I was given the
chance to chat with a very talented author this month, who
took time out of her busy schedule to spend some time with us
here at Joyfully Reviewed. So, without further delayÖletís
Was becoming a writer always a goal?
I was always telling stories and
making things up. From a young age, I knew I wanted to write
so I guess it was a goal without a clear intention. In my
family, it wasnít a career to consider. Not practical enough
for the non-artistic group (Iím the misfit!) but I made it my
Your day job is as an assistant controller. What does that
involve and do you eventually want to be able to write full time?
Iím part of a team that analyzes sales
information and does the accounting for a large sales division. We
have to deal with auditor invasions quarterly (at least it feels
like they invade our company and torture us). We support our sales
staff with info in addition to the routine closing the books. The
day job isnít very exciting.
Iíd love to be able to write full
time but the day job has those lovely benefits of health care and
401k match along with a regular paycheck. Someday Iíd love to write
full time but Iíve got a while before itís a reality to consider. My
creativity would suffer if I didnít have some security.
Working for an international company, do you travel a lot and
do you have a favorite travel location?
No, I donít really travel much for work.
My location is in the US where our corporate office is, so most of
the time people travel to visit us.
For personal travel, thereís no place
like Las Vegas! Anything you want to do twenty-four hours a day set
in a beautiful desert landscape. I set many of my books there
because I really love that area.
Tell us what makes CherylÖCheryl.
Iíll try almost anything in my writing
(there are certain taboos that go without saying). If I have an idea
I feel strongly about, Iíll write it and then find a place thatíll
take a chance.
Market trends fluctuate so you never
know whatíll be the next hot thing. I just write the stuff Iím drawn
to. If I want to write a story about a psychic, I do. And suddenly
Medium is a hit TV show and I found The Lotus Circle was looking for
psychic fiction. I wrote a f/f erotic romance and sought out Loose
Id whoíd take the chance. I also write m/m, BDSM, as well as
straight paranormal and contemporary erotic romance and erotica
I really hate to be bored and write
in several genres to keep myself entertained as much as to entertain
others. I love throwing in a twist or spin that readers donít
expect. In One Hot Experiment, my November EC release, the book is
set in a Think Tank on the outskirts of Las Vegas near Area 51. The
heroine in a genius who works there and wants revenge on the
heroÖher big IQ finds that the best way is revenge sex.
You belong to a writing group. What do you consider the
benefits of belonging to one? Do you recommend a writing group for
The main benefit is the support. Writing
is a solitary profession and while I love being alone with my
characters, itís hard when no one in your family or group of
non-writer friends gets it. A writing group gives you the platform
to vent, share victories and learn as well as make writing friends
who get it and give you the support when you need it. Online or in
person, formal or informal-- networking and supporting with other
writers is critical to my mental health.
For aspiring writers, the Romance
Writers of America is a great place to start (if you write romance)
because itís organized and you donít have to be published to be a
member like many writing organizations.
What draws you to the paranormal genre? Are there other
genres that you would like to try?
I love paranormal because the options
are endless. For my Lotus Circle series (Iím Okay, Youíre Dead, Iím
Okay, Youíre A Fake, etc.) I can explore the metaphysical world of
psychics, life after death, mediums, astral projection, past lives
with a fun cast of characters in New Orleans and do it in a suspense
plot where the clock is ticking to solve a crime.
In erotic romance the paranormal adds
a twist of the unexpected. In An Extreme Haunting, my first Elloraís
Cave release, I used the ghosts haunting a castle to propel the
sexual relationship between the hero and heroine faster than it
normally wouldíve developed. That book is classified as BDSM (and it
is, youíve been warned :) but it also has very strong paranormal
Other genres. Well I write erotic
romance that is contemporary, paranormal, BDSM, m/m, f/f and
romantic suspense. Iím working on a couple futuristic ideas and some
mťnage stories. I also write erotica for Elloraís Cave Exotika (the
first one is due out in Feb 08). These stories donít require romance
or a happily ever after but are an intense sexual journey for the
Basically Iím open to trying most
genres. The only genre I know Iím not going to dabble in (at least
not any time soon) is historical. My style just doesnít trend that
way. Oh, and Iím a total chicken when it comes to really really
graphic violence so you wonít see me trying anything with horror
elements. Seriously, Iím hiding my eyes at the previews for Hostel
How do your stories develop, slowly or all at once?
For shorter stories, I frequently get
the idea all at once and I have to make notes so I donít forget
where Iím going with it. When itís a longer book, Iíll have the main
idea with the core plot laid out but subplots and secondary
characters weave their way in as I go.
Usually when I have an idea, itís
fairly fast and demanding. I keep notes on ideas so I donít loose
anything but also can keep working on my current WIP. If only I
could write full time!!
Do you believe in happily ever after and have you found yours?
Life will always bring on new
challenges. Happily ever after as far as finding the partner thatíll
help you get through life is something I think all romance writers
believe in. When we close the book on our characters, we have to
believe theyíll be together and happy.
As for me, not yet. Iím still
lookingÖMight help if I got out of the home office once in a whileJ
Tell us some of your favoritesÖfoods, hobbies, movies, music,
books, authors, holidays, color, and any others.
Food: Mexican and Chinese are always
on the top of my list!
Hobbies: Iím a TV and movie addict!
The TV is always on in my house for background noise if nothing
else. Current favs are Ugly Betty and Nip/Tuck.
Movies: Too many to countÖfrom Sense
& Sensibility to Oceanís 11. My latest odd find is Bride and
Prejudice the Indian version of Pride and Prejudice with an American
Music: Pop and Rock generally. A
little alternative. I donít follow music so much as hear a song I
like and buy it on iTunes so I have it.
Books & Authors: There isnít enough
time or room. I read a variety but never seem to have enough time to
read so Iím way behind on the current stuff.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
My best advice is to find out what you
write well. We writers spend a lot of time trying to find out what
weíre doing wrong but you need to know what you do well if youíre
going to get anywhere.
Be careful, itís not always what you
love to read. I love reading regencies but I suck at writing that
very proper tone. So I donít write them because thatís not my
strength. Knowing what youíre good at is critical.
Do you enjoy hearing from your readers and what is the best
way to contact you?
I love hearing from readers! My website
www.cheryldragon.com and you can email
through the contact feature. There you can also sign up for my
mailing list (I just announce new releases and appearancesÖone email
a month at most).
And you can always email me directly
How do you promote your work?
There are several ways I try to promote
~Every month Elloraís Cave has a chat
at writerspace and I attend those regularly, post blurbs and
giveaway a free download for every new release.
~I put up book cover ads at a variety
of review and promotion sites so the newest releases are easy for
the readers to find.
~I do chats on loops when I can fit
them in, usually as a part of a larger chat about a genre but
occasionally Iíll take a whole chat for myself.
~I belong to many loops for review
sites where I post excerpts/blurbs and announce releases (I just
have to remember and check the calendar and rules so I donít post
something on the wrong day!)
~I have a website
www.cheryldragon.com that has the
latest info on both my Erotic Romance releases (from Elloraís Cave
or Loose Id) and my Psychic Suspense series for The Lotus Circle in
~I send out promo items like
bookmarks and pens to writing conferences and review sites for
distribution to readers.
~I attend writing conferences as much
as possible and do my best to be out there and available. My next
conference is Romantic Times Convention in April 2008 in Pittsburgh.
~Find me at the Saturday book fair
signing Iím Okay, Youíre Dead.
~Also Iíll be signing cover flaps for
my erotic romances at the eBook fair Wednesday. Find me with the
other EC authors.
~You can catch me at Club RT Friday
afternoon around 2pm giving away promo stuff and chatting with
readers and anyone else who wants to stop by. Iíll be giving away a
gift bag at club RT.
~Iím on two panels at the RT
convention. Psychic Cravings Thursday morning and The Lotus Circle
~And of course Iíll be at the EC
party Wednesday night!
What would a perfect day for you involve?
Iím a morning person so I do my best
writing then. A perfect day would be a nice quiet morning at home
with good movies on the TV and a great story coming out of my brain
and into the computer. Then Iíd go out to dinner with friends at my
favorite Mexican restaurant.
What is your greatest strength and what do you consider your
weaknesses to be?
My greatest strength? Iíd say
determination. I was writing for more than a few years before I
sold. It took me a while to find the best genres for me. I never
gave up and I found where I fit and what worked for me. Iím still
determined to make that next sale and to write that next book.
My weakness. Iím so impatient! Mostly
itís with myself to get the next project done. Iím always working up
ideas for the next books so I can keep going. But I anxiously await
the next cover, the next release date, and the next review.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Thanks so much for opportunity to
share!! I invite everyone to visit my website for info on all my
books. Thereís a variety so something will catch your eye!
And with the New Year coming, Iím
encouraging readers to resolve to try something new and different!
December is my alterative month. I have two releases out with Loose
Id that might shock and surprise you.
Bad Brad is a Hanukah themed m/m bdsm
erotic romance for the Festival of Lights Holiday series available
December 4th. What these guys do with Hanukah candles definitely
puts them on the naughty list!
Sorority Girl Pledge Time is a f/f
erotic romance available December 25th about the pressures of
pledging a sorority and the pleasures of college experimentation at
If erotic romance isnít your thing,
remember my psychic suspense series is basically PG13. Iím Okay,
Youíre Dead is available in print. See how wacky and dangerous the
life of a psychic detective can be in the wild world of New Orleans!