ABOUT THE AUTHORInterview:
Where are you from?
I live in St. Petersburg, Florida in a small neighborhood within walking distance of the downtown area. in an area filled with Craftsman homes from the 1920s. One of the most attractive aspects of St. Pete is all the festivals, openings, fairs, art walks, masquerade balls and other avant-garde parties that give local artists a very busy social life
I grew up in Dayton, Ohio, the birthplace of aviation. I attended Ruskin Elementary School where we walked home for lunch each day. It seemed like miles, but in reality was only about six blocks. It was the kind of neighborhood where all the kids ran free each evening until the street lights came on – then you’d better scurry to get home!
Tell us your latest news?
SHARDS OF MURDER, the second book in the Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery Series, is finally released and available in all your favorite book sites. Even better news is CRACKED TO DEATH is releasing on June 28!
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing about ten years ago while I was a flight simulation engineer during the long haul flights to England, Singapore, Australia and India. Those flights and the site installation trips were both lengthy. Writing was a way to stay creative, but I didn’t need to haul around art supplies, just pen and paper.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I sat at the signing table at Haslam’s Book Store, my neighborhood independent, it came to me in a rush that I could no longer deny the fact that I was a writer. After I received the publication date for the first book in the Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series, I approached Haslam’s to schedule my first signing. I was so excited. Haslam’s owner – not so excited. He was not convinced that I could draw a crowd and stated that he felt that no one would show up at all. I was shocked! Where were the open arms embracing the newest literary debut? It was an effective wake-up call. I redoubled my promotional efforts and was happy that over 75 people attended my first signing. Wild applause from Haslam’s. He’s now one of my biggest fans.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The first book I finished was about a young woman who quit her job as a forensic scientist and started a business as a wedding photographer. I was deep into photography at the time and had been shooting black and white film with a medium format camera. The art center near me had a darkroom and I was able to develop and print my photographs in their open lab sessions. The title of that book was SHOOTING BRIDES and it holds a warm place in my heart at the first real book I wrote. I queried it for about a year and got very close to landing an agent, but I wasn’t ready yet.
Do you have a specific writing style?
One of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve received is to not confuse your reader. I’ve taken that to heart and try to write in a clear straightforward manner, but not shielding the reader from words that precisely describe the meaning I’m trying to evoke. Word selection and rhythm are important to me along with dialogue that sounds natural.
How did you come up with the title?
My good friends in the on-line Guppy Chapter of the Sisters in Crime organization helped me out with titles that my publisher felt portrayed the essence of the series. When I posted my plea on the Guppies (this stands for The Great Unpublished) e-mail loop, they sent me about fifty suggestions and Kensington Books chose three from the list. The Guppies are a true band of supporters and mind hive of everything mystery. The mystery community is the most supportive environment I’ve ever encountered.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’m trying to show readers what small business Main Street Florida is all about and bring into the light what’s behind the beaches, t-shirts and shell shops. There are real people, families and a vital sense of community. It’s a tiny microcosm of civilization. Everyone works together so the whole district can succeed. One bad apple can upset the whole balance – there’s a story behind every storefront.
What would you like my readers to know?
Although I don’t journal like my mother does, I have found a great sense of well-being since I’ve started writing every day. In fact, on the rare days that I’m away from the keyboard, I feel anxious, itchy, unsettled as if I’ve forgotten something important – like where’s my billfold? I wasn’t expecting this, but I shall never stop writing now that I know how it affects my mood and cognition. As Ray Bradbury once said, “You fail only if you stop writing.” I’m not stopping.
Cheryl’s upcoming release on February 23, 2016: Shards of Murder (Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery #2)
To solve her father’s murder and save the family-owned glass shop, Savannah Webb must shatter a killer’s carefully constructed façade…
After Savannah’s father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, she drops everything to return home to St. Petersburg, Florida, to settle his affairs—including the fate of the beloved, family-owned glass shop. Savannah intends to hand over ownership to her father’s trusted assistant and fellow glass expert, Hugh Trevor, but soon discovers the master craftsman also dead of an apparent heart attack.
As if the coincidence isn’t suspicious enough, Savannah discovers a note her father left for her, warning her that she’s in danger. With the local police unconvinced, it’s up to Savannah to piece together the encoded clues. And when her father’s apprentice is accused of the murders, Savannah is more desperate than ever to crack the case before the killer seizes a window of opportunity to cut her out of the picture…
You can find out more about Cheryl and her books online at www.cherylhollon.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @CherylHollon.
This was a very interesting book for me. I did not know that there was so much to glasswork. There was a lot going on, a dog show, a glass competition, an investigation, romance and inventions. however it was beautifully written and flowed well. I really liked the info on show dogs and loved that show time was also when the mystery was solved. I love a good cozy where the animals play an important role. The killer was not who I thought and I really enjoyed the explanation for the killings. There were also some god things that happened at the end that I hope will be in future books. The Glossary of Terms was also helpful as I was reading. I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy to review, however all opinions are my own.a Rafflecopter giveaway