Cherie Reich is a writer, freelance editor and library assistant. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her e-book Once Upon a December Nightmare is published by Wild Child Publishing. She is a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Valley Writers and placed third in Roanoke Valley's BIG READ writing contest. When she isn't writing short stories, flash fiction, and blogging, she's working on her three work-in-progress novels.
They were only going out to dinner and a movie.
But when their plans go astray, friends Cassie, Mary, Denise, and James decide to take a detour down a lonely mountain road. A felled tree blocks their passage and forces them to turn around in a clearing containing a disturbing arrangement of four deer carcasses.
But when their truck breaks down, and their cell phones don't work, they must brave the cold December air, nightfall, and a long hike. Yet this is the least of their troubles. Tension runs high between the four young friends…and they are not alone. Each step brings them closer to safety, but will they make it to the main road alive?
When did you know you wanted to write?
It happened on January 15, 2009. I had a novel in my mind and toyed with the idea for three years before I sat down to write it. I was at work, bored, and with nothing to do. I sat there staring at the computer, and I pulled up an email and knew it was time to write that novel.
What is it about writing that calls you back to the page or screen to tell stories?
It’s the ideas. The characters, plots, speak to me. If I don’t write them down, they yell. *laughs* Actually, I love the creation process, pouring words onto the page and hoping they make some sense along the way.
In every writer’s journey, there comes the time to submit work, face rejection, revel in acceptance. What has your journey been like thus far? Talk to us about that.
The first short story I submitted was accepted. It was a thrill, and I submitted more. Then the rejections rolled in. It’s never easy to receive a rejection, although some have been better than others. Some still sting a bit, but others give me hope. According to my stats, I have a 36% success rate to getting my short stories accepted so far. The key is learning more about writing every day and knowing the market you’re submitting to. Oh, and having a well-polished short story does help.
What writers have inspired you, and why?
Michael Crichton – He taught me the value of research. You need to know everything you can about what you are writing, but you don't have to put everything you know into the novel. If you know, though, it'll come across to the readers, and they'll keep reading.
Stephen King – He taught me about horror and mystery and that aliens control everything we do. Oh, wait, that last one might not be right. *grins* I enjoy writing horror, and he is the master of it. I've learned about characters from him, too. Scary things happen, but if you are scared for the character involved, then it makes it all so much more terrifying.
Aubrie Dionne – She's actually one of my friends and critique partners. She has taught me so much of the beauty of words.
Lisa Rusczyk – She is one of my friends, too, and critique partners. She has such a distinctive voice, and she has a way to say a lot about a character with saying so little.
JK Rowling – What hasn't she taught all of us? She inspires me to want to create magical worlds (even if they may be a bit more toward the Muggle side).
Christine Rains – She is also a friend and a critique partner. I wouldn't be writing without her believing I had some talent. She helps me see the big picture in what I write and how to fix it if it isn't working.
What three books have been the most beneficial to you as a writer, and why?
The Chicago Manual of Style – It's everything you want to know about grammar and writing, and the 16th edition has information about electronic publishing, too.
From the Query to the Call by Elana Johnson – If you plan to go the agent route, it's a brilliant book. Elana has it free on her website, too, so it's an added bonus to get it.
2010 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market by Alice Pope – It's a great book to find agents, publishers, and even writer's conferences. [CLG note: the 2011 version is available now, too]
I read on your blog that you enjoy writing flash fiction. What drew you to the genre?
I must admit I wrote a piece of flash fiction because a very short story entered my head, and I decided to write it and submit it to Daily Flash Publications’ Daily Bites of Flesh 2011. This piece was titled “Zombies Don’t Exist.” I submitted it, and hours later, it was accepted. I considered the abilities to write flash fiction, how it would tighten my writing. In July 2010, I decided to write a flash fiction piece a week for my blog, and it went off from there. I enjoy it, although I must admit sometimes I have to strain for very short ideas. *laughs* It’s a great way to keep up with your writing.
How are you using social media to promote yourself and your writing?
I focus on blogging, Facebook, and Twitter. I didn’t realize what to do when I first started, particularly blogging and Twitter. I followed others, read blog posts on what to do, and followed their examples. I’ve learned it is best to stick to a schedule. I’ve joined blogfests, including the A to Z Blogging Challenge and Rachel Harrie’s Second Writer Platform-Building Crusade. They are a great way to gaining followers. The best thing I’ve learned is to be yourself. You must sell you before you can sell your writing.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m almost always working on flash fiction and short stories, but my main work right now is rewriting/editing my YA Paranormal novel, Virtuoso.
Tough questions but great answers!!
Cherie did an AWESOME job in answering the questions, :-) I'm glad you participated with CLG!
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