D.S....Tell us about your writing journey. How long have you been writing?
C.W....I’ve written since I was little, but started seriously learning the craft of fiction 14 years ago.
D.S...What do you enjoy most about writing?
C.W....I love the rewriting process best. I think the story really comes to life after the initial draft is down and all the layers and emotional depth start coming in. I love that part.
D.S....What’s your writing process. Do you write a fast first draft then revise, or do you revise as you go? Plotter or Pantzer?
C.W....Absolutely have to write a fast first draft. The longer it takes me to write a book, the worse my edits are. LOL! I sit somewhere between punster and plotter. I have to know my characters and their goals, motivation and internal conflict before I start. I know a few scenes and do sketch out a scant scene index, but new scenes always pop up as does external conflict to impede the characters from reaching their story goals. Once I know my characters, the plot sort of takes off as I write. I’m always surprised.
D.S....Can you share a memorable encounter with a reader whose life was touched/changed by one of your stories?
C.W....Every letter I receive is precious to me. I feel very blessed to be able to write and interacting with readers is the icing on that cake. However, the most memorable letter was an email from a retired couple who told me they’d driven through my story area in Illinois on their way to Florida. They’d driven around for HOURS looking for the unmapped military base featured in Wings of Refuge. They told me they planned to look for it again on their way back through. I quickly sent them an apologetic email, because they’d used their gas to look for a fictional military base. They responded with, “Ha-ha. We realize you probably can’t tell us where it is because of security reasons. But if you could at least give us a general idea of its coordinates and if the planes are bunkered underground or what, we’d appreciate it because we’d really like to catch a glimpse of it.” There were several back and forth emails and I’m not quite sure I ever convinced them that Eagle Point Air Base really does not exist. It made me feel good that I’d made it believable enough to be real to them. Though I still feel bad about all the gas they wasted and wonder how many hours they looked on the way back through!
D.S....What’s a fun quality/quirk you have that no one else knows about?
C.W...I am OCD and a nurse, so in public, I can’t take the top napkin or tray or plate in a restaurant buffet. I won’t take the front newspaper either because I just know someone probably sneezed invisible germs on it. LOL! My husband nicknamed me Miss Asepsis after our first few dates.
D.S....What advice would you give an unpublished author?
C.W...Stay humble and teachable. Write like crazy and never stop reading. Never stop learning. Know that this industry has its ups and downs but if you feel called by God to make a difference with your fiction, don’t let anyone discourage you, no matter how experienced they are.
C.W...My editor inspired it and I’m so thankful. She knows I have a nursing background and asked me to write a medical miniseries. Since military romance is part of my brand, I incorporated that in by making the trauma team be former military combat medical personnel who come home to open a trauma center in a small town. They loved the idea and Eagle Point was born!
D.S....Where can readers find you on the web?
C.W. www.cherylwyatt.com or I can often be found plotting mayhem with readers on my Facebook page, dedicated to readers: http://www.facebook.com/CherylWyattAuthor
I LOVE interacting with readers!
FIRST CHAPTER EXCERPT LINK: http://scrollsquirrel.blogspot.com/2012/06/excerpt-doctors-devotion-by-cheryl.html
BOOK PURCHASE LINKS:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-doctors-devotion-cheryl-wyatt/1108266780