"A Soldier's Promise" by Cheryl Wyatt
I lovved this book. Cheryl is a really funny cool author. Visit her blog at
If you would like to win a copy just leave a comment on this post. :)
The contest ends Wednesday night at midnight. I will post the winner Thursday.
Interview questions for Cheryl Wyatt:
What is your source of inspiration for writing/life?
Definitely God on both counts. I can imagine a story in almost everything I see and hear. I love watching people and listening to them talk. God and people are my inspiration. My husband Billy, my own personal hero. is also an inspiration. Much of the little funny quips in the books comes from stuff he says. He's the type of person who livens a party. He thinks his purpose in life is to show people that they can have fun without the use of chemicals. LOL! You can't be in a bad mood around him for long. He has the most contagious smile, the kindest deep-brown eyes, and the greatest sense of humor of anyone I know.
Why the military?
My military stories just happened to be the ones that sold first, but I've written all kinds of stories with non-military characters. Racing stories, detective stories, medical romances, etc. Most of them are high-adrenaline of some sort though. LOL! I like to write about anything high-action and extreme adventure. Plus I have a great respect and admiration for those who serve and their families so the research was fascinating and inspiring.
What is your writing schedule like?
Unlike most writers, I don't write every day in as far as plunking out a certain daily word count on my actual manuscript. However, when I do my first draft, which I call my mess draft, I average 2000 keepable words per hour. I sequester myself with my computer, retreat into a cave of writing hibernation and spew out the mess draft in a matter of days. If I can't do this, everything falls apart and the story is harder to polish. So I spend time doing what I call pre-writing, or Novel prep, which consists of research, character charts, plotstorming, and scene indexing. Once I have that and a rough synopsis, I dive in and don't come up for air until the chapters I need to have complete are. I'm just now learning to write and sell on proposal. So it's been challenging to have to write the synopsis before the story. Because honestly, it used to take me longer to write the synopsis than the actual manuscript, and that was when I was turning in completes. So I have to force myself to write the synopsis first, and then rip myself away after three chapters. I do confess I usually end up writing about 7-8 chapters, just so I know what to write in my synopsis. LOL!
Would you please share some of your faith journey?
Be happy to. I didn't really commit my life to Jesus until I was in my early twenties. I joined a club in high school called Friends in Christ, but I went for the wrong reasons. The leader who invited me was darn cute. LOL! But I came into a real relationship with God in my twenties and have never looked back. Well, I've looked back, but the same Love that captured me to begin with, still pursues me. So I know in my heart of hearts there's nothing to go back to. God is everything to me, everything. I love Him more than anything.
Please share some of your writing/publishing journey?
Unfortunately I finished several manuscripts before realizing there was such a thing as craft. LOL! By the time I'd sold, I'd finished 15 complete manuscripts, half of which ended up placing in 12 or so contests, and the other half...well, let's just say they need serious help. LOL! I martyred my first characters for the cause of the ones whose stories would eventually sell. It was hard to let go of that first story, but since I learned to write best by writing a lot, it wasn't in vain. I determined that I was going to keep writing stories until they finally bought one. Some I wrote but didn't turn in because I knew they weren't strong enough. My seventh manuscript sold after extensive revisions. I'd had a couple or three rejections prior to that is all. When I'd turn a story in, I'd immediately dive into the next one so I didn't fret about the submission. I've targeted Steeple Hill from the onset, and now feel so blessed to be able to write for them. It's a dream come true.
Why Christian Fiction?
I love reading Steeple Hill books, and I feel like God streamlined them as my target. They were my dream publisher. But I don't think there is anything wrong with Christians writing secular fiction as long as they don't compromise in God's eyes. People like Debbie Macomber pull it off nicely in fact. I just wanted to write stories that make a difference in some one's life. I wanted to provide escape and entertainment and have the stories be uplifting. The struggle to publication ( yes I call it struggle rather than process, because it IS a struggle. But it's not impossible) is too hard and too demanding of my time for it not to make some kind of difference in the lives of readers. God is faithful because, so far, readers letters are reflecting that people are being deeply touched and humored by the stories. I didn't do that by myself. God is not just a big part of my life, He IS my life. I breathe to know Him better and hope my books cause others to want to as well. Because of my relationship with Jesus, I write Christian Fiction because that's where my current stories seem to fit best.
Do you read Christian Fiction? IF so who and what do you read?
I read nearly every Steeple Hill book that comes out and have since it launched. I feel authors should KNOW the publisher they're targeting. So, yes I read tons of Christian Fiction from every house out there. I really like the Steeple Hill books and the Barbour books though because their lengths are conducive to my time as they're quick, satisfying reads. I do read as much secular stuff as I do Christian though. I like romance and action-driven stuff. Dee Henderson is my favorite, but there are a ton more.
What are you reading at the moment?
Right now I'm reading these interview questions. LOL! Seriously now, I'm engrossed in Cara Putman's Canteen Dreams (Barbour). LOVE that title. Also reading a secular book by Linda Lael Miller that is part of her McKettrick series and simultaneously reading a NASCAR anthology story by Abby Gaines and a Debbie Macomber book. Title escaped me at the moment. I keep a book in my family room, in my purse, in my car to read (only when I'm a passenger. LOL!) and one near my bed. I am also getting ready to read two older stories by Valerie Hansen that I won off Steeple Hill's Fall Festival. Margaret Daley's newest suspense book from is also winking at my from the top of my TBR (To Be Read) pile. Just finished Debra Clopton's Next Door Daddy and laughed myself silly. I have Julie Lessman's A Passion Most Pure from Revell and order and cannot wait to get my hands on it. Prior to that I read Lee Bale's (The Healing Place-Steeple Hill), Mary Connealy's (Petticoat Ranch-Barbour) and Camy Tang's (Sushi for One-Zondervan) debut novels, as well as Debby Guisti's Steeple Hill suspense Scared to Death and Robin Miller's Bayou Justice from Steeple Hill Suspense. Looking forward to Missy Tippens' and Lynette Eason's debut novels as well. I really love to read author's debut novels. I can always see why the publisher snagged the author and book up. I know I'm forgetting some, but I read close to five books a week or more.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
Oh goodness. It is definitely when I went to a carnival and saw my friend's chimpanzee there. He also saw me and started freaking out. His owner waved me over because Kelby (who starred in one of the BABE movies) was screeching and whooping and jumping and wouldn't sit still to get his picture taken with a little boy. There was a line so I went over there so he'd calm down. Problem was, when I'd go to my friends' house where Kelby lived, I'd hold him down and blow strawberries into his belly. He'd grab my hair and do a weird chimp giggle thing that sounded like he was scraping his tonsils out. But he LOVED to have his belly tickled. Unfortunately, he wanted his belly tickled right then, right there in front of like 50 people at the carnival. I didn't want to do it because it suddenly occurred to me how that could gross some people out even though his belly didn't have hair on it and they bathed him daily. When I got close enough, he climbed me and started pushing his belly into my face. Though he was only about 2-3 years old then, chimps are 8 times stronger than humans. The more I tried to get my face away from his belly, the more he grabbed my head and pushed his belly into my nose. Unfortunately, it looked sort of obscene in the sense that everyone watching thought he was trying to hump my face like a dog does to people's legs. Really gross and embarrassing. And of course his owner just laughed her head off instead of trying to rescue me and get him off of me. My face was not red...it was purple and it stayed that way for an hour. I can't believe I'm even admitting this but you asked. LOL!
List three words that describe you.
I am a southern girl so I have some essential southern questions for you:
11. Sweet iced tea is really big down here; would you drink it sweet or unsweet and ice or no ice?
VERY sweet, and no ice.
12. What is your favorite comfort food?
My grandmother's homemade french fries with so much salt my kidneys go on strike and swell my fingers the next day for shaking so much on. LOL!
13. Do you watch college football? If so who is your favorite team?
Don't watch it much but if I did, I'd watch SIU. Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Illinois because that's where I live. Wait, does SIU even HAVE a football team? See? Told you I'm not much into football. I might be lucky to watch the Superbowl, and half the time I don't even know which teams are in it until half-time. My husband is more a music guy than into sports, so we only really get into NASCAR. I used to be into hockey, especially if there was a fight. LOL! But I gave up TV time in order to be able to have writing time.
14. Do you cook with bacon grease/drippings? Would you eat something with that in it.?
Because high-cholesterol and heart disease runs rampid in my family, I don't cook with it. BUT, at a recent writers' brainstorm and prayer retreat, we did cook the eggs in bacon grease and it was SO, SO good. Of course we all had gallbladder attacks an hour later. Kidding. I'll try to post a pic of the meal in fact.