What prompted you to write a children’s book with a fairy?
Fairy tales were favorite stories for me as a child. I remember making up my own but never writing them down. Today, I love to create unexpected story twists whenever possible. This tale is based on the adage, be careful what you wish for. Genies generally are the ones to grant wishes, so playing the what if game brought a fairy as a character. A determined child became the other story character who focused on getting his three wishes granted.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release?
This is my first children’s book. It was released in 2010 by my publisher, Allison Books, LLC, a small publisher. Being offered a contract in 2007 for this story was a big achievement to me. It was hard to wait for the artwork to be completed, but I’m very pleased with the results. The original drawings really enhance this fantasy and give a child something delightful to view whether the story is read to them or they read it for themselves.
Do you plot your stories out or do you just start writing?
Hmm, this is a hard one to answer for me. Sometimes I start writing and see what happens while other times I plot. This tale is a combination. I wrote about the fairy being stalked and captured, then I plotted for the three wishes.
What was the funniest thing you learned about your hero/heroine from writing their story?
That Roy wanted a dog, got a puppy, and then learned the responsibility that came with pet ownership. I chuckled writing this part since it made me think about pets in my childhood and some of the messes they made that my mother insisted I clean up.
Which of your characters is most like you and which is least like you?
The stubbornness of the fairy is most like me while Roy is a reflection of many childhood memories and wishes.
Can you describe your office or where you normally write?
Since I hate cooking and avoid it as much as possible, I made the dining room my office. Bookcases (three of them) line the walls along with two jammed packed file cabinets. My desk sits in front of a window that allows me to see my backyard if I peek beside my monitor. Otherwise, it’s a wonderful view of my neighbor’s roof and refrigeration unit. That’s a good thing to keep me focused on my writing.
Which came first the plot or the characters?
Almost all of my stories start with characters. This might be due to all the people watching I love to do when shopping, driving, or walking. It is fun to create worlds and jobs for others, especially in a science fiction/fantasy way.
What is one unusual problem you encountered writing for children versus adults?
Adult writing includes vivid descriptions in words while children’s picture books have little to no descriptions in words to allow the artwork to tell that part of the story. The only description of the fairy states she is sparkly. The artwork shows what she wears and what she looks like.
What is the wackiest thing that’s ever happened to you since you started
Being asked meet with two of MySpace friends came as a big surprise. The first one lived in California and knew she’d be in Arizona for Christmas with her family and with her in-laws. We arranged a meeting and had a wonderful time visiting. She had just begun writing and made me feel very special with what information I gave her from my writing attempts.
The second person lives in the valley and wished to take my husband and myself out to a steak restaurant for a meeting. It was lots of fun with good food. We maintain a friendship through emails and a few get-togethers when we can. We even co-authored a horror story which resulted in an Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest Fifth Popular contest for our story, A Season of Darkness.
Since you are published in fiction and non-fiction, do you find one easier
to write than the other?
Non-fiction generally has desired outcomes along with certain rules or detailed guidelines to follow. That can make it easier sometimes, but not always. Procrastination is my biggest problem no matter what I write. However, writing articles for Sun Life magazine allowed me to interview people, write assigned articles, and to offer articles not assigned. One of those non-assigned articles, Fly With the Wind was accepted for publication. When the magazine owner/publisher informed me it was the best one I had ever written, I entered it into a Writer’s Digest published magazine article and won Honorable Mention. That was the first award I’d ever received for any of my writing. It was a fun one about kites based on history of their usage throughout history.
Whenever I can combine any history with anything I write, I love it. Past history can fuel the beginnings for future stories, too.
After taking a voluntary layoff in 2002, Cherie Lee turned to writing. She lets curiosity guide her to write tall tales. Writing is wonderful since it leaves less time for housework, cooking, and yard work. After receiving an Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest Fifth Popular Fiction contest for, A Season of Darkness she is inspired to keep writing. Her hobbies are reading, hiking and photography. She is busy polishing two more children picture books and starting two science fiction/fantasy stories for adults.
Member in: Valley of the Sun RWA (VOS), Arizona Authors Association (AZ Authors), Society of Children’s Books Writer’s and Illustrators (SCBWI); West Valley Authors Association
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