Today I have a special treat to share with you all. Cheryl Dragon was nice enough to allow me to ask her some questions about her and her books.
Here's a little bit of information about Cheryl Dragon.
A lover of unusual things, Cheryl Dragon enjoys writing unique stories with sinfully hot erotic romance or suspenseful mainstream paranormals. Never at a loss for ideas, there are plenty of stories in her brain waiting to be written. Her two favorites book settings are Las Vegas and New Orleans...where anything can happen!
Cheryl lives in the Chicagoland area with her deaf albino cat. By day she crunches & analyzes numbers as an Assistant Controller for a division of a large international conglomerate which leaves the creative juices free for her erotic romance and paranormal suspense novels. A member of Passionate Ink and her local RWA chapter, you can visit those sites for more information on the links page.
Now on to the interview.
I want to thank you for taking the time to answer some questions.
Thanks so much for having me!
Where do you draw your inspirations from? Who are your inspirations?
Inspiration can come from anywhere. Just wondering how you could surprise a psychic sparked a series. The inspiration for my latest release, Black on Blonde, came from wanting to do a series where I can play with all types of paranormal creatures and supernatural phenomena. The main character is a unique type of witch but she works with changelings, vampires, werewolves, and anything from any other planets or dimensions I can dream up.
Explain what a day in the life of an author is like? How long does it take from start to finish to complete a book?
A normal day is getting up early, going through emails and loops. A little myspace update or other things as needed. Then I go to my day job. At lunch I might edit a chapter or draft a scene. When I get home from work the real fun begins. More emails and update stuff as needed. Then the writing and editing. How long it takes to finish a book depends on the length of the story. I write from short stories of 8k up to 70k novels. It might take a week to draft a short story and a week to get it edited and polished for submission (that includes a review by my critique partner the fabulous Joanna Waugh). A novel can take a few months to complete. I draft fast and then spend time in edits.
What’s something about you that we’d be surprised to learn?
I love regencies. I don’t write historicals because my voice and writing style simply aren’t suited to that genre but I love reading them! That’s actually why I’m a great fit with my crit partner, she writes the regencies I’ll never be able to write.
Whose books do you like to read?
I read around. Mysteries, regencies, and erotic romance of course. From Jane Austen to JA Konrath. Mary Winter to Mary Janice Davidson.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
Deadlines are my friend! I actually don’t get them from my editors very often…it’s rare since I’m a bit ahead in scheduling of releases. But I love deadlines. I’m more productive and focused. When I’m not under a deadline (even a self-imposed one) I create a million new ideas and have pages of notes on them. Or I’ll work on two projects at once which goes slower for me. So eventually I end up setting a deadline for myself.
If you were not a writer what would you be?
I’d probably be insane. By day I’m in accounting and that pays the bills and let’s the organized part of my brain flex. Without the creative outlet of writing, however, I don’t know how I’d function.
I am curious on the process on how someone gets their book published. Do you submit your manuscripts to different publishers or editors? Do you get to choose who you want to publish with?
Research on publishers is very important. Do they publish the types of books you write? Does their house style fit with your writing? Are they open to submissions? There’s a lot to consider. My first sale was to Ellora’s Cave. I choose to submit there because they’re a top Ebook publisher in the genre and publish in the lengths of books I tend to write (short stories and novellas primarily for erotic romance). Obviously, books in a series I want to keep with the same publisher because it’s easier for the readers to find them. However, I’m not limited to one publisher. I wrote a book titled Sorority Girl Pledge Time which is f/f erotic romance and EC wasn’t interested in that genre. So I shopped it to Loose Id and now have two books out with them and two more coming in 2008 in various genres. Both of my erotic romance publishers have aspects about them that make them a good fit for me. If I have a new project, I know before I start if it’ll be targeted at one house or the other and submit accordingly.
What made you decide to publish most of your books in Ebook format?
The erotic romance genre seems to do very well in Ebook. I like pushing the envelope there and writing from Contemporary and Paranormal to BDSM and Alternative and epubs are more willing to take chances than the NY houses. If I had the right project, I’d definitely submit to a NY house but right now I’m focused on establishing a name in the Ebook world.
I read your book I’m Ok, You’re Dead and loved it. I enjoyed the characters you came up with. So I have to ask do you believe in psychics? Why?
Thanks & Absolutely I believe! I think people are born with all different types of gifts and what we do with them is our choice. I was born a story teller and entertained my younger sister with stuff she’d never dreamed up—my sister is a natural care taker who became a nurse. I followed my gift and write because I love it. It’s just who I am. I think psychics are the same way. They’re connected to The Other Side and if they develop that connection and improve their natural gifts, they can use those skills to help people who weren’t born with that gift.
How do you juggle writing all the different books and series you have?
Like any business, writing is a game of hurry up and wait. You wait for contracts and edits. You wait for answers on a submission. If your editor leaves and you get reassigned, you wait again. My answer to the waiting game is keep writing, don’t let it derail you because real life (family, health, day job) will do that plenty. This philosophy has served me well and allowed me to be scheduled a bit ahead with Ellora’s Cave.
Also, I’m an obsessive planner so I have notes for ideas and a list of stories that are next to be written. I have notes for every series so I know what the next book will be in detail and the arc of the series overall. But the key to juggling it all is to focus on what you’re doing at that moment. Really key in on that book or that edit so it’s your best work. It’s one book at a time and sometimes that’s the hardest part when you think about all the other things that need to be done.
I see you have a bunch of new books coming out soon with Inking Aaron, 9 ½ years, Outsmarting the Moon, Curse of the Mexican Opal, Quintupled, and In His Mind. Will there be a new book with Deanna Oscar and her friends soon?
I do have a lot of erotic romance on tap for 08. They’re mostly novella length because I just really love writing that length for the hot stuff. Consequently I write more of them because they’re shorter but I get to dabble in various sub genres as well.
The second book in the Deanna Oscar series, I’m Okay, You’re A Fake released in Ebook in Oct 07. I’m hoping it’ll go into print this spring/summer since readers prefer the print format for my psychic suspense novels. In this book, De is at it again trying to catch a killer, prove another psychic is a fake, and dealing with her parents visiting from Chicago in post-Katrina New Orleans. Oh yeah, and she buys a drag club in there as well. De has quite a range of eclectic friends and wants to put down roots in the Big Easy in a big way.
I have notes for book 3 of this series but I want to make sure book 2 gets into print and readers can get the books the way they want them before I put out another Ebook with The Lotus Circle. It’s a newer genre and I want to make sure people can find the books, find out about them, and like them!
I love your website and your books. I enjoyed interviewing you and can’t wait for your latest book to drop. Thank you Cheryl
Thanks for inviting me! Inking Aaron releases April 15th at Loose Id and is a M/M multicultural with a very hot cover! April is going to be a busy month, I’ll be at the Romantic Times convention in Pittsburgh and at the Spring Fling in Chicago the weekend after RT. After that, it’s back to the computer for more writing!
Cheryl Dragon is too modest to admit that she will not just be attending the Romantic Times convention but will be one of the panelist! So if you get the chance to attend, stop by and say Hi.
To stay on top of all the latest news about all of Cheryl Dragon's books. Go to her website at http://www.cheryldragon.com/