1. Who or what inspired you to become an author?
From as far back as I can remember, reading and writing have been my passions. Even as a young child in elementary school, I was constantly scribbling short stories and poems on scraps of paper and reading them to my friends. As I grew older, I started to write full-length novels in many different genres…romance, mystery, young adult and suspense in the vein of Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. But, it was fantasy that really began to pique my interest and gave full rein to my overly-active, fertile imagination.
Probably my very first favorite author and inspiration was Carolyn Keene, who wrote the Nancy Drew girl detective series. I read every one of her books I could get my hands on and even attempted to write a similar series of my own when I was in high school. It didn’t get very far, but I still have the two or three manuscripts that I wrote back then. Later on, Anne McCaffrey became one of my much loved science fiction/fantasy authors. I became besotted with her dragons the first time I read “Dragonriders of Pern” and have hungrily devoured many more of the books in the Pern series since. I have many other favorites as well–way too numerous to name them all–but a few of them include J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Jim Butcher, J.K. Rowling, Kelley Armstrong, Stephen King, Agatha Christie, and Robin Hobb.
2. What is your favorite book you have written and why?
Well, of course, all of my “babies” are loved and hold their own special place in my heart. But, if I had to choose between them, my latest fantasy POOL OF SOULS is probably the one I love best so far. It’s very character-driven, and I tried to write interesting and humorous interactions between the characters. It’s dark and serious in places, but there is also a lot of levity and humor. I had a ball writing it.
3. Please tell us a little about your two fantasy books WIND AND FIRE and POOL OF SOULS.
WIND AND FIRE is the story of a young woman named Tenya, who is plunged into a world of terrifying danger and evil as she struggles to save her mother, the Mistress of the Wind, and the world of Tellaron from a Demon Master. Tenya must quickly learn to control the power of the white fire that runs through her veins in order to accomplish her mission.
This book was originally published by Asylett Press in 2009 and has recently been re-edited, reprinted and furnished with a brand new cover on Smashwords, Amazon Kindle and CreateSpace.
My latest fantasy novel, POOL OF SOULS, follows twenty-two year old Cazlina Narzin and her loyal mare, Miris, on their adventures as they journey to join a rebellion against a renegade queen and her soul-killing talisman, the Pool of Souls, which drains the energies and life forces from its victims.
This book is also available on Smashwords, Amazon Kindle and CreateSpace.
4. What is your next book project?
I’m currently working on a dog detective series, which I hope will be published early this summer. After that, it’s on to a sequel to my young adult adventure novel SHADOWS IN THE BROOK. And then…well, let’s just say I have visions of more fantasies in the near future!
5. What is your favorite quote?
This quote from Groucho Marx cracks me up every time I see it!
“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”
6. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Never give up, first and foremost. If your passion is writing, stick with it through thick and thin. There will undoubtedly be times when you hit a snag and it seems like you just can’t get past that particular roadblock. But, don’t let a temporary hitch discourage you. Let the story percolate for a while in your head; don’t force it. Eventually, those characters and scenes and dialogues will start flowing again and you’ll find you can’t get them down on paper fast enough!
Secondly, don’t close yourself off to constructive criticism and honest, helpful suggestions. Be flexible and open-minded. We don’t all become bestselling authors the first time around, or even the second or third. We can all grow, learn and improve as we go along, so don’t become angry or resentful if a reader says they don’t like something about your book. See if you can take something positive from it and apply it to your future writing to make your next book even better.
Thank you so much, Stephanie, for this opportunity to chat with you and your readers!
Cheryl Landmark lives in a small hamlet called Gros Cap just west of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Canada on the magnificent shores of Lake Superior with her husband, Mike, and faithful canine companion. She has always been an insatiable reader even as a child and that has inspired her to create her own fantasy worlds. She particularly enjoys young adult and adult fantasy in both her reading and writing, followed closely by mystery and suspense.
When she’s not engrossed in her writing, she is working fulltime as a sales analyst, reading, doing challenging jigsaw puzzles, or enjoying the great outdoors.
Cheryl is the author of two fantasy novels called WIND AND FIRE and POOL OF SOULS and a young adult adventure called SHADOWS IN THE BROOK.
Thank you Cheryl for this wonderful interview!