Monday, December 07, 2009

Author Interview: Cheryl Pierson

TimePlainsDrifter-CherylPierson Cheryl Pierson is the author of Fire Eyes, a new historical romance that has already received much acclaim by readers and reviewers. If you haven’t yet, you can  read my review of this page-turner set in Oklahoma’s Indian Territory just after the end of the War Between The States. If you have a question or comment for Cheryl, please feel free to leave it in the comments after the interview! I’m happy she was able to find time in her hectic schedule to provide a short interview for us.

LK: Hi Cheryl! Thanks for being here! First off, I always give authors I review (if I can reach them) a chance to respond to what I said, agree or disagree. Would you like to take this chance to comment on the review?

CP: Thanks for having me, Loraine. It’s a pleasure to be here! The review was wonderful, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the story of Fire Eyes. I’m especially pleased to know you found the telling of it true to life and realistic.

LK: I’m glad you were happy with the review! Tell us a little about how Fire Eyes came about.

CP: Fire Eyes was my fourth attempt at a sellable manuscript. The first book I wrote was way too long for mass consumption—over 1000 pages! The second one needed work, because I tried to shorten that story at the expense of the characters. A paranormal was #3, and then Fire Eyes came along. I really seemed to “hit my stride” with Fire Eyes. The characters were so strong and real to me that the story actually told itself. Growing up all my life in Oklahoma, the setting was natural. The places are actual, so I’m sure that helps with the overall feel of the book.

LK: As another “long” writer, I understand completely! Isn’t it nice when you feel that stride kick in?

From our conversations, I know you’re a music lover like I am. While my only ‘band’ experience was in school, you played in an actual band. Would you like to share a bit about that?

CP: Sure! My husband, Gary, is a fantastic rhythm guitarist, and has played and recorded professionally. When he and I started dating, he’d play and we began to sing together. Eventually, we added another guitarist who played lead. We entertained as a group for a while in local clubs, then when Gary got transferred to Oklahoma, he and I continued to perform together at local clubs and restaurants, both of us playing guitar (yes, that was pretty daunting for me!) I really enjoyed the band, but at first I was very nervous, and always worried I’d forget the words! < G >

LK: Sounds like an incredible experience. :-)  So, do you see a similarity in process between creating music and creating a story?

CP: Writing a song is a lot like writing a short story, or a novel. Trying to make an entire story fit into three stanzas is one of the hardest things in the world to do. Anyone who knows me knows that I love—absolutely love—Marty Robbins. He was a master at being able to tell a story in the most unusual ways, but he always got the point across and did it with flair. From the time I was about three years old, I loved “El Paso”—the story of an “old west” outlaw and Felina, the dancer he loves. He gets killed at the end of the song, and what could be more romantic than that!? Years later, I learned Marty had written a companion song about Felina, and why she’d come to El Paso, and what happened to her after her lover was killed. Not only that, but he wrote yet another song about the subject. In “El Paso City” the story is told from yet another perspective—one that haunts me. A man is flying over “El Paso City” thinking about the story of the outlaw and Felina. He feels he might be the re-incarnation of the outlaw: “Can it be that man can disappear from life to live another time? And does that mystery deepen ’cause you think that you, yourself lived in that other time?” The story line was carried through three songs, two of them major hits.

LK: Do you see yourself bringing your music background into a book at some point in the future?

CP: I had a plot line for a story, a contemporary, that was about a band and their newest member—the niece of their label owner. Of course, she’s got talent, but they don’t like having her crammed down their throats as an unwanted member of the band.

LK: Of course I’m intrigued by your concept and will be watching to see if it evolves.  ;-)  Speaking of story lines, I love to hear about beginnings and inspirations. Do you remember when you first sat down to write a novel? How did that come about?

CP: It seems I was always writing. I remember when I was ten, telling my mom I wanted to write a really long book. She asked me what it was going to be about and I told her “Cowboys!” LOL The desire was always there, but real life intervened until I was in my twenties. I married Gary when I was 21. He had two kids by his first wife who eventually came to live with us (the kids, not the wife!) About this same time, he took a job where he was traveling all the time. I had a job I absolutely hated. I wrote at night to keep my sanity. I thought about what I was going to write all day, then after dinner when the kids were doing their homework, I started writing my book.

LK: Ah, quite a few similarities to my own story! It is such a sanity saver, isn’t it?  While we’re on that topic, just for fun – what is your favorite color? And do you have a favorite artist or style of art?

CP: You know, I don’t really have a favorite color—just don’t like pastels. I like deep, rich colors. My favorite style of art is western and Native American art. I love Tom Ryan, and even had the chance to meet him when I worked at the museum. Other western artists that I really like are Don Spaulding, Carrie Ballantyne (man, she is amazing with colored pencils!), Harley Brown, Tim Cox, William Acheff…too many to mention. I like Donald Vann, Bert Seabourne (hope I’m spelling that right!) Jerome Tiger and Woody Crumbo—these are all Native American artists, and again, just the tip of the iceberg—too many to mention. For a great sampling of western and Native American art, take a look at http://www.nationalcowboymuseum.org/

LK: Now there are some names I’ll have to look up!

So tell me, if you won an all-expense-paid month-long trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

CP: Ireland. No doubt about it. I have ancestors from there that I would love to know more about. I’d spend time researching.

LK: Ireland is gorgeous! I sure hope you get there to research and sight-see!  Speaking of travel, your next book, Time Plains Drifter, will be out in December! Would you tell us about it?  (interviewer note – I’m late putting this up and the novel is already out!)

CP: Time Plains Drifter is a paranormal time-travel western historical. It takes place in 1895, Indian Territory. In this story, the hero, Rafe d’Angelico, is gunned down in the first chapter. He’s a U.S. Territorial Marshal and he and his older brother, Cris, are betrayed by fellow marshal Josiah Kemp, and murdered. Sixteen years later, Rafe is “brought back” to help a beautiful young school teacher and seven of her students who have been flung backward in time from 2010 when a comet rearranges the bands of time on earth. Rafe is a very reluctant angel. He wants only to be human again—to have his life back. But when he learns that Satan’s minions are after one of the school teacher’s young charges, he can’t turn his back. The problem is, figuring out which one of them Hell is seeking. And in the process, he pits himself once more against his nemesis, Josiah Kemp, who will stop at nothing to prove his worth to the Dark One. This time around, Rafe finds he’s got so much more to lose—and that surprises him.

LK: I have to tell readers that I’m heavily into reading Time Plains Drifter at the moment and am riveted by the story! Review will follow before long. A nice Christmas buy for any reader into westerns and/or paranormals, plus romance, of course!

Cheryl, thank you again for taking the time to chat with us. Before you go, please leave links where we can find you and your books. Best of luck for your continuing success!

CP: Thanks again for having me, Loraine. I enjoyed this!

A Night For Miracles is available at The Wild Rose Press:   http://www.thewildrosepress.com/a-night-for-miracles-p-3787.html

I also have another Christmas short story, a FREE READ, available there, Until the Last Star Burns Out:
http://www.thewildrosepress.com/until-the-last-star-burns-out-p-1065.html

My debut novel, Fire Eyes: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/cheryl-pierson-m-534.html  is also available at The Wild Rose Press.

My second novel, TIME PLAINS DRIFTER was released through Class Act Books on December 1st: http://www.classactbooks.com/bkpgtimeplainsdrifter.html

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11 comments:

Keena Kincaid said...

Great interview, Cheryl. Fire Eyes is one of my favorite books of yours (although the one I'm reading right now--Time Plains Drifter--might knock it into second place).

Cheryl said...

Hi Keena!
I really enjoyed doing this interview. Loraine has some unusual questions -- I had to stop and think! LOL I'm so glad to know that you are enjoying Time Plains Drifter so much! Now sometime in 2010, (hopefully) my first contemporary will be out with TWRP--SWEET DANGER. Yes, it also has a wounded hunk in it.LOL
Thanks for coming by!
Cheryl

LK Hunsaker said...

Hey Keena! Thanks for coming by. :-)

Cheryl, unusual - LOL! Glad it didn't feel like the same ole same ole.. ;-) I stayed up way too late last night reading, I want you to know. I might have to agree with Keena.

Dorothy said...

You girls make me really want to read both these books, but here's my dilemna...I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of Loraine's newest book: "Off The Moon", and now I need to order both these books: "Fire Eyes" and "Time Plains Drifter" and how will I get them all read, with all the other things I need to do? Such a problem. ;)
Seriously, this was a very good review & interview.

LK Hunsaker said...

LOL! I have two or three of Keena's books sitting here waiting for me, also! This month and next are 'heavy reading' month to catch up some. ;-)

I'll be posting more book reviews and promos this month for Christmas gift ideas, plus some music and maybe other artsy stuff. I meant to start on the 1st, but...

Cheryl said...

Loraine!
Well, that's fine with me, if TPD takes over #1 from Fire Eyes. Maybe the next one will take over that same spot too. LOL I truly did enjoy this interview. Great questions. As far as being a bit behind...I'm just now putting up my tree. I can't remember the last time my tree wasn't up on Thanksgiving Day. I am going to take some time over Christmas to READ too! I can't wait.
Cheryl

Cheryl said...

Hi Dorothy!

I have a list of books to order for myself, and believe me, Off the Moon is on that list. I love the way Loraine writes--her thoughtfulness and the thought provoking aspects of each of her characters.

Time Plains Drifter and Fire Eyes are both very different from one another. I don't believe you'll be bored in either case--there's always plenty of action. I wish you many hours of great reading pleasure from whatever you choose to read! Thanks so much for stopping by.
Cheryl

StephB said...

Cheryl & Loraine, what a nice interview. Cheryl, I loved Fire Eyes. It was a good western and I'm not much on westerns. If you write, I'll be there. I am enjoying Time Plains Drifer very much. Nice to learn about your musical roots, too.

Smiles
Steph

Cheryl said...

Hi Steph!

WOW what a wonderful compliment!!! Can you see my head swelling???? LOL I'm SO glad you liked Fire Eyes, and that you are enjoying Time Plains Drifter, too. They are so completely different. Thanks so much for coming over and leaving a comment.
Cheryl

LK Hunsaker said...

Cheryl, thank you. Now my head's swelling. ;-)

Hey Steph! I'm not much of a western reader, either, but Cheryl's are an exception.

Cheryl said...

Loraine,

Thank you so much for having me here. I know how busy you are, and that you have been under the weather some in the recent past, too. I really enjoyed this interview!

Cheryl