As we move from the Winter blues to spring, the temperatures are warming up. Today, we have Cher Gorman joining us to talk about her newest release, The Secret Truth at Dare Ranch. Welcome to Coffee Time Romance and thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to join us, Cher. To kick things off, could you tell us a little about yourself?
A bit about me. I grew up in a very small town in Georgia called Waynesboro. After highschool I received an Art degree from Georgia College and State University. I lived in Augusta for several years and worked in various clerical positions before deciding to chuck it all and move to Colorado.
Why Colorado you ask?
The following is a corny, but true account.
I saw one of John Denver’s specials on television back in the seventies (okay, I’m dating myself here so I’ll go ahead and reveal my age--51) and watched him singing with a backdrop of beautiful snowy mountain landscapes and spruce trees.
At that moment, I knew Colorado was the place I was going to live. Okay, fast forward to 1987. Unable to get my life moving in the direction I wanted, I packed up my car and drove to Colorado with no job and no place to live. One of the most important things I brought with me was the overwhelming desire to write. Shortly after moving to Colorado, I met my husband--we’ve been married for 18 years now--and got married. My life actually began at the age of 31. And what a wonderful life it has been.
We have a 16 year old special needs daughter who is the light of our life. Be sure and check out the pics of her skating in the Denver University Ice Show on my web site.
Back to writing. . .I had always loved English and composition classes and *gasp* doing term papers. I loved the whole process from research to putting words on paper.
My husband and my daughter are my biggest fans and most ardent supporters. They kept cheering me on even when I had decided to stop submitting and focus on something else.
So, with no clue how to write, no training, no mentor or anything, I started writing short fiction fantasy stories and children’s books. A miracle occurred in 1992 when I sold one of my little stories to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine. I thought I was brilliant and headed for the New York Times list. I had no idea as to the long, arduous and often discouraging path to publication that lay ahead of me.
In 1994, my husband encouraged me to try my hand at writing what I love to read--Romance! In that first year I wrote “3” very bad romance novels. J I also continued to write short stories and receive more rejections.
Then I discovered Romance Writers of America and Colorado Romance Writers. I had no idea that these organizations existed or that there were other writers out there like me. My husband said something to me in the midst of my deepest discouragement that I’ve never forgotten. . .”The only thing stopping you is you.” And he was right, so I applied my nose back to the grindstone. Most days it felt as though I was pushing jello up a vertical drop with my pinkie.
Fast forward to April 2005.
Finally after 18 years of writing, taking countless workshops, reading hundreds of how-to books on writing, garnering enough rejections to paper my walls and the walls of our neighbor’s houses, I received my first publishing contract from Loose Id, an electronic publisher. I remember the morning I opened up my e-mail and read the offer to publish from the executive editor. I had to read it twice before the reality sunk in. Then I jumped from my chair, ran downstairs as fast as my legs would carry me, screaming with glee at the top of my lungs and told my astonished husband the news. I’ve been smiling every since.
A couple of weeks before this momentous occasion, I had made up my mind to hang up my keyboard and take up graphic design. I was finally ready to give up on my dream, after all, I had worked 18 years and never sold. That is a career for most writers. And to tell you the truth I was embarassed to tell people I had been writing that long and never sold. But that first contract convinced me I did have something to offer readers so I kept writing.
Since that time I’ve sold 4 more fiction novels and one non-fiction collaborative book called “10 Steps to Creating Memorable Characters. My first book, Wolf Island, a romantic suspense with paranormal elements was a 2006 Eppie Finalist. I still have to pinch myself everytime I see my finalist certificate to make sure it really did happen.
Now then, I love the concept for "The Secret Truth at Dare Ranch", how did you come up with the storyline for this book and was there much research involved?
When I first conceived the story, it was quite a few years ago. I was trying to come up with a marketable idea for a short contemporary. So I decided to put a different spin on the "Save the ranch story" and couple it with a "secret baby story." This book went through several revisions before it became what it is today. As to research.I had to research ranches and the ranch owners life like how many cattle for the amount of acreage, how many ranch hands would be needed, financial concerns etc. For the horse training I drew on my own experiences from riding horses on a local ranch back in Waynesboro.
How long did it take you to write The Secret Truth at Dare Ranch?
At least 3 months maybe longer. As I said, this book went through several revisions.
Did you have the characters already plotted out or did they come to you as you were writing the book?
At the time, I created the characters as I wrote the book. Now when I begin a project, I know a great deal about my story people before I begin writing.
Do your characters ever wake you up at night and demand for you to write?
Sometimes. When they do it's very annoying. :-)
Do you like having a deadline for your books or not?
YES! I need deadlines to get work done. In fact, the tighter the deadline the more work I can get done. I work best under high pressure. :-)
Cher do you have a name for your muse?
I call her "The Hell Bitch". :-)
When is your favorite time to write?
Late morning or early afternoon.
Is writing your full time job, or is there something else that takes your time during the day?
I do write full time but I'm also a mother and a wife so I wear lots of different hats like chauffeur, skating mom, ballet mom, gymnastics mom, photography mom, dachshund mom :-), cook, laundress, maid, gardener, sex slave :-)...
What's coming up next from you in your writing career?
I have several books that I want to write this year. The one I'm working on at present is a requested proposal for a possible BLAZE. :-) Wish me luck on this one.
Cher you have more books out. Can you tell us about them?
Here is a list of my books in the order they were released:
- Wolf Island - Loose Id - Sept 2005 - A romantic suspense with a paranormal elements. It was also a 2006 Eppie Finalist.
- Seductive Reasoning - New Concepts Publishing - June 2006 - A sexy short contemporary. The cover just won the Grand Prize Contemporary category in the Judge A Book By Its Cover Contest sponsored by the Houston Bay Area RWA.
- Cursed, with Love - Loose Id - November 2006 - A romantic Suspense with a paranormal elements.
- Sheriff in her Stocking - Loose Id - December 2006 - A sexy contemporary--It's Doc Hollywood meets the Andy Griffith Show. :-) The cover for this book won third place in the Judge A Book By Its Cover Contest.
- 10 Steps to Creating Memorable Characters - Lone Eagle Publications - December 2006 - A non-fiction collaborative project.
- The Secret Truth at Dare Ranch - Wings ePress - February 2007 - A sweet short contemporary romance. This book will be available from Amazon.com very soon. Stay tuned! It is also available now in POD from my publishers web site: www.wingsepress.com
What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
I love sexy contemporaries and Regency-set historical novels. I love romantic suspense as well. I also read mystery novels and women's fiction novels.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing in 1987.
What is your favorite music to listen to while you are writing?
I don't listen to music when I'm writing. I need quiet. If music is playing I end up listening to the music instead of writing.
Do you have a favorite food to snack on while you are writing?
I love tortilla chips and soy cheese (I'm lactose intolerant) with Dijonnaise mustard, peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches on low cal bread--yeah I know that's a little weird-, apple salad, iced diet green tea...
There are lots of interesting things on my site including Lilly's Story Road, articles about writing, pictures of my daughter skating and a catalogue photo op I did for a skincare company called DHC. Enjoy!
I would like to thank Cher Gorman on behalf of Coffee Time Romance for
chatting with us and we wish you good luck on all your upcoming books. Don't miss The Secret at Dare Ranch this month!