Today I’m interviewing YA and NA author Cherie Colyer.
You have two books out, Embrace, and Hold Tight (Embrace Series) and another coming out this year, Challenging Destiny (Challenging Destiny Series). Tell us about your Embrace series and what can we expect from Challenging Destiny.
The Embrace series follows sixteen-year-old Madison Riley as she learns about the paranormal world around her. We meet Madison in Embrace. She’s your average junior in high school, but her world spins out of control when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own. She discovers supernatural powers and needs to embrace these powers to save her friend.
Hold Tight picks up a couple months later. Madison is learning to control the magical powers she embraced. Only instead of spending her free time practicing magic, she’s stuck watching her kid brother and doing chores. Madison decides to do a spell to conjure help around the house. Only her idea of “help” invites trouble of its own. She finds herself caught in the crossfire between two dashing but deadly creatures. She must figure out which one to trust and how to rid her world of the other before one of them destroys her and everyone she cares about.
In Challenging Destiny, eighteen-year-old Logan Ragsdale and his younger sister Ariana must outsmart both Heaven and Hell if they hope to remain human and avoid being pawns in a coming war.
My publisher surprised me by releasing Challenging Destiny early on Kindle. J
What would you say makes them stand out from other books?
Even though my books have a paranormal element they’re set in modern day. My characters could be your neighbor or classmate. They have families to deal with and homework to complete, all well battling supernatural threats.
What current books would you compare them too?
Readers who enjoyed Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, and The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater are likely to enjoy my books.
How long have you been writing fiction? What inspired you to become an author?
I’ve been writing fiction for about ten years. My husband was the one who encouraged me to start writing. We like to go on long walks. I’d go on and on about ideas I had for different stories. He’d tell me that I should write one of them. Finally, I did. I enjoyed crafting my own story so much that I looked for ways to improve my writing. I joined SCBWI, joined a critique group, discovered I was breaking too many rules when it came to writing for teens and children, attended conferences, and took a writing class through ICL. My husband, who recognized my passion for all of this, bought me my first laptop and the one I have now when that one broke.
I see that you are also a mother, do you feel this has any bearing and/or impact on your writing?
It certainly helped me to know what is and isn’t popular. While I try not to use a lot of slang in my writing, I want my characters’ dialogue and action to ring true. Writers are always observing the people around them, and you can get great ideas from a group of teens hanging out at your house.
How do you balance, your writing career, and family?
I’m not sure if my family would agree that I actually do a good job of balancing family and writing, but I do try. Basically, any free time is writing time. With my boys being older, I usually can find time each day to write.
I see that you also blog. With regards to social media, what do you feel has benefited your writing career the most?
This is hard to answer, because I think the different social media work together. If it weren’t for my blog, I wouldn’t have met many of the wonderful book bloggers, readers, and fellow authors that I now keep in touch with. Twitter allows me to give quick updates about me and my books and also keeps me up-to-date on what books others are reading. Facebook lets me keep in touch with those who don’t blog or follow twitter. There are other social media options out there, but these are the three I use the most.
Your agent is Jordy Albert with The Booker Albert Literary Agency, how did you get your agent and what has your working relationship been like?
When I was ready to query agents, I stopped by Writer’s Digest and saw Jordy was there and she enjoyed books similar to mine. I had heard good things about The Booker Albert Agency from fellow writers, so I hurried to send her a query. Jordy has been wonderful to work with, and my newest YA paranormal romance is stronger thanks to her insightful feedback. That’s important to me, because I’m a firm believer that it takes more than just one person to write a great book.
What tips or recommendations do you have for aspiring authors?
Read everything—the genre you write as well as other genres. Join a critique group—the feedback you’ll get will help you see what you need to focus on in a particular scene. Attend conferences—the information shared on the publishing industry and on writing is invaluable. Keep working on your craft and never give up on your dream.
Cherie Colyer is the author of YA and NA paranormal thriller/romance, EMBRACE (available now), and HOLD TIGHT from Omnific Publishing, and CHALLENGING DESTINY from The Wild Rose Press (2014). Check out her website and blog for news on her books and bonus material. Follow Cherie on Goodreads, Twitter and/or Facebook for updates on writing, book and special offers.
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