You write for two publishers I know very little about, Cherie so I'd love you to share something about each of them! I have been coming across more and more authors writing for Secrets Cravings so that can only mean they are a good up and coming publisher.
Let's start the interview and then talk! I am having trouble posting your book covers but if you can resend them, I'll get them up asap.
1) When and why did you decide you wanted to be a published author?
I've always been an avid reader and usually have 4 or 5 books in the process of being read (yes at the same time) There is always a book in every room in the house I'm reading.
One afternoon I finished a book and it was so terrible I said as much to my mom, who lives with us. She agreed it was pretty bad. I mentioned I could probably do better and she dared me to try.
2) What is the best and worse thing you have learned from an editor/agent?
I don't have an agent at this time. When I first started writing I tried to find one and didn't get very positive feedback. In fact one query letter I sent out came back to me with NO THANKS written all over the letter. I drew back on trying to find an agent.
I do have several excellent editors and have only positive things to say about them. They are honest with their edits and don't TELL me what needs to be done. Instead, they make suggestions and so far their suggestions have been right on target.
3) Favorite author/s?
I really enjoy Susan Johnson and am working on collecting all her works. I also like the older Sandra Brown novels. When I'm in the mood for something sweet and touching I pull out an old Betty Neels. I wish I could find more of her books.
4) What is your typical day?
Last summer I was forced to retire by one of the large firms involved in the market fall. At first I was a little worried about being bored, but have to admit there are still not enough hours in the day.
I set our alarm for 7am every morning and my husband and I manage to drag ourselves out of bed about 7:30. My husband is not a morning talker and I've learned to entertain myself without talking. I usually read while he works a Sudoku. Breakfast at 8:30 or so then we are off to our separate offices. His is in our finished basement and mine in on our loft.
I usually work on answering emails until noon. We eat lunch together with mom and about 1:00 I'm back at my desk working on my most recent manuscript. Either writing or editing, along with answering more emails. It's not unusual for my husband and I to email each other 4 or 5 times a day.
I quit about 4:30 and head downstairs to read the paper and visit with my mom. Mom and I make dinner and we three eat dinner together about 6:00 and watch Jeopardy.
The three of us clean up dinner and dishes and I'm back in my office from 7pm until 8pm most nights of the week. I watch some TV with my mom while my husband works on Sudoku and watches either wrestling or football (yes, he has a college education, but it doesn't seem to matter when it comes to those two sports). We're off to bed by 10:30 to watch Jay Leno. Sometimes I manage to stay awake through the monologue and sometimes not.
And, so another day is gone. I will admit I do clean house now and then and if I ask my husband to clean the bathroom he will without grumbling. But with only three adults in an 1800 sq. ft. house, it doesn't get all that messy or dirty.
5) Share your blurb or short excerpt from your latest release with us
My latest release was in March: The Golden Find. I have a book being released in June, one in July and one in Sept.
Blurb from The Golden Find:
The sun was much lower in the sky and a slight breeze had kicked up.
Cliff wandered around in a circle for over an hour wishing like hell he had the guts to tell Lacey the truth and knowing he never would.
Anger and helplessness filled his soul and like a kid, Cliff kicked out at a log. A large rodent ran out skittering away under the foliage. By the time the animal disappeared, Cliff’s heart was pounding like a drum. Damn thing scared the crap out of him.
“Shit.” He kicked at the log several times and when nothing more ran out it seemed safe to park his ass and rest.
How do you tell the woman you love you’re not the man she thinks you are?
Cliff dropped his head into his hands and wished he were someone else. Anyone, but Clifton Ramstaff. Now, there was a sick joke if ever there was one. Ramstaff–hell. His staff was hardly a ram. More like a pimple on the backside of a fat man.
Angry laughter bubbled up and boiled over. Okay, so he’d exaggerated. It wasn’t as bad as that, but his cock sure as hell wasn’t as big as his twin’s. Clay had been blessed with a cock the size of a small child’s arm and he–lucky Cliff–had been blessed with a cock that was barely four inches when it was fully aroused.
There was no way in hell he was going to subject himself ever again to a woman’s eyes.
Hailey Laughlin had cured him of women and sex for good. Her laugher still rang in his ears even after ten long years. He could still see the look on Hailey’s beautiful face when she’d seen his cock for the first time.
God! He would never get the sound of her derisive laughter out of his mind or the smirk follow by her harsh words.
Shit. Why had he been so un-blessed? Why had his identical twin been so fuckin’ lucky? What had gone wrong in the womb? Clay had gotten a nice sized cock plus half of Cliff’s and lucky Cliff had gotten what little was left over.
Personally, Cliff didn’t think his cock was ugly. From the pictures he'd see in magazines and medical books, his penis was perfectly formed–a perfect miniature of a real cock. It was bad enough his cock was small, but the biggest embarrassment of all was the fact his balls were normal sized, which made his cock look even smaller. Not that he wanted miniature balls too–thanks, but no thanks. He had enough fun in his life.
6) Who would you cast to play your hero/heroine in a movie?
I'm not much of a movie buff like I was in my younger years. So forgive me if my choices seem strange.
Hero: John Travolta in his late 30's
Heroine: Keira Knightley
7) Did you plan this book? Or write it as it came?
I'm what's known as a pantser. I get an idea and run with it. I wrote this manuscript several years ago and put it to the side, so I can't remember what gave me the idea for The Golden Find.
I do get ideas from billboards, pictures in magazines, a statement someone has made in casual conversation. I could say they come to me in a dream, but that's not really true.
I may work on a manuscript for days until it's done. Or, I may set it aside and not work on it for several weeks or months. But it's always there in the back of my mind.
It also isn't unusual to be working on three or more manuscripts at one time, not to mention the books I'm reading. I guess my brain likes to multi-task.
8) What surprised you the most when you became a published?
I'd been writing for several years and belonged to a writers group. The group kept at me to start sending out my manuscripts. It was time to sink or swim.
I wrote the first book that got published with Missy Lyons. We sent it out, and it was immediately grabbed up.
I was so surprised and thrilled. I never thought I was good enough to be published
9) Do you have a dedicated writing space? What does it look like?
Yes, I have our whole loft area as my office. It's approximately 12'x16'. I have book cases on three walls. My desk is in the middle of the longest wall and my husband built me a side desk with book shelves as an L to my desk. My printer, paper cutter, computer tower are on the large book shelf to my left To my right on top of a book shelf is a phone and a candle.
Also on my right is a two drawer file cabinet where I keep my CD's and tapes (remember I'm an old-fashioned girl when it comes to electronics). Further to the right is a bookcase filled with three ring binders of finished manuscripts and a fan in case it gets stuffy.
The L side of my desk always has at least 4 binders on it holding current projects. There is a mug warmer, more books on shelves of the desk, my red carved alabaster heart I received from my writers group for becoming pro. The rest is just stuff I need, like my extra pair of glasses etc
10) What’s next for you?
I'm looking forward to the Lori Foster Conference in June, then we'll take a trip to visit our daughter and grandson in Milw. My husband and I are planning an Alaska cruise and through it all, I'll be putting words to paper.
I'll be submitting a new manuscript this week. It's different than I usually write, but I don't want to give the premise away until it's accepted by a publisher.
One little secret: I feel guilty if I don't write every day.
You can find me at my website: www.cheriedenis.net
I'm on Facebook & twitter, although I don't do either very often.
You can also find me on Manic Readers under Author's
Secret Cravings Publishing
Hot Tropica Books (writing as Evelynne Fox w/Missy Lyons)
Click here to view Cherie's book trailer!
Great interview, Cherie & I am so jealous of your writing space! Your office sounds amazing - I have a little log cabin at the bottom of the garden but as I live in the UK, it does not see the use it should....instead it's quickly becoming my place to store things that come to die, lol!