Books featuring singers are among some of my favorite reads. The glitz and glamour of their lives and their struggles to find true love from someone who can see past their fame especially pull at my heartstrings. Shameless by Cheryl Douglas is one of those reads that kept me captivated from the very beginning and courtesy of Bewitching Book Tours I get to bring you a glimpse of this book and its author. Not only that, but there's also an opportunity to win an eBook copy of Shameless. So let's dig into this book with my interview of Cheryl Douglas......
TSP: How did you get where you are today with your writing career? Was there an exact moment when you knew you had to be a writer?
CD: I got to where I am by facing my fears and trusting my instincts. I knew my active family, busy lifestyle and full-time job wouldn't allow me to find the time for writing, because I’d been trying to achieve that balance for years. So, I quit my job and committed to writing full-time. It was the best decision I've ever made.
In terms of that 'big moment' when I knew I had to be a writer, let’s just say that it was a long time coming! I've been penning stories since I was a kid. I've taken dozens of writing courses, attended numerous seminars and workshops, and always dreamed of taking the plunge, one day. Well, as a busy nutritionist in private practice, the lease was up on my commercial space and I decided it was now or never. I referred my clients to a capable colleague and I've never looked back.
TSP: What was it like getting your first book published and seeing it in its completed form? Did you send a copy to everyone you know or will they have to pay for it like everyone else?
CD: What was in like to see my published work for the first time? In a word, awesome. And not just the first time, but every single time. When you work on a project for so many months and finally bring it to life, from conception to completion, it's so rewarding to finally get it into the hands of readers. I can't imagine that feeling will ever get old.
I have given my books away to family and friends, but only if they're readers of the genre. Somehow, I just can't see my dear old dad reading one of my books. LOL!
TSP: Your new release, Shameless, features a country singing hero. Musicians seem to be a popular theme, so what do you think it is about these kinds of heroes that appeal to readers?
CD: I think we all love music, regardless of the genre. We buy music because we like a particular artist. We like their look, sound, message, or just everything about them. I think people are curious to learn more about the artists they love and books about musicians allow readers to get a fictitious peek into the lives of these characters. Not to mention the fact that cowboys have long been a popular theme in the romance genre. Country artists are often just sexy cowboys with an amazing voice.
TSP: Shameless is the beginning of the Nashville Nights series. What is this story about and how are the stories connected?
CD: The first book in the series, Shameless, is about a country music star with a lifetime of regrets, but his single biggest regret is his divorce. He wants to make up for the sins of his past and try to win his ex back.
Shameless was a book I'd had in the back of my mind for years, begging to be told. So, I knew that book was a given. I didn't expect that book to evolve into a series, but it became clear that these strong secondary characters needed a voice of their own. Instead of questioning it, I just decided to go with it and four books became six books.
All of the books focus on characters who continue to re-appear throughout the series so readers will feel like they're catching up with old friends with each new book they read. I love a series because it gives readers another glimpse into the lives of their favorite characters. The happy after the happily ever after, so to speak.
TSP: Do you have any other WIPs you can share with us?
CD: I'm working on an erotic novella trilogy under a different pen name at the moment. That is also set to be released in early 2012. I've completed the first four books in the Nashville Nights series so I'm also working on the fifth book in that series right now.
TSP: How has the digital revolution affected your career and how you market yourself?
CD: It's been a game changer, for sure. I struggle to maintain a healthy balance sometimes because as much as I'd love to spend hours online everyday connecting with fans, I have to balance that with my writing time. I love social networking and I definitely use the Internet as a marketing tool but at the end of the day, if I haven't met my writing goals, I don't feel that I've accomplished all that I should have. Keeping in touch with fans is a huge priority for me, but the number one question I get is always the same... When is the next book coming out? So, I think readers will forgive me if I spend the majority of my time writing.
Thanks to the digital revolution, authors are no longer just the photos on the back of a book jacket. Now, we’re real people and our readers have the chance to get to know us on a much more personal level thanks to our websites, blogs, and social media. I think readers are more apt to read an author’s book if they can relate to the writer on a personal level. It helps my readers to know that I’m a wife, mother, chauffeur, dog owner, and all of the other hats I wear because they can relate. In this busy world we live in, I’m humbled by the fact that my readers take time out of their busy lives to read something I’ve written. The least I can do is thank them in the only way I know how, by sharing my life and experiences with them.
TSP: My site is all about favorite things. What are your favourite things, the things you can't live without?
CD: I love your site, by the way. We really need to take time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. You asked which ‘things’ I couldn’t live without, because the people in my life take priority over things any day. But, the top five things I couldn't live without would probably be my laptop, Blackberry, eBook reader, iPod, and car. As I compiled that list, I noticed a disturbing trend emerging. Maybe I need help with my addiction to technology because if I were to add to that list I would probably include my iPad, rocket stick... No, I'm going to stop now. If my family or friends are reading this, they may decide to schedule an intervention. LOL!
TSP: Is there anything you'd like to ask those stopping by today?
CD: I’d like to ask your readers for a favor. Please, take a moment to send a message to your favorite author today. Tell them how their book helped you escape the daily grind for just a few minutes. If you’re anything like me, that few minutes of escape sometimes means the difference between sanity and the alternative. Writing is often a solitary profession so a kind word from a reader often reminds an author that their efforts are appreciated by their readers. It’s just a little way that you can pay it forward today...
In general, I encourage readers to maintain an open dialogue with the authors they love, tell them what you liked or didn’t like about their most recent books. We love reviews and feedback from our readers. Readers may think their opinions are of little value to authors because writing is a creative endeavor, but that isn’t true. At least, not for me. I want to know what my readers think about my work. I’m not going to lie, I love a five-star review, but nothing helps me to grow as a writer more than constructive criticism from a reader who took time out of their day to share their opinion with me. I welcome questions, comments, concerns and reviews from my readers, so please, keep them coming! Thanks!
By Cheryl Douglas
Trey Turner may be topping the country music charts but his life has been going downhill since his wife left him five years ago. He’s desperate to make amends for the mistakes he’s made and convince Sierra their love deserves a second chance.
Sierra Brooks is happy for the first time since her divorce. She has a career she loves and a fiancé who loves her. Unfortunately, her fiancé isn’t the only man professing his love. He may be able to offer her safety and security but will she decide to risk everything for another chance with the man who broke her heart?
It took me thirty-seven years to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought I'd found my calling. In fact, I worked as a nutritionist for twelve years before I finally admitted to myself that while I enjoyed my work, I couldn't imagine doing it for the next thirty years.
My sub-conscious knew that I wanted to be a writer long before the conscious part of my mind decided to get with the program. While my sub-conscious was hard at work creating character profiles, plots and storylines, my conscious mind was telling me it was crazy to give up a successful business on the off-chance one of my manuscripts might rise to the top of someone's never-ending slush pile. After years of listening to that negative voice, I was finally ready to stop making excuses, face the fear and follow my dream of becoming a full-time writer, no matter the outcome. I'm so thankful I did.
I love bringing my characters to life and I am so grateful to have readers who love those characters as much as I do.
When I take a break from writing it's to spend time with my husband (a.k.a. my real life hero), my son, and my writing partner, Tia, a spirited Havanese who enjoys tapping her paw on my keyboard whenever I need a little comic relief.
Prize is an eBook copy of Shameless
-Giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE!
-To be entered just leave a comment, along with your email addy.
-Winner will be chosen using random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to my winner's confirmation email or a new winner will be chosen.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 3/11.