Sunday, May 6, 2012

Galdoni by Cheree Alsop: Author Interview

I'm so happy to welcome author, Cheree Alsop to The Book Bug today.
Cheree Alsop is the mother of a beautiful, talented daughter and two amazing twin sons who fill every day with light and laughter. She married her best friend, Michael, who changes lives each day in his Chiropractic clinic. Cheree is currently working as a free-lance writer and mother. She enjoys reading, riding her Ninja motorcycle on warm nights, and rocking her twins while planning her next book. She is also an aspiring drummer and bass player for her husband's garage band.

Cheree has written seven novels, including Galdoni and five books in the Silver series.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Bug: Welcome, Cheree! So glad you could join us today!

When and why did you begin writing?

Cheree: I dove into books at a young age and started writing my own books not long after that. I used to read in the trees in our yard and fell in love with the escape books offered and the chance to experience other lives and adventures far beyond my little world. The first book I ever wrote was a Western hand-written in a notebook that I finished when I was fifteen. It wasn’t very good, but it made me realize that I could indeed finish something I started writing, and it showed me the exhilarating experience of developing my own worlds and characters.

Book Bug: I love it! I did the same things (reading, writing) at a very young age. It develops a lifelong love!

What book(s)/author(s) have influenced your life and writing?

Cheree: My favorite books are The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith, The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s a broad range of styles and themes, but what I cherish the most from each of these authors is the way they write a character so believably you feel that by the end of the story you know them and could meet them on the street. I love watching a character develop and grow through the trials in their stories. I also love the detail of the world the characters live in, and the ability to see it differently through each of their eyes. I love to read, and I feel I learn something from each author. Everyone has a different style and way of capturing their world, and I love to get immersed in those worlds. It’s something I hope readers can relate to in my stories as well, the ability to escape into a different world we might otherwise not have the chance to experience.

Book Bug: The Count of Monte Cristo and Pride and Prejudice are also two of my favorites!! I totally agree with your take on different styles from authors. I feel like most every author I read has something unique to offer.

What is your favorite genre to read/write?

Cheree: I love reading and writing different types of fantasy- urban, paranormal, romantic, and dystopian. I love the unlimited possibilities of the worlds and the broad range of characters that come from the environments. I love feeling as though I’m seeing and experiencing something new, and that I can share it with my readers.

Book Bug: All my favorites genres!

What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?

Cheree: I have twin two-year old boys and a nine-year-old daughter. My writing time consists of squeezing it in when the twins nap, while they eat, and when they’re playing outside. I sit on our porch steps and watch them play while I try to shield the screen from sun so I can see what I’m writing. My poor computer has several dings and dents from thrown toys, rocks, or spoons, and has suffered several water-spilling episodes which resulted in quick shut downs, unpluggings, and hoping that it would work the next day. Thank goodness it’s a trooper!

Book Bug: From a fellow mother of toddlers, I'm amazed that you ever get any writing done, let alone 7 books!

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Cheree: I haven’t suffered from writer’s block mostly because I get interrupted in my writing often enough that the stories are always fresh in my mind and I’m looking forward to the next writing moments. I create playlists of music that fit the moods I want to reflect in my writing and I listen to the music whenever I’m cooking or driving. It keeps me motivated and helps me stay in the writing flow.

Book Bug: I saw your awesome playlist for Galdoni on your website. These are some of my favorites from it:
  • "A Beautiful Lie" by 30 Seconds to Mars
  • "Somewhere in Between" by Lifehouse
  • "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon
  • "Gone" by Matt Nathanson
  • "You Found Me" by The Fray

(Click here for the full playlist.)
What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Cheree: The formatting and proofreading. Because I’m an independent author, I don’t have an editor who checks the grammar and spelling before the book is released. I have read books from other indie authors that are filled with errors, and it throws off the pacing of the book. I read through my manuscripts and have others read them over and over in the hopes of catching any of the small errors that might throw off a reader. My goal is to turn out a quality product for others to enjoy, and my main worry with having the editing and proofreading on my shoulders is that I might miss things because I’m so used to reading the manuscript that it flows past without catching my attention.

Book Bug: As a technical writer myself, I do notice those errors and was very impressed that Galdoni contained few, if any grammatical/formatting errors.

What do you think are the most important elements of good writing?

Cheree: In my opinion, the most important element of writing is developing a strong voice. Any story can be made new and fresh if the voice is captivating. I still find elements of my voice that I can improve, and I enjoy finding new ways to follow a conversation or describe a scene. Another element of writing that I feel is important is to know your characters as if they were friends you talk to on a daily basis. Know how they would react in normal or strenuous circumstances, know their ticks, their triggers, their flaws and the things that set them apart from other characters. No one is perfect and no character should be either.

Book Bug: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Cheree: I love playing with my boys, watching movies with my daughter, going on motorcycle rides with my husband, reading, golfing, and relaxing with the family.

Book Bug: What book are you reading now?

Cheree: I am reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

Book Bug: I can't wait to read that one! (It has been on my TBR pile forever!)

What are your current/future projects (especially for Galdoni)?

Cheree: The second book in the Galdoni series is currently in outline form. I’ve loved writing about the Galdoni and I’m excited to get it done!

Book Bug: I'm so excited to read the sequel!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Cheree: Write. Everyone has a reason to put off writing until tomorrow, and then the next day. The books don’t get written by themselves. Write in every spare moment, even if it’s on a tiny notebook that you carry in your purse or backpack. Don’t let the ideas slip by because they will vanish and leave you emptier for having not written them. Stay motivated, and remember that someone out there will truly appreciate what you have written.

Book Bug: Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to review Galdoni and learn more about you as an author!

 About the Book
"This is the Arena, and here we live to die." These are the words carved into a holding cell where genetically-altered gladiators, the winged humans called Galdoni, are trained to fight. Kale, rescued by three high school students and nursed back from the brink of death, is given the chance to experience life as a human. When he is captured, he has to use what he learned in the world outside the Academy in order to free the other Galdoni and return to the human girl that he loves.

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