Today, we're welcoming Cheryl Wyatt back with the second book in her Love Inspired series, A Soldier's Family.
I love romance and happily ever afters and have a great respect for our military. Also, I see a lot of military romance writers writing about Special Forces soldiers who are Navy SEALs but not a lot about PJs. What they do is so fascinating (they're the ones who drop behind enemy lines to rescue downed pilots, etc), I wanted to honor them in my books.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
When I got married and when my children were born. Also when I found out the doctors had misdiagnosed me for a year and a half. LOL! Sounds strange, but the previous diagnoses had no cure in sight...just excruciating pain forever. LOL! But when they figured out what was really going on, they realized they could surgically fix it. Major surgery yes, but major relief for me because pain was driving me out of my mind and straining every relationship in my life.
And I'm so glad you're better. How has being published changed your life?
It has helped me to know where to focus my writing efforts and my time, writing-wise. It has made me respect editors and published authors more because I had NO idea how very much work goes into one book. It is such a team effort. My editor congratulated me for getting a Top Pick on my debut novel recently, and I kind of felt like I should be congratulating her and the entire Steeple Hill team who worked to make my book the best it could be.
What are you reading right now?
Just finished For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn and Next Door Daddy by Debra Clopton. Both great books. I'm also reading military and medical research on Mosaic Down Syndrome for a secondary character. I'm also starting a Harlequin NASCAR story by Abby Gaines. Bible-wise...I'm stuck in Isaiah at the moment. LOL!
Actually, I'm in Isaiah right now, too. What is your current work in progress?
I'm working on the next proposal in my USAF Pararescue Jumper series (Wings of Refuge) of which I've sold three to Steeple Hill.
What would be your dream vacation?
For my entire family, extended and all, to visit Disney together during the day...and take my children in the evening so I can hole myself up by the hotel pool and write. LOL!
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I like to pick unique places, mostly places I've lived or been to. I usually pick a real area but insert a fictional town in there somewhere. My Wings of Refuge series is set in beautiful, rustic Southern Illinois where I live, but there isn't really a town called Refuge here. There is, however, a huge wldlife refuge in the area that I fashioned fictional Refuge after.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I cannot decide! Probably my husband, Billy, because I love him and you can't be in his presence without laughing. He's a hoot.
We all love Billy. He is a special man. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love crafts of all sorts. Cardmaking. Woodworking. Clay. Anything creative. Habitually organizing. Acoustic guitar. I research as a hobby too. LOL!
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Knowing what and who to say no to. Seems like I keep cutting back and still don't have enough time. So I try to ask God to order my day and that helps a lot. I'm a perfectionist so I tend to spend too much time on things that don't really require as much attention and time as I give it.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read a lot. Write a lot. Pray. Persist. Be willing to hear hard things about your writing and determine to obey God every step. Stay as revisable as your stories...meaning let God use the journey to mold you into someone editors and agents would want to work with long-term. Write as worship first and foremost. He's your first readership.
A Soldier's Family is book 2 in my Wings of Refuge series. A pararescue jumper (PJ) recovers in Refuge from a skydiving accident and befriends a young widow and her son. He is also a widower and doesn't feel worthy of another family since he lost his young son to drowning and feels responsible for the death. Fiesty Celia (heroine) vowed never to fall for guys packing heat again since she lost her husband in the line of duty as a cop. They met in book one, but didn't get off to a great start. They both come to realize that God wants more for them than they thought possible. This is not the official back cover blurb...Steeple Hill did a much better job. LOL! It's on the cover flat.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My Web site is www.cherylwyatt.com and my blog is www.scrollsquirrel.blogspot.com. I can be found on Shoutlife, My Space, etc, and there are links on my Web site for that. There is also a place to sign up for my author mailing list on the home page of my Web site.
Thanks so much for featuring me, Lena! This was great fun. I hope readers enjoy the stories. Book one (A Soldier's Promise which received a Jan 2008 Top Pick! from Romantic Times) may still be available on Amazon and eharlequin.
Thank you, Cheryl, for this special time with us.
Readers, be sure and check out her two web sites.
Want a free copy of her book? Leave a comment. (But don't forget to check back and see if you won.