I was born and raised in a small town on the central coast of California, about 20 minutes from the beach. After I married, we moved 15 miles north to an even smaller town, population 1,259.
Remember the popular TV sitcom, Cheers? The regulars walked into the bar and everyone shouted their name. That’s the area where I live…and I love it.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that childhood dream affected your career?
In second grade, my teacher, Mrs. Hayes, asked us to draw a picture of what we wanted to be when we grew up. My parents framed it, and the drawing hung in various rooms throughout the house for years. I’ll have to ask them what they did with it.
I had drawn a big, jewel-encrusted throne with me sitting in the chair wearing a huge grin, sacks of money all around. The caption read: I WANT TO BE RICH.
Obviously, I didn’t get the golden throne or sacks of money, but I am wearing that grin! Especially now with Remedy Maker in publication and more books on the way. My parents hung my drawing as a motivation to reach our goals. I reached mine, and I’m going to keep reaching for the next…and the next.
- Tell us about your latest book. Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?
Here’s my blurb:
Man by day, Centaur by night, Rhycious is a remedy maker who needs his own healing.
He’s the royal physician, famous for his cures. War and posttraumatic stress disorder has broken his spirit, preventing him from finding true happiness. Then a direct order from the queen to investigate an uprising forces him out of his secluded cabin at the edge of the forest.
Patience is an optimistic, good-natured Wood Nymph who works as a mediator to ensure harmony within the Nymph sector.
Environmental pollution in the aquifer stream that feeds the taproot tree of her heart is slowly killing her. Resigned to the fact she will not live long, she sets out to discover the mysterious disappearance of her sister. Experience has taught her to deny herself the love of a male, but the gruff Centaur is different. He doesn’t push his expectations on her, only his healing nature.
When Rhycious loses his grip on reality, he believes his inability to control his disorder will drive Patience away. Nevertheless, desire flares, and Patience draws him close. Kidnapping and betrayal turn their mythic joint venture into a deadly bout.
Will their love endure when survival hinges on trusting each other?
I’m currently writing two books — Book Two of the Centaur series tentatively named Trolly Yours. The outline is complete and I’m digging in with all ten fingers to finish the book. The story involves a character with a huge ego named Aleksander, previously introduced in Remedy Maker. He meets the only mythic female in the Boronda Forest who isn’t fazed by his charms and good looks…and the sparks fly!
I also wrote a short story called Portals of OZ for one of my publisher’s anthologies (Love Down Under) and had so much fun that I decided to write additional shorts for two more anthology calls. The stories are based on the mythological characters I created for the Boronda Forest.
- Have you ever used contemporary events or stories “ripped from the headlines” in your work?
Because I plot my stories out before I ever start writing, I haven’t had an opportunity to use current events. But I tell you what — I’ve seen a few stories that I thought would make a GREAT book and wished I had time to write them.
- Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
For me, getting myself “in the zone” where I’m totally immersed in my characters and story can sometimes be a challenge. Outside factors know how to creep in and pull me away time and again. Family, ranch chores, checking Facebook and email (I confess, I’m addicted to both. *hides face in hands*), are occupational hazards that detour my muse. But once I find the rhythm and have my mojo flowing, I can really pour it on!
- What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Find a critique group specific to your genre and join. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get another pair of eyes on your work. The friendships and associations I’ve made with other authors —both published and upcoming— are invaluable to me now.
Also, take writing classes on craft. Many are free online. Learn as much as you can to produce the best quality work. I’ve found great workshops through Savvy Authors.
- Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Thankfully, I’ve never had that problem. I once had a serious case of the I don’t wanna’s, but after taking a much needed break from daily writing, I caught my breath. Critiquing for others also helps to stimulate my imagination.
- Who is your favorite author and why? What books have most influenced your life?
Wow – tough question! There’s so many authors I love, but I’ll name three: Cherry Adair, Jacquelyn Frank, and JR Ward. Each has their unique voice and fresh outlook. I’ll choose Cherry Adair to explain why she’s my favorite.
Cherry has this uncanny ability to combine suspense, HOT guys, the paranormal, and love all rolled up in a sexy story package. The way she builds her characters—layering them—I feel I never get to know the whole persona until the end of the book. She keeps me turning the pages and on the edge of my seat, book after book.
As far as what books have influenced my life, that would be:
- The Bible (for obvious reasons).
- Save The Cat by Blake Snyder – because without structure, I would have been lost as a writer.
- And the first romance novel I ever read: The Black Lyon, by Jude Deveraux. I still have the copy! I instantly fell in love with hard-to-tame alpha men, and the women who catch their eye.
- How did you deal with rejection letters?
The first rejection letter I received…I cried while my husband hugged me. It was the only time I did the boo-hoo tango. After the initial shock wore off, and more rejections came in, I started a file to throw them in. I labeled it “Oh Well.”
- What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
- I can’t work without a high quality thesaurus.
- An external or online backup program is definitely a must. I’ve seen too many of my friends lose their work — some of them have lost whole manuscripts!
- I prefer to write on my computer. For me, this tool is a must-have!
- Character Charts and Story Outline.
- A good critique group and/or a few reliable crit partners. This last must-have is a personal preference, and I understand it’s not for everyone.
- Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?
The imaginary line I choose not to cross is what I wouldn’t want to read either. In a romance, who wants to read about projectile vomit or wounds with gaping entrails? Also, I keep my heat level in line with the genre I write, which is sensual.
- What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
Oh my gosh! I had a sword fight with my kids in the living room. I wanted to see if I had choreographed a fight scene correctly and if my moves would really work. While the fight sequence went smoothly, my kids had a blast and I *gulp* was made to walk the plank!
- Don’t forget to give us links to your website etc.
Thank you so much for having me here today. You asked many great questions that made me stop and think. I want to remind everyone to leave their email address in the comments for a chance to win the swag package prize!
You can find me at these online locations:
Google+: http://gplus.to/Sheri Fredricks
Rhycious opened the door indicated to him by the harried palace aide and stepped into a mid-size stallroom. After a moment, his eyes adjusted to the room’s dim glow. Oil paintings depicting battle scenes decorated the pale peach walls. He peered closer at one portrait in particular.
Dead Wood Nymphs. Damn.
His gaze swept the room. Patience slept sprawled on the traditional Centaur floor bed; face up, arms thrown over her head. Her small hiking boots lay in disarray where she must have kicked them off. A lightweight blanket covered her.
Her sexy mouth hung open and the most charming snuffles came out. He grinned with bottomless peace and satisfaction. I must have it bad if I think her snores are cute.
Not able to stop himself, he crouched down and kissed her.
Patience stirred and yawned.
Rhycious stroked wisps of hair away from her cheek with his finger. “I’ve ordered some food delivered to the room.” He circled her delicate ear. “Thought you might be hungry.”
Her sleepy, innocent eyes blinked. She started to smile, but a huge yawn invaded the lower half of her face, and she arched in a body stretch that lifted the draped cover. Would it slide down and reveal her body to him? His whole being seemed to be filled with waiting.
“I wasn’t fungry until you mentioned it.” She pushed to a sitting position, and the blanket fell away. Beneath the thin top, her nipples hit the cool air and peaks hardened in an instant.
Drab military green would forever be his favorite color.
“Do you feel any better?” he asked.
“Why are you asking my breasts?”
“I can’t help it. They’re pointing at me.”
And they were. His tongue remembered the taste of her and flicked out to lick his lips. Rhycious’s field of vision narrowed as he moved closer to her sleep warmed body.
Mr. Happy twitched his approval.
I have a fabulous prize for one lucky commenter at each of my tour stops, so don’t forget to leave your email address! Among other swag goodies, your name will go into a drawing for the grand prize of a $20 Amazon gift card at the end of my book tour.
Buy link: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Remedy-Maker-ebook/dp/B008S29WT2/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344020682&sr=1-2&keywords=remedy+maker