By Admin | May 29, 2008
Cheryl Brooks is a long-time ICU nurse and recent first author. Her romance novel Cat Star Chronicles: Slave has just been published.
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Louisville, Kentucky, but have lived on a farm in rural Indiana for the past 18 years.
Where did you go to school and what was your academic major?
I graduated from the Kentucky Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in 1976 and then went back for my BSN at Indiana University, graduating in 1986.
Can you describe your career path from college to your current position?
I was a med/surg floor nurse after graduation in 1976 and then transferred to ICU in January 1977.
Since then, I’ve worked at 3 different hospitals, but my job has always been essentially the same. I could have gone into management, but have never had any interest in being anything other than a bedside critical care nurse.
Who is your favorite romance author?
Georgette Heyer. Even when the story had a dark side to it, her characters were always lively and likable, and there’s nearly always one that just makes me laugh out loud.
Plus, her heroes tended to be nice guys rather than jerks. They were usually rich, which never hurts, but were never the arrogant alpha male type, which is one thing I cannot stand!
What other areas of writing are you interested in writing?
Anytime there’s something that needs to be “written” in our unit, I get picked to do it!
I wrote a few nursing-related newspaper articles that were published in a local paper, which was fun. Once in a while I like to get up on my soap box and write an editorial.
Why a romance novel and not “serious” fiction?
I’m really not interested in “Serious Fiction,” or even serious romance; I’ve seen enough drama in my life as a nurse.
I’m looking for something a little more fun. If you read Slave looking for anything other than a good time, you’re missing the point.
What does your family think of your book and the more steamy episodes in it?
Not real sure how to answer that one. Most of my family don’t seem to be interested in romance novels at all, and the steamy episodes scare my son half to death!
What are you trying to do with your writing career? That is, is this just for fun or would you like to do it full-time?
I’d love to write full-time, but sometimes when the demands of writing are getting me down, I’m ready to go back to the hospital!
My friends are all there, and there’s nothing quite like having your support group around when you need to vent. Plus, some of the biggest fans of my writing are the people I work with.
What do you do to break through writer’s block?
I just keep on writing–it doesn’t matter what it is, just as long as it’s words.
Sometimes if I just let a character talk, the answer will come–or not! That’s the beauty of working on a computer; the rotten stuff can be gotten rid of very easily.
Now that you have written a book, how do you go about promoting it?
I do things like this interview. Also, the romance authors at Sourcebooks have two blog sites: http://wickedlyromantic.blogspot.com/ and http://casablancaauthors.blogspot.com/
Aside from that, there are book signings, guest blogs and good old word of mouth.
Plus, I will admit to going to the local bookstores to make sure that my book is on the shelf with the cover facing out! I’m not the only author who does that, either!
Do you let anybody read your manuscript drafts – your family, a writer’s group, etc.?
Prior to being published, all of my manuscripts got printed up, put in a box, and passed around the hospital.
The second book in my Cat Star Chronicles series, Warrior, has only been read by my editor. I like the idea that when it comes out, my friends won’t have read it yet, but I do miss getting their input.
There’s a drawback to that, though. When I first wrote Slave, there were some elements in it that I was asked to change when it was published–to the great displeasure of those who had read the original version.
I had to tone some things down a little, and they didn’t like that.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in nursing?
If you are unsure of something, do not hesitate to ask questions. Remember that you are never alone.
There is always someone around to ask–like me who’s been at it for over 30 years. And, believe me, I ask plenty of questions myself.
What advice would you give to a someone just starting out in writing?
Keep at it. You will never be published if you don’t write. Write what you like and don’t hold anything back–believe me, you’ll get edited later on.
Understand that you will be rejected and ignored for a long time before you finally get the call.
And when you do finally get published and people start writing reviews, try not to let the negative comments get you down.
Take the ones you can use and learn from them and try to ignore the nasty ones as best you can.
There are people out there writing reviews of books whose only qualification is that they have access to a computer–which is something that my husband reminds me of on a daily basis.
Copyright 2008 DailyInterview.com
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