Today's special guest is Cheryl Douglas. Cheryl began her professional career as a nutritionist, but her love of books started at an early age. She studied writing for many years before she decided to pursue her passion as a full-time career. After receiving constructive criticism from several well-known authors, Cheryl finally had the confidence to write her first romance novel.
The first book in the Nashville Nights series, Shameless, was a book that had been dwelling in Cheryl’s subconscious for years. For her, the surprise came when the manuscript began taking on a life of it’s own. Characters came to life, secondary characters became more prominent, outlines were forgotten, and a single title evolved into an eight book series, and another eight book spin-off series entitled Nashville Nights, Next Generation.
One word would aptly describe Cheryl: workaholic. She lives and breathes her writing, when she’s sleeping, watching TV, driving, reading… it’s always in the periphery of her mind. Her imagination rarely takes a holiday, even when she escapes to a sandy beach with her husband and son, she’s planning, plotting, outlining, and daydreaming.
Cheryl feels blessed to be able to get up every day and do something she loves. The thousands of fans who have embraced the Nashville Nights have made that possible. She writes for the readers who ask for more, she writes to satisfy the muse residing inside of her, but most of all, she writes because she couldn’t imagine doing anything else with her life. It took her thirty-seven years to decide what she wanted to be when she grew up, but now that she knows, she’s convinced she’s found her purpose.
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
Why did you choose Nashville as a backdrop in your books? What is it about that city that makes it an attractive backdrop?
Since Nashville is the country music mecca, it seemed like a natural choice for my first book, Shameless, about a country music superstar who is down on his luck. I didn’t intend for this book to be a series. It just evolved, but it quickly became obvious that the secondary characters would also be industry insiders, so it turns out Nashville was the perfect fit for a series with a strong country music influence.
Did you have any personal insight into the music industry for Trey Turner’s background?
I’ve been a country music fan for years so I’ve read plenty of books, interviews, and articles. I’ve also watched many TV programs and music videos. Based on that, I had a good understanding of country musicians, and I think many share common personality traits that I wanted my hero to possess. Country music is all about family, faith, broken relationships, partying, working hard, overcoming struggles, and finding love. I wanted my series to incorporate all of those important elements, and I feel confident that I’ve achieved that objective.
Why write about two people possibly getting back together versus a new relationship? What is about Trey and Sierra’s relationship that makes their relationship so compelling?
I have to admit, I love to read a good first love story, but this is about so much more than that. This couple has faced unimaginable tragedy and Sierra dealt with it by pouring her energy into something productive while Trey couldn’t deal with it, so he became self-destructive. Five years passed, and he still couldn’t get over his loss. There was only one person who could help him put his life back together… Sierra. This book deals with raw human emotion. It addresses painful issues and readers have told me they were drawn in because of the obvious turmoil the characters were struggling to come to terms with.
Why did you choose the romance genre? Did you study other romance novelists or perform any research into the genre?
I’ve been reading romance novels for twenty years. I’ve read thousands of books and taken courses with several best-selling romance authors who helped me to hone my craft and develop confidence in my ability. I believe much of an author’s talent comes naturally, much like a musician or artist. But I also think it’s important to continue studying the genre, so you never stop learning and improving. I want every one of my books to be better than the last, so if a reader liked my first book, they can be sure they will like them all, because hopefully they will continue to get better with every passing year.
What are you working on now?
I’ve completed the Nashville Nights series, and I’m currently working on the nine book spin-off series, Nashville Nights Next Generation. I’ll be releasing the last book in this series in May 2013.
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 man who loves her. Unfortunately, the man she intends to marry isn't the only one professing his love for her. 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?
Trey Turner tipped the plastic bottle and watched the little white pills scatter across the desktop. One would take the edge off; twenty would end it all. He considered his options. He wasn’t ready to give up; he couldn’t do that to his family.
He put one of the pills on his tongue and swallowed it with a mouthful of scotch as the phone rang. He knew it was the morning radio show calling to interview him. His manager, Luc Spencer, had arranged it and, despite his protests, Luc insisted it was necessary. The public was demanding answers; it was time to end the speculation.
He checked the call display and pushed the button to activate the call. “Hello.”
“Trey, Johnny Madson, KX790 in Nashville. How the hell are ya this mornin’, buddy?”
Trey rubbed his eyes, willing the pill to take effect. “I’m good.”
“We’re going live in three minutes. Stand by.”
Trey endured the longest three minutes of his life as he waited for the radio host to return. He glanced at the list of questions and answers his publicist, Avery, had provided. He’d been doing this long enough to know they always surprised you with questions they knew were off-limits. He hoped he was sharp enough to dodge the bullets this morning.
“Trey, we’re live. Our listeners are anxious to hear about what’s been happening with the king of country music. Where’ve you been, man?”
“I’ve been in the studio working on the next album.”
“That’s what we like to hear. Tell me, when do you plan to release it?”
“By early next year, I hope.”
“Can we assume you’re planning a world tour to promote the new album?”
In his current state of mind, just the thought of a tour was overwhelming, but he owed it to his fans and his label. “That’s the plan, Johnny.”
“Good stuff. I know your fans are looking forward to that. We get calls and emails about you every day. People want to know what you’ve been up to. They’re dying to know when the new album’s coming out.” He laughed. “The pressure’s on, man.”
“Yeah, I know. I plan to deliver the goods.” If only he could figure out how to break through the mother of all creative blocks and write a song he wouldn’t be embarrassed to attach his name to.
“So why did you decide to sign with a new record label, Trey?”
Because my old label was putting pressure on me to get off my ass and produce a record, he thought, considering the fall-out if he came clean. He was tempted to tell the truth and accept the ramifications. He was so tired of living a lie, pretending to be the man, the musician, everyone expected him to be.
WIN A PRIZE AND CONTACT THE AUTHOR
Cheryl will be awarding: two(2) - $20 Amazon Gift Cards to randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and one(1) - $20 Gift Card to a randomly drawn host. Also, Cheryl will be awarding ten(10) trading card/cover flat packs to randomly drawn commenters during the tour (US/Canada), ten (10)digital books from the Nashville Nights series (winner's choice) to randomly drawn commenters during the tour and two(2) Swarovski crystal necklaces to randomly drawn commenters during the tour (US/Canada).
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
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