Publisher: Steeple Hill
Ordering Link: Order now!
Cheryl Wyatt's closest friends would never dream the mayhem she plots during announcements at church. An RN-turned-SAHM, joyful chaos rules her home, and she delights in the stealth moments God gives her to write. She's convinced that having been born on a Naval base on Valentine's Day destined her to write military romance. She stays active in her church and in her laundry room. Both of her debut novels (Books 1 and 2 in her Wings of Refuge Series from Steeple Hill) have received Romantic Times Top Picks.
On A Crash Course With Love
Interview with Cheryl Wyatt.
Firstly thanks for agreeing to this interview
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I have been married to Billy for ten years. I have three great children. We love to laugh and play together. My husband is heavy into the Christian music scene and runs sound for just about every major Christian band out there as well as many festivals and he's venturing into the NASCAR scene with some of it. So we spend a lot of time at concerts. I am also an RN but I left my 15+ year career temporarily to stay home with my children. I have written all my life but started pursuing fiction seriously about seven years ago. I took courses through Institute of Children's Literature as well as through Jerry Jenkins' Christian Writer's Guild. Both of those programs grew my writing to publishable levels and gave me a wonderful foundation for my fiction writing today. I am currently writing for my dream publisher which is Steeple Hill. I will eventually start submitting my Inspirational action romance stories, but for now I'm focusing on Inspirational romance. Let's see...what else can I say. I'm involved with a fabulous church with relevant teaching and contemporary worship. My relationship with God and people are strengthened by the week there. I have a heart for orphans and have been on short term missionary journey's to India and other places. I have three guinea pigs who think they rule the roost. I love to laugh and make others laugh, and my biggest spiritual gift is praying for others. In addition I love reading my Bible and worshipping God. Also, I'm sort of tomboyish in my interests. Other than doing crafts, I am fond of guns and swords and motercycles and anything military or action-adventure. I love life and am blessed with a fabulous family and faithful friends who love me despite my faults. One weird thing is I have an addiction to Pecan Spinwheels and a phobia of Popsicle sticks. I think that about covers it. LOL!
2. How did you know you wanted to be a writer, have you always had the desire or did it come later?
I've written as long as I can remember. I've always dreamed of writing fiction and of someone turning my poems into worship songs. I've always dreamed of being a fiction author...and am so thankful that dream has come to pass. I'd still love to be able to write worship songs but, unlike my very musically inclined husband, I'm NOT at all musically inclined. I can play a few chords on an acoustic...but I wouldn't want anyone except for God to hear me. LOL! When I started getting reader letters from my fiction..I realized for certain writing is one thing I was put on this earth to do. And my readership gives me more people to pray for! A win-win situation.
3. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
I can't conceive what else I'd like to be....a songstress...writing worship songs. Whoops. I guess that's writing. I'd want to own a well-staffed orphanage. Really, I can't imagine not writing and my brain can't come up with anything I'd rather be doing. Writing is a passion..I do it as worship to the living God who has done so much for me. It's my way of giving back to Him.
4. What was you motivation for writing A Soldier's Promise and A Soldier's Family?
I love to craft characters who have really unique careers. And I love action-adventure and anything on the edge. Military stuff, and special ops/special forces stuff absolutely fascinates me. I was surprised at the number of people who have never ever heard of PJs (USAF Pararescue Jumpers) so I planned a series of stories that features one man from a fictional pararescue team and ran with it. I've written lots of other types of military (and other) characters as well..but the PJ stories are what sold first. I also often give stories a medical slant since I've been a nurse for twenty years. PJs are actually highly trained skydiving paramedics who are also search and rescue combat special operators for the air force. They're the ones who usually go after downed US pilots, and rescue the space shuttle occupants during a water landing, etc. They do dangerous rescues in some of the most remote areas on earth. They do glacier rescues, hurricane rescue and recovery...just about anything that warrants parachute insertion. Their creed reminds me of scripture...in that they risk their lives so others may live. So I wanted to feature them in my stories.
5. How do you come up with the characters for your books and are they modeled on people you know?
I absolutely try my best to stray away from fashioning characters after people I know. They're totally made up. That said, I'm sure that at least part of my characters have snippets of conglomerations of all kinds of people I've known or met. Because I can't see how what I've known of people and experienced as far as their personalities and mannerisms don't sneak in there sometimes. I really try not to put myself in my characters because I'm not that interesting...but everyone who's read my books say they've seen parts of me in my heroines particularly. So, yeah....like Amber..I'm klutzy and computer-illiterate. And like Celia...my mouth gets ahead of me sometimes.
6. How many books will there be in the wings of Refuge series? (Congratulations on book 3 being accepted)
Thank you for the congrats! There are currently seven men on the Pararescue team which makes up the Wings of Refuge series. I've turned in four stories...but one will need to be revised and I'm still not sure that one (Chance's story) will make it to print. But I'm hoping the others sell well so Steeple Hill gives me a chance to rewrite his story. I have proposals prepared for the other three stories and hope they sell too. My editor keeps asking for the PJ stories...so I'm hopeful I'll sell the other four in the series.
7. You have mentions going to India on a humanitarian and media misson after the Tsunami did this influence your writing at all?
Absolutely. I did heavy research while I was there and feel many books will come out of my experience. I have a huge heart for orphans and usually incorporate them into my stories somehow.
8. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
I plan to finish out this PJ series then start turning in books from my Navy SEAL series. I have stories from each branch as well as SWAT stories and a series I'm calling The Heart of Refuge which features police officers, firemen and other townspeople in Refuge...the setting for my PJ series.
Ben's story (third book in Wings of Refuge) will release early 2009 unless it gets moved up in the que. It is tentatively titled A Soldier's Sonnet. But not sure if that title will be the final one.
Do you have any final thoughts for us?
For aspiring writers:
I think persistence is more important than talent in this industry. Writing CAN be learned and in fact, I think I will always be learning something new and trying to improve my craft with each book. Is it hard to be published? Very hard. But not impossible, and most people who refuse to give up, will probably end up realizing their dream.
Thank you so much for your support and readership. You are the reason we're devoting our time to this and as an author, satisfying my faithful readers is the true blessing. Just wanted to remind you of your value in an author's eyes. The best thing you can do for your favorite author (even if it's not me..LOL!) is spread the word about an author's books, encourage your friends and family to buy the books and support the author's writing addiction. LOL!
Finally if you ever come to Australia in the summer I would love to take you to a cricket match. I loved seeing it mentioned in book one it made this fanatics day.
THIS WOULD BE SOOOO FUN! I definitely hope to take you up on that! I've always wanted to come to Australia..and in fact had pen pals from Australia when I was in elementary school. We'd have so much fun! And for sure...a book would have to come out of that!
My review of A Soldier's Family.
I really enjoyed this book, its the story of Manny and Celia. At the beginning of the Manny has an accident which grounds him, he wants to make amends to Celia for his last encounter. I love the way this story pans out. I enjoyed seeing how Manny befriend Celia's son and helped him. Celia and Manny have alot of emotional baggage which we see them work through. I loved seeing Celia's son and the issues he deals with and the way he deals with them both good and bad.
This book really moved me in many ways and hopefully you will find the same when you read the book. I would love to tell you more but I don't want to spoil the story for you, but I am sure you will understand when you read this great story.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and look forward to the 3rd book when it comes out.Giveaway
For a chance to win A Soldier's Family by Cheryl Wyatt just comment on this post and leave a way for me to contact the winner. This is open to international readers. You have til midnight March 12 to enter.