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NEW VIDEO INTERVIEWS with Cheryl
was inspired by my own relationship as a teenager with
an older guy, which was also long distance. We met at
summer camp. But he moved far away. We kept in touch and
made it work. So
I knew how
Ė as if no
one could possibly understand how much she missed him
and how much it hurt.
up in North Carolina, but hadnít been back in years. One
evening, a woman with a strong Carolinian accent joined
my writing group. Just hearing her speak brought
Savannah to life. Savannah started telling me her story
that night and was very persistent from then on. Her
story came to me one scene at a time. I didnít know what
would happen until it was on the page.
***Savannah is one of those characters who speaks loudly
and clearly in my head. For example, if a few weeks had
gone by without me having time to work on her project,
when I picked up my pen or sat down at my computer, what
came out was something like,
ďLordy, where have you been? I got all this stuff to
tell you and Iíve been waiting on you since forever!Ē
She knows how to make herself heard. But after I wrote
it, I did struggle with deciding when to tone down her
accent to make the story easier to read.
My teenage summer love led to marriage and a family. I
think Jackson and Savannah end up together. Savannah
goes to college and Jackson pursues his art, maybe at an
art school near her college. I imagine they travel the
world together, just like they dreamed.
brave with your writing.
heart and soul on the page
and then learn to tolerate feedback, which can hurt at
times. But the more you get used to it, the better your
writing becomes. Getting a book published can be a long
and arduous path. If writing is what you really want to
do, keep at it and
teen, I liked a wide variety of books. I read some
fantasy, a lot of romance, and particularly liked long
sagas. I also enjoyed books by Marion Zimmer Bradley,
Paolo Coelho, and Richard Bach. Now I like to read a mix
of YA and adult fiction Ė mostly about
women and their stories.
But I also love the Harry Potter series. I like Sarah Dessen, Jodi Piccoult, and Alice Hoffman. I like books
with a spiritual or magical realism aspect to them and
guess thereís a part of me that will always feel like a
angsty, yet magical time
when youíre crossing the border between childhood and
adulthood. The hidden characters inside me are often
around that age.
almost all my writing sitting on my bed (which is why my
website is a bedroom Ė what I consider to be my office.)
I have a desk, but I just donít feel creative there. And
I donít like to write outdoors or at cafťs because itís
too distracting. I need to be someplace quiet and closed
in where I can go off to another world and not be
reminded of where I actually am. I think of my bedroom
as my writing cave. Sometimes I write with a fat pen in
a spiral notebook, other times itís on my laptop.
for me, is an intuitive process.
I write what comes with little to no idea of where itís
heading. I never use outlines. Structure makes me feel
cramped. I just put pen to paper (or fingers to
keyboard) and see where it takes me.
But it's too soon to say too much about it. Check back
here or on my
for more updates!