Here we are on a new dawn and the most visited page is our About page. Clearly, you all want to know more about us and what we do. We decided the best way for you to get to know us was to ask each other questions and I, Chebk, have interviewed Cheri and asked her random and pointed questions for your amusement. There has been some liberties taken, but all for the sake of entertainment.
What drew you to writing?
She stares into the distance melancholically. Laughs maniacally.
I had a creative writing teacher in elementary school that was really old and vaguely senile but only a handful of kids were chosen to take this class during regular class periods. She had us write things like “A Story About My Favorite Candy.” I liked that there was no pressure in these classes and everyone got pretty stickers no matter what we wrote. It really — I don’t know — influenced(?) me. It opened up a lot of possibilities, no constraints.
I didn’t get to go to creative writing classes. That’s not fair!
Life is not fair. But I will read your story about your favorite candy.
Such insolence! I am the interviewer! Also a boring answer.
A Rita Skeeter-esque interview. “Melancholically.”
Such lies. Back to the interview. What would you do if you were 5’ 1” instead of 4’5”?
Oh, the things I could reach. Life would be very different. Maybe I would have stopped trying to date people way too tall for me to be dating. Maybe my womb would have craved more average height genes. I regret answering this question.
[Eye twitches with uncertainty.] The countries you could conquer? Yes, yes. What will you write next? A sequel to your sci-fi? (Original post about story found HERE.)
I have a few storylines I want to try to get published somewhere down the road. I’ve been looking at how I can write local fiction that hasn’t been done before on a mainstream scale (a zombie apocalypse in Hawaii?). I also have a mythology thriller I want to work out — con people with wings and snakes for hair — once I expand on the world. But I’m not saying no to a sequel yet for my current piece, I guess.
Awesome. So many different genres. Do you ever think you’ll settle in one genre?
Probably not. I don’t see myself as a genre writer so much as a character writer. I follow where the characters’ stories go. This is not always easy, as evidenced by my first foray into science fiction (which I was not able to accomplish alone!)
At least you have accomplished it! The victories. Curious that you would have such a variety of characters. Such a different way of writing. You normally start with the characters?
Ehh. It’s usually a culmination of a vague story idea and a vague main character trait. For example, my current work started with a desire to write a group dynamic and people in space. I started with the idea of a hacker with a panic disorder and a gay captain and went from there. Eventually they got taken out of space but their character traits stuck.
Interesting. What or who would you say influenced your writing style the most?
I’m drawn towards writing styles that use a lot of imagery and language play and I think these are the styles that influence me the most (or, more accurately, that I tried to imitate early on in my writing): Jeanette Winterson, Tanuja Desai Hidier, etc. I’m into Gillian Flynn right now and her use of unreliable narrative structures, too.
These are all people I do not know and I still find it fascinating that you wrote sci-fi. Why did you choose to get a Master’s degree?
I did not choose science fiction, science fiction chose me. As for the Master’s degree… I am very good at operating in the school system (as opposed to the ADULT LIFE, evidenced by my current circumstances; I am a sham), so I took advantage of that to stay in school and start my current novel as my thesis. This worked out well in the end as I was able to get a lot of editing and feedback done in the guise of academia.
[Lol] Very King Arthur.
Finally, if you could have any job in the world that wasn’t a writer, what would it be?
As I am now or if I was competent in that area?
As you are now.
Shit. Uhhm. I can’t confidently say I’m competent in many other areas. I wouldn’t mind learning how to bake or cook. Chef stuff. I’ve wanted to be some kind of entrepreneur under the misguided assumption that it’ll be better to be my own boss, but really I just want more bookstores in Hawaii, and all the better if it’s my own. Although I’ve read that one has less time for books when owning a bookstore so… I don’t know. I’m a mess unless I’m writing!
Cheri has always been amazing and captures the essence of characters. Now I know it is from starting with characters and building up. She has a lyrical way of writing that I will always admire and years of practice have honed it into a deadly skill.
Are there any other questions you’d like to ask Cheri? Let us know in the comments!