Today's "5 Q&A" is with Cheryl Robinson, author of It's Like That.
1.) Who are you?
I am a person who can be best understood through my writing. I am quiet by nature unless you really know me and then you know that I'm not really that quiet. However, I am a very private person. One of my favorite past times is thinking, which is why I love creating characters. I am also a native Detroiter who currently resides in Florida, but I have my sites seriously set on Atlanta. As much as I love my hometown, I have outgrown the cold weather. I lived in Dallas, Texas for four years and I loved it, in fact, of the five states I've lived in over the past eight years, Texas was my favorite, but I visited Atlanta for one week and as soon as I arrived into the city there was a feeling that came over me that told me that was where I needed to be so if it's in God's will I'll get there.
2.) Do you have a ritual or routine for your writing process?
I think about new characters every single day. I write nearly every day. On weekends I write all day. I have a digital recorder that I keep with me at all times for any ideas that pop into my head. For me, the best part of writing a new book is working on the opening chapter because that's what draws in the reader. And so usually I will work on my opening over and over again.
3.) You are one of four contributing writers in the book These Are My Confessions (Joy King, Electra Rome Parks, Cheryl Robinson, Meta Smith). How was this project different from your own books?
I usually write contemporary romance. I have never written erotica before. And my novella "Strapped" has been labeled as being "X-rated" by some and shocking by others. I knew that I was writing in a different genre and so I wanted to totally escape and go way out there with it. At times, I got a little carried away.
4.) When did you know you were going to write a book?
I wrote a book when I was twenty years old for a contest that I entered at Wayne State University that the English Department was sponsoring. I found out about the contest two days before the deadline and with just two days of writing practically nonstop I finished my manuscript and even placed in the contest with an honorable mention and received a twenty-five dollar check. It was then that I really thought about the possibility of writing. I knew if I could do that with just two days, I could only imagine what I might be able to accomplish with let's say six months to a year. A few years later, I wrote another manuscript, but this time I sent it out to literary agents and received several rejection letters. I put my dream on hold for several years until 2001 when I began penning Memories of Yesterday that I self-published in 2002, which later was re-released by Penguin under If It Ain't One Thing.
5.) What's next?
My next novel is Sweet Georgia Brown. It is the story of a humble housewife determined to become a household name. Georgia Brown is married to a nationally syndicated radio host Marvelous Marvin who uses his on-air format as a vehicle to insult Georgia, but then Georgia has an opportunity to get even when as fate would have it she is offered her own syndicated radio show. But will she stoop to her husband's techniques? The backdrop is radio but the story is about so much more than that. I get goose bumps just thinking about it. It's all about going after your dreams. You're never too old as in Georgia's case, who is forty-one or too young as in the case of her thirteen year old stepdaughter Chloe. I love the characters. I love all of them even Marvin with all of his faults because I understand him. But I especailly adore Chloe who had to grow up too quickly and Corliss, a loyal Marvelous Marvin listener who wants to make a change in her life but doesn't know where to begin. My goal when writing the story was for the reader to find it heartwarming and inspirational.
Thank you so much, Cheryl!
It's Like That is available at bookstores online. Watch for Cheryl's new book, Sweet Georgia Brown, in January 2008. If you'd like to learn more about Cheryl, visit her website at www.cherylrobinson.com.