Monday, January 07, 2008

Cheryl Wyatt is here today! Win an i-pod, too!

Hi everyone! Cheryl Wyatt is my guest today and I just want to tell you a little bit about Cheryl and her new book that’s out now.

I had the privilege of meeting Cheryl back in November when she came all the way from Illinois to North Carolina for a writer’s brainstorming weekend. There were six of us and we had so much fun hanging out!

It was just a pleasure to get to know her and share laughter, prayers and brainstorming. She was one of the crazy people who stayed up until 4:00 in the morning working. I have to admit that I missed that part as I slipped off to bed around 11:00 each night! (The joys of getting old. Hehehe.)

Just so you know, Cheryl is an awesome prayer warrior. I know that if I ask her pray for something, she’s storming the gates for me. Thank you for that, Cheryl.

Now, if you readers want to win a copy of A Soldier’s Promise, Romantic Times TOP PICK, just sign the guest book and leave a comment. We’ll put all the names in a hat and draw one at the end of the day.

Lynette: Cheryl, I read A Soldier’s Promise and absolutely LOVED it. You have a wickedly clever sense of humor. Your book was laugh-out-loud funny in some places. And quite the tear-jerker in others. You did a fabulous job and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a love story…but is so much more, too. Tell us a little bit about the process. Give us a little background on your story, A Soldier's Promise. How did you come up with the idea, the characters, etc.?

Cheryl: I love to write about characters who have very unique careers. I also love to read and write anything high-action. I'd heard about PJs some years ago and became enthralled with them. You hear quite a bit about Navy SEALs but hardly anything about PJs. I wanted to do a series about them, so I plotted it out. The stories were originally romantic suspense. But the suspense I write is more the action/adventure-driven suspense rather than mystery/murder/mayhem type of suspense. Steeple Hill was interested in the story, but it needed serious help. LOL! They gave me the option of either repairing the ailing suspense thread, or stripping it out and deepening the emotion to aim it more toward Love Inspired than Love Inspired Suspense. I stripped the suspense and focused on the romance, and executed all the changes in their revision suggestions and it sold. I chose my heroine to be a teacher, but I gave her a specialty in that she taught children with special needs. I did this to honor my author mentor, Margaret Daley, who spent a lot of time encouraging me and answering questions and critiquing my work until it improved to the point of being publishable.

Lynette: I’m so impressed. Stripping your story like that had to be a lot of work. Obviously, it paid off for you. How does your faith influence your writing?

Cheryl: It influences every aspect of my writing but especially the faith thread in the story. I try to give my characters a faith struggle and triumph that comes from something God has taught me in my own struggles. The situations in the book are entirely different than my real life situations, but often, the way God responds to the character reflects God's dealings with me on a lot of things.

Lynette: Do you do anything special to plot out your books? Do you have a system or are you a Seat of the Pants writer?

Cheryl:I'm in between. I used to fly by the seat of my pants but since I have to turn in a proposal before the book is finished now, I have to have an idea of where the story will go. So I do a loose scene index and a very detailed, in-depth character analysis and charts.

Lynette: And I know you have three little ones and a husband at home. When you write?

Cheryl: I'm very creative with time management and fiercely protective over family time. I always strive to put my children and husband first. As a result, they're mostly understanding and considerate of my writing time. I try to write while my children are in school so I can focus on them when they're home.

Lynette: What's one thing you want your readers to know about you? One kinda crazy, quirky thing, and one serious kind of thing.

Cheryl: One crazy quirky thing is I really do have a phobia of Popsicle sticks. The wooden kind that, when I see someone's teeth touch them, I flee the room and shudder. It makes my skin crawl like someone is scratching on a chalk board with a nail. The thought of them touching my teeth makes me cringe and my teeth physically hurt. It agitates me to write about it in fact, I'm pursing my lips and pinching my face as I type this. Really strange. So my poor children are deprived of ice cream bars. I'm the only mom in town who runs from the ice cream truck when it jingles through town. But who can blame me? I know that thing is FULL to the roof of all kinds of evil wooden Popsicle sticks.

Lynette: Oh. My. Goodness. I am seriously rolling on the floor laughing. I can so see you putting that into one of your books. And the serious thing?

Cheryl: One serious thing is I know my main gift is intercessory prayer and the one thing I love to do more than write and create, is worship the living God, and pray for people. The one thing that struck me as I started getting reader letters, is as I widen my readership base, that's all the more people I can pray for. Especially when some of them really open up about their life circumstances if something in your book has surfaced stuff in them or ministered to them in some way. I consider it a blessing and an honor to pray for people. In addition, I consider prayer from others for me and my loved ones the best gift ever.

Lynette: Cheryl, thanks so much for stopping by and answering these questions. I’m sure readers will have tons more. So, readers, if you didn’t get enough of Cheryl here, she'll be on Jill Elizabeth Nelson's blog tomorrow. Hop on over to visit:
Cheryl is the guest there on Jan. 8th!

To purchase Cheryl’s book online, follow this link:

Okay, one more thing I need to mention. Cheryl is having this ***cool contest***.

I’ll let her explain it in her own words.

First, to celebrate the release of my debut novel (A Soldier's Promise) I'm holding a contest for a chance to win great prizes. The main prize is your choice between an 8 GB iPod Nano, an AlphaSmart Neo ( or a six-month subscription to any Steeple Hill line of your choice.

Other prizes include ten 128mb flash drives, ten $10.00 certificates to Barnes and Noble, autographed books from me and pens.

And one lucky person will win the chance to name a character in one of my upcoming books.

Only my newsletter subscribers will be able to enter.

To sign up for my newsletter, go to the homepage of my Web site and type your e-mail address in the space provided that says "Join Cheryl Wyatt's Author Mailing List". Once signed up for my newsletter, send an e-mail to and be sure to put "CONTEST" in the header.

Deadline entry for the contest is Midnight, Central Standard Time the night of February 14, 2008. I will draw winners' names February 15, 2008 and notify them that week, so be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you sign up. Also, for every person you send to sign up for my newsletter, you will receive another entry in the hat. So be sure to tell them they need to sign up for my newsletter on my Web site and remind them to mention who sent them to sign up.

Second thing...
My blog tour is happening right now. There are tons of chances to win a free, autographed copy of my debut novel, which is a Romantic Times TOP PICK! for January.
Visit the link for a list of where I was/am/will be the month of January.
Thanks so much for your support!