Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Interview with debut author Cheryl Seagraves who chats about her novel Life Over Love

Please welcome debut author Cheryl Seagraves whose novel Life Over Love is about a subject matter that may be hard to read but important and very personal to her. Here's a tidbit of what she says about her personal journey to becoming an author.––"I had seen a documentary about how Margaret Mitchell had written the last sentence of Gone with the Wind, put that away and started from the beginning. I decided to give it a shot like that. Write a book about a woman like me, write that last sentence and fill in the rest. The more I wrote the more I loved writing..."Read the rest of this answer and all her others below.

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Brianna Garcia is a young mother whose spirit and fiery temper were so beaten down, she was barely recognizable to her own self. Beaten both by the words and the fists of her first love. The father of her children. Her husband. She was at her lowest, lost, and ashamed by what she had become. Brianna felt so full of self-loathing that she constantly entertained thoughts of suicide. 

What readers are saying about Life Over Love:
June-These kind of books are good to read, it might give a person the courage they need to leave before it's too late....
Debra-Loved this book. Fell in love with Brianna, her spirit and how she handled herself through a very rough time. A good read about a serious personal situation told with a lot of heart and a touch of humor. The characters were very real.
Michelle-I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was such an emotional roller coaster with the main character Brianna. I often found myself trying to talk her out of situations or mind frames like I could change the outcome
Marsha-It is hard to get through at times due to the subject of domestic abuse, but it is a very real look at what life is like for women in that situation. It was refreshing to witness Brianna's courage and strength of character as she struggled to rebuild her life for herself and kids. I think this book is a great plat form to encourage women that they can take charge of their lives, even though it may seem scary and daunting.
Georgia-This story is an emotional tear jerker, but the characters are very real and it is told with a touch of humor. It is a great read and it leaves me hopeful that someone in a similar situation may be able to seek help before it's too late.
Please welcome debut author Cheryl Seagraves to The Reading Frenzy.

Tell us about your novel Life Over Love.
This is a hard subject matter to write about or to read.
Being a mother of four, at what age do you think parents should start teaching their children about abuse, either what to look for in others or personally?
I’ve been trying to teach my kids to respect others and keep their hands to themselves ever since they were in the “gimme that, it’s mine” stage as toddlers. As for sitting them down to have a serious discussion about abuse I think one should start a dialogue at around age twelve. Keep it age appropriate, but talk to them about self- respect. Lay the foundation to be able to speak openly about the realities of dating and all that entails. 

Cheryl, I love the cover of your blog.
Do you blog for fun, for stress relief, to rant?
All of the above or am I way off base?
Thanks about the blog cover. That is my favorite family picture, taken by Expressions by Brandy. I originally started my blog as an outlet for my feelings. My husband was in school and working, I was working and taking care of the family and I had read a blog post about a search for a suicidal boy. I was so worried about that boy. I had lost a cousin to suicide shortly before and I needed to get my thoughts out of my head. The blog was my way to do that. Since my life has changed along with choices I’ve made, like quitting my old job, selling my art, and writing my book I guess you could say it is all of the above. It has evolved into a place where I write to entertain with a little humor, relieve stress, relate to other women like myself, and now it’s becoming a platform to get to know other authors.

Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
 At fourteen I quit school and acquired my GED. That was in 1998. I was married and divorced by the age of twenty-two. I have two of the most amazing kids as a result. I struggled for a while after the divorce, working three jobs at one point. I met my husband at one of them. It took me three years to trust him enough to say yes. I’m so glad I did. He is not only my best friend, but he is my biggest supporter. We work together as a team in everything from paying the bills to disciplining the kids. He’s taught me about the importance of communication in any relationship. Together we have two more girls ages six and three. Although I don’t let him tell me the bad things he sees as an EMT his weird and funny stories from work along with my kids never fail to keep me inspired in my writing. 

Cheryl it says that one of your loves is painting.
What kind of paintings do you create?
Are your paintings on display anywhere?
I paint mostly with acrylics. I only give the originals to my family, but I sell the digital prints on canvas through eBay and Facebook. I’ve also been doing professional face painting at parties and events.

Cheryl, tell us your personal journey to becoming an author.
I’ve always been one to write anything that I was feeling. I started to write this novel as a form of therapy for the abusive situation I had been in when I was married to my ex-husband. I had seen a documentary about how Margaret Mitchell had written the last sentence of Gone with the Wind, put that away and started from the beginning. I decided to give it a shot like that. Write a book about a woman like me, write that last sentence and fill in the rest. The more I wrote the more I loved writing. When I was about a quarter of the way from being finished I started writing query letters. I researched acquisitions editors and agents, I emailed any and all that said they were interested in my genre. To my surprise I started getting responses within twenty four hours. Many of course weren’t interested, but some actually gave me links to ones that may be interested. So I felt encouraged and my confidence in my book began to grow.  When I started getting requests for my full manuscript I freaked out because I wasn’t finished with the book yet, in fact I wasn’t even done typing it! So I went into hibernation to finish it. When I was finished I sent it off, but waiting for a response was torcher and I decided to self- publish and keep control over my book. It was downloaded more than five hundred times in the first month. I’ve been able to get professional help editing and am really proud of it. I am going to write another as soon as my kids go back to school.

What are you working on now?
Promotion and marketing it right now. When the kids go back to school I am going to work on my next novel, it’s just a few ideas jotted down right now. I have to wait to start writing it though because my kids would kill me if I went into hiding again right now!

Are you a reader?
What genre/authors are your favorite?
I love romance, but mystery is a close second. Sally Beauman, Nora Roberts, Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark

Cheryl, do you have any author events planned where fans could meet you in person?
Not yet. I’m researching on ways to set something up, I’m so new to this entire experience now I have to get out and do some leg work.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. Good Luck on the novel!!
Thank You for the great thought provoking questions.

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  1. Thanks for sharing and I think it's so important to teach our children and also to lead by example

    1. I agree, Thanks Kim it is important, many girls go through some form of abuse whether it's emotional or physical in relationships as early as age 13. It's always important to talk to your kids about important issues openly early on. On a sad note, & I hope the statistics have improved since I've learned this, but the average number of times a woman leaves a domestic abuse relationship is seven times, going back and forth before she either dies or leaves for good.

    2. Cheryl thanks for posting your comment. I had no idea, those statistics are staggering and I hope they have gone down since you last checked.