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Today I present Cheryl Bradshaw. She writes mysteries and thrillers and will soon be dabbling in paranormal as well.
My Interview with Cheryl:
- What is the title or working title of your current book?
Stranger in Town
- Please provide us with a brief synopsis of your book.
He only needed her to look away for a few seconds…
Six-year-old Olivia Hathaway tiptoes down the center aisle of Maybelle’s Market, stopping once to glance over her shoulder and make sure her mother isn’t watching. But Mrs. Hathaway is too preoccupied to notice her daughter has slipped away. Moments later, a frantic Mrs. Hathaway runs up and down the aisles, desperately searching for her missing daughter. But little Olivia is already in the arms of a stranger. Will PI Sloane Monroe find Olivia before it’s too late?
- What genre does your current book fall under?
- Do you always write for the same genre?
I have been writing mysteries and thrillers for the past three years, but next year I will be introducing a new paranormal series, because as much as I love solving a murder, I love the presence of a ghost or two every now and then. J
- Who or what motivates or inspires you to write?
Reading inspires my writing. As a fan of Agatha Christie, it was easy for me to choose the mystery genre for my Sloane Monroe series. I find authors do best when they write about what interests them or what they, themselves, enjoy reading.
- Tell us about your writing background.
In high school, I was in both advanced English classes as well as creative writing classes. I entered contests with my short stories and my poems and had a couple of poems published before I was eighteen. I continued my creative writing in college, and started writing novels a few times, but I never finished one. After college, I was an editor for several years, and then in 2009, I wrote my first novel, Black Diamond Death, the first novel in my Sloane Monroe series. I now try to write three full novels a year.
- How long does it typically take you to write a first draft?
Four months. I write several chapters and then go back and edit them. By the time I finish a book, about 75% of it has been edited about five times. Maybe even six or seven!
- Do you employ an editor to assist you in your writing process?
I have a team that consists of editors, proofers, and formatters.
- Are you self-published or represented by an agency?
I have the rights to all my books, but I am affiliated with a publishing company.
- Do you have future projects we can look forward to?
Yes. Next year I’ll introduce my paranormal series (Addison Lockhart), write the first in another new series (Cade McCoy thriller), and write the fifth installment in the Sloane Monroe mystery series.
- Do you have any tips or advice to offer fellow writers?
Read every day. Write every day. Set a time to write each day and stick to it. Consistency is key. Do not publish without at least one editor and one proofer, a formatter, and a dang good cover artist. If it’s your first book, enlist a few beta readers (not friends and family—you want honest, sound advice). Learn about the publishing industry, and then once you learn, keep learning. It’s constantly changing, and a lot of work to keep up with, but it’s worth it. I’m amazed at how much indie writers know that traditionally pubbed writers don’t when it comes to what’s happening in the industry. Indie’s know because they have to if they want to be successful, and it’s that knowledge and dedication that spirals many of them to the top of best-seller lists today. And last but not least, learn what you need to do to promote yourself, build your brand, and then grow your brand. And most of all, write a good book—scratch that—a great one!