About Crystal Cherie:
Crystal Cherie is the award-winning author of Deleted and Lucky and the Killer, as well as her upcoming New Adult series, The Divine Houses. Her writing has been published in Liberty State Fiction Writer’s News and the T.E. Avery Mystery Daily. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and studied Creative Writing at the University of West Georgia and Georgia State University. A Georgia native, she lives near Atlanta with her husband.
What inspires you to write?
When I was growing up early on, I lived in an abusive home. Things got better, and I was adopted by my aunt and uncle who became Mom and Dad to me. But this sort of early trauma is what prompted me to seek out books and write stories.
Books were the only place I could escape to, and I hid myself in my stories. It was where I could go to feel normal and vent. So, while it's not an answer that's entirely uplifting, it's an honest one. I was inspired to write good books by bad things. And I think there's a lot of healing in that.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
I have two right of the bat that I absolutely adore: Jude Watson (Judy Blundell) and Cassandra Clare. They both write fiction that I tend to relate to, and they do a good job of it.
Premonitions is the first book I ever binged, and I talk about it in interviews a lot. I still highly recommend you go and read it (even if you're not a young adult anymore)!
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process has changed over the years (but for the better, I think). I used to write whenever I felt like it. I was a true pantser. I'd sit down with a blank page and come up with whatever my mind wanted to see at that time. Once I got 130k into a book that went all over the place, I decided maybe I should plan a little bit more. Then, I became a "plantser". I jot out the major story points and fill in the rest as I go. I've really become attached to the "Save the Cat" beat sheet, too. I think it does a great job of keeping your story in a pattern readers love.
My timing with writing has also changed. Now that I write full-time, I have to set aside time for more than just writing (editing, interviews, social media, and graphic design). While I used to just write at 3am, I now work from about 10am – 5pm, give or take some time. I use an app called "Routinery" that helps keep me on track. It's fantastic, and I highly recommend checking it out if you find yourself getting distracted more often than not.
The more I invest in my writing and my writing process, the more I get out of it. And that's the best piece of advice I have to give as an author.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I try to pin my characters into the confines of an outline, but it doesn't always work! I feel like my characters have a mind of their own and drive the plot. I think that's for the best, though.
There aren't really any new plots out there (somebody somewhere has done it before), but there are tons of new characters. I let my characters do the talking, and if they want to get into mischief on their own, who am I to stop them?
What advice would you give other writers?
Like I mentioned earlier, my best advice is to invest in your writing. I've written for years off and on, and my stories never really got spread around like they're being done now—because I didn't invest in them. I just did them on the side like a hobby. I didn't put my time and resources into them.
Now that I treat this like the full-time job that it is, I'm getting somewhere. I'm meeting lots of new authors, and my stories are being read all over. It's a great feeling, and it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't started investing in my writing.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I was writing my first novel, I had the help of a rather established author friend named Ron Shaw. He's passed on now, but his advice lives on in my work every time I publish a book.
He always told me to self-publish, because you have so much more control over your book (and ultimately can make more money this way). I took what I learned in school, and I'm able to be a one-woman show a lot of times. I do my own covers, my own edits, and my own formatting. Because I do all of this, I don't need to pay a publisher to do it for me.
I think most authors can learn to produce quality work here, too. There are enough resources on the internet to learn how to do things on your own, and it cuts out the middle man.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
A few months ago, I saw an advertisement for "chat stories" that made me giggle. It was a story written only in text messages.
But it's a real possibility for the future—not that I would like that (I wouldn't). I think social media and instantaneous access to whatever content we want and need has given us shorter attention spans. I would hope that the book continues to stick around, but I think the number of us who prefer paperback is already dwindling.
I can't say what the future is for book publishing. All I can say is I hope it stays because there's magic in holding a book in your hands. It might just be the closest thing to real magic that we have.
What genres do you write?: Fantasy (Modern & Urban, Magical Realism), Paranormal, Romance
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.