1. Cheryl, thank you for the opportunity to get to know you. Tell us about yourself; your life, how you started writing and what you feel God has called you to do.

Thank you Jill for having me as a guest on Generational Womanhood. It’s an honor to participate and share what I believe God has given me through the gift of writing.

I’ve been writing stories since I was in grade school. After college, I started my career as a journalist, then a marketer in technology before hearing that still small voice to become a Christian filmmaker. Since I was mid-career when the call came, it’s been an especially interesting journey. However, God has been faithful and I can only marvel at the doors He opens, increasing my faith along the way.

2. What advice do you have for fledgling writers who want to be published? Any other books or projects in the works?

Pray about what you write and keep at it! I know many writers get discouraged and think because they stopped halfway through a story that it was meant to be discarded. There’s no need to always start over. Writers are often surprised how well they like what they’ve written once they set aside their work for a period of time.

I always have many projects in the works. One of the books I plan to release at the end of this year is a historical fiction novel that occurs at the beginning of the 20th century about a young woman who must choose love or destiny. The other is a sequel to Charlotte Marries a Vampire (CMAV) titled Charlotte’s Werewolf Mother. It’s a multi-generational story about mother/daughter relationships. I call it chick lit to howl about because there is a lot of humor when it comes to dealing with family.

3. Did you write the book as a response to the popularity of the Twilight series? Are you concerned that Christians are caught up in the Vampire frenzy or are you simply using the interest in those books as an opportunity to urge Christian women on to greater maturity especially as they pursue marriage?

I wrote CMAV before I knew about Twilight. The vampire was symbolic to the character of a man that a woman would want to avoid in marriage. As I wrote, I learned that my vision was more limited than God’s. The vampire is a great analogy to anything that thrives in darkness, and yes, while I was a fan of the initial Twilight films, I do believe that engaging with the dark side only makes us vulnerable to more darkness.

4. Are you worried that the book might be offensive to Christians because they miss the main message of the book? Or is the vampire theme part of your strategy to get your audience to think about the deeper message?

The answer is yes to both questions. I surveyed audience viewers from my first faith-based film on the vampire subject. The majority of the respondents said used in the context described that it did not have a negative impact. I’ve stayed in prayer about this project for quite some time. In fact, I first wrote it as a screenplay for a proof of concept feature film. After reviewing it, I was convinced that it would never see the light of a page (pun intended). However, after I finished my first film project, I went to my library of work and this surfaced.

Trust me, there have been many “really?” moments. But one thing that I’ve learned is that when God wants to finish a project, He gets it done! I do hope readers see that the vampire represents many things we continually face – especially for women who have a strong desire to find a husband and think they’ll fix any brokenness later. [p.s. I would love to hear feedback from your readers on this question as I’m in pre-production with a film version — maybe it needs a title change?

5. By the way, what is the deeper message of the book (without giving it away, of course!)?

We all have a little (or a lot) of Charlotte in us. She’s competent in so many areas of her life that she believes she holds the power to do it all on her own. I call this book a tongue-in-teeth comedy because we’ve all been there at one time or another when we think we’ll manage it our way vs. His way.

CMAV is not typical of Christian fiction ebooks. It’s meant to be a humorous view on a serious subject. What’s surprised me the most are the readers who have purchased CMAV are also buying dark romance vampire ebooks on Amazon Kindle. Many of these may not know Christ and perhaps CMAV will share through story His desire for all to have a brighter life.

6. Thank you for spending time with us today, Cheryl! May God use you and your talents to reach many people who may not ordinarily read books with a Christian message!