Friday, February 04, 2011

Q&A with Cheryl Landmark

Please welcome author Cheryl Landmark to P.S. I Love Books.

Cheryl lives in a quiet, picturesque hamlet called Gros Cap in Northern Ontario, Canada with her husband Mike and a faithful canine companion. She loves dogs, reading, jigsaw puzzles and, of course, writing fantasy novels in her spare time. WIND AND FIRE is her first published novel.

Welcome Cheryl! I appreciate you taking the time out to visit P.S. I Love Books.
My pleasure, Mishel! Thanks so much for having me.

Can you tell us a little bit about your novel Wind and Fire and what your inspiration was?

Wind and Fire is the story of a young woman named Tenya, who finds herself plunged into a world of terrifying danger and evil as she struggles to save her mother and the world of Tellaron from a Demon Master. She must quickly learn to control the white fire that runs through her veins in order to accomplish her mission.

I’ve always been fascinated by the fantasy genre, and it seems my imagination is overly active because I’m constantly inventing worlds and characters in my head that I simply must put down on paper. Over the years, I’ve read many incredible fantasy/sci-fi books, including Lord of the Rings, Dragonriders of Pern and Shannara, and they’ve inspired me to create my own magical worlds where one can lose oneself among mystical creatures, brave, loyal companions, evil villains and clashes between good and evil.

What was one of your favorite and least favorite things about writing Wind and Fire?

My favorite part was writing about Tenya’s interactions with Sindril and seeing her grow and develop during her journey as she faces all the challenges thrown her way. My least favorite part was the editing and revising after I completed the manuscript. It’s tough to go through your story over and over again and change things after you’ve typed THE END, but I know it’s a necessary and vital component of writing.

If you had the chance to do it all over again would you change anything in Wind and Fire?

I would definitely do more revising and editing, even though it’s my least favorite part of the writing process as I mentioned above! I’ve had a few reviewers comment on the overuse of descriptive adjectives and dry, clunky writing in places. This constructive criticism has helped me to become more aware of the common mistakes I make in my writing and I would certainly apply the lessons learned to Wind and Fire. I think I would probably make the novel a little longer, too, to allow for a bit more world building and character development.

Sending my baby,Wind and Fire, out into the big, scary world of publishing has taught me many valuable lessons and I hope I can use those insights to make my future writing better.

When did you first realize that you wanted to write?

Probably from the first moment I learned the alphabet! That may be somewhat of an exaggeration, but I do know that, from a very early age, I was always scribbling poems and short stories on scrap pieces of paper, and I excelled in English class because I loved writing essays and book reports. I developed a passion for writing back then that has, if anything, become almost an obsession with me now.

If your life were made into a movie who would you like to see play you on the big screen?

Hmm, let’s see. Who is the most beautiful actress in Hollywood? LOL! I have no idea.

If you could write a book about absolutely anything with any other author (dead or alive) what would it be about and who would you choose?

Another tough question! I’d love the opportunity to work with someone like Agatha Christie. Her mysteries have always been among my favorites. I just adore Hercule Poirot! A few of my unfinished manuscripts are mysteries and I think Ms. Christie’s insights would be invaluable.

What’s your ideal writing environment like?

My writing room is far away from the living-room so I’m not distracted by the T.V. and my husband can watch it all he likes. I like my environment to be quiet when I write; I don’t listen to music and I don’t have any kids, which means they’re not running in and out every five minutes asking Mom to do something. I write on a laptop, so in the summer, I’ll sometimes take it out on to the front deck and enjoy the warm, sunny weather at the same time.

I’m always looking for books to add to my ginormous TBR (to be read) pile. What books are you currently reading or have read recently? Any good recommendations?

I recently read a series of children’s fantasy books called The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver. They were so enjoyable I practically flew through the five books in a matter of days. Another fantasy series that I would highly recommend is The Castings Trilogy by Pamela Freeman. Kristen Britain’s Green Rider is also quite good. I’m currently reading Masques by Patricia Briggs and am finding it very entertaining and engaging.

I’ve been on a book buying frenzy for the last couple of months. My local bookstore draws me like a magnet, so I can totally relate to your ginormous TBR pile, Mishel!

What are some of your favorite things to do when given a break from the writing life and other work-related things?

My second favorite hobby is reading, so I spend a great deal of time indulging in that passion when I’m not writing. In addition, I enjoy the great outdoors--hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing--with my hubby and canine companion.

Are you currently working on any projects that we may see from you in the future?

Yes, as a matter-of-fact, I’m putting the finishing touches on my second fantasy novel, called Pool of Souls, in preparation for sending it off to the publisher. I’ve found myself an amazing critique partner/editor, who has been invaluable in helping me to revise the manuscript.

Again, thank you so much for stopping by.

I’ve enjoyed visiting with you and all your readers, Mishel. Thanks again for this opportunity to chat.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for a chance to win a signed copy of Wind and Fire!


❤Stephanie! said...

Awesome interview! It was great getting to know Cheryl a little better:)


Cheryl L said...

Thanks, Stephanie. It was great to chat with Mishel and gain a little exposure with her readers.

Cheryl Landmark

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