Author on the Couch: Cheryl Hollon


Author Name: Cheryl Hollon

 

*GIVEAWAY* Cheryl is giving away a signed copy of ETCHED IN TEARS as soon as it releases on November 28, 2017! Woohoo! You’ll be one of the first to read it!

 

Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.

Cheryl: When I was in the fifth grade, my younger brother was hit by a car right in front of me. He suffered a fractured skull from the hood ornament of the vehicle. One of his ribs was removed and grafted into the gaping hole in his skull right above the right ear. He was more than a year relearning how to talk, walk, read, and write. He was given visiting teacher to help him catch up in school. Today, he’s an engineer and a gifted musician playing lead guitar and producing tracks for a rockabilly band. I learned that one moment from now could change your life in a heartbeat. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Today – right now – is what we have. Use each day wisely but with carefree abandon.

 

Me: What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?

Cheryl: In my previous career as a Program Manager in charge of the design, build, test and installation of military flight simulators, I cultivated a focus on a goal-oriented approach to my writing life. I consistently set weekly, monthly, and yearly writing goals. Then, I measure my progress against those goals on a weekly basis. For accountability, a friend and I exchange our goal reports each week and reply to each other with encouraging comments.

 

Me: What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?

Cheryl: I am curious and easily distracted especially when writing the first draft of a manuscript. Absolutely the hardest part of the process for me. To keep focus, I reward myself for achieving increments of my target word count. I work a crossword puzzle, play a word game, and my favorite – dark chocolate.

 

Me: What was your high point as a writer—a time when you were happiest, on cloud nine, flying high? What happened?

Cheryl: I am extremely lucky to have family and friends who supported me for the long years while I struggled to polish my writing, queried relentlessly to find a good agent, and the miraculously landed a 3-book deal with Kensington Publishing Corp. All of these were important milestones, but when I had my first signing at the bookstore where I had been a customer for over forty years – that was heaven. More than 75 friends and family crammed in to buy my first published book. Naturally, there was cake.

 

Me: What was your low point as a writer—a time when questioned your path, a time when you felt really crappy about your writing? What happened? How did you get over it?

Cheryl: After my 108th rejection from agents for the book of my dreams, I nearly quit writing. I had gotten very close several times. There had been more than 30 requests for partial submissions and more than a dozen requests for full manuscripts. A few agents asked for revisions and then a resubmission – that was exciting. Ultimately, all offers fell through – no dice. While enduring all this rejection, I had followed the advice of several agents who blog about writing frequently and while querying, I was writing another book. This time, I signed up for the Donald Maass Break-out Novel Intensive Workshop organized by the wonderful editor/author/friend who runs the organization that sponsors the workshops, Free-Expressions. I have never worked harder in such a short amount of time. That manuscript started me on the road to publication.

 

Me: Which of your characters are you most like? Why?

Cheryl: I love the main character’s 18-year-old apprentice, Jacob, because he must struggle to accomplish a perfectly ordinary day. He has what used to be called Asperger’s syndrome, but now he is categorized as “on the autistic spectrum.” He’s aware of his challenges, but rises to them each and every day. Of course, all that is easier now that he has an adorable service beagle, Suzy. They are inseparable.

 

Me: How many books have you written? How long does it typically take you to write a book? What’s the most painful part of the writing process for you?

Cheryl: I am writing my sixth book for the Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series published by Kensington Publishing Corp. I have three manuscripts that shall forever live under the bed. It normally takes me about six to eight months from the start of the horrible first draft to a polished manuscript ready for submission to my editor, Selena James, at Kensington. The most painful part for me is scratching out that shitty first draft. I struggle, whine, giggle, cry, and bludgeon my way to those glorious two words: THE END.

 

Me: If you could be any character in any book for a day who would you be? Why?

Cheryl: I would be Harriet Vane in BUSMAN’S HONEYMOON by Dorothy Sayers. Harriet is a mystery writer who has just married wealthy aristocrat and amateur sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey, who adores her. What’s not to love?

 

 

Me: Tell me about your cozy mystery Etched in Tears.

Cheryl: 

When a famous glass artist is murdered at his own exhibit, deadly secrets are put on display, and it’s up to glass shop owner Savannah Webb to see through a killer’s cover.

Celebrated glass artist Dennis Lansing is returning to St. Petersburg, Florida, for an exhibit at the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum. His unique style of embedding document images in his art is at the vanguard of contemporary glasswork. But as Savannah’s first boyfriend and a former apprentice to her father, Dennis’s return home has her reflecting on the past—a trip down memory lane that takes a dark turn when Dennis is found murdered at the museum with an old reference letter from her father in his pocket. A search through her father’s records sheds new light on Dennis’s history, but it seems his present life wasn’t so transparent either. Now, with a gallery of suspects to consider, it’s up to Savannah to figure out who fits the mold of a murderer.

 

Me: Share your favorite excerpt with us.

Cheryl: I love the opening scene in Etched in Tears – it describes the Dali Museum as a character.

 

Sunday Evening

“They call it The Enigma,” said Savannah Webb as she stared up at the dark blue glass structure ballooning out of the Dali Museum.

It stood proud against the warm evening light on the calm waters of Tampa Bay. The square concrete structure contrasted with the huge geodesic bulbous glass windows that oozed from the front of the building around to the other side. It fired the evening with an air of anticipation for a surrealistic experience.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Today – right now – is what we have. @CherylHollon #AmWriting #AuthorontheCouch #quotes Click To Tweet After my 108th rejection from agents for the book of my dreams, I nearly quit writing. @CherylHollon #AmWriting #AuthorontheCouch Click To Tweet I struggle, whine, giggle, cry, and bludgeon my way to those glorious two words: THE END. @CherylHollon #AmWriting #AuthorontheCouch Click To Tweet

 


You can purchase Etched in Tears here: 

AmazonKindle:  https://www.amazon.com/s/?field-keywords=9781496711762

Apple:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/etched-in-tears/id1212647534

Google:  https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781496711762

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/etched-in-tears

Nook:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/etched-in-tears-cheryl-hollon/1125896984


You can find Cheryl here:

Sign up for Newsletter on Website:  http://www.cherylhollon.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/cheryl.hollon

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/CherylHollon
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Abbie Roads writes Dark Romantic Thrillers. Check out all her books HERE.

About the author: abbieroads

19 comments to “Author on the Couch: Cheryl Hollon”

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  1. Bobbie Gore - Nov 19, 2017 Reply

    I love to write myself, and reading is definitely one of my favorite stress escapes- what a great way to travel to a different land whether real or imaginary! I love the title f your book, by the way.

  2. Kara Vaughan Marks - Nov 16, 2017 Reply

    It sounds like a fabulous series–I’d love to read it!

  3. Dianne Casey - Nov 16, 2017 Reply

    Cheryl, glad that your brother recovered and is doing so well. I enjoyed reading about your career. I really enjoy this series and I’m looking forward to reading “Etched in Tears” when it’s released.

  4. Rayn Ellis - Nov 16, 2017 Reply

    That was a really powerful story about your brother. Thanks for sharing that. …and you have terrific covers! All the best!

    • Cheryl Hollon - Nov 16, 2017 Reply

      The cover artist for this series is a genius! Thanks!

  5. Ashley Kendall - Nov 16, 2017 Reply

    I enjoy cozy mysteries! I too get distracted when writing. Mostly when writing papers for school lol

    • Cheryl Hollon - Nov 16, 2017 Reply

      Thanks! Trying to resist the call of Facebook right now. I have a deadline tomorrow. Squirrel!

  6. Sandy McMahon - Nov 16, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for sharing today! I am touched by the story about your brother’s accident and glad he survived and has done well! I also love your determination! All those rejections and you persevered! And finally got published! Amazing courage on your part!☘️

    • Cheryl Hollon - Nov 16, 2017 Reply

      All that persistence worked, but still, it’s a pleasure to look back on it — not forward.

  7. bn100 - Nov 16, 2017 Reply

    interesting previous job

    • Cheryl Hollon - Nov 16, 2017 Reply

      Writing is every bit as interesting — a lot less stressful!

  8. Katrina Dehart - Nov 16, 2017 Reply

    I love cozy mysteries. Looking forward to checking out your books ❤

  9. Jena C. Henry - Nov 16, 2017 Reply

    I l0ve your book covers. Thanks for sharing your story

  10. Liz Boeger - Nov 16, 2017 Reply

    It is encouraging to read about the journey, Cheryl! I also enjoy the St. Pete setting of your series. My copy is already preordered–for my holiday reading pleasure. I may pair it with a trip to the Dali.

    • Cheryl Hollon - Nov 16, 2017 Reply

      THANKS! There’s a new exhibit featuring Dali & Schiaparelli that just opened. We’ll probably see it in a few weeks.

  11. Cheryl Hollon - Nov 16, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for the opportunity to visit your author couch today. I do consider the Dali Museum to be a prominent character not only in this book, but it flavors the city of St. Petersburg with a special spice. Cheryl

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