Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Interview/Giveaway with Cheryl Brooks

Today my guest is Cheryl Brooks, author of the Cat Star Chronicles. Hi Cheryl, Welcome to Anna's Book Blog! Thanks for stopping by, it's a pleasure to have you here.

Thanks for having me here, Anna!

To start off can you tell the readers a little about yourself?

I'm the very last person you would look at and suspect of being a romance writer. I've been a night-shift critical care nurse for thirty years, and I look like one. I can talk with my patients about anything, but am pretty quiet around strangers in any other setting. I've been a horse lover all my life, and currently own four of them, but I don't ride nearly as much as I did before becoming a published author. Writing is one of those things that can eat up your spare time like nothing else. The good thing is that you can do it no matter what the weather is like. I enjoy cooking and gardening and I've played guitar since the age of ten. I've been married to a great guy for thirty years and have two wonderful sons.

Fugitive is your newest release, Can you tell us a little about it and the series?

The series is set a thousand years in the future. Space travel is commonplace and though we have explored much of our galaxy, there are still unknowns. My heroes are survivors of the war which destroyed their homeworld, a remote planet called Zetith, whose natives are a highly attractive and long-lived species of humanoids with feline traits. Captured near the end of the conflict, the men were slated to be executed, but were sold as slaves, instead. As if that weren't bad enough, there is a bounty on the survivors which makes their continued survival somewhat tenuous. No one is certain at this point in the series, but it is suspected that the world was targeted due to the drug-like nature of Zetithian semen and the remarkable sexual prowess of the males.

Fugitive is the story of Manx, a Zetithian who escaped from slavery and has been on the run for the past twenty-five years. His skills in stealth and concealment have enabled him to elude the Nedwut bounty hunters hunters thus far, but Drusilla, a lovely wildlife artist, makes him throw caution to the wind.

What is your writing day like?

It varies. I squeeze in writing around my schedule at the hospital, and have little time for much else. For example, I was supposed to be working tonight, but was put on call due to low census in the ICU, so I'm taking advantage of the extra time to get caught up on the guest blogs for Fugitive's promotional tour. However, on a day that I have off, I turn on my computer as soon as I get out of bed, and begin by answering emails and reading and commenting on various blog posts. Then I have breakfast and feed the horses and clean the barn. After that, I write the blogs I need for the next few days, which usually takes me until lunchtime. Then I work on my current work in progress the rest of the day, checking blogs and emails when I need a break and taking a couple of hours out to feed the horses again and fix dinner. After that, I'm usually on my computer until 11pm and then I get ready for bed and check my personal blog at midnight to make sure it posted correctly. Needless to say, by the end of the day, I have a little trouble standing up straight!

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I began writing about thirty years ago when I decided that what the world needed was a sizzling hot science fiction romance. I'd never read one, and I was tired of reading about doctors, lawyers, and millionaire heroes and wanted something different. It took me several starts and stops to get there, and I wrote several other books—mostly contemporary romances—before finally writing Slave, which turned out to be the first book in the Cat Star Chronicles series.

When you're not writing what kind of books do you like to read?

I've read all of Georgette Heyer's Regency romances, and I've always been a fan of Mary Stewart's romantic suspense novels. More recently, I fell in love with Harry Potter—just like millions of other readers. I have also read many of the books of my fellow Sourcebooks Casablanca authors, as well as those of my chapter sisters in the Indiana RWA. For me to go browsing in a bookstore and pick up a book to read just for pleasure doesn't happen very often anymore. I simply don't have the time!

Do you see the Cat Star Chronicles having an end or do you feel it's an open-ended series?

It was originally supposed to end with the sixth book, but I was asked to continue the series to nine books, therefore the story arc had to change to include more characters, so, at present, it's very open-ended. With the offspring of the various couples in the series as a springboard, it could continue on indefinitely, depending on the demand.

Out of all your Cat Star men, do you have a favorite?

My favorite is usually the one I'm writing about at the time. I fall in love with each of them in turn, and then move on to the next. However, I suppose Cat, the hero of the first book, will always be my favorite because he was the inspiration for the others.

Are there any real life people that have inspired the characters in your series?

Yes. Many of my characters are composites of different actors, characters, or people I've actually met. Most of the time, a reader would not recognize who the character was based on, and other times, they easier to see. In the beginning, Manx, the hero in Fugitive, was loosely based on actor Jeff Goldblum, but I doubt if anyone reading the book would realize that. However, Jacinth, the heroine in Slave, has a healthy dose of Han Solo in her, which some readers have noted.

What are 3 things that are "must haves" for you when you sit down to write a new book?

A hero, a heroine, and a basic plot. I make up the rest of it as I go along. If I'm too precise in the synopsis of a new story, it limits where I can go with it, but, fortunately, I'm not a slave to that original. Before becoming published and having an editor who wants to know in advance what the story will be about, I never wrote a synopsis prior to writing the book. I would have an idea in my head, and maybe write a few notes, but mostly I would start with page one and write it through to the end. Sometimes I jump ahead if I get an idea for a particular scene, but it's much more difficult to blend the parts together if I do that.

What is up next? If you can tell us a little about your next project?

Hero, the sixth book in the series has already been revised and sent to the copy editor, and I'm currently working on book seven, Renegade, which is about Dax, a Zetithian man who has been uninterested in women until meeting Ava, a human/aquatic alien hybrid who is determined to return to her former lover. She's a passenger aboard his ship, so there is plenty of opportunity for them to get acquainted, but Dax is not only a virgin, he is completely clueless when it comes to the rules of romance. In desperation, he seeks the advice of a friend who is a notorious ladies man, but will he help Dax, or steal Ava right out of his arms?

I'm always looking for new ideas, so if anyone has any to offer, I'd love to hear them!



FUGITIVE BY CHERYL BROOKS—
IN STORES JANUARY 2010
When a Zetithian fugitive meets a beautiful Earth woman, their passion may cost them both their lives...

Manx is a Zetithian fugitive with a feline gene that gives him remarkable sexual powers. He has been in hiding in the remote jungles of Barada Seven ever since being marked for extermination by the violent Nedwuts.

Artist Drusilla arrives on Barada Seven, enticed only by the promise of finding a nature paradise there. But she discovers a wildlife she wasn’t expecting when she encounters Manx. Reckless with desire for the beautiful Earth woman, Manx risks his life to win her as his mate.

It’s only a matter of time until the Nedwuts find them, but it will take all of Manx and Drusilla’s passion, skill, and ingenuity to survive.

About the Author
Cheryl Brooks is an Intensive Care Unit nurse by night and a romance writer by day. Previous books in The Cat Star Chronicles series include Slave, Warrior, Rogue and Outcast. Hero, book six, will be in stores August 2010. She is a member of the RWA and lives with her husband and sons in Bloomfield, Indiana. For more information, please visit: http://cherylbrooksonline.com/

___________________________________________________
GIVEAWAY:

Thanks to Sourcebooks I have two copies of Fugitive to giveaway. Open to U.S. & Canada. To enter leave a comment along with and email address. The winners will be announced on January 19th. Good Luck!!

52 comments:

  1. Well I didn't know you played the guitar Cheryl. Or maybe I did and I forgot. I have terrible memory.

    I like the glimpse you've given us about Renegade and Ava. I'm excited :D

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  3. I agree with Ana, Renegade and Dax sound wonderful! I'll be on pins and needles till we get to meet them. ;)

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  4. I'm excited about both Hero and Renegade.

    It is very cool that you can play guitar. What genre do you lean towards?

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  5. LOL! There's a picture of it on my website, Ana. Actually, I think it's the first thing you see when you pull up that page.
    Yes, I've played guitar since the age of ten. I went electric not long ago, and I LOVE IT!!!!
    Renegade should be fun, but the steamy stuff doesn't happen for a while. Be prepared!

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  6. Hi Razlover!
    Thank you so much! Good luck in the contest!

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  7. Dax is just plumb cool, Jessica. He's got piercings, tattoos, and dreadlocks!

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  8. Hang in there, Nancy! August will be here before you know it--though I'm a little worried that it will get here before I'm ready!

    I started off playing folk/contemporary style guitar and I still play a lot of John Denver's stuff (does that tell you anything about how long I've been at it?). Nowadays I play a little of this and a little of that, but more rock than country. I pick up individual songs rather than a particular genre. My friends are all country fans, so I have to play a few of them, too!

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  9. What a great interview! Cheryl I am already drooling waiting for Renegade - love a clueless virgin hunk with tats and piercings!! *grins*

    :o)

    MsM

    (please don't include me in the giveaway as I already have all Cheryl's books)

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  10. Hi, Cheryl! A great interview! You are an amazing lady! We should all be so focused and productive and keep our sense of fun! Pats to Peaches : )

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

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  11. See? Now I remember lol. And Dax is sounding yummier!

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  12. Great interview Anna and Cheryl! Those covers are hot! I always drool at your blog everyday Cheryl. Love those beefcake pics!

    Would love to be entered!
    Amy J
    djsfoxylady@gmail.com

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  13. Awesome interview and the book sounds fabulous! Loving the cover too!

    lilazncutie1215 @ yahoo.com

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  14. Cheryl always tempts me to pop on over to her blog during my work day but i know better! Thanks for a chance to win the newest book!

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  16. Yes, he's going to be fun, MsM. The trouble is, I'm not sure the "good parts" will come early enough in the story for some folks, but we'll see.

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  17. Thanks, Virginia C!
    Peaches thanks you, too!

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  18. Yes, Ana, and he's really, really tall, too!

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  19. Glad you enjoy the blog Amy J. It's been a lot of fun for all of us.
    Thanks!

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  20. Thanks, Jeanette!
    Good luck to you and all the entries in the contest!

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  21. No, Zephyr! Don't visit there while you're at work! I wouldn't want you or anyone else to get in trouble!

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  22. Great interview. Nurse and author- no wonder you have no free time!

    the[dot]distant[dot]light[at]gmail[dot]com

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  23. Great interview. Your books sound wonderful.

    Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  24. *Grin* Please DO keep me in the contest even if I have all of Cheryl's books. I have a good friend book buddy to whom I would gift a win and I think she would love Fugitive:)

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  25. This is just so cool!!

    I bought Outcast yesterday because the cover is excellent and I love the blurb on the back. I came home to research online and I seen it is the 4th book..... but that's okay. I am going to get the earlier ones and I would love to be entered into this contest!!=)

    You can reach me through my blogger account by clicking on my user name!!=)

    Very cool indeed!!!=)
    I do hope I win this one!!!

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  26. Anna & Cheryl-that was a really good interview! And that little tease about Dax...a virgin? Wow! Fugitive is a fantastic read! Manx is very HOT as are all the Zetithians!

    Anna-love what you've done with your blog!

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  27. Great interview. I'd love to read the book.

    forwhlz at gmail dot com

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  28. great interview Cheryl - I'm glad that the series has no definitive end. Looking forward to Hero and Renegade...gotta love a virgin with tatts and piercings.

    Thanks for the chance to win the latest in the series.

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  29. Great interview! This series sounds so good :)

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  30. Thanks, DL and Crystal!
    LOL! That no time thing is forcing me to group these replies. Gotta work tonight!

    Good girl, Nancy! Spread the word!

    Chasity,
    The books are best if read in order, but it isn't a must, by any means. Get ready for some tears with Outcast, though. The last page makes me cry every time!

    Yes, Lisa, a virgin! That moment when it finally happens to him has yet to be written. It's gonna be so much fun...

    Good luck, Sandy J!

    Devon,
    It was originally supposed to end with book six, but that changed. Not sure how many there will be now. Possibly nine, but we'll see!

    Thanks, throuthehaze! Good luck to you!

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  31. Well, I love Cheryl's books so much.
    And really look forward to the next book in August. But I think Dax should play guitar and sing love songs. And he might seduce his love with song.

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  32. I have read all of the books in this series but Fugitive. I loved each and every one of them!

    Renegade and Dax sound Awesome!

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  33. Hi Cheryl and Anna, that was a great interview. I knew all those things about you, Cheryl because I follow your blog. I follow (lurk) because of the wonderful recipes and pictures (ahem) that go with them. *grin* I even made the Potato Soup, and it was great. DH says its a keeper!

    Looking forward to the next books in the series.

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  34. I've always believed that authors are the best multi-taskers. I really don't know how you do it.

    It's cool that you used Jeff Goldblum as a template, I've always liked him, he seems like such a cool laid back guy. Who says nice guys have to finish last!

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  35. Hi Cheryl,
    Congrats on your new book! I'm glad to hear that the series will not be ending with the 6th book. Can't wait to read Fugitive.

    cldivineATyahooDOTcom

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  36. Hey Ms. Cheryl! Hey Anna! Great interview ladies!
    Okay, we need another Christmas - so I can get more gift cards!!!!! So then I can get my hands on these books!!! Please drop my name in this magical hat!!! The things I have heard about these men... oh yum!
    Hope all is well!

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  37. Please count me in.

    simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

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  38. Please enter me. Thanks for the chance.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

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  39. Cheryl Thanks again for stopping by and chatting. :) What a great turn out!

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  40. Wonderful interview! I would love to read Fugitive, please count me in!

    Anna ♥
    goodgonegirl@gmail.com

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  41. Hi Donna! Good idea, I'll see if I can work that into the story.

    Here's your chance to win, Estella! Good luck!

    Glad you and your DH liked the soup, Armenia. It's always been a favorite around here. Happy lurking!

    Hi Sue A!
    I loved Jeff Goldblum in Independence Day the most, but he's good no matter what he does. And my nice guys NEVER finish last!

    Booklover,
    No telling when the series will end if they sell well. Be sure to tell your friends!

    Hi Cecile!
    Just remember, Valentine's Day is coming. You know what to ask for!

    Good luck in the contest Stacie, Bethie, and Anna with a heart!

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  42. Thanks so much for having me here, Anna! It's been a blast!

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  43. Great Interview! Please count me in.

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

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  44. I enjoyed this interview with Cheryl! Please count me in!

    delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  45. Good luck in the contest, I Heart Book Gossip and etirv! Thanks for dropping by!

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  46. justpeachy36@yahoo.com

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

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  47. Please enter me in the contest.

    Thanks,
    tradingaddress at gmail dot com

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  48. I enjoyed the interview very much and I will look forward to reading your book.

    seriousreader at live dot com

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  49. Hi Justpeachy36, Linda, and Alphaville!
    Thanks for stopping by. Good luck in the contest!

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  50. Enter me in please. Thanks!

    kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

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  51. Enjoyed your interview. I have heard impressive things about your series.

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  52. I enjoyed the post.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    tracey D
    booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

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