this book was going to be a winner before it was nominated for a Rita. There is something really special to know your peers think your book is good enough to be nominated.

5) Who/What is your greatest inspiration to write?

I want to share my faith. I can do that through writing. I love to tell a story and show a happy ending in a Christian setting. We don't see enough of that.

6) Are you a seat-of-the-pants writer, or do you plot extensively before your fingers hit the keyboard?

Seat of my pants! My first book was written in ...well I won't go into that. But sometimes I put in huge amounts of pages a day as the story drives me...and then suddenly I stop writing because I think, wait a minute...if he does this then do I really want the story to go the way I was thinking and I sit around for a week or two mulling that. Then I go back and start pouring out more story. I HATE writing down a plot. The story never turns out that way. Just ask my editors!

8) What is your greatest challenge as a writer? (i.e. finding time,plotting, editing, etc.)

Not getting burned out. It's so easy to think you have to 'produce' on some time schedule, but I'm learning that sometimes you just have to step back and accept that you need time away from the computer.

9) How do you deal with publisher rejections?

You know, it was harder before I was published. Now I simply shrug and accept it's part of life. I really think for unpublished authors' it's harder. I know now they'll buy me, so when I get rejections, and I do, I think, well, they just didn't like that idea, or it wasn't written as well as I could have....

10) What's the nicest thing anyone ever said about your writing?

That it touched them and ministered to them.

11) Who is your favorite character in your books, and how did you come up with that character?

Oh heavens! I think it'd HAVE to be Freckles "Susan" Learner. I love to laugh..and this poor darling is such a good professional. She's a doctor. But everytime she gets around that blasted Julian McCade she turns into a klutz. Well you KNOW as a doctor she wasn't that way through medical school...but she's just not good around the man she loves!

She's a tad overweight and impulsive and just doesn't think before she acts. How did I come up with her? I wanted a sweet loveable different heroine. So, I thought, let's have a klutz who is overweight and just does things wrong....and then I got this scene in my mind of her opening the car door, right into the hero and er...well...hurting him...and that's how she developed. Poor baby. But I so love her.

12) If you could tell a beginner one thing, what would it be?

You're going to get discouraged. My heart breaks for new writers. It is SO HARD to break in. And so many things can dicourage you, including seeing others getting published when you feel your work is better. And it probably is! But, it is simply being in the right place at the right time in about 95% of the cases or getting it on the right editor's desk. A friend told me that it takes four-six years to get a degree so why, as writers, do we expect to get published with our first book? Expect 4-6 years or longer in some cases, to learn your craft and don't give up. Just keep writing and submitting out those stories and with each one you'll learn something new that will get you one step closer to selling.

13) Would you like to share a MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT you have experienced in your writing career?

I'm not sure I have any....wait, I know! The fans are always nice. I get the normal...did you do research for this book *wink wink* which all writers get, you know? I just think, there's no *wink wink* in my book . Is your husband your inspiration to which I always say YES...he's everyone of my heroes wrapped up into one.

But the only embarrassing moment I had was so funny. If anyone lives in the south they know how hot it is. I had a glamour shots pic done for some advertisment on my first book. I took in a brochure, wanting copies run. The kid looks at the brochure and the picture on it, then at me, then back at the brochure and said...IS THAT *YOU* on this?

*Nasty look at him* "Yes!"

"Wow, you don't look anything like this!"

My hair is hanging down in my face, I am sweating and hot and running late....I wanted to laugh, but was too hot!

EVERY SINGLE TIME I go out in shorts, or without makeup, someone I know sees me and introduces me to her friends...SHE's a WRITER! So, I guess you could say it's an ongoing embarrasing moment---however, you won't catch me in shorts much and I cut my hair so I didnt' have to worry about elaborate styles...but forget the makeup--when it's 110 I'm not putting it on just to go shopping! LOL


You can find more information at Cheryl's Website.

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