From 2013 to 2017 I had an author interview series going called “The Bee Talks With…” which I now have officially “retired”. However, it is Christmas time and everybody is looking for Christmas presents and I was wondering why not support Indie authors this year. So I am re-posting those interviews where you can find information on their books to find some great Christmas presents for the book lover in your life.
Today I start with the wonderful YA author Cheryl Fassett who’s first published book “Far Away and Ever After” I enjoyed greatly. This is a great fantasy story for young teenagers and I so hope Cheryl finds the time to write a sequel.
The Bee Talks With… Cheryl Fassett
Today I am so happy to introduce you to Cheryl Fassett fellow blogger at “Catching Fireflies” and newly self-published YA author. I have read her book and enjoyed it greatly as it is written in a fairy tale style and offers great characters. I had asked her a while ago to take part in my “The Bee Talks With…” series and now she found the time to do so. Well, I followed her ups and downs of self-publishing and there was no time whatsoever for this little interview series you can believe me. The more I am happy she is here now. So with no further ado over to Cheryl:
How would you describe yourself in one paragraph?
I would describe myself as just a girl who loves words. I have been in love with words since I was about 3 and figured out how to read. Somewhere in between all the words I have read and all the words I have written, I managed to marry my high school sweetheart, rescue a house full of cats, manage a busy physician practice, learn to quilt, and somehow keep my sanity. I think it comes back to the words. They ground me and keep me centred. 🙂
A fun fact about you?
I hate airplanes. My writing career will probably stagnate when I am unable to board a plane to fly to the Oprah show, but there it is. 🙂 I prefer to keep my feet on the ground.
What made you write in the first place?
Teenage angst. Truly. I remember writing some terrible stories in grade school that weren’t even worthy of being shown off on the refrigerator at home. By the time I got to middle school, high school and college, the majority of my writing was either for research papers or journaling. Those journals were dripping with angst – schoolgirl crushes, petty jealousies, spats with my sister, how my folks were so unfair for not letting me do something. When I was in my 20s I stopped writing altogether. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in my late 20s. In my mid-30s I started to write children’s fiction, thanks to NaNoWriMo. Looking back I can say that the depression and anxiety may not have been caused by not writing, but not writing certainly did not help it.
Which Author has influenced you and why?
I think we are influenced by every writer we have ever read, good and bad. We either see who we want to emulate or see something that makes us realize hey, if they can get published, maybe I can too!
What is your favourite book?
Where do I even begin with this one? 🙂 I loved Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Every single word of it. I read Stephen King – The Stand and It are my favorites, as well as his short stories. I love Jodi Piccoult who can write with such emotion and I read everything she publishes. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, Poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge and Page After Page by Heather Sellers are my favorite writing books.
Your writing ritual (if you have one)?
If I start requiring a special ritual, or pen, or slant of light in order to write, I will never get any words down. I have a hard enough time carving out some quiet time to write a few times each week. As it is, I often make such a big thing about writing in my head, that I put it off and put it off thinking it’s just too much. Finally, when I sit down to do it, I realize it was a simple thing that I got all wound up about. Adding rituals to it would make it harder for me to show up – one more thing that would have fallen into place to bring forth the muse.
Your secret “sin” when you write?
My “sin” would probably be that I don’t write every day like they tell you to. They, of course, are all the successful authors and writing instructors in the world that claim that to be a real writer you have to meet the page daily. I would love to. But I truly don’t have time. Even when I take the day off work with the sole intention to sit down and write for four or six hours, my mind starts building it up to be a herculean task and I end up taking a nap.
Do you suffer from writer’s block and if, what do you do against it?
All the time! I see writers on forums and facebook groups who have multiple storylines running through their heads all the time, and they have no less than five WIPs going at once. I am jealous of that. I sometimes grasp a small thread of an idea and must write it down immediately or lose it. Then I have to mull it over for weeks or months before I actually start to write it. I often feel like I must be a fraud as a writer because I don’t have ideas seeping out of my pores.
Your advice for apprentice writers?
Take the rules with a grain of salt. Write every day; don’t write every day. Be a plotter; be a pantser. Write what you know; write what you don’t know. Write something that will sell; write something that makes you happy. Traditional publishing, indie publishing, vanity publishing. This is your dream and no one can tell you how to get where you want to go. You just have to follow your heart and create your own path. Just don’t forget to enjoy yourself.
Thanks so much Cheryl for taking the time to letting us know about your writing experience.
And if you are curious now to find out more about her book: Here is the blurb and link where to purchase it:
Blurb “Far Away and Ever After” by Cheryl Fassett
Discover the magic! Delia only ever wanted one thing – a family. And some friends would be nice too. Orphaned as an infant, she was being raised by her cold-hearted aunt, and was bullied by every other kid in school. That changed the day she found refuge in Sunny Rea’s bookstore. Best of all, Sunny Rea and even Ethan, the silent boy who lived with her, had become like family to her. But then one day, Delia arrives to find the bookshop covered in dust and locked up tight. Sunny Rea has disappeared and nothing is as it seemed. She is thrown into a magical world where an evil dark queen threatens to destroy the kingdom and Delia’s world beyond. Teaming up with Ethan, a talking cat and a superstitious house elf who has never before ventured beyond the castle grounds, she sets out to find her missing friend. As the evil forces build against them, it is up to this group of unlikely heroes to defeat the evil queen, rescue Sunny Rea and save the kingdom. If all goes well, she just might save the world, too.