Welcome to Wednesday!!! I have a fabulous (and prolific) Wonder Writer with me today. Cheryl Dragon is one of the most versatile authors I know. Give her a genre and she'll write it--and it will be great. This is one author whose books I read over and over. So without further gushing, here's Cheryl:
Author’s lives intrigue readers and other writers. Tell me about your typical daily schedule.
Every day starts with the ritual stabbing of my voodoo dolls to curse my enemies and then my manservant makes breakfast....
Oh wait, you want real stuff???
I’m so NOT intriguing. I wake up, go to the day job, come home and write with the TV on (I need some white noise) and then there’s the sleeping. All the fun is in my imagination.
Do you have a pre-writing routine to prepare yourself to get down to business?
Not really a routine. There must be some caffeine laced beverage. A TV on for white noise (I’m the freak writer who can’t take music...I need movement out of the corner of my eye). As long as I have time to write an entire scene, I’m good to go. I can’t write a page here or a page there, it has to be a complete scene.
While I’m eating dinner, I generally watch the Days of Our Lives (DVR’d) which helps cleanse my brain of the day job. I stopped watching it for years but somehow got sucked back in when Vivian and Shane returned.
What’s your writing style? Slow and steady? Quick and prolific? All over the place?
Quick and prolific. I don’t want to lose the spark of the characters and their story. I need to get the story out of my head and onto paper, then I can polish it up.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned since starting work in this industry?
The people are amazingly generous and loyal. There women I met in the beginning of my career and who I may not see for a few years and when we see each other, it’s like nothing has changed. And some writers I chat with almost daily for moral support or venting. In a solitary business, you need that network of support.
What are you working on now?
Right now? Pushing Penny, book two of the Raider’s Bodyguard Service series recently sold to Resplendence Publishing. It’s a BBW with some light bd. Putting on a fashion show, plus size designer Penny Beaumont, is going to Milan and taking a bodyguard. But Raider’s bodyguards have a habit of getting very involved with their clients and Grayson’s dominant side will pull her out of her shell or there will be consequences.
What’s your favorite genre to write?
Erotic romance is a great genre. I can dabble in many subgenres, from suspense to paranormal and have a blast.
I find a lot of authors like to read outside their chosen genre. What do you like to read?
Mysteries. Right now I’m waiting for the third in the Tattoo Shop Mysteries by Karen E. Oslon....fast paced fun in Vegas. Awesome!!
Do you have a favorite author or someone you look up to in the industry?
I want to be Desiree Holt! She’s so sweet and generous, and she writes circles around me. Someday!
Tell me your writing story…when did you decide this was what you want to do? How long did it take you to get “the call”? When were you first published? Etc.
Again, I’m not very exciting. I always wanted to be a writer. I entertained myself making up things and started writing in college for fun. I got a degree in business because my family is not a bunch of dreamers who do what they love, but we have to be practical (I’m the black sheep!).
So I write on the side. I tried to write category romance and mainstream stuff. I received nice rejections that I was close but just a little outside of their guidelines or not quite right. All of them liked my love scenes so i focused on the hot and gave Ellora’s Cave a try.
They bought a bunch of stuff from me and I’ve sold to other publishers as well, but jus sold another quickie to Ellora’s Cave. Look for Catcalling Catherine Coming Soon...
How many books have you had published and for whom?
You’re making me do math?? I hate math! I’m an accountant by day. Numbers are so boring (I’m grumpy after work....I need to escape to my fiction world....if you don’t my sarcastic humor you’ve stopped reading by now anyway:)
But for Brynn, I’ll count....
Keep in mind, I normally write shorts or novellas....
Ellora’s Cave: 12
Loose Id: 9
Pink Petal Books: 2
And more to come...
What’s your latest release? Can you tell us about the book and how you got the idea?
A Firm Hand (Regency, light bdsm erotic romance) [Featured HERE]
In public they are a proper couple in every way, but behind closed doors they explore rough desires that could prove more than they can handle.
Mariah and James share dark passions and are a match in every way but marriage is only the beginning of their journey.
Mariah wants more of James' intense instruction but James pulls away. She must tempt him, trust him, and prove to him that the ghosts of their childhood losses won't keep them from a long and happy marriage and unspeakable pleasure.
I got the idea because I love regencies. Occasionally I’ll need a writing challenge, to do something I don’t normally do and this was one. I wanted it not to be about money or status, but about getting past the manners and the formality to the real need and love of a couple.
What’s your writing space like?
My third bedroom....it has bookcases, a TV, a small desk with computer....Excedrin, eye drops, water and diet coke. Pens galore. Two big torch lamps, a shredder and a printer. A wall calendar from the Chinese place that delivers fast (it’s the year of the Tiger if you were worried).
I have my lucky cat on the TV...next to the bit white jar candle in case the power goes out (thunder storms happen).
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Watch TV, movies, hang out with friends, sleep, come up with ideas for writing, and of course the day job.
I’m all about ‘giving people something to talk about’. We all experience crazy things from time to time. Can you tell us something unusual that you’ve done or had happen to you?
I’ve shot a Tommy gun. I live in the Chicagoland area and when Capone ran the city, the average people didn’t fear gangs. Unless you crossed them, they were good for peace and opened soup kitchens, got people liquor during prohibition, and so on. The people who had to worry were the cops. (FYI the cops pass these stories down from those days so this comes from them and my great grandfather).
All local police stations were issued Tommy guns aka the Chicago typewriter. When Capone was coming through a city, the police radioed from town to town for the cops to get off the road, not the people. Capone’s men really did ride the sideboards of old cars with their machine guns.
Well, family friends in the police department, allowed me to practice shooting at the police shooting range nearby. My dad has a huge gun collection but an actual machine gun....that belonged to the PD. It was fun and historic.
Tell us… What’s your favorite movie and why?
Moonstruck. It’s about the characters in a romance and Moonstruck has characters that grab you, make you hope for them, care for them, and cheer for them. An amazing cast and intense performances. It’s a classic!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?
Obviously I’m a total TV addict. From Bones to Psyche to the Closer. Family Guy...My latest obsession is Glee. I tried to resist but you must give in.
I took a little break from writing (family stuff and I drafted a mystery for fun) but I’m back at the writing desk for the hot stuff. Soon you’ll see a list of coming soon titles on my website. I just need to finalize some blurbs and get a cover or two...
I’m dabbling in ménage +!
I’ve got new releases coming from Resplendence Publishing & Ellora’s Cave. I’m working on more so get ready to see something new from me out in August!
Last questions… Coke or Pepsi? Coke! Diet Coke with Lime to be precise.
Summer or Winter? Winter... I hate humidity.
Cat person or Dog person? Cat person. Dogs are cute as long as they’re smaller than my cat. My cat can take a dog twice her size (those claws are lethal).
Bronte or Austen? Austen. Regency addict!
Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Trek (The Next Generation) but I still love Yoda!
Team Edward or Team Jacob? Vampires Rule!
McDonalds or Burger King? Whichever is on the way...I have to get home and write.
Cheryl, Thanks for being here today!