Cheryl Wyatt’s interview

» Posted on Dec 19, 2007 in Blog | Comments Off on Cheryl Wyatt’s interview

Don’t forget to email me at if you want to enter the drawing for Cheryl’s book–A Soldier’s Promise.

Cheryl is the third lady from the left (Pam, me, Cheryl and Lenora).

1. What made you start writing?

I’ve had a love for words as long as I can remember back through childhood. Reading made me want to write because the thought of creating an entire world in my mind with characters I could control fascinated me. I think I was the only nerdy kid on the block who actually loved to read the dictionary for fun. As an adult, I started writing Inspirational Romance full time when I was placed on bed rest with a pregnancy.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

I’ve been writing fiction for almost a decade. I sold fifteen months ago…7 years after beginning. My 7th book sold but I’d written 15 keepable novels by then. We won’t talk about the unkeepable ones. LOL! But I learned to write best by….writing! 🙂 And writing. And writing.

3. How do you handle rejections?

Terribly for about the first ten minutes. LOL! I stomp around and cry a lot and make weird groaning sounds and growl words that make my husband give me the “Watch it!-little-ears-are-listening”-look.

A few hours later, it still stings some but I realize how right the editor or agent probably was because I do trust their judgement and that, thanks to a term used by Ruth Logan Herne, I need to “quit whining and get my big-girl duds back on.”

Then I regroup for about a day and do nothing except veg and pray for direction. Then I get back to work. I fling myself heart-and-headlong into another project. Pretty soon, the disappointment fades. Rejection just makes me want to try harder. Adds to my stubbornness and tenacity I think. LOL!

4. Why do you write?

Because it’s something I love to do. I also write as worship and I write because I think it brings Him pleasure. I write to entertain and encourage people as well. I write for my readers. I write because my publisher has taken a chance on me, and I want to honor them by doing everything I can to be a good return of their investment of time and money. I write because if I didn’t, I would likely implode or drive everyone around me stark-raving mad. 🙂

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

Try to figure out how to start writing. LOL! I would be reading and spending time with family. Working as an RN, most likely.

6. What are you working on right now?

I’m so glad you asked this. I am completing a proposal that I hope will be the fourth book in my Wings of Refuge Series, about a team of USAF PJs (Pararescue Jumpers). The story is Nolan Briggs’ story, and it was inspired by something Camy Tang, Pammer James and I experienced while we were driving back from a writers’ brainstorm and prayer retreat in North Carolina. We stopped somewhere in Tennessee and saw THE most heart wrenching scene at a gas station. We literally sat in the parking lot and all of us were sniffling and swiping tears as we watched this couple on the sidewalk. They were obviously saying goodbye, and obviously for a long while. They were hugging and both of them were crying. They kept trying to walk away from one another but kept hugging and looking at one another. It was THE saddest thing. Especially for a bunch of romance writers to sit there and spy on them and not know how their story ended or what was going on. He had a guitar and she had a dog that he pushed toward her. He hugged the dog, hugged the girl and she turned to go. Tears streamed down her face and he watched her and had his hand to his chest and started after her…then stopped. Then he just watched her leave. I was heaving tears it was so sad. So of course, tormented by this, Camy and Pammer and I discussed what we thought the deal was. Maybe he was going to Nashville to be a star. Maybe he had a job out of state. Maybe they were breaking up, but that didn’t make sense because obviously they loved each other. So for the next six hours, we tried to figure out their story, and we brainstormed their new story so we could give them a happy ending. We really did pray for that couple, and we decided it would be the opening scene for A Soldier’s Reunion (Nolan’s tentative title) only he would have a rucksack instead of a guitar, and he’d be leaving for boot camp and her for college instead of him having a guitar. So that’s what I’m working on now. I wonder about that couple all the time and hope they find happiness.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

I didn’t think I did until I was talking about how much I struggle with understanding techie stuff, and how much I hate Spam with one of my blog readers (waving to Shauna from Canada). I realized my heroine for my debut novel has a vendetta against Spam, and knows enough about computers to pose a danger to her sanity and her hard drive. That’s me. LOL! So though I don’t intend to put myself in them, I guess part of me just slips in there anyhow. 🙂

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.

A Soldier’s Promise is book one in my Wings of Refuge Series. The series features a team of USAF PJs (Pararescue Jumpers). They are Special Forces skydiving paramedics who are also trained in combat and rescue. These guys are the ones who often drop behind enemy lines to go after downed US pilots. Each story features one man on the team, and of course, the woman who captures their hearts…or rescues them in some cases. The stories are also centered around a fictional town on Southern Illinois named Refuge. The second book in Wings of Refuge (A Soldier’s Family-Manny’s story) is on sale now whereever books are sold.

A Soldier’s Promise, the debut book, features Joel the team leader. He goes back to the town of his most painful childhood memories to pledge allegiance to a promise he made to an ill child. He falls in love with the child’s teacher, who, like you, teaches children with special needs.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Put God first and stay as revisable as your stories. He often performs construction on our character while we’re building our characters. LOL! Pray. Persist. Let God lead you. Be prepared to work hard, and persevere. Be willing to hear hard things about your writing. Write as worship. Approach it praying like breathing and with a heart to serve others. Give back when you can, especially in mentoring new authors.

10. How important is faith in your books?

Crucial. Faith is so much a part of my life, it would be hard to separate faith from my books. The only way I could do it is with God’s help for the purpose of being more covert with faith aspects for strategic reasons.

11. What themes do you like to write about?

Every aspect of God’s character. He’s the kindest most generous person I know. So I like to write about kindness, generosity, faithfulness, provision, mercy, compassion, promises, covenant, love, grace, forgiveness, peace, hope, faith, etc. Anything He is, I like to write about.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

My favorite book so far is one that hasn’t yet been contracted. I haven’t submitted it and won’t until I finish up this PJ series. It’s called To Govern the Night and is book two in my Navy SEAL series. Book one is Covenant SEAL and won tons of awards. To Govern the Night is based on the scripture in Genesis that says, “And God gave the sun to govern the day, and the moon to govern the night.” Since SEALs and snipers work under cover of darkness, and are protectors of freedom of sorts, I felt the title was perfect. I hope they keep it if the book contracts once I turn it in. LOL! But it was fun to write in that Sam, the heroine is a child prodigy as far as her ability to shoot. She’s commissioned by the government to work as a sniper but an illness takes her vision and she has to give it up. The story was fun to write because I learned to use a weapon properly when I was very young thanks to my dad, who was ultra safety-conscious. I love her faith journey and of course I love the development of the romance between the SEAL and Sam. Especially when she wounded his pride and his ear when she used a bullet to save his life in a previous book. LOL! He was opposed to women in dangerous professions. So to have one save his life…his ego took a hit. LOL! Their story was really fun to research and to write. Even if it never sells, I loved writing it.

13. What is your writing schedule like?

Hectic. LOL! I am actually very organized and fiercely protective of my family and writing time. I let God order my day and disrupt my plans at any moment. I try not to write unless my children are sleeping or at school. That give me about six hours a day. I take intentional time out for my husband too. I write between 10AM-2PM and then if I’m under deadline, like now, LOL!, I also write between 9PM and 11PM.

14. This is your first book. Tell us about the CALL. Who did you tell
first? How long did it take you to come down off the ceiling (LOL)?

I STILL haven’t peeled myself from the ceiling! LOL! My agent phoned me not too long after the 2006 ACFW conference. I scared my toddler because I screeched. LOL! I called my husband first because he’s been my biggest cheerleader and promoter. LOL!