Getting started in the writing business can be a lot of work. For most people, the first book is the hardest. Most people give up. Cherry Christensen kept at it and her first novel, The Fearful Heart, was released by Eskape Press just last week! Cherry and her husband Troy are fellow members of one of my writing groups in Grand Rapids, MI. I was fortunate to read an ARC and enjoyed it so much I asked her a few questions, which she graciously answered. I’ll share my thoughts at the end.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
It’s football season, so I spend a lot of time watching my two favorite teams: The Michigan Wolverines and Denver Broncos. Ironically, my husband is not a fan of the game. That’s all right though because I cheer loud enough for the both of us! I also enjoy reading, baking, scrapbooking, and traveling. This year I traveled overseas for the first time with my husband on a wonderful trip to the UK. During our stay, we met up with some friends we’d met online and had a great time visiting with them.
That’s funny that you’re the football fan instead of your husband! I love to travel, too. What’s your idea of an ideal vacation?
I have to admit that as much as I loved touring the UK, and visiting the many castles there, my favorite vacation spot is at the cottage on Little Glen Lake in Michigan. My family started vacationing there when I was in elementary school, so I have many fond memories of good times spent with friends and family. We would go swimming, play games, and relax around the fireplace. We had a tradition where everyone brought up treats for the week and we’d load them all up on what we called our “Snack Bar.” And of course, even with all of the sweets, we’d still go into Glen Arbor for ice cream!
We certainly have beautiful vacation spots in Michigan! Let’s talk about your writing. How did you choose the genre you write in?
I grew up reading the inspirational romances in the Serenade/Serenata series published by Zondervan Publishing House in my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The stories were clean and entertaining. When I sat down to begin writing my own story, I knew I wanted to follow in those authors’ footsteps and write sweet romance. I also liked to read mysteries, especially Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. So don’t be surprised if I release a mystery someday.
I’d love to read your mystery! What inspired you to write The Fearful Heart?
At the time, I was searching for a creative outlet besides scrapbooking. My husband had been writing a novel and he’d suggested I give it a go, too. Well, I hadn’t written a story since college, and those were only short stories for English class. I didn’t have a clue about how to write a novel, but I sat down at my computer and started writing anyway. Five years, and several drafts later, I became a published author for Eskape Press.
Perseverance is definitely what it takes! What was your favorite chapter or scene to write? Why?
All of the “sappy” scenes! I use that word because of my husband’s teasing. Overall, I enjoyed writing the scenes where I could switch gears between lovable Cassidy and bully Ava. Truth be told, it was exciting to incorporate some of my own idiosyncrasies into the characters’ personalities as a means of adding a touch of humor to the story.
Ava was certainly a colorful villainess! Definitely someone I loved to hate. Did you ever have trouble coming up with ideas?
Absolutely! What author doesn’t? When writer’s block strikes, I usually watch TV, listen to music, or do chores around the house. Getting away from the story mentally helps me relax and refocus.
Did you work with an outline, or just write?
When I wrote The Fearful Heart, I relied on an outline. I’m currently writing my second book, and I tend to just write. In addition, I always have my notebook handy for jotting down thoughts and ideas that pop into my head.
Thanks so much for sharing your publishing experience with us, Cherry!
Here’s the blurb for The Fearful Heart:
The heart must be protected at all costs… but will Cassidy be able to afford the price? Cassidy has distanced herself from childhood friend, Tristan. She’s moved on from their days of best friend-hood and is attending college. And dating one of the most eligible males on campus. Life couldn’t be better. Really. Tristan has devoted himself to Cassidy since they were children together. But no matter what he did, she’s never treated him like more than her best friend. He knows they can have something deeper. If only he can find the key to unlocking her fearful heart.
And here are my thoughts:
The Fearful Heart is a gentle romance, dealing with a young woman’s reluctance to accept the love of her childhood friend. Tristan has always been there for Cassidy, through triumphs and tragedies. But what happens when friendship becomes more than that? Cassidy is afraid to risk finding out. She even goes so far as to go a college far away from home – and far away from Tristan. We’re taken through her final semester of college, when suddenly the campus stud starts to pay attention to her, her career is in sight – and Tristan suddenly appears with someone else. I enjoyed reading this story and hope there are more to come!
To celebrate Cherry’s new release, Eskape Press is offering a 6-inch Kindle Fire HD to one reviewer! Just download the book (only 99 cents) and leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads between now and 7 pm December 16 to enter!