Friday 14 December 2012

Guest Author Interview - Cheryl Yeko

Today we welcome Cheryl Yeko to the guest author interview, you can read what she has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hi, Michael. Thank you for having me over to visit today. My name is Cheryl Yeko and I write romantic suspense. I enjoy novels with fast-paced action and steamy romance, protective alpha men and strong heroines.

My debut novel was released in December 2011, PROTECTING ROSE, which won the 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in romantic suspense. It was a very thrilling time for me. Having never written so much as a short story, I wasn't sure I would be able to write a novel, and was (and still am) on cloud nine to find out that I was able to complete a story that people enjoyed reading. My second novel, A MAN TO TRUST, was just released and I’m hoping folks enjoy this story as well.

A MAN TO TRUST, is loosely based on a double murder trial that I was a juror on last year. It was a very high profile trial where I live and lasted two weeks.

I'm also working as an acquisition editor for Soul Mate Publishing now. I'm finding that very fulfilling and rewarding. Soul Mate Publishing is growing fast and we have many wonderful authors who are winning accolades and awards.

What first inspired you to start writing?
When I was younger, I was a voracious reader. I was constantly being caught with romance novels in my textbook during high school. My problem was that once I started a novel, I found it impossible to put down until I reached the happily-ever-after. As such, as life's struggles crept in, I found the time spent reading was interfering with work and family. I went cold turkey, and stopped reading novels. A decision I now sometimes regret, but it is, what it is. Whatchagonna do?

Then a few years back, my husband bought me a Kindle and I rediscovered my love of all things romance. My children are now grown, so I found time to read again. Two years later, I finally came up for air and decided to try to write a novel. So, I checked out some books from the library, signed up for some online classes and began my manuscript for, PROTECTING ROSE. It took me a year to write and edit, PROTECTING ROSE.

Are you a planner? Or do you like to dive straight into writing?
With PROTECTING ROSE, I dove straight in. I had all these ideas rolling around in my head and I was able to sit down and just write. It was the same with, A MAN TO TRUST. I tried to plot it out, and it didn't work for me. It just bogged me down and killed my muse. So, I panstered it.

But, I'm just about done with my third novel, and I have discovered a useful tool that helps me sketch out each chapter so I know what each chapter goal is. I find this very useful…so, it's kinda plotting? Here is the list of questions that help me stay on track: POV; Location; Weather; Time; Major Action; He Feels; She Feels; His Reaction; Her Reaction; Point of Scene; Story Change.

If you could collaborate with any author, who would it be?
Lori Foster. I love her work.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
Gosh, where to start. I love the thrill I get every time a scene comes together. I love that my husband is impressed. I love the feel of having the paperback in my hands, and the excitement every time I read a good review. It just fun!!

And the least?
The days when I sit in front of my computer and just can't figure out where to take the story next. That is very frustrating. Sometimes it takes me a week or more to think about a scene before I'm able to write it. I walk around plotting in my head 24/7 until it finally comes together.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Join a critique group so that you learn the romance language. Take some online classes. I found Savvy Author to be a great place to start. I hadn't a clue what was expected when I wrote, PROTECTING ROSE, and spent way too many hours revising the passive language out of the story.

What are you working on at the moment?
I'm working on a novel, tentatively titled, TAKEN. But there are a lot of novels out there with that name and I need to think of something else. This story actually started out as a novella. I was taking a class through Savvy Authors on how to write a sensual novella. I wrote a 20,000 word story and sent it off to my publisher. She liked it, and thought it would be a great story to expand into a full-length novel. So, I did. I'm sitting at about 58,000 words now, and heading into the final action scene. I have to say, it was a very challenging task to take a completed story and expand it. But I did it!! The next and final step is to create a heart-pounding action scene and happily-ever-after ending. I'm very excited about this and want it to rock!
The story is about a woman who is kidnapped by a homegrown terrorist group in the United States wanting to blackmail her father. And of course, there is an undercover cop on the inside who needs to keep her safe, while bringing down the bad guys. So, if anyone has any ideas on a name…I'm open to suggestions! LOL

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more:
A MAN TO TRUST, was just released! Whoo Hoo! Here is the blurb:

The battered survivor of an abusive marriage, Angela doesn’t mourn her husband’s death in a drug deal gone bad. But she’s not sure she can survive losing her heart to the handsome detective who believes she’s a criminal, too.

Tasked with Angela’s safety after she’s targeted by an unknown enemy, Jake discovers the beautiful widow is not what she seems. He soon realizes that trusting her goes hand-in-hand with desiring her, and passion and duty collide.

Now it’s up to Jake to keep Angela—and their chance at happiness—alive.

Where you can find me:
Where Love Always Wins:
Trailer: A Man To Trust:
Soul Mate Publishing:
Barnes & Noble:
Thanks to Cheryl for sharing her time with us, on Tuesday we welcome Andrew Lawston to the hot seat.


  1. I love the advice shared for new and aspiring authors. So much can be learned by being a part of a crit group and classes that speak to the craft of writing.

    Wishing Cheryl continued success with all writing endeavors!

  2. Thanks, Angela. And thank you Michael, for having me.

    See you around Goodreads!


  3. Great interview, guys. Congrats on your new release! Sounds awesome, Cheryl. :)

  4. Thanks, Melissa.

    My publisher just advised me A MAN TO TRUST will be available in paperback sometime this week. Cool. It took 10 months for PROTECTING ROSE to make it to paperback, so I'm pretty excited. :>)

    Thanks for stopping.