About Cherie Grinnell:
Cherie Grinnell is my pen name. I have been a stay-at-home/work-at-home mother for the past 16 years. Before that I had an Irish and British import store for a good number of years. The shop was just an excuse to travel to Ireland and Great Britain. I did my junior year abroad in Wales, and I fell in love with the British Isles. Many, if not all my characters, are from or have connections to that area of the world.
In addition to writing, I love to cook, walk, and spend time with my friends and family.
What inspires you to write?
Ever since i was a little girl, I had dramas being enacted in my head with people other than me or any real life players staring in my stories. Okay, when I was really young, ponies were the actors in my imaginings, but I matured.
The older I got, the bigger my repertoire of story-lines became. When I’m bored or when have trouble sleeping, I pull a story out of my head the same way you’d pull a book off the shelf. As an adult, I realized not everybody does this.
In my process of becoming a writer, I discovered I’m a romance writer, which surprised me. Once I digested this fact about myself, I realized I have a wealth of stories in my head, which I’ve been developing and fine-tuning for my own enjoyment for as long as I can remember. Putting all my dramas down on paper for others to read has become my passion. Writing romances gives me focus in my writing.
Sometimes I wake up from vivid and detailed dreams. These dreams feature people I don’t know, and they are in some stage of a romance. I have to figure out who these people are, and then working forward and backward from my dream scene, I build a story around the pair. The Selkie Series, set in Dublin, started out this way. Chapter 9 of Book One was my dream experience. My upcoming book, Pairings, which is set in Wales, also started out with a dream.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am somewhere between a pantser and a plotter. I think up the characters and their basic conflicts first, and then I think about their story for weeks before I write down a rough outline on a legal pad.
That said, I write out my outline, but then I leave it somewhere–next to my bed or wherever I dropped it– and generally don’t refer to it again. But by this time the story is set in my head. Once I start writing, the characters lead the story, and sometimes they have other ideas of where they want to go than I do.
The first time I did a NaNoWriMo challenge I sat down on November 1, without a thought in my head other than a brief encounter I had one morning while walking my dog as a starting point. I didn’t know what I was going to write about, but I sat down and wrote. I was surprised once I gave the main character life, how the words flowed out. By November 23 I had completed my first draft of a 50+ novel. The mind is an amazing place.
I have a writing practice I like to stick to. My writing begins with walking. I walk to a park over 2 miles away from my house, do the circuit around the pond there, and then walk home again. But all the while I walking, I’m writing in my head–and listening to music, which is also important to my process.
Once I’ve done my chores for the day, I sit down at my PC after lunch, put on my music, and write down everything I worked on during my walk. (I’ve read that the opposable movements of left foot, right hand,etc. is like giving your brain a massage. I’m not making this up).
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters are very active off the written page. They talk to each other pretty much no matter what I’m doing during the day. They don’t talk to me. Only to each other. Believe me, there are a few characters I’d love to talk to.
At this the point the interview might get weird for some of you: I went to a psychic once and told her I have a man in my head who helps me write my stories, and I wanted to know who he was. I can see him, I can hear him, but I don’t know where he came from.
She told me he once lived, and I knew him in a past life. He was a story teller among other things, and I channel him when I write. He has a lot of stories to tell, she said.
I’m not sure if I believe this or not, but once when meditating, I did conjure up this man and saw his life unfold in front of me. HE did talk to me, but he spoke in a foreign language (Ancient Irish, I believe), so I don’t know what he said. He was cute though.
What advice would you give other writers?
The old advice to write every day is still the best advice. The more you write, the better you get at it, and plus making a routine, carving out a special time and place you write, puts you in a good place emotionally to write.
Read, read, read. Read books in your genre and out of your genre. Read as many of the great books there are out there on the craft of writing as you can. Read books about grammar.
While reading books in your genre, note what worked for you as the reader and what didn’t.
Most importantly, give yourself permission to write. You might not get paid to do it, and there are so many other things calling to you (dirty dishes, shopping, things you do actually get paid to do…), but do give yourself permission to spend part of your day writing–and then do it. Sit down and write. Don’t over-think it. Just do it.
Making a community for yourself of other writers is very helpful too. Make writing every day a priority the same as any other task on your to-do list, and you’ll find you can write and still get everything else done.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
It didn’t take writing too many query letters before I decided I wanted to self-publish. I felt like I was wasting my time, and it was time I would rather spend writing. I joined groups on Facebook, like Indie Authors, and for over a year learned about the self-publishing. There is a wealth of information out there. NaNoWriMo is a good place to start.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Like so many industries nowadays, the world of publishing is like the Wild West. There’s a bit of lawlessness, but also a world of opportunity. It’s a good time to do what you feel comfortable doing, if that makes sense. I’m not comfortable writing query letters. There are some aspects of self-publishing I’m more comfortable with than others. I’m exploring my limits as a marketer now.
What do you use?: Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Romance. As Cherie Grinnell I write both open bedroom door romances and behind the bedroom door romances, which are longer and more literary.
What formats are your books in?: eBook
Link To Cherie Grinnell Page On Amazon