Intimate Conversation with Cheryl Robinson
Black Pearls family join me in welcoming author Cheryl Robinson. Bestselling Author and native Detroiter Cheryl Robinson is a women’s fiction author. She has been known for writing novels with a twist, portraying women who face the odds and succeed. Cheryl currently resides in central Florida.
Ella Curry of EDC Creations chats with Cheryl about her new book release.
Cheryl: Tell us about your passion for writing. What's the title of your new book?
I have been writing for what feels like my entire life. During college, I enrolled in a fiction writing class as an elective and that’s when I discovered my passion for creating characters and stories that readers will hopefully find memorable. As for my latest novel, In Love With A Younger Man that was just released January 2009 and is in stores now here is the description Black Expressions Book Club has:
Her tryst with this sexy young man uncovers a startling secret...
At forty-three Olena Day has her life under control. Her professional life at least. But having earned a years’ sabbatical what will she do now? Enter Matthew Harper, a management trainee for a large auto dealer, who has big plans when it comes to his career. But relationships? He’s never been serious about the young girls who have thrown themselves at him. But this ambitious and fine bachelor’s world gets rocked when sexy Olena walks into his dealership. She may be looking for a new car but she’ll end up with a lot more than she bargained for. Besides their eighteen year age difference there’s another secret that could threaten this May-December romance.
Ella: Cheryl, you seem to have it all together. Women writers could really see you as a role model. Finish this sentence for us:I am Powerful because...
I am Powerful because... I believe and have faith in God and I believe that anything is possible...I believe in the power of positive thinking. In 2009, I want to demonstrate more than ever that what you believe you can achieve.
Ella: Albert Einstein states, "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." Was there ever a point in your career, when your life didn't match the theory? And how did you change the facts?
Of course, in terms of my publishing journey, the theory was that it would be nearly impossible for me as an unpublished writer to find a literary agent and to sign a book deal. Every book I picked up on publishing started off with depressing odds and telling countless stories of rejection. I changed the facts by finding inspiration through those who found alternative ways to get their stories told; successful authors such as, Kimberla Lawson Roby, E. Lynn Harris, Michael Baisden, Mary Morrison, and Zane to name quite a few. I decided to do what they had done at the start of their career and I self-published two novels and then, the next thing I knew I was signed with a literary agent and soon after I had my first book deal.
Introduction to In Love With A Younger Man
Listen to the sexy introduction by author Cheryl Robinson
Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
In a sense, I have three; Olena Day, Matthew Harper, and Jason Nix, who isn’t a main character, but he is very central to the story. I like him because he's romantic and up for a challenge to a certain point. He's the type who tells it like it is, but he’s not negative, and we need people like that in our lives.
Matthew Harper is the younger man who I like because while he is so much younger than Olena it's not what some expect when they think of a May-December romance. He is holding his own. He has a good job, a nice home, and what I really like about him is that he is honest. He is the first to admit he is not looking for a serious relationship. Is he completely honest about his life? Well, no. But many of us aren't.
Olena Day is my favorite character although one of my girlfriends has stated that she's kind of "touched." She's the woman who is living a great life now, but is still a product of her past failures; the fact that she dropped out of college and had to return home to finish school and later on as an adult had a long-term affair with a married man that she regrets. She is forty-three, never married and has no children and I think as "touched" as she may seem to some readers if you give her the opportunity they will find that they have a lot in common with her. Olena wants to not only be successful in her career and in life, but she also wants to love and to be loved. She has never had a man to genuinely love her and now she has two who say they do.
Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader to pick it up?
The cover with a loving couple pictured in an intimate and tasteful pose and the title, In Love with A Younger Man since that will be the first thing a reader sees. This is the first book I've written so far where the title speaks for itself.
Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I want In Love With A Younger Man to invite readers into a discussion about the characters of the book of course, but to move from their characters into their own lives. I want my characters to linger after the book is closed and have readers wonder what they are up to because I am working on the second book in the series as we speak. I want readers to feel as if they have a clear understanding of Olena and what motivates her, which is why I chose to open the book in 1984, the year Olena's first went off to college. Readers are given a glimpse of her life at Howard University and then the book jumps to twenty-five years later. One of the messages of the story is to not focus so much on the past and instead appreciate all that is good in the present moment, which the past created.
Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
The characters take on a voice of their own and the events that come from the story for the most part are purely organic. I may want a particular event to occur, but if I force that on the story I may cheat the reader. And there is the fact that readers interpret stories through their own experiences so how I view the story may not at all be the way others do.
Ella: What advice would you give a new writer? Would you change anything about your journey?
My advice to new writers is to, of course, keep writing and if you haven't already finished your manuscript please do. Always stay positive during the entire process. If writing is something that you want to do in your heart and it is your passion and getting published is something that you desire, I truly believe it will happen for you. I would hear about other people getting book deals well before I got my own and I was never jealous-hearted for others success. In fact, it was more motivational than anything. It made me realize it can be done, because if no one was getting a book deal that would have been very discouraging. I always kept the faith that one day I would
be published as well, and I am and have been with a major publishing company since 2005.
In Love With A Younger Man is the fifth book I've written and the fourth book I've had published through New American Library, which is a division of The Penguin Group. There is always a sense of I wish I would of, I should of, maybe I could of, but I also believe everything happens for a reason so I am exactly where I am supposed to be. No, I wouldn’t change anything. I have learned lessons and incorporated those into my present life. I am stronger because of every experience.
Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
In the future look for more books in the Olena Day series. I’m focusing on women’s fiction that will introduce readers to women who are confident and successful. My main characters will give readers someone to cheer for and laugh with. As well expect to see male characters that women dream of. We’ve all had our fair share of men who weren’t any good. I’m focusing on those who are or have the potential to be.
Ella: Share with us your latest news.
In Love With A Younger Man is a Black Expressions Book Club main selection for January 2009. It is also the first of my novels to be reviewed by Publishers Weekly. Here is a blurb from the Publishers Weekly review for In Love with A Younger Man:
“Their relationship is passionate and complicated, and a stunning revelation at the end makes the age difference seem a minor point as Olena must face not only her future but her past. In a straightforward and entertaining tale, Robinson delivers what she promises.”
For more information visit the author at http://www.cherylrobinson.com/ www.myspace.com/cherylrobinson or her blog mybestlife365.blogspot.com
Thank you Cheryl Robinson for joining us today. Readers, go out and pick up a copy of In Love With A Younger Man available January 6, 2009 where books are sold.
Please join in the discussion by leaving comments or congrats below.
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