Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Meet Cheri Schmidt, Author of the YA series "Fateful"

As soon as I finished reading the young adult novel "Fateful" by Cheri Schmidt, I contacted her and asked her to be on my blog. It is a well-written vampire romance that any Twilight fan would enjoy. Welcome, Cheri!

Tell us a little about your background and how you became an author.
I actually don’t have a background in writing, just an overactive imagination. I’ve always had stories in my head, but it took me a while to realize those might not be just for my own personal entertainment. My past professional life was as an artist and a portrait photographer. In collage I majored in photography. These skills have helped me design my own book covers. I realized I could write pretty much by accident. I dreamed about a story entitled The Fairy Ring Enchantment and always thought it would be published as a picture book. I thought I would be illustrating this story, but when I started writing, it turned into a novel. I was extremely confused because I knew it was way too long to be a picture book like I’d originally planned. That story will be finished and published sometime in the next year or two, as a novel. Even though Fateful was not the first story I thought of, it was the first one I finished writing. Seven years ago, I finished Fateful and most of Fractured in about three months. Over the next few years, both books went through several rewrites as I started my goal of getting published.
What is one of your favorite books and why?
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis. This was the first book that introduced me to fantasy and transported me to another place, a very magical place. I really wished I could find an enchanted wardrobe like that.
What inspired you to write this book series?
My teenage daughter did a retelling of The Frog Prince for an assignment in her writing class. As I thought about this story, I began to wonder what it would be like if the prince had been cursed with something else. Like what if he was a vampire instead of a frog? And how would she cure him? As I answered these questions, Fateful came to me. The Fateful Trilogy, which was simply Ethan and Danielle’s story, is complete. But there will be many more in the series: including Max and Nadia’s story and an actual cookbook from Sophia. This series started out with a simple story about a frog prince and has taken on a life of its own, I think.
How would you describe your writing process?
When I try to pinpoint my process, I really draw a blank. I suppose I simply get into the story and just write it as it comes. Many times I will write the beginning and then the climactic ending, and then just fill in the middle with the ending always in mind. As I’m working on a story, I will write for hours at a time and then go back and edit what I’d written for that day, two to three times. Many of my best ideas come just as I’m tucked into bed and on the edge of sleep. I keep a notebook by my bed and spend a lot of time writing things down in the dark with my light-up pen.
What has proven to be your most successful marketing tool?
That would be Amazon Kindle Select, or their Prime program. I’ve paid for ads, given free books to book bloggers, and done many giveaways. None of it has driven my sales like KDP Select has. I’ve taken advantage of the free promos and lending program for e-readers they offer. Giving my book away for free occasionally has brought thousands more book sales.
What advice would you give to other authors?
Don’t give up. Join Amazon Kindle Select. One editor is never enough—I generally used 12 or more, and they still missed things. Help support fellow authors. Be friendly with and get to know your readers. Without them, you are nothing....
Please provide a favorite excerpt from your book.
From Fateful:
She was standing in an enchanted forest, being kissed by a vampire, surrounded by hundreds of colorful fairies. This never could have happened in her wildest dreams, and she thought she was pretty creative.
Where can readers find you and your book?
The Book Depository (for free international shipping):
Thanks so much, Cheri! I recommend "Fateful" for anyone who enjoys reading young adult books, and I'm looking forward to finishing the series!

--KSR Writer

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