Welcome to Writer Wednesday! Today I’m delighted to host Cheri Allan, author of hopeful, humorous contemporary romances. Her newest book, All or Nothing, is out today!
Here she shares with us a little about her writing life:
What inspires you to write?
They call it ‘falling in love’ for a reason. People usually do it gracelessly, hurling themselves forward in messy, humiliating, stumbling spectacles of ardor. I LOVE THIS about love. I adore the fact that the most transformative experience on earth is so, incredibly, wonderfully awkward and, well, human. I want to experience that process again and again with my characters, because what is more relatable and what makes us feel less alone than to watch someone else bumble their way toward happiness?
What one piece of advice do you wish you’d had when first starting out?
Never stop moving forward. I spent too much time waiting on others over the years: waiting on contest results; waiting on editors and agents; waiting on inspiration to strike. The fact is, no one wants your success more than you, and no one else can tell your stories. No matter what, keep moving forward; whether it’s taking a class, doing free-writing, sending pages to a critique partner or just getting that next cup of coffee. Inertia is a powerful force, so make it work for you and not against you.
What fellow romance author do you recommend reading, and why?
It’s no secret I have a major girl-crush on Kristan Higgins. Her books never fail to make me alternately snort through my nose with laughter and weep into my dog’s fur like I’ve just finished Where a Red Fern Grows. She is brilliance on a stick with her quirky characters, relatable small-town dynamics and a writer’s voice that makes you feel you’re sitting down for coffee with the most entertaining of friends. She cannot ever write fast enough, and if I ever heard she’d read and liked one of my books (!!!), I’d squeal like a 12 year-old at a Taylor Swift concert. Then I’d faint. You are forewarned.
Want to know more about All or Nothing?
When finding Mrs. Right goes oh, so, wrong…
Self-made tech millionaire Ian McIntyre has suffered through a reality dating show only to return home to idyllic Sugar Falls, New Hampshire, empty-handed, swarmed by paparazzi, and hounded by a Hollywood producer determined to deliver a Happily Ever After. But then his home is invaded by a sexy, snarky local staging it for the season finale, and Ian finds himself more interested in the cute and scrappy hometown girl dusting off his action figures than the audience’s favorite southern belle.
Auto mechanic Bailey Adams grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and is struggling to patch together enough odd jobs to buy a garage of her own. When the Golden Boy of Sugar Falls entangles her in his disastrous season of Happily Ever After, they both discover that some long-held dreams are only as ‘real’ as ‘reality’ TV. Now, with the deal on her dream garage in jeopardy and her unlikely love affair with America’s favorite geeky hunk playing out on national TV, Bailey must decide if she’s willing to risk it all for love… or be left with nothing.
Craving more already? Here’s an excerpt:
“Then take off your coat and avoid hypothermia.”
Her bottom lip jutted out. “You first.”
He shrugged out of his parka and hung it on a hook by the door, raising one eyebrow as he did so.
She took another long drink then tugged her coat off and hung it next to his. Melting snow dripped onto the floorboards beneath it. Stubborn woman.
“Your lovely flannel shirt is also soaked,” he said.
“Yeah, like I’m falling for that.”
“Don’t flatter yourself. I’ve seen lumberjacks make flannel sexier than you do.”
He didn’t know why he was goading her, but he felt on edge… wet, chilled and restless.
“Like you could resist me if I were standing naked in front of you,” she said.
She paused, as if she weren’t sure how those words came to be floating in the air between them. But there they were, raining down over him like hot sparks. Heat flooded through him, and he could feel his blood pumping. He watched her, the air crackling with awareness. The fire in the stove popped and something tumbled inside. His heart thudded in his chest at the word ‘naked.’
“Try me,” he finally said.
Cheri Allan writes humorous, hopeful contemporary romances. She lives in a charming fixer-upper in rural New Hampshire with her husband, two children, two dogs, four cats and an excessive amount of optimism. She’s a firm believer in do-it-yourself, new beginnings and happily-ever-afters, so after years of wearing suits, she’s grateful to finally put her English degree to good use writing romance. When not writing, you might find her whizzing down the slopes of a nearby mountain or inadvertently killing perennials in her garden.
Find Cheri’s Books:
Barnes & Noble/Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s?store=allproducts&keyword=cheri+allan
All three Betting on Romance books are available at major on-line retailers and www.cheriallan.com.
You can also find Cheri on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter and (when she can figure it out) Pinterest.
Join Cheri’s mailing list at www.cheriallan.com and be entered to win an ‘All or Nothing Gift Basket’ full of goodies and books from New Hampshire. Drawing to be held April 30th!
Thanks so much for joining us, Cheri!
Oh, thank you, Margaret, for having me! I feel like I’m rushing in with toilet paper on my shoe, my skirt stuck in the back of my pantyhose and broccoli in my teeth, but I’m here! You see, I inadvertently uploaded an uncorrected proofreader’s ARC of ALL or NOTHING for pre-order on Amazon (What? GAH!) and now I’m waiting for the corrected version to go ‘live.’ It’s correct everywhere else. (So, wait a day? Or, buy it now from Amazon, e-mail me the TWO different names I use for the trailer park my heroine lives in and be entered in a drawing for an Amazon G.C. on 4/30. Seriously. I’m so sorry!) My superhero cape may appear a bit wrinkled today, but I’m here! What’d I miss?
Oh, Ms. Allan, I’m so sorry for all that stress! Never fear, it shall get resolved, your fans will cheer you on, and you can get back to being the amazing author you are… 😉
HOORAY! We’re live and looking good. Phew! Okay. You asked me, now I’ll ask you, Margaret. Who’s one of YOUR favorite romance authors?
My all-time favorite romance author is LaVyrle Spencer, although many more beloved authors from the 80s and 90s spring to mind: Lisa Kleypas, Johanna Lindsey, Susan Johnson. I could go on and on. Nowadays my interests focus much more specifically on Regency romance, which is why it’s great Eloisa James, Sabrina Jeffries, and Julia Quinn write in that sub-genre, because they’re excellent!
Oh, love Lisa Kleypas, Sabrina Jeffries et al. As much as I write contemporaries, I do enjoy a good historical–probably because I can fully immerse myself in it as a READER and not be half-analyzing how they wrote it. LOL It’s an author’s curse.
Exactly – and perhaps one of the reasons my first book is a contemporary, although that’s not the time period in which I usually immerse myself. My second and third are Regency-based, and I can tell you, I’m already nervous about trying to get it all right.
Details, details! LOL I would be a muddle of anachronisms and glaring inaccuracies if I tried to write a historical. May the research fairies sprinkle you with accuracy dust! You are a braver woman than I! Thankfully other writers are generally quite gracious about sharing research. Think of it as a treasure hunt for perfect period details. 😉
Absolutely, and with my training as a historian, you’d think it wouldn’t be so daunting. Except…the Regency, my current love, is NOT the same time period as my former love, medieval history, which is the area in which I earned a master’s and did everything but write the dissertation. Oops. But yes, the research is half the fun, right?
I’m also feeling the lure of the contemporaries as I continue to meet fabulous and fun authors like Kathryn Barrett, Katy Regnery, and you… More to read! (I need clones of myself to get everything done.)
Do let me know when you figure out that cloning thing, will you? Thanks for the suggestions of other authors to try! There is definitely not enough time to do it all. Bottom line is: I must live forever. 😉
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