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Please Welcome Cheryl Brooks

Cheryl, Thank-you for agreeing to an author interview today.

Thank you for inviting me, Greta! It’s a pleasure to be here!

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

I’m a critical care nurse who is trying to make the move to romance writer. I love to laugh and I love the feeling I get when I fall in love with a new character. I’ve been married to a terrific guy for thirty years, and together we have two sons, four horses, six cats, and a puppy.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing off and on for about thirty years. I began because I decided that the world needed a sizzling hot science fiction romance, (there weren’t any back then) but it wasn’t until this last round began in 2004 that I finally wrote one, Slave, which is the first book in the Cat Star Chronicles series.

What is your writing process like?

I’m what they call a pantster, in that I write by the seat of my pants. I usually don’t have an outline to go by, just a vague premise. I prefer not to lock myself in to a definite storyline because in the process of writing, the story sometimes takes me in a direction I never intended, and I like to feel free to go there. This was much easier before I had an editor asking me for a synopsis prior to writing the book!

For readers that may not have heard of the Cat Star Chronicles, can you provide a little background about this series?

The setting is 1000 years in the future. Space travel is common, and though there is a standard language, most planets have retained their own singular cultures. The series revolves around a group of survivors of the war in which the planet Zetith was destroyed. The Zetithian natives have attractive feline features and the ability to purr, but what sets them apart is the strong sensual nature and incredible sexual abilities of the males. Following the war, a bounty was placed on the survivors, and this has resulted in their being hunted to near extinction. The men of the Cat Star Chronicles were prisoners of war who were slated for execution, but were sold into slavery instead, and the books tell the story of how each man finds love and freedom.

Can you tell us about your newest release The Cat Star Chronicles: Fugitive?

This is the story of Manx, a Zetithian man who escaped from slavery and is living in the jungle on Barada Seven, and Drusilla, a wildlife artist who is more interested in painting waterfowl than finding a man. While visiting Barada, a world known for its dense jungles and exotically beautiful birds, she and Manx meet and fall in love, but the Nedwut bounty hunters are on his trail, and the two lovers will have to fight to earn their happily ever after.

Do you have any other books releasing in 2010?

Hero, the sixth book in the series will be released in August. It’s about Trag (the other brother in Rogue, the third book in the series) and a female Zetithian named Micayla who was orphaned at the age of two and was raised on Earth, not knowing who or what she is. She has never found a man who interests her, but when she and Trag meet, sparks fly!

What are you currently working on?

Book seven of the series, Renegade, tells the story of Dax, a virgin Zetithian man who values his freedom more than any woman, until he meets up with Ava, a human/Aquerei cross who has left her abusive boyfriend to return to her old flame. Dax has cultivated his bad boy image to the point that Ava wants nothing to do with him, but he is determined to win her, even though when it comes to enticing females, he is completely clueless.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Everywhere. Movies, books, people I know, people I’ve never met. Conversations I’ve overheard or been a part of and all sorts of things that seem to magically pop into my head.

As an author, you must be an avid reader. What books do you enjoy reading? Who are your auto-buy authors?

I love the Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings, and the novels of Mary Stewart and Georgette Heyer. I haven’t had an auto-buy author in a long time, but I do like to keep up with the novels written by my fellow Sourcebooks Casablanca authors.

What books are on your keeper shelf?

All of the above, plus the one listed below.

What was the first romance book you read or the one book that has stood the test of time for you?

That would be Rebecca, by Daphne DuMaurier. I know I’m showing my age with some of these older titles, but the books I grew up reading are the ones that stick with me. That’s not to say that books can’t be enjoyed (or written!) at a later age, but youth, as they say, is impressionable, and the books you read during those early years can have an effect on the rest of your life.

If your book was made into a movie, which actors would like to see as the lead characters?

I’ve been asked that question before, and my reply is always the same; I would like to go with unknown actors. I’m sure I could be persuaded to consider some of the bigger names, but I often feel that well-known actors tend to overshadow the characters they portray, rather than letting the character be the star.

If you could switch lives with one of your characters who would it be & why?

I would love to be Jacinth, “Captain Jack” from Slave. At the time, I wanted a character I could admire and feel comfortable with, and I wrote that book purely for my own pleasure, never dreaming it would ever be published. I can identify with some of my other heroines, particularly Tisana in Warrior, but being Jack would be a blast.

When you are not writing or reading, what do you enjoying doing in your spare time?

There is very little spare time anymore, but singing and playing guitar, gardening, cooking, and my horses have been what kept me busy in the past.

If you could ask readers any one question, what would it be?

I’d be very curious to know what made them want to read my books; why they picked up a book by an unknown author and bought it.

Where can readers find you on the internet?

My website is http://cherylbrooksonline.com/

I blog regularly on http://casablancaauthors.blogspot.com/

and http://wickedlyromantic.blogspot.com/

My personal blog is at http://cherylbrookserotic.blogspot.com/

This one is rated X, so beware!

I love hearing from readers, and my email address is cheryl.brooks52@yahoo.com

***Leave a comment answering Cheryl’s question for a chance to win one of Cheryl’s books from her backlist. Good Luck 🙂

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40 Responses

  1. For me, well to be truthful a nice cover draws me in, I read the blurb and that makes me hooked or not.
    Or I keep hearing great things and decides to try for myself

    And I do like what I hear here

  2. Hi Ladies,
    In answer to your question. I was standing in the book section at K-Mart. And I normally glance over the covers. and if a cover catches my eye. I pick it up. And I noticed Warrior and because I was gravitating to Paranormals at that time. I picked it up and read the blurb and back cover. HMM!! it sounded intriquing. And I don’t know. I think the book was purring in my hands. LOL!! I read it and was blown away my Cheryl’s voice, her imagination and the sexy purring Cats. OMG!!! I was hooked. Her books and stories are nothing like anything you’ll ever read. And this newest book does not disappoint. It’s a a sexy, funny romp into paradise.
    That’s my story and I’m sticking too it.

  3. I am a sucker for a great book cover…that hasn’t always been a good thing. There isn’t a lot of sci-fi romance out there. I will be checking The Cat Star Chronicles.

  4. I’m with you on the cover and the blurb, blodeuedd, I sort of fly by the seat of my pants on choosing a book. If it looks good, I pick it up. If the blurb hooks me, I buy it.

  5. LOL! Donna, did you really find Warrior in K-Mart???? My books were there and I never knew! Thanks for being such a loyal reader and friend!

  6. Hi Jen E,
    You’re right about there not being many sci-fi romances out there. Sometimes I feel like I’m lost in space–but the cats are there to keep me warm!

  7. I haven’t read any of Cheryl’s books but what catches my attention is the cover and then the story usually decides whether I purchase it or not.

  8. I have not read your books yet but they sound very interesting. Usually when I read an unknown author the cover of the book is what attracts me to it and then the blurb.

  9. The reason I usually pick up a book by a new author is because the cover and/or title got my attention and interested me enough to read the blurb on the back of the book. If the blurb was good, I’d buy the book. Now, with paperbacks at roughly $8, I try to memorize the title and author, walk the 2 blocks back to work and see if I can find a review online.

    You’re actually a new author to me, which is why I visit blogs like this.

  10. Well Cheryl I work in a bookstore so when I first saw Slave it was on the new release bay in Romance. I was like, “OOh shiny cover, pretty model” then I read the back and went I am so buying this. Then later when I was bored, I looked up your author name and preordered Warrior and every book since then 😀

  11. Hi Cheryl,

    Sorry to say I haven’t read any of your books. but it looks like I’ll be picking them up soon!

    I pick new to me authors based on the title and blurb, with the blurb being what pulls me in. While I love a hot cover, an unattractive cover wouldn’t stop me from buying a book.

  12. I found out about Cheryl’s books after reading a review on a blog and headed out to find Slave. Loved it-had to have the rest. Found Rogue no problem as it was the recent release at the time. Devoured Rogue and then literally hit every single bookstore in the area until I found Warrior! Read that one and then had to wait impatiently for Outcast and then Fugitive and now we await Hero. Cheryl’s imagination is off the charts and if you like scifi and hot romance, you will love Cheryl’s Zetithians!

  13. Hi Cheryl! I first discovered your books when I got a free copy of Slave at the RWA conference in San Francisco, 2008. I was hooked!

  14. Hi Cheryl!
    thanks for the interview – I will definitively read your books! you ask why? I really loved the interview – you described the world you created so good that I can see it before me…and I’ve seen your book on other blogs and I’ve read a lot of good reviews – now I’m curious and can’t wait to read it! another advantage is the gorgeous cover *sigh* it does appeal to me!
    wish you all the best,
    Ina

  15. I found Slave at a Library Fund Raiser. Books that had been donated to the Library for re-sale . The cover is what caught my eye first, as I read the blurb and thought…different. So I bought it. Read it in one night and went back to the sale the next day looking for more. Found Warrior, and was in love…I now have all 5 books and am impatiently waiting for 6 & 7.

    Usually once I know an author is a good read, I stick with them. Always on the lookout for a new person to read, it’s usually the cover that gets me, then the blurb unless I’ve had a good word from a friend.

    Cheryl is always a good read, book, blog or interview!

  16. Hey, hey Cat Master and Greta. Great question to ask readers Cheryl (“I’d be very curious to know what made them want to read my books; why they picked up a book by an unknown author and bought it.) You might regret asking that question but I’m going to take it as a serious one:)

    I’m actually in two camps when I buy books…I have about a 25 page TBB list that contains my auto buy authors and new-to-me-authors that I want to try (listed because of recommendations – excerpts/blurbs I’ve read at various author sites or blogs and they appealed to me) and secondly, when I’m in B&N, I sometimes impulse buy a new-to-me author because I liked what the cover blurb had to offer.

    I know it’s a new book on the shelf in B&N because I’m anal retentive and start at the beginning shelf “A” and peruse until the end…I don’t want to miss anything and just because it’s a fun thing for me to do. The new book for each author is placed face out so readers (customers) instantly know. (Obviously simply pleasures amuse me:)

    I bought Warrior as my first book of yours in December 2008 at B&N and my best guess is that it was an impulse buy from the cover blurb. While covers might catch my attention, I don’t buy because of them.

    I keep a WORD document alphabetized by author that list all the books I acquire (also date and where bought) and then when I actually read it, I go back and add a note and my own personal 1 to 5 star rating. Here then, is my unedited note after reading my first book of yours, Warrior:

    “Warrior (12/08 B&N; The Cat Star Chronicles Book; Book 2) comment: ****new to me author; an interesting take on a witch/healer and her particular talents including talking with animals; a soft erotic adventure laced with humor; would like to try other books in series.”

    I had the opportunity to do so when I won Outcast (Book 4) from Romance Junkies in October 2009. I was delighted because of how much I had enjoyed Warrior. You may be wondering why it took almost a year for me to read another book in the series. Easy answer is limited book dollars plus book a day habit on top of mood reader and volume of favorite author auto buys.

    You’ve since been added as an auto buy and I bought the remaining three books to fill in the series (and have read them). The newest, Fugitive, kicked butt and I loved it.

    There aren’t many erotic sci-fi authors on my list of favorites but it just so happened that your voice clicked with me. Keep up the thoroughly entertaining reads and I’ll be at B&N’s door step in three minutes flat (really, I timed it).

  17. Jeanette Juan, Raelena, Anne, and Connie T,
    I see we go book shopping pretty much the same way. I’m finding more books by author these days, having met quite a few in the past year or so. The trouble I have is finding the time to read them!
    Good luck in the contest!

  18. Hello to my good friends Ana, Lisa, Helen, and Jessica!
    It’s so interesting to find out where you found my books originally, especially all the different ways I’ve been “discovered!” Thanks for visiting the blog today!

  19. Thanks, Ina! It’s nice to know that all of the promotions authors do pay off!

  20. Good luck to all in the giveaway!

  21. I’ve become addicted to book blogs and having seen your books around so many of them with such great things said about them, I couldn’t resist getting into them.

  22. That’s great, Sue! It makes all the blog writing worthwhile!

  23. I purchased your books after seeing them on other blogs and then started frequenting your blog. I am hooked on the cat books!

  24. LOL, Estella! Sometimes being hooked is a good thing!

  25. Well, I’ve not read this series yet, but a book cover is what usually draws me in. And then, if the back cover reads just as good as the front cover looks, I get the book! 🙂 Loving the way this book sounds!

  26. Perfectly logical approach, Chelsea! Thanks!

  27. I actually found your first book at the used book store recently and picked it up.. I am looking forward to reading it and can’t wait. Normally i pick new to me authors from the cover then the blurb. If both of them strike me I take the book home with me.

  28. The cover is the 1st thing to catch my eye, then I read the blurb and if I like it I’ll buy it. And I’m always looking for new authors/interesting books at garage sales, thrift stores, etc.

  29. Hi Pamk and Mitxi H!
    Well, that’s two more votes for cover and blurb. Does anyone ever flip through and read the GOOD parts? Or do you do it, but not admit to it?

  30. I haven’t read any of Cheryl’s books yet. When I buy a book, I usually
    1) look at the cover
    2) look at the back page blurb
    3) check the ending – yes, I never buy any book without a HEA!
    4) peek within the pages to see if there are any good “scenes”(?) since I like a little, no, a lot, of spice in my books!:o)

  31. I haven’t actually read any of Cheryl’s books but that cover and the blurb would most certainly put it on my to buy list extremely quickly.

    In fact most times I find new authors for me by reading blurbs on other author sites or by browsing genre sections in bookstores and seeing what titles/covers appeal. Then if the blurb sounds good too it gets bought.

  32. I haven’t read any of Cheryl’s books but the cover and book description make me want to read it!

    I’ve bought books because when I read the book description and it interests me it will make me want to get it and I find other authors by checking out other sites, etc.

  33. Hooray for Tamsyn T! You look INSIDE the book! I don’t like to read the ending first, but I can tell you that my books all have a happy ending and a LOT of spice!

  34. Ilona and Terri,
    Blurb writing is an art form in itself. Without that hook, most people don’t look any further. I’m pleased to see that mine have the desired effect!

  35. Um, not that I actually wrote them myself….

  36. I promise to keep it short;)

    1) majority of time I’m buying strictly off my TBB list – exception noted in my previous comment

    2) never read end beforehand; it’s a given that it has a HEA

    3) don’t read pages inside a book beforehand except on those rare occasions I don’t have my TBB list with me…then I’ll read the first page or so to see if I recognize it

    4) like heat in my reads and select authors accordingly

  37. If the blurb catches my attention or the cover, then I’d give it a try.

  38. I have never read any of your books. But, I am a cover buyer, so that is always what gets me. I like to have a partial body, no face. I love to put my own face with the characters and if I have a face on the cover, that is all that I can see.

  39. Amy,
    That full-face does backfire sometimes, especially when the same model is on more than one cover.

    I never read the end either, Nancy. Like you said, in a romance, the HEA had BETTER be there, or it isn’t a romance!

    Hi Gossip! Another vote for the cover/blurb! I’m glad you don’t all go with the big name authors, or I’d be out of a job!

  40. The cover always attracts me, first. Then I read the excerpt/back cover. If it sounds interesting, I’ll purchase it.

    Another reason why I’ll try an “unknown” author (rather, a new author to me), is if the genre is totally different from what I normally read.

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