Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Vannetta Chapman is Some Lucky Dog! My assistant Amy will be in touch for your mailing address.

This week we welcome Cheryl Wyatt. To win a copy of the Cheryl’s Steadfast Soldier, leave a comment on this post!

Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?

I am married to the world’s most cute and crazy rocker dude who is phenomenally funny. We have three girls who are going to take the music industry by storm as their “playroom” is a fully equipped A/V recording studio with every instrument known to man. LOL! Thankfully for me, it’s totally soundproof.

And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…

I LOVE to read and write action romance. If it has hearts and high adrenaline, I’m on it!

How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?

I dreamed of it since I was a little girl and started scribbling books by Crayon before I was five. I received my first rejection from Highlights Magazine in third grade. LOL!

After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published?

Seven years. I’d written about twenty novels by then but my seventh book sold. I’ve since sold seven to Steeple Hill Love Inspired. I’m starting to see a pattern here. LOL! Seven of my unpublished manuscripts finaled or placed in a dozen different RWA contests as well as ACFW’s Genesis and previous Noble Theme. I’ve also placed in FHL’s contest. I haven’t submitted any of those stories yet.

Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?

I LOVE to have a jug of room temp water at my side, a 32 ounce cup of McDonald’s Sweet tea for drinks. For snacks I love to have a baggie of baby carrots or celery with peanut butter slathered on it. I always have some sort of seeds (pumpkin, sunflower) or nuts. Almonds are my favorite. I spend an average of 7 hours through the day writing but try not to write on weekends unless I have a scary deadline stalking me. I really try to write when my children are in school and my hubby is at work.

What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?

My mom is my biggest cheerleader. She always told me I could do it, but she’s not my first reader. LOL! Also part of my support system are my sister Lisa, my sister-in-law Tammy and my grandmothers Nellie and Veda.

My first reader is The Shredder…two of my best writing buddies collectively called that because they mince no words when critting my stuff. If my heroine is acting stupid, they will not hesitate to let me know. lol! They are also my biggest encouragers too though. They are Danica Favorite McDonald and Camy Tang. Other encouragers/caboose-kickers are Robin Miller w/a Robin Caroll, Pammer James, Cynthia Hawkins, Kristi Alexander, Marcie Sheumaker, Michelle Patula, Viv Gato, Bonnie Henry, New Cambrian Writers Group, FHL, and mentors like Margaret Daley. SO many people have encouraged me. The list could go on for days! LOL.

The biggest help was ddefinitely joining American Christian Fiction Writers www.acfw.com.

Also I’m part of a WONDERFUL group blog called The Seekers who are a tremendous support system. www.seekerville.blogspot.com. I also really learned and grew a lot from the eharlequin community and especially the Steeple Hill forums there: www.steeplehill.com

What are your biggest distractions?

Three yippee dogs who have cyber rivalry and who like to throw their bodes across my keyboard (photo attached) when they think I should be their chew toy rather than a typist. LOL!

What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?

I love everything except writing the synopsis. LOL! I’m determined to learn to love it though! LOL.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Write as worship.

What’s on the book horizon for you?

I’m excited to be working on a new military-medical romance miniseries right now. Can’t say too much about it yet, but I’m already in love with the characters and the setting. Now, if I can just get the plots to obey…LOL!

Last question, how can readers find you and your books?

Anywhere books or sold or on my Web site www.cherylwyatt.com.  I hang out a lot on www.seekerville.blogspot.com too. I’m also on Facebook.

Thank you for sharing your writing life with my bleaders! (blog + readers = bleaders)

The pleasure is mine! Thank you so much for the opportunity. I look forward to getting to know your bleaders. LOL!

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