|Cheree Alsop |
knows more than she's telling
Using the excuse of her new book, DR. WOLF: SHOCKWAVE, THE FAE RIFT SERIES BOOK 1, I brought her into the Blog Mansion for some answers
Cheree: When the divide between the fae world and the human world is torn apart, Aleric Bayne is thrown into the ensuing chaos. Hurt and disoriented, the werewolf finds himself in a hospital emergency room. When other fae creatures begin to show up, Aleric sneaks them into the D wing of the hospital. With no one else able to treat their unusual conditions, Aleric steps into the role of Dr. Wolf. He has one goal in mind, to help the fae and close the Rift. But Dr. Wolf has walls around the memories of his own broken past that threaten to unravel the world he is holding together by a thread.
Johnny: So you use Fae?
C: They are central to the book.
J: I mean to get noticed.
J: It’s obvious to me that you have some kind of special power over the self-published world. You find bloggers and I can’t, you get reviewers when I don’t.
C: You get those.
J: Yes, but not like you. You have a gift, or rather a power. I used to think it was a pact with the devil, but now I think I see what’s really going on. You’re in league with faes.
C: No it’s not like that.
J: Yeah? Well tell me about this rift.
C: It’s a tear in the divide between the human world and the fae world. Aleric has to figure out what caused the Rift and how to get the fae creatures home. Unfortunately, many who went through the Rift were injured because of the fall to the human side, and so Aleric finds himself in the position of caretaker for these creatures because humans has no idea what to do with them.
DR. WOLF: SHOCKWAVE more like Tinkerbell or Legolas?
C: Both, actually. There are elves, fairies, ogres, demons, werewolves, vampires, and many other kinds. I also enjoy delving into the lesser-known fae, so you never know what is going to show up!
J: Do the fae that slip through do favors for human on our side? Interact?
C: The human world is terrified of the fae creatures because many who come through are truly the beasts of nightmares. One of the problems Aleric faces is prejudice against those fae who don’t mean the human world any harm. Because of his werewolf side, he understands the need to protect pack or family, but he is on the side receiving the hatred, and so he faces that along with patching up those who were hurt crossing into the human world even by choice or by accident.
J: Ha! See.
C: I see that you are skeptical about these fae. All I can say is that you have to read it to believe it. If a Rift happened in today’s world and creatures from another world started showing up, I’d hope there would be someone like Dr. Wolf who knows the lore and ways to deal with these Light and Dark fae.
J: And they grant unnatural beauty too, right? Supercharged marketing charisma powers?
C: Haha! Each type of fae has their own characteristics. The fairies are overly positive and optimistic in almost sickening quantities; selkies have the expected fishy scent, and demons aren’t to be trusted, although as Aleric learns, not everybody is what they seem. He realizes he also has prejudices he has to overcome.
Salt Lake Comic Con FanX. Explain that.
C: Hmm. Where to begin. It originally came from being the bass player for my husband’s garage band, Alien Landslide. We dressed up and played gigs at The Fear Factory, bars and venues all of Utah, and we even won Battle of the Bands. Comic Con brings on its own type of cosplay, and it carried over because I love the opportunity to dress up with people who love vampires and werewolves!
J: Is DR WOLF: SHOCKWAVE a new genre for you?
C: I’ve become known as the ‘Werewolf Author’. It began with a love for wolves when I was younger. I was drawn to their family packs and the fact that many wolves choose one mate for life. The more I learned about them, the more I realized how misunderstood they are. I had an idea for one book, and so I wrote Silver. I figured that appease the werewolf muse; however, as muses often do, it struck again. The idea for one book became the 7 book Silver Series, and then there was a branching 7 book series called The Werewolf Academy Series that demanded to be written. Dr. Wolf is a brand new series also with a werewolf as the main character. I’m excited to be back writing werewolves!
C: I just finished writing the 5 book sci-fi/space opera Girl from the Stars series and I found myself missing writing paranormal. I was listening to music one day and the idea for a werewolf doctor hiding out in our world surfaced. I thought it would be fun to have him pretend to be a normal human, but to have the D Wing of the hospital where he sneaks the fae creatures that come in. The complications with hiding his werewolf nature, especially during the full moon, and trying to care for the myriad of problems that can come with an E.R. filled with fae creatures ran away with me!
J: DR. WOLF: SHOCKWAVE is only the first of the is fae/Cheree collaboration, I mean series of books. “The Fae Rift Series Book 1.” How many do you foresee in the series?
C: I foresee probably 7 books in this series, the Fae Rift Series. For some reason 7 tends to be my number. I really enjoy Dr. Wolf’s character and am writing the books as though they are episodes in a television series, so you get story arcs and snippets of what his life is like, and each one grows from the last while resolving the issues he confronts. Because of this, I see branch-off series happening very easily. Dr. Wolf is a fun, sarcastic character who rolls with the punches and comes up swinging.
J: You are a very productive writer. Is this a key to your success?
J: What’s your process?
C: My process is a crazy one. I’m what is known as a ‘pantser’, or a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants author. I get an idea and run with it. I may plot a little bit along the way, but mostly I just write the story as it comes to me. It keeps the story fresh. I find that if I am excited about it and want to know what happens next, my readers do, too! The one thing I do before starting a book is to create a music playlist. I’ll load it with 9-10 songs that capture the different emotions I want in the book. That way if I get stuck, I just listen to the songs that match the scene I am writing. It keeps me from getting writer’s block and if I don’t have time to sit down and write, I can still listen to the music in what I am doing!
J: How do you get your covers - they’re gorgeous!
C: I have found some incredible cover designers! I have them listed on my website. My current designer is Dean Samed. He designed the cover for Girl from the Stars Book 1- Daybreak, and when I approached him with my idea for the Dr. Wolf covers, he was all in. He is a genius and I just love his art!
J: Authors of all kinds, self-published and traditional can learn so much from you. How much of your time is spent on writing compared to marketing? Would you say this is required or are you a “go-getter?”
J: What outlets have you found to be the best for distribution of you books?
Audible.com. It’s been fun to hear what the narrators do with them and to find the voices that match my stories.
J: Besides supernatural assistance and pacts with certain infernal potentates, to what do you say owe your success?
C: I was given one very meaningful piece of advice from Robin Hobb, an author I respect very much. She told me when I was just starting out and wrote her for any advice, that I would never have more time to write than I do right now. So I follow that. I write in the ten minutes snippets or the 3 hour breaks (very rare). I bring my laptop to the park and write when my kids are playing, I take notes on my phone when I am waiting to pick up my kids from school, and I am always listening to my music playlists to keep the ideas fresh in my head. I don’t wait until tomorrow. I write any moment I get, and that has worked well for me.
J: Your protestations mean nothing to me. I know the truth. I see the pixie dust there in your hair. My one question is this…
J: Don’t make me get the fly swatter. My question is what do you have to give back to the fae in return for their magical marketing assistance?
J: I had intended to strap you to that chair and torture you for your secrets of finding promotional contacts but my bug-zapper is on the fritz and I don’t dare start without it. You might summon your little friends with their little plastic cocktail swords.
C: But if I’m using Fae magic...
J: I have a sponge for that.
C: You do? You do—
J: Not my first big rodeo. I’ll have to content myself with stalking until I can get you to sit down and walk me through it. In the meantime, where are the best places to stalk you?
Amazon for paperback & ebook
Barnes&Noble for ebook
Smashwords for all ebook formats
J: Wait what’s this? A bribe? For me?
C: Keep the sponge away and I’ll give you free ebooks to give away through Smashwords.
J: What do they have to do to win?
C: That’s up to you.
J: Okay. If any of my readers can send me proof that they’ve bought one of my books, I’ll put them in a drawing to win your first Dr. Wolf book on ebook for free. Our readers both have good taste, so it’s a win-win.
(email me your proof - whatever it is to firstname.lastname@example.org. Contest ends 7/9/16)
C: That sounds like a great idea. I sure appreciate your friendship and the time you’ve taken to do this interview. You write such amazing books and I’m so happy to see all of your success! I wish you much more and many, many amazing book ideas. Thank you.