Recently I have begun connecting with more Michigan-based writers and authors on Twitter and Facebook. After poking around and talking with these other great authors, I realized, we have a very wide variety of serious novelists in this state. So I decided over the next several months I would be opening up my blog and interviewing my fellow mitten state writers twice a month.
I wasn’t going to start these until January, but then the wonderful Cherry Christensen responded to my request for authors. While doing some pre-interview research, I realized that she has a brand new story out with a Christmas theme and is set right here in this state. I decided this would be a perfect time to interview her since Christmas Eve is just a mere 8 days away.
I’d like to introduce you to Cherry Christensen
Your first novel, The Fearful Heart, was released in November 2014. What did you do before that when it comes to writing? How long have you been writing for and how long did it take you to write that novel?
“I hadn’t written a story since college, and those were only short stories for English class. I didn’t have a clue about how to write a novel, but I sat down at my computer and started writing anyway. Five years, and several drafts later, The Fearful Heart was published by Eskape Press.”
What’s the most embarrassing or regretful thing you have done as an author? What did you learn from that experience?
“I wish I’d started writing years ago. I always enjoyed reading but never considered the possibility of becoming a writer. The lesson I’ve learned is that it’s never too late to pursue your dream.”
I absolutely love Glen Arbor up in Michigan’s northern lower peninsula. It’s #3 in my top 5 places in Michigan. I saw that your novella, Secret Angel, takes place there. What made you choose that village for the setting of your new Christmas themed story.
“I chose Glen Arbor because I have fond memories of vacationing there with family and friends. It’s a beautiful area and seemed an ideal location for the setting of my Christmas book.”
A lot of authors will use a real location as the inspiration for the setting of their stories but just change the name. You didn’t do that with Secret Angel and used the very real Glen Arbor. I didn’t do that with mine either and won’t so why did you choose to go that route?
“I wanted to pay homage to a town I love. Also, my heroine is a history professor who shares snippets of the local history throughout the story. I hope readers will enjoy learning about my favorite place in Michigan!”
As a fellow travel fanatic, I see that you have a bucket list and are slowly working your way through it. What’s the next big thing you have planned that is on the list?
“We’d like to visit Denmark because my husband’s ancestors are from there. We visited Scotland for my side of the family, now it’s his turn.”
If you had to describe yourself with a single meme what would it be (Post the meme below).
What are you working on now when it comes to your WIP?
“The book I’m currently writing is a sweet, contemporary romance. The story takes place in one of my favorite states, Colorado. Unlike the younger characters in The Fearful Heart, the heroine and hero in this book are in their thirties.”
If you could sit down and have lunch with any living author who would it be and why?
“I would like to meet Sara Shepard because I’m a huge fan of the television show Pretty Little Liars which is based on her young-adult novels.”
For you, what is the hardest part of the writing business OR what is your least favorite?
“The least favorite part of the writing process for me is marketing. I’d much rather spend my time writing.”
I love Christmas stories and Christmas in general. Why did you choose to write a story centered around the, “Most wonderful time of the year”?
“I wrote a Christmas book because I love this time of year. Also, I wanted to write a book with faith-based characters and scripture that might touch someone’s life. I’m happy to report, a reviewer recently commented about how my book helped her renew her faith!”
If it’s even possible for you to choose your favorite Christmas song what would it be?
“Jewel’s version of “O Holy Night” gives me goose bumps every time I listen to it.”
“Sawyer Brown’s “Hallelujah He is Born” is high on my list, too.”
Your husband is an author also and I think that is awesome. Do you help each other with the process and bounce ideas off one another?
All the time! It’s nice being able to say, “Hey, what do you think about this plot twist?” or “What about this character’s name?” On occasion, we’ve gotten a few strange looks from people in restaurants when we’ve been discussing our stories, especially when we’d talk about my murder mystery series.
I just read on your blog that you and your husband had the chance to visit Fife and Edinburgh in Scotland last year. I am Scottish and I am completely jealous about this since it’s on my bucket list. I have a lot of readers who are travel bloggers and travelers. What is one thing you learned over there that most Americans might not know about the Scottish?
We absolutely loved Fife and Edinburgh! I hope you get an opportunity to visit someday. We found the Scottish people to be very friendly and welcoming. One thing we learned is that Scottish food isn’t as bad as some people claim it to be. However, neither one of us was brave enough to sample the haggis!
Is there a specific book that influenced you the most to get you to become a writer?
I grew up reading the inspirational romances in the Serenade/Serenata series published by Zondervan Publishing House in my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The stories were clean and entertaining. When I sat down to begin writing my own story, I knew I wanted to follow in those authors’ footsteps and write sweet romance.
If you were going to have your next story take place in Michigan again where might that be?
The next setting in Michigan might be somewhere in the UP.
Some authors like Stephen King are really private when it comes to their personal lives while others are more out there and open about it. Modern publishing and the necessity of social media can either be a burden or a blessing for authors. Where do you fall on this line?
“I have an introverted personality, so building a presence on social media started out as a burden. However, over the past year, I’ve enjoyed connecting with readers and other authors.”
I just want to thank Cherry so much for taking the time out her schedule and answering my questions. If you are interested in picking up either one of her published works, they are available on Amazon.com.
Find Cherry Christensen on social media
Amazon Author Page