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Monday, January 31, 2011

Awesome Authors: Cheri Chesley

This is the final author participating in the blog hop.  Each of us is giving away a $15 gift card to Amazon.  Check out details at the bottom of the interview to win! 

Now please welcome our latest awesome author--Cheri Chesley.  Cheri has recently updated her author website, and I highly recommend you check it out here. 

Now let's meet Cheri!

Tell us a little about your book, The Peasant Queen? 

My book is the story of a peasant girl, Krystal, who faces near impossible odds yet sticks to what she believes no matter what. Also, there’s an evil king and a handsome prince.

How did you get the idea for the book? 

I actually wrote this story for the first time when I was 14 years old. It started out as a short story I intended to turn in to my English teacher at some point. And, it all started with Krystal. Her character fascinated me.

Can you describe your writing process? 

You mean, other than write a story and then put it down for 15 years? :)

Actually, I’m still working on fully developing my process. I write the rough draft quickly, then put the manuscript aside for an undetermined period of time, then go back through it and make it pretty. I ended up going through The Peasant Queen many, many times. I believe the first book is a learning process. I’ve gotten much better at it.

How did you get connected with Cedar Fort Inc? 

When I felt I was ready, I submitted the MS to four local publishers. Cedar Fort asked if they could see a trimmed down version (what I submitted was 440 pages).

I suggested we split the story into two books, but they didn’t think it would resolve well enough at the end of the 1st proposed book to work. So, I trimmed 1/3 of my manuscript and came up with a much tighter, faster paced story.

According to your website, you have several book signings coming up in Utah. How do you manage your busy schedule of being a writer and mom? 

Don’t forget the babysitting, my “day job.” I’m lucky to have a network of support in my family and friends. They understand the writing is important to me, and, second to being a parent, the most important thing I will do in this life. I couldn’t do this without their support and understanding.

Do you have any advice for other writers who are marketing their books? 

Don’t be shy. I’ve had years of being comfortably shy to get over so that I can actually get out and do signings and talk to people about my book. If you believe in your book, then you have to show that to your readers and prospective readers.

What are some things you've learned about writing and publishing over the years? 

I’ve learned, as a writer, you must be flexible. That’s not to say you don’t stand up for the things that really matter to you—only that there’s a lot about the business first timers don’t understand, and we need to balance what we’re told by our publisher with what feels right to us individually.

What's in store for you this year? 

I’m really excited for 2011. By February, I will have submitted the sequel to Cedar Fort for consideration, and then I’m going to take a little break and work on something just for fun. But, I plan to have the third and final book written before my kids get out of school, and then do those revisions in the fall.

As much as I love this trilogy about Krystal and her loved ones, I’m really eager to flesh out some of the other story ideas I’ve had over the last few years.

Anything you'd like to add? 

Just that my nephew and I have recently updated my website, and I’d love for everyone to go over and check it out.

Thanks for stopping by, Cheri, and best of luck in 2011!

And now for the contest!

To be entered in the drawing for my gift card you must meet the following requirements:
1) Follow my blog

2) "Like" my facebook author page on at this link. 

3) Head on over Cheri's blog and follow her at this link.

4) Leave a comment to me here saying that you have done these things.

The "Blog Hop" will end in February.  At that time, I'll do a random drawing for the prize.  Don't forget that my fellow authors Michael Knudson and Maggie Fencher will be giving away the same prize on their sites too here and here.

That means you have 4 chances to win!

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