Here is a copy of the interview, fellow author, Nadja Losbhom (all the way from Germany) did …
Interview series „22“: Cheryllynn Dyess
„Cheryllynn D. and the orange folder of secrets“
Woot! Woot! A new „22“ has arrived, coming all the way from Texas, USA to sit down and answer my questions. It‘s Cheryllynn Dyess, ladies and gentlemen. Not only does she create fascinating worlds and characters, but also loves nature. But the most interesting thing is, I think, a mysterious orange folder Cheryllynn calls her own. Maybe it contains gardening advice or pictures of weird looking colorful fish she caught? Probably not. Please, Cheryllynn, tell us about the orange folder of secrets!
1. Please introduce yourself in 3-5 sentences.
I am an author of young adult / fantasy / paranormal books who loves the outdoors, especially near water, and is very creative. My hobbies include gardening, fishing, crochet, and well reading, of course. I’m a mom of wonderfully blended family and have been blessed with many grandkids, who I call Littles, and love animals. I am educated in the healthcare field but when I moved to Texas was unable to find work and my husband (now he is my husband) encouraged me to write…and so I do.
2. What is the title of your current book? In which genre does it play and what is the story about?
My next book out is called Multifaceted. It’s a fantasy/supernatural with an alternative history timeline about a sentient diamond that influences the behaviors of the humans who own it and are around it.
3. How did you get into writing?
I started with poetry and short stories in the 80s. I would scratch out things and tuck it away in an orange folder, which I still have till this day, and then in 2011 my (now) husband read them and asked why I wasn’t writing. One year later, I started writing Calastan, The Jein’s Journey Series book one.
4. What can you learn about writing and what can you not learn?
I try to learn as much as possible, I won’t say I can’t learn anything. I know that editing is difficult so I’m thankful for other people.
5. What is your favourite task in the writing process and what do you not like about it (like writing blurbs for example)?
Hmm, my favorite task is writing the story and least favorite would be the blurb. It’s hard to wrap up a books intent in such a short synopsis without giving everything away.
6. Is there something that drives you crazy regarding the writing/ publishing process?
Commas. JI am a comma agent of death! I never use enough of them and rarely in the right places.
7. Where do you get the ideas for your books?
Many of books ideas just pop into my head while doing random things. It’s weird because I can’t attribute any one thing to it, except for Born of The Veil – that comes straight from my nightmares.
8. Which of your written books is your own favorite?
I’d think Born of The Veil would be my favorite. It’s the most personal to me considering I wrote in my nightmares and dreams and experiences into the story.
9. Who reads your manuscripts first?
My best friend, Charlene, reads all my stories first in whole. She does a run of edits for me and then I get them back to polish them up.
10. How long do you revise your manuscript before you say, “Now I can share it with others?”
This is tricky. Each book is different. For example, Born of The Veil went out relatively quick with two edit runs and one rewrite/polish run, but Mutlifaceted has been rewritten three or four times and took nearly two years to finish off.
11. In which genre would you like to write but haven’t dared yet? And in which genre would you never write?
Horror. I love this genre but haven’t tried it myself, I think it’d be fun. The genre I think I’d never write in would be historical romance. I’m not big on romance as it is so I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t write historical romance.
12. Are there writers you admire?
Of course there are! Anne Rice and Stephen King are two but there are some not as well-known who have made a great impression on as well.
13. What is a successful author in your opinion?
A successful author, in my opinion, is one who has written a story that touches the hearts of the readers. Fairly simple, but that to me is what we want our stories to do.
14. Regarding your books: Would you do it all over again in the same way? What would you change, if you could?
Oh, this question is good. I would definitely do a lot of things differently. What I’ve learned has been immense and had I known even a drop of it things would’ve been easier. I would never have signed a contract with a print publisher for one, I wasted so much money with them. I would have had things done in a better order as well. I didn’t know a lot of the writing world and what came with it as a self-pub’d author. Social media, newsletters, and reaching the readers are all things I would definitely change, but I’ve worked hard to get where I am and am now on the path I would’ve loved to have started on.
15. What do you say about the competition among authors, especially about the fact that some authors deliberately give bad ratings to others to spite them? Have you ever experienced something like this yourself?
I don’t like competition between authors, I find it petty. Readers rarely read only one author so why compete. Join together and get the hunger readers have for new work sated. I’ve heard of some authors giving poor ratings because they didn’t like them or they didn’t fit in their clique. Personally, I find that worse than high school drama and will have no part of anyone who does this. I’ve never dealt with this one-on-one but I know some who have, its disgusting and only hurts the readers in the end. Readers should be our focus…they are why we write.
16. What was the worst, most annoying, least beautiful thing that has happened to you as an author and what was the most beautiful thing?
I think the worst would be an event gone bad. I was set up to do a signing along with about 40 other authors and we discovered the coordinator took our money, along with several other events she had set up and never had the venues set up or anything. She had to be reported to the FBI and all. It was crazy.
The most beautiful thing is when another author helps each other out. I’ve been blessed to have met some amazing authors who are willing to share knowledge and lift others up. This is what this community should be doing.
17. How do you motivate yourself when things don’t go the way you want them to?
Oh, this is the worst! I get in slumps like everyone else and then I get distracted and get pulled even further away from writing. My best motivation is getting away from it all. I love nature and if I can get near water or any kind it typically rejuvenates me. My husband started giving me mini-vacations last year and little trips to help keep my inspiritation going. I must say its worked because I’ve finished two short stories for anthologies, finished one novella in full, finished the first draft of another novella, and polished a story for my newsletter subscribers since he started doing this for me. I guess the everyday stresses at home just piles on and need to get rid of it.
18. Why do you think some authors make it in the book industry and others don’t? Do you have any advice?
The book industry is hard. There is a lot of work and money that need to be put into it and even more time. Some people I’ve talked to have said that the more books you have out the better you do, others put tons of money into their marketing and that is the reason they did well. Personally, you have to determine why you are here and what you want out of it.
19. Many authors are reserved and shy, especially when it comes to readings and book fair appearances. You got any advice for them?
This is never easy, I’m not one who like to start conversations with strangers so I can empathize completely. For this I’d say, practice what you’d say about your books at home in front of a mirror or someone you are comfortable with. This will make it easier to talk about your work at events. Once you’ve rehearsed it enough you’ll feel more confident and if you mess up its okay. There is always another reader and another chance.
20. Which authors and books do you think deserve more attention?
Oh wow! I don’t know if I could give a list. That is just too difficult and unfair – I’d never get them all listed. What I would say is to readers…try new to you authors, seek them out and read one of their works.
21. Which books do you like to read yourself? Which ones would you never read?
I love fantasy / paranormal type stories. I don’t really care for a lot of romance so the less is best for me. As far as never read? I don’t know. If the author attracts my attention or the storyline is good, I may just try anything.
22. What are you dreaming of as a writer? Is there a wish you would share with us?
As a writer, I just want readers to enjoy a good story. If my story or stories can touch your heart and give you a good read, then I feel I did what I set out to do. The only wish I’d have is to make enough writing to pay for itself.