Well, today I welcome author Cherie Marks to the blog. Cherie and I met during the National Romance Writers of America conference in Orlando a couple of years ago. She is a phenomenal woman and one spectacular writer. Please join me as we get to know Cherie a bit more.
So Cherie, was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals?
It was probably more the hot coals route. I over-think everything, and publication was no different. I read the blogs of agents, editors, authors, and other industry people, and narrowed my choices to three online publishers to submit a short story I’d completed, edited, and sent to fellow readers. It wasn’t the first story I’d submitted, but an editor at The Wild Rose Press was willing to take a chance on it.
What was the best advice you were given leading you to getting published?
Study the market you want to break into. If you’re trying to get published in a particular house or market, see what’s popular there. Don’t necessarily change what you’re writing or how you write based on your findings, but use them as a guide to see if your work will even fit there or if you should look somewhere else. Somewhere out there is an audience waiting to find what you write. Do your homework and go where the audience already is.
That is definitely some great advice, Cherie. I agree that all authors should do their research and homework when pursuing a publishing house. Well speaking of publication, what did you do to celebrate when your first book was published?
Eat, of course! I’m a foodie at heart, so hubby and three kiddos went out to one of our favorite restaurants, Carrabba’s (unsolicited plug, but they could pay me in food).
LOL! I love it. Girl, that's sounds like exactly what I would do, too. Yep, bring on the food. Let's go ahead and take a look at your recent publication, 'Into the Fire'.
Months after he stole her affections—then her executive chef position—Shyann and Luke meet again under sizzling circumstances, competing head-to-head on a televised cooking show called Kitchen Twist. Each arrives with a motive: Luke intends to win back Shyann’s heart, even as she wants closure on the not-so-tasty heartbreak he once served up.
Luke knows culinary masterpieces require a delicate touch, but that knowledge is tossed out with the leftovers as he works to show Shyann he’s not such a bad guy. Now he pushes his skills to the limit to win the competition and satisfy a bet.
Can two top chefs resist each other as they move out of the pan and into the fire?
His hands burned with awareness of where they rested. His pulse raced, and her lips were mere inches from his. As if time stopped completely, they stared at each other, and for the life of him, Luke couldn’t seem to remember why he’d come in here.
Shyann shook off the haze first. “Let me go. I can get this without you.”
Against his need and with exaggerated motion, he pulled his hands away. She stumbled and eyed him suspiciously but went back to jumping for a high box.
Although he appreciated the bounce of her breasts each time she leaped upward, he forced himself not to stare, gathering some of his ingredients instead. But after watching for a few more seconds, with an irritated grunt, he reached around her, grabbed her target, and handed it to her.
“I said I didn’t need your help.”
“Fine, I’ll put it back.”
His hand touched the box, and she pulled it behind her. The motion caused their bodies to collide again. Her liquid brown eyes blazed up at him, and even as a small voice in the back of his brain screamed he didn’t have time for this, he couldn’t seem to pull away. She looked so damn soft and vulnerable, and all he wanted to do was step out of the way of her win, give it all to her because she deserved it. But first, he wanted to kiss her, a long, hot, turn-their-knees-to-jelly kiss.
Steamy indeed! I love the excerpt and the book cover is absolutely hot...uh...no pun intended. Well, let's move on to another area. Do you believe in love at first sight?
I believe in chemistry at first sight. Whether you’re trying or not, there are going to be some people you click with easier than others, there are going to be some people who you are instantly attracted to, and there are going to be those who instantly butter your bread, so to speak. It’s just a little nature mixed with a little pure chance.
Wow! I love how you explained that. Now, what is your favorite romance movie?
Though many have tried to imitate the greatness of it, Love Actually is my favorite forever. I love the way the stories weave in and out of each other, and I love particularly Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon’s story of the British Prime Minister falling for the food service girl and the scene where Colin Firth proposes in front of all those people is just so romantic. So much is revealed about how we fall in love, how love changes, the sacrifices of love, and how love endures. It’s a great movie to watch anytime.
As we come to the end of our interview time together, Cherie, what advice would you give aspiring authors?
Be persistent! Never take rejection personally or as the end of your journey. Learn from it then move forward.
So true. Thank you for visiting us on the blog today and sharing 'Into the Fire' with everyone. I greatly appreciate you allowing us to get a glimpse into your thoughts. I look forward to having you on the blog sometime in the near future.
Thank you so much for letting me hang out today! Love a good blog guestie opportunity!
To learn more about Cherie Marks and all her writing, please visit any of the following links:
Into the Fire Amazon BuyLink: http://tinyurl.com/3f7vfnp
Into the Fire BN Buylink: Barnes and Noble
Into the Fire TWRP BuyLink: http://tinyurl.com/3mfn3zj