January 2014 through December 2014 - Page 19

Barbara by by Anna Marie Ragsdale Sandy C Honoring a few good men ( and women ) heryl Wyatt is a Registered Nurse with a military family background, who has transformed into a wife, stay-at-home mother, and writer with nearly a dozen books published. She refers to her success at writing military romance as an “accident.” Born on Valentine’s Day on a naval base, she just may have been destined for it. Her first published series is set around U.S. Air Force Para-rescue Jumpers (special operative skydiving combat paramedics who rescue downed pilots and other military personnel, as well as civilians, during disasters). “I love writing about rescuers,” she says. “I love writing about unique professions. Whatever profession I write about, I strive to honor.” Cheryl has had two series in print, Wings of Refuge and Eagle Point Emergency, both from Love Inspired, but she has no plans to stop there. She estimates that she has “a gazillion other series” to follow her others. Not yet brain children, many of those ideas are already works-in-progress, or written but not pitched yet to publishers. Her latest releases, both in January, are Out of the Flames (a Haven Bay Heroes romance) and Serving Up a Sweetheart (A Year of Weddings novella). When she writes, Cheryl writes quickly. “The books turn out better when I can blow through the rough draft in a matter of days,” she says. Most of her books don’t take her longer than a week to write, and when they do, they end up with more edits than the fast works. The majority of her writing process is spent doing research and rewrites. The writing itself comes in a rush. The typical timeline for one of Cheryl’s novels begins with a first few weeks of research, followed by a week of fast, steady writing, followed by editing “until satisfied.” She notes that her process may not work for all writers, but it clearly works for her. She placed in over half a dozen RWA contests before being published, and placed first in ACFW’s Noble Theme Contest 2005 with two stories. With contest wins and publication under her belt, what can’t she do? “I do not multitask well,” she says. “I once had a special operative airman drink out of a ‘sippy cup’ instead of a ‘canteen’ because I tried to feed my toddler while writing.” An avid Christian, she prays constantly throughout every stage of her work, saying that she prays “like breathing.” However, she admits to being guilty of occasionally plotting ideas for her novels during church. The toughest thing about writing, she says, is “coming up with enough conflict and making sure each scene has enough solid, valid reasons for being there and that they move the plot forward.” She admits to occasionally stealing her dialogue from life. “I warn people, ‘You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do could show up,’ ” she says with a laugh. She also draws the humor in her books from life. She loves to laugh and loves to make others laugh. It’s not uncommon to find her laughing out loud as she types on her keyboard, which has led to worried inquiries from her children. “I am a practical jokester by nature,” she tells us. “Some of the [comedic moments in the books] are from silly goofs I’ve pulled myself or comedic stuff my friends and family say and do. I love to bless readers with wholesome humor and genuine laughter. Life is hard sometimes. Laughter is good for us.” When it comes to marketing her books, her go-to platforms are digital marketing via social media and newsletter subscribers, interviews and blog tours, and magazine ads. She uses Twitter and her blog to interact with other writers, encouraging aspiring writers and giving writing prompts. She also has Facebook, which she uses mostly to interact with her reader ˈHٝ[\܂XY\[] [[&]H\Y\[Y[ۙH\š\^H܈[H܈]H][\Y[Y[ 8'x&[HBYH[وXY\ˈH[&]]H]][H[Z\\ܝ 'H]\ܚ]\ NB