Today, we welcome author Cherie Noel! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Cherie is one of the authors who contributed to the anthology, Big Bone Lick Pack, that features my story, Devil Dog and Bad Wolf. Cherie’s story, Shifty Fox Shenanigans, ties up the overall story line of the anthology. She let me borrow her fox shifter, Simon, to use in my. It was great fun!
So, sit back, relax, and let’s get to know Cherie a little better!
About Your Craft:
1. Which genre are you most/best known for?
Undoubtedly M/M romance.
2. Which of your projects are you best known for?
*taps chin…thinking, thinking…* You know, I’m not sure. Either my latest which was an anthology done with you, Kendall, and Jambrea Jo Jones (because the two of you are rockstars… no, really), or else for my Rescue Twinks series.
3. Do you have a ‘signature’ or a ‘trademark’ feature in your work? If yes, was it accidental, or intentionally developed?
I use a lot of physical comedy, and I tend to write about the heavy topics with a light touch… sort of a “isn’t life awkward, weird, and ridiculous to have you crying with laughter approach”… and I would have to say it really just happened.
4. I love stories that feature classic heroes and/or sympathetic villains, but I particularly adore anti-heroes and reluctant heroes. Do you have a preference, or a fondness, for one character archetype over the others?
I have a serious weakness for the side kick type hero. You know, not the big Alpha, but his sorta wimpy pal? The guy who is there in the background, the one on whose loyalty and friendship the typical hero relies—in fact couldn’t be the mc without? Yeah, so that’s often the guy who ends up being my hero. He’s the one who saves the day with little kindnesses, small truths, and a huge heart.
5. My brain knows the correct spelling of the word serious, but my fingers always insist on typing the word seriouse. Do you have a similar typing tick?
Yes! I forget all my Ameriglish and try to spell things in Britglish. Colour instead of color, for instance. I do this regardless of where the story is set. *shakes head*
6. What work did you do to develop your craft in preparation for becoming a ‘professional’?
I started by learning how to look at my own work critically. Constructive criticism though, you know? I had this marvelous man teach me how to go through a story and seek out flaws, look for instances of telling rather than showing… but really it’s a work in progress. I’ll never be done learning to be a professional I hope. I want, at the end of my career, to be able to see a distinct improvement in my writing over the years.
7. What work do you do now, to improve your craft?
I seek out great editors and listen to what they teach me. I try like hell to carry what I learn in each story forward into the next story, and the next… I read constantly. I let things sit and then go back to them as though they are someone else’s work, looking for where the work can be improved. Basically I slice and dice my first, second, third, and fourth drafts before I even send the story to a beta reader for the first time, and then I lather, rinse and repeat the whole process when I get the story back (paying attention to the beta’s suggestions, seeing where they are useful, where they would change the character or the plot too much and then asking why they wanted that particular thing changed)… then I send the story to my editor and pray for a contract.
8. Which aspect of your craft seemed to come easiest to you, early on? Has it changed with time and/or experience?
Creating the characters and their worlds in my head has always been easy. That has never changed. Being satisfied with how well I translate that first flash of inspiration onto the page? That has changed. What was good enough two years or a month ago is no longer enough. I keep pushing the ceiling of acceptance.
9. Which aspect of your craft was the most difficult for you to master? Do you still struggle with it? Is there a new aspect you find you need to work on?
Kendall, you ask the tough questions, woman! I love it. Oh hell, I guess when I first started writing just finishing the story was an amazing feat for me. Then I started feeling a need to gain mastery of the technique of showing the reader my world, immersing him or her in my character’s skin… I’m still working on this one. I seek out authors like Z.A. Maxfield, Mary Calmes, Amy Lane, L. A Witt, and yourself, immerse myself in their works and seek to understand how their words are woven together.
Long way around the barn, yes I still struggle with this, just at a higher level than where I started. I’m learning new things every day about plotting…what works, what doesn’t and why… I have three things I—no, better make that four that I am intensely focused on bettering right now: character development, pacing, showing the character and world in a three dimensional manner, and creating an emotional hook that holds.
10. Is the work you’re best known for, the work you’re most proud of? If not, which work are you most proud of?
If I knew which work I’m best known for I could answer this better. Sheesh. Oh, wait. I can answer this! No, it couldn’t possibly be the one I’m most famous for… there are two important reasons for this. One is that I have a deep and abiding pride for the first novel I ever completed. It is a huge thing to simply get far enough along the journey of becoming a writer to actually finish a project to the point where it is possible to bring others to your creation and let them see the red-faced, squalling infant of a story you have birthed. So I am damn proud of that book. Holy crap, I actually finished it!
Secondly there is a story I’ve been working on for two years now… and… it may well be my finest work to date. I get chills when I read it, even with all the flaws I can still see.
11. Briefly describe the mechanics of your creative process.
LOL. A character or two grab me by the throat, haul me into my writing cave, unceremoniously dump me in front of any available device to document their tale and begin to babble. That’s pretty much it. Oh, and they pick the damndest times to introduce themselves/hijack my life.
12. None of us work in a vacuum. We all depend on others to help us fully develop our creative projects. My beta reader and my MLR editor are absolutely critical to me. With regard to developing your craft, who are you most reliant on and appreciative of?
My beta, Val is priceless. My editors are also worth thrice their weight in gold. No, seriously. Oh, and my kidlet. She’s both my biggest distraction from writing and my biggest source of inspiration.
13. While practicing your craft, have you ever experienced a ‘happy accident’? If so, what was it?
Oh yes. I have happy accidents all the time in my writing. I’ll be working on a story and someone will blunder into my creative bubble (either a fictional or a flesh and blood person) with some bit of trivia which changes the course of the story I’m working on. I usually find they are merely making me aware of facts about my story I had not yet stumbled across. Is that what you mean? Sometimes the happy accident is finding an extra cup of coffee left in the pot, lol.
1. My job during the Zombie Apocalypse would be_____?
Sharpshooter, clearly. There is no other answer.
2. Which author got vampires ‘right’?
a. Bram Stoker
b. Anne Rice
c. Stephanie Meyer
d. Z.A. Maxfield. End of story.
3. The monster of which I am most afraid is___? Why?
____HUMANS are fucking terrifying!___ e.
4. Of all twelve Doctors,
a. ___#10__ was my first Doctor
b. ____#10_ is my favorite Doctor
5. Star Wars or Star Trek? Why?
I refuse to pick. I love them both for differing reasons.
6. Anakin and Luke are classic character archetypes (The Hero & The Christ Figure), or just a couple of whiney brats?
Seriously, they are both. Yep.
7. Star Trek: Classic, Next Generation, or Reboot? Why?
I love me some classic Kirk, young and sexy Shatner. I have a deep and abiding love for the brilliance that is Sir Patrick Stewart’s Captain Picard. I seriously want to lick Chris Pine’s Kirk from top to bottom and back…though I would forgo this for a chance to watch him lick Zachery Quinto’s Spock all over. Hee hee.
8. Griffyndor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, or Ravenclaw?
Griffyndor all the way.
9. ‘Boy Bands’: Pop music genius? Or devil’s spawn?
I LOVE THEM ALL!!! Hee hee hee.
10. Madonna or Cyndi? Katie or GaGa?
O.O How dare you ask me to choose between two of the supreme divas? Madonna, Cyndi and Katie are riding with me. GaGa can take her meat dress back to the walk in cooler.
11. Have you ever attended a live showing of Rocky Horror Picture show? If so, did you dress in character/costume?
Yes! I saw it at an outdoor showing during my Freshman year in college. Sadly, I did not dress in character.
12. Dr. Frankenfurter:
a. Evil alien
b. Misunderstood genius
___Clearly misunderstood, lol____ b.
13. You’re attending ComicCon in San Diego, this year. You befriended a famous Hollywood FX make-up artist who has offered to create a costume for you. What fictional character would you cosplay?
Zoe from Firefly.
14. Have you ever played Dungeons & Dragons?
But of course.
15. I’m not a hoarder, or anything, I just like to collect___?
Men. No, really. *smirks*
16. You have a magic wardrobe that doesn’t necessarily lead to Narnia. Where does it lead?
You evil wench. I have to pick one place? No, no I don’t. My magic wardrobe leads into all my favorite stories. Yep. I get to hang out with Lucas and Noah, Rayne, Lucian Argeneau… oh, the possibilities are endless!! Muhahahahahahaha!
17. Bilbo stumbles across you in a subterranean cavern. What object is your Preciousssss?
My signed copies of Belinda McBride’s UnCommon Whore Series.
You And Your Featured Book
Blurb: Welcome to the Big Bone Lick Pack: A more friendly and hospitable group of werewolves you’ll never meet! Visit with; ‘Devil Dog & Bad Wolf’, a ‘Big Bad Bear’ and enjoy some ‘Shifty Fox Shenanigans’. Watch yourself, ’round the state park, ’cause we had a grizzly on the loose, just a bit ago. Our brave men and woman of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department have everything under control. (Except maybe their own love lives!) But if find yourself needing a doctor, head on down to Rabbit Hash clinic, or St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is just up the road a piece. We hope you enjoy your stay.
You can find Cherie at the following locations:
Website is currently under construction. It will be online within the next month or so, at www.cherienoel.com
If you haven’t already read Big Bone Lick Pack, what are you waiting for?