Author Interview with Cherise A Arthurinterviewed on Apr 9, 2021 Beaverton, Oregon
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Q. How would you describe yourself?
I am an Oregonian who really loves reading, writing, travel, long walks in the woods and learning. I love living in Oregon where we have so many beautiful places to visit.
Q. Tell us something about the books that you have written and the story behind them.
My first book is titled "Sierra and Star". This book is about a young girl who loves ponies more than anything in the world. She is surprised by her parents to find a beautiful red pony on her front lawn and she names her Star. I have this book on Audible, Amazon and Kindle. My second book, Bella and the Queen's ponies is a fantasy for children 8 to 12 years old about a young girl who gets lost in in the Wistman Woods that are located in Dartmoor, England. It is a fun story about a her adventures in this 7,000 year old woods which in England. This is a real area filled with many legends and myths. I really enjoyed researching for this book and learning about all the legends of this area. The story behind Bella and The Queen's ponies was to a story about the amazing Dartmoor Ponies and to create a story for children that would benefit the ponies in Dartmoor. Part of the proceeds from this book will go to the Dartmoor Heritage Pony Foundation in Dartmoor, England
Q. What place does writing hold in your life, how has been your writing journey so far?
I have always enjoyed reading and writing and I think as I get older and like to read books from mature woman and I think I wanted to write and actually publish a book. I have used writing to cope with the death of loves ones and also to share stories that are important to my family history. After researching my family history I realized the importance of creating stories and keeping those stories and memories alive.
Q. What is your writing process, a typical writing day routine?
I like to write on the weekends, since I have a full time job and enjoy keeping notebooks of ideas for stories. I also, just to keep motivated, I signed up for a creative writing class at my local college in Portland, Oregon. I am looking forward to writing stories for the class.
Q. What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
So far I have been on 2 podcasts and am using social media during COVID. I would love to do things in schools once they reopen. I am on Audible, Amazon and Kindle and I am giving out promotional Audibles of my first book Sierra and Star.
Q. What do you think makes a book sell, or makes a reader buy it?
I think first you have to know your audience. Writing for kids is fun and talking with kids about the things that they like to is important to writing children's books. I think if you write a book and know our audience that is really helpful. With my second book I am going to be trying to share it in England on social media since it is based in Dartmoor, England.
Q. What's the most moving or affecting thing a reader has said to you?
That they loved my story and admired my book as a first time writer. I have also had friends tell me that they are proud of my first book and have been very supportive of my second book.
Q. What are your favourite three books, and why?
That is hard question. I love The Help. The story was so riveting and so important in telling the story of black women and how they have been treated. The main character is a writer who tells their story by writing a book and when the maid's owners find out all hell breaks loose and it just a beautiful story of how this young woman writer want to help tell their stories . I also like the book The Secret Lives of Bees by Sue Kidd Monk. I enjoyed the story and it was well written. I also like children's books and my favorites are My Friend Flicka, The Black Stallion and books about Misty by Margurite Henry.
Q. Who are your favourite three authors and what do you like the most about them?
I love Jane Austin because of her being a writer during her time and her stories are fascinating. I also love Mark Twain and his stories and I really think Margaret Atwood is hilarious and her work is something we can all learn from. She is an amazing writer and her books are fascinating.
Q. Tell us about the books that you are currently writing and their progress.
I am working on my second book Bella and the Queen's ponies which has been very fun to write. I had a concept and started with research and it just developed from there. I have had an Audible done and am working with two illustrators to do the book which will be on Amazon, Kindle and Audible. I am working with the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust fund to help support them and hope to give a percentage of my sales to them when the book is published and starts to sell. I have a wonderful actress from England Genevieve Steele doing the audio book after many try outs of people for the project. She did an amazing job bringing the story to light and she enjoyed the story as well. I am hoping to get the illustrations done really soon so that we can get the book available for readers in the US and the UK as well. This book is about the Dartmoor ponies and the Wistman Wood's which is over 7,000 years old. It was a lot of fun to research and write.
Q. What challenges do you think are faced by writers, what's the worst thing about the book industry according to you?
I think it can be really challenging to learn about how to market your book as self published author. I tried the traditional route and I learned that they want books that will sell and not necessarily good books. You also have to pay an agent who will get 15% of the fee. If you can sell publish and do it well you will be lucky but it takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work to do so. I don't like how long it takes for agents or publishers to get back to you. It is a number's game and that can be really really challenging.
Q. Apart from writing, what goals do you want to achieve in life?
Good question. I hope to travel and share my life experiences with students. I enjoy being in nature and would love to travel to other countries and learn about their cultures and keep learning. At one time in my life, I wanted to move to Colorado and have a ranch in the country. My wish now is to move to the country and live a more balanced life and enjoy time with friends and family. I have always loved the country and I miss it. Sometimes I just get in my car and drive to the country just to smell the air and be close to nature.
Q. At QwertyThoughts.com, we are trying to bring authors and readers under the same roof, to connect, discuss and socialize over books. What's your take on this?
I think it is a really good idea to have readers and writers connect and socialize over books. It is a good way to learn from others. I think that most writers are readers and we can learn from each other. I look forward to learning more through this.
Q. What message do you want to share with budding writers?
It is should be fun and rewarding to find your voice. I say find your voice first and them have the confidence to write your stories and share them. You will have people that may not like your style but that is ok because everyone likes different types of work. Find your style and our audience and enjoy writing. Find time to make your better writing my keeping a journal and writing prompts or just write about your day and what you see and hear. I just stepped outside for a moment and was watching birding building a nest for spring. Stopping and watching around you and taking in the details will make you a much better writer. Enjoy the process.