Please interact with our guest authors by answering the question they provide. Your response will also enter you in the drawing for one of two free books being offered by Cheryl this week.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CHERYL ST. JOHN's first book was published in 1993 and she has written nearly forty historical and contemporary romances since then. In addition to receiving high acclaim from readers, her office walls hold framed covers and awards she's proud to display. She has received four RITA nominations.
Cheryl admits to being an avid collector who loves everything from teapots, cups and saucers and pitchers to depression glass, kitchenware and dolls. She especially enjoys browsing flea markets for antiques and collectibles, and claims her car automatically pulls over for a garage sale.
MARRYING THE PREACHER'S DAUGHTER
by Cheryl St. John
Published by Steeple Hill/Love Inspired
ABOUT THE BOOK
Bounty hunting was just a job for Gabe Taggart—one he needed to fund his sister's education. But now Irene has finished school, and Gabe is ready to settle down, find a husband for Irene and—best of all—set aside his past. His adventuring days are over…until his intervention in a train robbery leaves him injured, under Elizabeth Hart's care. Despite his plans for a quiet life, antagonizing his feisty caretaker is the most fun Gabe's ever had. Elizabeth provokes him, too, with her strong mind, kind heart and high principles. Gabe hopes to win her love, but will his dark history bar him from marriage to the preacher's daughter?
HER WYOMING MAN
by Cheryl St. John
Published by Harlequin
ABOUT THE BOOK
Courtesan Ella Reed escapes dangerous city life to rural Wyoming and says "I do" to a marriage of convenience! But she may not live the life of a respectable woman for long if she can't keep her past—and her heart—under lock and key. For a self-made man with political aspirations, love is trivial in a paper marriage. Nathan Lantry needs a wife to secure his election and manage his rowdy little boys. Yet he can't stop wanting more from his irresistible new bride. Then her secrets start to unravel….
Readers, buy your copy of Marrying the Preacher's Daughter (Love Inspired Historical) and Her Wyoming Man (Harlequin Historical) today!
AND NOW A FEW WORDS FROM OUR FEATURE AUTHOR
Cheryl has chosen to provide an interview as her guest blog today. Enjoy! And read to the bottom to see this week's reader question.
How much time do you spend writing and/or just pondering about your current book's plot?
When I'm on deadline I put in a full day's work, anywhere from six to eight hours a day at the keyboard. I have to plan to ponder, because out of sight is usually out of mind for me. I sit down with character grids and a notebook when I'm plotting. I always make a list of 25 things that could happen in the story, and I brainstorm the characters and story. After that, while I'm actually writing the book, I think about it during breaks to do laundry, make coffee, etc., but once the work day is over, I have so many other things to do, I don't normally just ponder my book. My creative time comes with my fingers on the keyboard.
I recently worked 15-hour days for a couple of weeks to get a manuscript finished.
Why did you become a writer? Why a romance writer instead of writing in another genre?
Writing was always exciting for me. The thrill of creating those first stories is a good memory. The job suits me perfectly. I set my own hours; I'm my own boss, and I don't have to get out of my jammies or put on makeup if I don't want to. Romance is what I love to read, and one of the first things we hear in writing classes is "write what you love" or "write what you know" -- well I don't know all that much, but I know what I love.
Where do you find inspiration for the romance and situation your characters experience?
Often in real life situations. I see a news story that affects me in a big way, and I want to embellish it or tweak it and tell it a different way, or figure out how this situation would affect the people for the rest of their lives. Often a really good book inspires me to write, and sometimes a movie inspires ideas. Romance is inspired by my belief that there's hope for all people and all situations.
A prolific writer doesn’t wait for inspiration, however. He just sits down and writes.
Why should we read romantic fiction?
Don't knock it until you've tried it. The most touching reader letters come from those who tell me that my stories gave them hope. Everyone wants a happy ending. There isn't anyone who doesn't want to connect with another person in a really special way. Romances kindle our sense of hope.
How much of your personal life is in your books?
Probably not nearly as much as people tend to think. It's fiction, after all. If my life was as exciting as my books, I'd be writing an autobiography! So okay, I like to surprise friends and family by slipping in a name or an inside joke and seeing how many recognize it and say something. Of course I have a wealth of unending kid traits and things they say, what with ten grandchildren. (Don't tell anyone, okay? Someone might get the idea that I'm past 30.) They're all so bright and funny, and I love to use them as prototypes for the children in my books. I'm often told how realistic my young characters are, and now you know why. I make sure they act and talk like real kids.
I think the writers who "become" their characters are the ones who touch readers’ hearts. I tend to place myself in the story person's skin, be absorbed by their situation and assume their backstory in order to determine how they're reacting, feeling, and what they will do next.
It's a writing technique to recall a joyous occasion or a black moment or high point in our own lives and put those feelings down on paper, even though the circumstance are completely different. Usually. :-)
What's your favorite indulgence? Your favorite quote?
I have many indulgences, now that you make me think. Chocolate. Hot tea. Thrift store browsing and shopping flea markets. Watching a favorite movie for the hundredth time is an indulgence. My daughter and I love to watch Hoarders and then clean and get rid of things. Netflix.
Favorite quote? "I do not sit down to work because I am inspired. I become inspired because I sit down to work." - Oscar Hammerstein
Cheryl would love to know your favorite indulgence. Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for one of her two new books. Two readers will be selected.
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Thank you, Cheryl, for sharing with us today.
Guest Question: What is your favorite indulgence?
ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of one of the books above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.
If you have a preference for one book or the other, please state that, and your name will only be included in the drawing for that book.
This week, the contest is open to U.S. residents only.
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