Brenda Cheers is known for doing everything in life very quickly so it came as no surprise to the people closest to her that once she decided on a career as a novelist, it all happened with blinding speed.
A course in Creative Writing was quickly followed by a more advanced one. She began drafting her first novel and then completed three full manuscripts in the next two years.
Her great love is Literary Fiction and this is what she aims to write. Fast-paced suspense novels are what fly from her fingertips, however and these tend to feature strong-willed female protagonists as in ‘In a House in Yemen’ and ‘In Times of Trouble’.
In her third novel, ‘In Conversations with Strangers’ there is a different mood. It has a slower pace and the character is troubled and flawed. Brenda felt it was harder to write but more rewarding.
“In Strange Worlds” was published in January 2014. This is a suspense novel which contains surprises and twists. Brenda completed four full drafts before being satisfied with the result, but she found the work enjoyable because the story held her interest.
Her heroes in the literary world are James Salter, Pat Conroy and Michael Ondaatje for their finally crafted prose, and fellow Brisbane writers Nick Earls and Ashley Hay.
Brenda enjoys watching indie, arthouse and foreign films and is a student of martial arts. She lives in Brisbane with her partner and two daughters.
What inspires you to write?
I love writing for the same reason I love reading – it takes me to another world. The difference is that when I’m writing, I can influence the outcome. Well, not always – sometimes the characters take over and they call the shots.
Tell us about your writing process.
It starts with an idea which grows in my imagination. I begin taking notes and thinking about the characters. I imagine the settings. Then, when I have an understanding of the main character and the world they inhabit, I begin writing.
Once I start composing the story, I write the first draft very quickly. I usually re-draft three times after that.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters insist I listen to them.
What advice would you give other writers?
Read constantly and think about the arc of the story and how the characters are developed.
Listen to the conversations between people in daily life so you learn to write dialogue.
Write everyday. Every single day. No excuses.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I had three manuscripts ready for publication. I read about CreateSpace in a blog and immediately went to the website and began tinkering. Before I knew what was happening, all three were published. I’ve just uploaded the fourth.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
A lover of the printed medium, I always said I’d never read digital books. That changed, however, when I went travelling for a month and was able to load twenty novels onto my tablet.
Now I love the ease with which I can access a book and begin reading within minutes.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print