Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cheryl Pierson Interview

I’m thrilled to have Cheryl visit us again. For those who may have missed her first interview, here is her bio.

Cheryl was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, and grew up in Seminole, Oklahoma. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma, and holds a B.A. in English. She has taught numerous writing classes and workshops over the past years and also works on an individual basis with many of her students, and other authors, locally and nationwide.

Cheryl’s most recent publications include her debut novel, released through The Wild Rose Press in May of 2009, “Fire Eyes,” and her first contemporary romantic suspense novel, “Sweet Danger,” to be released October 1, 2010 through The Wild Rose Press as well. She has also had the good fortune to become affiliated with Victory Tales Press, a romance anthology publisher, and has two upcoming releases through that company, “A Halloween Collection: Stimulating Edition” and “A Christmas Collection.” Her first story with them was published in May of 2010 in “A Summer Collection.”

She has also sold numerous other short stories, as a contributor for the Adams Media anthologies “The Rocking Chair Reader: Family Gatherings”, as well as the earlier “The Rocking Chair Reader: Memories from the Attic.” Her short stories also appear in the 2006-09 editions of the Adams Media Christmas anthologies, as well as various other publications, including “Chicken Soup for the Empty Nester’s Soul.” Her holiday short story, “A Night For Miracles,” was released in December, 2009, through The Wild Rose Press.

Although Cheryl has written and sold articles to local newspapers as well as these short stories, her first love remains romance novel writing. With the release of TIME PLAINS DRIFTER, her debut novel in the speculative romance genre of paranormal/time travel, she garnered the Honorable Mention Award in the “Best New Paranormal Author” category in the prestigious PEARL contest, presented 3/21/10.

Time Plains Drifter also received a 4.5 review from Romantic Times Magazine. She’s now at work on another novel, TIME PLAINS GUARDIAN, in the speculative romance genre of western historical paranormal/time travel and hopes to complete it before the end of the year. She has just completed a western historical novel, GABRIEL’S LAW, which placed third in the San Antonio Romance Authors Merritt Contest for 2010 and is presently under consideration for publication with Berkley.

Cheryl lives with her husband in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where she has been for the past 25 years. She has two grown children, ages 21 and 24. You can visit her website at You can e-mail her at (she loves to hear from readers and other authors!) You can visit her blogs at: and also at

[Anne] Tell us about your latest book.

[Cheryl] My latest novel is SWEET DANGER, published with The Wild Rose Press. The release date is technically October 1, 2010, but the print version is already available ( ). The digital version will not be available until October 1, and I’m told that both will only be available through The Wild Rose Press until the end of October, then will go to other venues such as Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Here’s the blurb for Sweet Danger:

When undercover cop Jesse Nightwalker enters Silverman’s Deli, he doesn't expect to find himself at the mercy of Tabor Hardin, a sadistic murderer he helped put in prison five years earlier. Now, Hardin’s escaped, and he’s out for more blood—Jesse’s.

Lindy Oliver has had her eye on her handsome neighbor for several months. Fate provides the opportunity for them to finally meet when they both choose the same deli for breakfast. Becoming a hostage was not in Lindy’s plans when she sat down to share a pastry with Jesse, but neither was the hot kiss he gave her when bullets began to fly. That kiss seals both their fates, binding them to one another with the certainty of a vow.

But Jesse’s got some hard-hitting secrets. With both their lives at stake, Lindy has a plan that just might save them—if Hardin takes the bait. Will they find unending love in the midst of Sweet Danger?

[Anne] What inspired you to write this story?

[Cheryl] I have always written historical romance, but about three years ago, I decided I wanted to try a contemporary. I wrote a story called Intersection that I dearly love and that I fully intend to re-work and resubmit at some point. I had lots of rejections that were full of “I love it, but…” So I decided to take a break from working on that story and write another contemporary. The result was SWEET DANGER. I always write my stories set in my home state of Oklahoma, sometimes in Texas. This story was just a natural for my intended setting. The characters just came alive in a few short pages.

[Anne] How did you go about researching your book?

[Cheryl] I didn’t really have to do a lot of research for this. It’s contemporary, and set here in Oklahoma City. Of course the names and characters are all purely fictional, and it revolves around a hostage situation. My husband was a U.S. Navy SEAL back in the day, so there is my source for info for weapons and explosives and those “covert operations” types of scenes I have sometimes.

[Anne] Do you have anything new in the works?

[Cheryl] I DO! I mentioned earlier that I have a short story in a Halloween anthology that is also releasing on October 1. Don’t have a buy link for that yet, but if anyone is interested, please feel free to e-mail me and I will be glad to put them on my list once we know what it is.

In November, I have a Christmas short story coming out with Victory Tales Press called Scarlet Ribbons, a western based on the old folk tune of the same name. That song has always haunted me and I knew I wanted to write a story based on it for years.

I have a western historical under consideration with Berkley. It’s called Gabriel’s Law, and I am on pins and needles waiting to hear the “verdict.” They are also looking at re-releasing my book, Time Plains Drifter.

I’m writing another short story for yet another anthology with Victory Tales Press—as western. And I’m also working on putting the final touches on another contemporary novel—a bit shorter than my usual works are, but a story that I really did enjoy writing. The working title for it is “OF DREAMS FORGOTTEN”—it’s about two people who have both given up on love and find each other in a very unlikely set of circumstances. He’s a DEA undercover agent whose cover has been blown and he’s been left for dead on her property. She can’t call the authorities or they may both wind up dead. There are a lot of plot twists in this and I really had fun with it.

[Anne] What is your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantster?

[Cheryl] I’m definitely a PANTSER! LOL I don’t really “plot” anything much until the book has already taken shape. Then I draw up a timeline so that I can keep it all straight about “what happens when” at just a glance.

[Anne] What type of books do you like to read when you’re not writing?

[Cheryl] I loathe “self-help” books, so I never read those. LOL But I do try to read other things besides just romance books, although I read a ton of those, too. I love history, so I read a lot of history based books and alternate history books, such as those by Eric Flint—LOVE HIM. I bought the first book of the Civil War trilogy by Shelby Foote and totally loved it, but it is heavy reading and taking a while for me to slog through. I love westerns. I’ve read a lot of Louis L’Amour, but recently have discovered Peter Brandvold.

[Anne] What advice would you give to any aspiring writers out there?

[Cheryl] Have patience! Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, and our writing careers aren’t, either. Consider writing some shorter pieces for anthologies and building your portfolio. It helps when you contact an agent, if you go that route, for them to know you are serious about writing by being able to see that you have written some shorter things and at least submitted them or at best, had them published.

[Anne] Where can we find you on the web?

Website:; Blogs:

[Anne] Where can we purchase your book(s)?

[Cheryl] Fire Eyes and Sweet Danger (novels) and A Night for Miracles and Until the Last Star Burns Out (short stories) are available at Until the Last Star Burns Out is a FREE READ.

A Summer Collection, and soon, A Halloween Collection and A Christmas Collection are available here at the Victory Tales Press site:

The Adams Media Rocking Chair Readers and Christmas anthologies are available on Amazon, as is the Chicken Soup for the Empty Nesters Soul anthology.

[Anne] Is there anything else you’d like to add?

[Cheryl] I’d love to leave you excerpt from Sweet Danger.

This excerpt takes place in the first chapter. Jesse Nightwalker, an undercover cop, runs into his neighbor, Lindy Oliver, in the local deli. Though they've never met, they are very aware of one another. The deli owner introduces them officially and points them toward the only available booth. But their Friday morning takes a quick nosedive in the next few minutes. Here's what happens.


Jesse looked past her, his smile fading rapidly. As the flash of worry entered his expression, Lindy became aware of a sudden lull in the noisy racket of the deli. Jesse’s dark gaze was locked on the front door, a scowl twisting his features.

“Damn it,” he swore, reaching for her hand. “Get down! Under the table, Lindy…”

But she hesitated a second too long, not understanding what was happening. In the next instant, the sound of semi-automatic gunfire and shattering glass filled the air.

Lindy reflexively ducked, covering her head. The breath of a bullet fanned her cheek as Jesse dragged her down beneath the sparse cover of the small table. He shielded her, his hard body crushing against her, on top of her, pushing her to the floor. The breath rushed out of her, and she felt the hard bulge of the shoulder holster he wore beneath the denim jacket as it pressed against her back.

Her heart pounded wildly, realization of their situation flooding through her. A robbery! But why, at this hour of the morning when the take would be so low? The gunfire stopped as abruptly as it had started. From somewhere near the counter, a man shouted, “Come out and you won’t be hurt! Come out—now!”

Lindy looked up into Jesse’s face, scant inches from her own. What would he do? They were somewhat concealed here at the back of the deli, but these men were sporting semi-automatic weapons.

“There’s a back door,” Jesse whispered raggedly. “Get the hell out of here. I’m gonna be your diversion.” She didn’t answer; couldn’t answer. He was likely to be killed, helping her go free. He gave her a slight shake. “Okay?”

An interminable moment passed between them before she finally nodded. “Get going as soon as I get their attention.” He reached to brush a strand of hair out of her eyes, his own gaze softening as he leaned toward her and closed the gap between them. “Take care of yourself, Lindy,” he whispered, just before his mouth closed over hers.

The instant their lips met shook her solidly. Every coherent thought fled, leaving nothing but the smoldering touch of his lips on hers, burning like wildfire through her mind. Soft, yet firm. Insistent and insolent. His teeth skimmed her lower lip, followed by his tongue, as he tasted her. Then, he pulled away from her, their eyes connecting for a heart-wrenching second.

“Safe passage,” he whispered.

Lindy didn’t answer, more stunned by the sudden sweet kiss than by the madness surrounding them. Jesse pushed himself out from under the table and stood up, directly in front of where Lindy crouched. Only then did she hear his muted groan of pain, his sharp, hissing intake of breath. The blossoming red stain of crimson contrasted starkly with the pale blue of his faded denim jacket as his blood sprang from the bullet wound, soaking the material.

He’d been shot!

Lindy gasped softly at the realization. How could she leave him now?


Rebecca J Vickery said...

Hi Cheryl and Anne,
Great to learn more about Cheryl. Congrats on all the releases coming up and I am crossing my toes about the Berkley acceptance coming your way.
Your site looks great, Anne.

Cheryl said...

Hi Rebecca!

Thanks so much for popping over. I'm hoping that Berkley deal happens, too. That would just be wonderful. Doesn't this site look great? I love it!


Mary Hardwick said...

Hi Cheryl,
I was thrilled to see there will be another story in Time Plains paranormal universe. Time Plains Drifter remains my favorite of all your works, of which I have read them all. Your splendid writing draws me so deeply into your stories that they become my reality as I experience them...because you don't just read your stories, you live them. Mary Hardwick

Sarah Grimm said...


Your books sounds fantastic! Congrats on your upcoming releases.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Fun interview, great excerpt. You're life has been very interesting! Nice to have a Navy Seal to help you with research. I too hate self-help books!

Miriam Newman said...

Congrats on the switch into contemporary, Cheryl--though I love your Westerns! Best of luck on this one.

Cheryl said...

That is just the nicest thing anyone could say about my writing. Thank you so much for all your support. You don't know what that means to me.

Yep, I've got plans for Cris and Victoria! I couldn't just leave them out there without writing them a story too!

Thanks so much for coming by, Mary!

Cheryl said...

Hi Sarah,

Thanks so much! I am really excited about the release of SWEET DANGER because it is my first contemporary novel. I got my author copies a few days ago and have been smiling ever since.


Cheryl said...

Hi Julia,

I have a cousin named Julia who is about 10 months older than I am, and she and I got into tons of hot water together when we were younger! LOL

Yes, it is very nice having Gary around to just "tell" me what I need to know rather than having to go look up everything. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting.


Cheryl said...

Hi Miriam,

Thanks, my friend. I'm not switching completely--I could never give up my western historicals! LOL And they will always be my first love, but I do enjoy writing the contemporaries, too. I'm sure hoping SWEET DANGER does well.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Hi Cheryl and Anne,
Enjoyed the interview.

Congratulations on your new release. Wow, Berkley-- that would be wonderful. Crossing my fingers for you.

I love your wounded heroes. You just want to hug them. :)

Maggie Toussaint said...


I remember when you were working on Sweet Danger. I feel like a proud aunt or something!

This one is going on my ebook must have list.

Wishing you many sales!

Diane Craver said...

Interesting interview, Cheryl and Anne! Good luck with Berkley - that has to be exciting.

Cheryl said...

hi Karen!

Yes, Berkley would be great...I'm just on pins and needles hoping it will come to pass! Keep a good thought!

I felt that way about Eli--just wanted to hug him up and take care of him. LOL IN MANY MANY WAYS.

Thanks for coming by!

Cheryl said...


That was during the Bookspa days, I think, and I remember posting excerpts there and getting some really good feedback that helped me get that story written and "out there"--I am so glad you liked it!

Thanks for commenting--I know you are busy with an upcoming release of your own!


Cheryl said...

Hi Diane,

Yes, that is exciting. Placing 3rd in the San Antonio Romance Authors Merritt competition for the historical category was what led to the editor from Berkley asking to see the full ms. Now THAT was a happy day! LOL

Back to your chapter! LOL I read about you taking time out from writing to come visit the blogs and offer help to others. Some days are just like that. I have a lot of those days...

Take care and happy writing.

Celia Yeary said...

CHERYL--I got chills down my back when I read the excerpt--I still do just thinking about it! If an author's writing does that to me, or makes me cry, or makes me pump my fist in the air and say "Yessss!" I'd give it Five Something-or-Others right off the bat! Wow, girl, you definitely have a winner here, and with that killer cover--it's got to be a big seller.
I thought I knew everything about you--haha--but did I know G was a Navy Seal???? Fantastic to have a research source at your fingertips--that's okay to say, isn't it?
You chose w great place to blog about your coming release. Ann Patrick's blog is tops, and she always does a great job with interviews. She does not skimp.
Congratulations, and Hi! Anne!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Ann and Cheryl

Just popping in to say 'hi'. Great interview, I loved 'Fireeyes' and will eventually get round to 'Time Plains drifter' when I've finished my current TBR pile!

Good luck with 'Sweet Danger' I hopen it does really well for you and sells a ton!

Miss Mae said...

Love, love, LOVE this excerpt! And I think I'm in love with this brave hero! Wow, he's totally awesome, Cheryl! :)

Miss Mae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keena Kincaid said...

Wow, Cheryl, you are one busy lady. When do you sleep?

I'm half in love with Jesse already, and since I loved Fire Eyes and Times Plains Drifter, I know I'll be all the way in love with him by the time I finish the book.

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Cheryl,you are one busy and very talented lady! Fingers crossed for Berkley...I've got Fire eyes loaded in the Kindle and it's close LOL on the BR. Looks like I'll be trying a contemp. in October, too.

Best wishes, my good friend.

Sherry Gloag said...

That's a powerful excerpt, thanks for sharing. I also loved reading your interview.

Anne Patrick said...

Hi ladies! Cheryl exciting excerpt really blew me away. I can't wait to read Sweet Danger.

Thank you all so much for dropping by in support of Cheryl and her wonderful works!


Cheryl said...


AW, thank you SO MUCH! I'm glad to know that excerpt gave you chills. You know how I truly do love my wounded heroes! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt.

Yep, I do have a lot research at my fingertips. LOL You know, G has taken a lot of guff from his coworkers about that very thing. LOL And when we go back to West Virginia every year...his family doesn't let him have a moment's rest about it.

I love being here at Anne's. She's a great hostess and I love her interview questions. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to come over and read and comment.


Cheryl said...


Thanks so much for coming by and reading my interview. I hope you enjoy Time Plains Drifter, and thanks so much for the kind words about FIRE EYES!


Cheryl said...

So good to see you here. MG, woman we must catch up! We have not talked in forever--my fault, I know--life has been crazy. I'm so glad you are crazy about Jesse. He is just one of my very favorite people. I'm so glad you came by and commented!


Cheryl said...


Oh, honey, I promise you...wonderful things await with our Jesse! LOL He is a very hot sexy guy and Lindy is one lucky lady to have found him, even if they ARE in dire circumstances! I hope you fall totally in love with him by the end of the book. He's got lots of angst and baggage, but of course, that's what we love, right?

Cheryl said...


How do you have time to read anything with all the wonderful writing you're getting done? For those of you who don't know this, Tanya just signed a mega-book deal for a series she's writing! A dream deal, in fact! Congratulations to you for that!

Thanks for taking time out of your writing to come by and comment.


Cheryl said...

Hi Sherry,

Anne is a great interviewer. Her questions are really good, and I always enjoy being here at Suspense by Anne.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt. They are sure in a fix, characters always have a happily-ever-after ending. LOL

Thanks so much for coming by.

Cheryl said...

Anne, you are the best for inviting me back here. I am enjoying the comments so much and seeing everyone come over has been really great. There is so much support here, it's just amazing.

Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. This is one of my favorite projects I've ever worked on.


liana laverentz said...

Hi, Cheryl,

I loved Fire Eyes, and I can't wait to read Sweet Danger! Fingers and toes crossed for you with Berkley!

Danielle Thorne said...

Congrats on the new release, Cheryl!eather1

Cheryl said...

Hi Liana!

Well, I hope you love SWEET DANGER as much as you did FIRE EYES. LOL Jesse Nightwalker is to die for, of course! I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed, too--man, I would love to have a contract with Berkley!

Cheryl said...

hi Dani! Thanks so much! I appreciate all the support from everyone!

Paula Martin said...

I LOVE your comment that you loathe self-help books! Maybe they can give you some hints about 'technicalities' (although they all seem to differ about these) but IMO no book (or weebsite or course) can actually teach you HOW to write. They can give you hints and advice - take it or leave it - but in the end the writing has to come from you.

Cheryl said...

Hi Paula,

I have a sister that reads nothing but self help books--in all areas. She is now an authority on any subject you might care to discuss. LOL Drives us all nuts. I personally don't care for them, but I know a lot of people who really like them. I have a few writing books that I like--one is called "How to Read Literature Like a Professor" by Thomas Foster. I have a bachelor's degree in English, but this guy has a way of writing that is soooo interesting and I've found that it helps me as much in my writing as what he intended for it to help people in their reading. LOL

You are so right, though. The writing has to come from within, and you know, no amount of self help is going to do any good if a person doesn't sit down and write.

Thanks so much for commenting!