Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Interview with Cheryl Brooks and Giveaway of Rebel (Cat Star Chronicles 10) - July 29, 2014

Please welcome Cheryl Brooks to The Qwillery. Rebel, the 10th novel in the Cat Star Chronicles, was published on July 1, 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca.

TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Cheryl:  Thanks so much for having me here at The Qwillery!
Self promotion is the hardest thing for me. I can write books all day long, but trying to sell other people on them is tough, which is why I recently established a street team to help me get the word out. I just wish I’d done it before book ten!

TQ:  You've written 10 Cat Star Chronicles novels including the recently published Rebel. Are you a plotter or a pantser? How do you keep track of all the events in the series?

Cheryl:  I’m a little of both. I don’t often outline a book, but like most self-described pantsers, I do the plotting in my head rather than on paper. Some of my best ideas have come to me while behind the wheel of my car or when I’m just waking up or falling asleep. If I write a synopsis or outline prior to writing the book, I only include major plot points, leaving plenty of leeway for the story and the characters to take me wherever the book needs to go. I’ve written a couple of books from a detailed synopsis, and while this method helps keep me on track, it diminishes the number of “aha” moments during the writing process.

To keep track of events, I often have to go back to the previous books and read parts of them to refresh my memory on various details. I also use a timeline to keep everything in chronological order and establish the ages of the characters in any given book. For example, the first draft of Rebel had Onca being thirty-six years old while Kim was only twenty. The editorial staff wanted them to be closer in age, and they asked me to make Kim two years older and Onca two years younger. Since part of the conflict between them stems from the age difference, I didn’t want to change their ages at all. Also, because of the time this story was set in relation to other events, Onca’s age couldn’t change. I could only make Kim two years older.

TQ:  Describe Rebel in 140 characters or less.

Cheryl:  A retired male prostitute rescues a homeless woman and becomes enmeshed in her crusade to liberate her kidnapped friends from sex slavery.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Rebel?

Cheryl:  I have several favorites, but the one that stands out the most is the first kiss. Onca’s fate is sealed at that moment, and he spends several chapters fighting the attraction, while at the same time falling hopelessly in love with Kim.

TQ:  In Rebel, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?

Cheryl:  Because most of my heroines are older and have some experiences that are similar to my own, Kim was probably the hardest to write. I’m not as young as I used to be, nor have I ever had to fend for myself without familial support. I had to work at putting myself in Kim’s place and understanding her motivations.

Onca was the easiest to write. I already knew him from previous books, and his personality was such that he practically wrote his point of view all by himself. ;-)

TQ:  Who is your favorite character in the Cat Star Chronicles? I promise that I won't tell the other characters.

Cheryl:  My favorite heroine is Jack, the heroine of Slave. My favorite hero is Onca. He’s sexy, likeable, heroic even without trying to be, and I adore the way he makes me laugh!

TQ:  In your opinion, does a romance always have to have an HEA?

Cheryl:  I think it does, or it isn’t truly a romance—at least, not by the strict definition of the genre. A story can be filled with romance, but if it doesn’t have a HEA, it isn’t nearly as satisfying. A romance should make you cry happy tears, not sad ones. ☺

TQ:  What's next?

Cheryl:  I’m currently writing an erotic contemporary series for Sourcebooks called Cowboy Heaven. A related novella will be published in January 2015, followed by two full-length novels. The first book is slated to be released in Spring 2015, the second sometime in the fall 2015 season. After that, I’m planning a spinoff series to the Cat Star books about a group of Avian clones. I’m also working on a paranormal romantic suspense trilogy that I had to drop when I got the contract to write the cowboys!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Cheryl:  Thanks again for having me here! I enjoyed writing the interview very much. Great questions!

Cat Star Chronicles 10
Sourcebooks Casablanca, July 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

He's Had a Galaxy of Women
A refugee of the annihilated planet Zetith, Onca has no family and no surname—only the fortune accrued by selling his prime services in a high-class brothel. When he comes to the rescue of a homeless Zetithian woman, passion flares, but he dares not touch someone who seems so young and innocent...

But None Has Touched His Heart
Kimcasha has lived by her wits on the streets since the age of ten. When her friends start to go missing, Kim uses herself as bait to find them, but her plans goes awry when Onca intervenes. As they are led into a dangerous underworld, Onca offers to join her crusade to liberate her friends, and Kim cannot refuse...

Previously in the Cat Star Chronicles

About Cheryl

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Cheryl Brooks is a former critical care nurse who resides in rural Indiana with her husband, two sons, two horses, four cats, and one dog. Her Cat Star Chronicles series was first published by Sourcebooks Casablanca in 2008, and includes Slave, Warrior, Rogue, Outcast, Fugitive, Hero, Virgin, Stud, Wildcat, and the current release, Rebel.

Self-published works include Sex, Love, and a Purple Bikini, Midnight in Reno, and the Unlikely Lovers series: Unbridled, Uninhibited, Undeniable, and Unrivaled. She has also published If You Could Read My Mind writing as Samantha R. Michaels. As a member of The Sextet, she has written eight erotic novellas published by Siren/Bookstrand.

Her other interests include cooking, gardening, singing, and guitar playing. Cheryl is a member of RWA and IRWA. You can visit her online at www.cherylbrooksonline.com.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @CherylCatMaster  ~  Pinterest

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win a copy of Rebel (Cat Star Chronicles 10) by Cheryl Brooks from Sourcebooks Casablanca. US/CANADA  ONLY

How:  Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on August 7, 2014. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Good morning to everyone here at The Qwillery! I'll be popping in from time to time to answer questions and respond to comments. Good luck to everyone in the contest!

  2. Cheryl,
    What kind of research do you do in order to create such interesting worlds? What kind of shows, movies, songs influence these stories?

    1. I've done some research on various regions and climates on Earth to use as a starting point, but most of what is in these books comes straight out of my head, which has been influenced by a lot of books, movies, and songs in the past 58 years!

  3. I haven't read the series but I was wondering about the covers. How did you decide to just use torsos? I like it because it allows the reader to come up with their own visual.

    1. Those covers are pretty much decided for me by my publisher, Victoria. I have some input as to hair color, body build, etc, but my input mostly consists of insisting that they show at least part of the man's face!

  4. Congrats to Cheryl on the new release! Thanks for sharing :)