Thursday, January 10, 2008

Author Interview - Cheryl Wyatt

Today we have Author Cheryl Wyatt with us for an interview. Cheryl's debut novel is A Soldier's Promise, published through Steeple Hill's Love Inspired division. I have a heart for historicals, but I couldn't put this book down. The characters are riveting and you continue to think about them long after you finish the story. I loved this book!

Each person who leaves a comment today will go into a drawing for a free autographed copy of Cheryl's new book.

Q: When you wrote "A Soldier's Promise" did you have a publisher in mind with guidelines or did you just let the story carrying your writing?

Cheryl: I defintely had a publisher in mind. I targeted Steeple Hill from the onset of writing romance fiction. I had their guidelines in mind while writing the story. Also, after submitting it the first time, it was a romantic suspense. But my sort of suspense is more action-driven than danger-driven. So they asked me to revise it to either make the suspense stronger, or strip the suspense and aim for Love Inspired rather than Love Inspires Suspense. I stripped the suspense and strengthened the romance arc as well as deepened emotion and followed their suggestions explicitly. The revised version sold.

Q. Do you or any of your family members have any background in the miliary?

Cheryl: My dad was in the Marines. I was born on a military base in San Diego on Valentines Day in the middle of the Vietnam war era. So I'm convinced that has me writing military romance. LOL!

My dad was wounded in Vietnam during the most intense offensive at Da Nang in 1968, in addition to getting malaria. He wanted to stay and fight but he had to recover in a hospital in Japan. He got out of the military when I was young. I still have extended family on my husband's side who are currently serving. There is a long list of my family and my husband's family who have served in every branch, men and women. We both come from very patriotic familes who support the troops with our words and with prayer.

My husband's paternal grandfather was involved in the then-secretive SOCO division during WWII and still talks about his experiences. His maternal grandfather worked on planes with radar. My husband's two cousins are serving as well. One went through SEAL training but changed tracks and now flies F18s. His female cousin has recently been promoted to Lt. Colonel in the Army. Uncle Jimmy on my husband's side flew helicopters in WWII and has a silver star. His son is also a military helicoptor pilot. My paternal grandfather served in the Army. My maternal grandfather was involved in CC camps during the depression. Bob was in National Guard. Most of my uncles have served. There are more, tons more. We've had family deployed in every war in history I think. LOL!

Q. What do you like most about writing?

Cheryl: I love everything about it. I love the research aspect and character development best. Actually what I like best is when I've finished my mess draft and can start layering and deepening and fleshing out scenes. I love the challenge of finding plot-specific metaphors, analogies, etc.

Q. Do you have a faith theme message that seems to be popping up in your stories?

Cheryl: Mostly aspects of God's character in as far as how He relates to us in our brokenness. Emotional and spiritual healing seems to be cropping up frequently. Or healing of wrong thinking or distorted views we have about God as He really is, or distorted views of ourselves as He sees us. I guess seeing God and ourselves and our situations rightly is also a common theme.

Q. What would your readers like to know about you that they may not see on your website, blog or bio?

Cheryl: I am very God and family-oriented. Yet, I love and accept people whether they have a relationship with God or not. I have a heart to serve and mentor. My greatest gift is intercessory prayer and I look at my readership as an opportunity to have more people to pray for. I love to worship God more than anything. I feel so thankful that He receives my writing as worship, and that my words mean something to Him. I also have a heart for orphans, widows and outcasts. I love to laugh and have fun. I love music and often accompany my husband on sound gigs. He runs sound for nearly every major Chistian band out there and some secular bands. We love NASCAR and are often co-conspirators in practical joke tactical maneauvers. LOL!

Cheryl, thank you for being with us today. I'm really looking forward to reading your next book. The cover on your postcard looks great.

If you'd like to order A soldier's Promise, here's a link:

Also, you can find out more about Cheryl on her website.


  1. Great interview ladies!

    I am definitely going to pick up a copy of this book I keep hearing such wonderful things about it!

    I'm wondering after Cheryl wrote her "messy draft" then went back to the layering, etc - how long that took. I think I've been layering the same book for 4 years. LOL!

  2. Christy, you don't want to know how fast Cheryl writes those mess drafts!! It's plain ol' discouraging for us mere mortals. LOL

    I loved this book. It was such a touching story, yet had such funny moments--glimpes of Cheryl's humor. :)

    A note about your family, Cheryl. My FIL served in Japan operating on the war casualties. I'm pretty sure he was there at the time your dad was injured. If your dad had an orthopedic surgeon, it could have been him! Pretty cool. :)

    Thanks for being here today, Cheryl!
    PS. Cheryl will be on my personal blog on Jan. 21. So you can come by and have another chance to win a book!


  3. Hi Cheryl,

    The first time I saw this book cover, I was touched. There's something so poignant about a little child in the arms of a soldier, and that, in itself, tells a story. I'll be glad when I have a spare minute to read the book. I know it's a winner!

    Linda Goodnight

  4. Hey Cheryl! I totally LOVED this book. The story is fabulous. It's a definite must-read.

  5. I have this book and after today's interview I can see where the funny scenes in the book came from.. straight from the author! Where DO jokesters come up with some of their fun?
    cepjwms at yahoo dot com

  6. I would like to be entered in the drawing! As a former Army officer's wife, I think this book would mean a lot to me. I've been reading great things about this book!

    Great interview!

    kimfurd at hotmail dot com

  7. Hi, Chery and Margaret. Don't enter me in the contest. I've got my copy. Such a sweet, touching, funny book. I'm already looking forward to the sequel. When does it come out?

  8. Oops, I mean Cheryl and Jennifer. I'm reading a post from Julie Lessman on Margaret Daley's log at the same time I'm reading this one.
    (Yes, I have a split personality that makes it possible for me to do that)
    Sorry, I'll go call Margaret Jennifer and set the universe back in order.

  9. Hey Cheryl, great interview!! I especially like the part about intercessory prayer! Wow, that's the most important talent (or gift) a writer can have!! You inspire me, girl!


  10. LOL, Mary! And to think you were probably "working", too! ;)


  11. Hey all! Sorry I'm just now getting here. Been gone most of the day.

    Christy, I write the mess draft in a matter of days but the layering usually takes a few weeks. I used to like to let it gel longer (like months or years) but with deadlines sneaking up behind me, I don't have that luxury anymore. Kinda scary. LOL!

    Missy that is so cool that our family may have been connected that way in Nam. Small world!

    Linda, I love the cover also. I hope you love the book just as well!

    Mindy, thank you for your kind words about the book!

    Pam J, thanks so much for being so faithful in my blog tour stops. I really appreciate you!

    Kim, I admire and respect those who have or have had family serving in the military. I'm glad you signed up for a chance to win a copy of the book.

    Mary..LOL! No one on earth makes me laugh as much as you. My husband, my friend Renee Morgan, and my other friend and prayer buddy Cynthia Ruchti come a close second. But you take the cake on greatest sense of humor on the planet bay-be!

    Julie, I aspire to be like you and your prayer walk. Talk about a powerhouse. If you've never had Julie pray for you hands-on...if you get a chance, nab her to. God really honors her prayers and she has such a heart after God. Love it!

    Thanks so much Faith chicks for featuring me on your wonderful blog! I really love it!

    Hugs all!

  12. Cheryl,
    I'm late as usual. Thank you for visiting our blog in such an awesome way!!!

  13. The other Pam J. :) I just love all the insights I get on you through this. You'd think with all the yacking we've done we'd have covered our entire lives by now, but it's so fun to learn even more about my wonderful friend.

    Yes, she writes her mess draft in so little time it make me want to cry. I wish I could turn my internal editor off and let the story rule. (Not to mention my internal editor is a bit snarky.)

    I am anxiously awaiting the next one. :)