Authursday – Cheryl Cheatham

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I am a grandmother of 3 little girls. I love reading books to them that are silly, full of adventure, and make them smile. I have written and illustrated 2 books and a matching coloring book. I have zero education in writing or illustrating. I started drawing pictures to my grandchildren during covid to stay connected and my stories and pictures took on a life of their own. That was 18 months, 2 books, a coloring book, and another in the works ago.
How do you make time to write?
I work on my books first thing in the morning or late at night.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Absolutely.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
Children’s adventure. With 3 little grandchildren in my house A LOT, books are a favorite way to entertain, teach, and have fun. I enjoy the stories and enjoy seeing smiles on their faces when reading to them.
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
I have used a publisher, I have self-published, and moving forward I will never use a publisher again. Being a control freak I want my books to be my vision. I don’t think I was appropriately represented either because I wasn’t willing to spend many thousands of dollars on their marketing. I was told by my publisher I used too many colors in my illustrations – one of the things all the kids love about my books.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Introvert definitely! It has taken me some time to gain the confidence to put myself out there. It can be intimidating, someone always scrutinizing your work. I do this for the kids, and they love Yaya The Sheep, Perry, and Polly.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Life is not measured by the amount of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. (Maya Angelou)
Every day matters!
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
You better LOVE what you are writing about. You are going to be thinking, breathing, and sleeping about the topic for years! Do your research on publishing, printing, and selling, and know who your audience is.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
and on Facebook – Yaya The Sheep
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
Yaya is an adorable sheep who loves her animal friends. Yaya and her super silly, furry, friends go on 17 adventures discovering what the world has to offer. They explore amazing, exciting, fun, jobs – a hot air balloon pilot, a pastry chef, a superhero, a butterfly catcher, and many more. Along the way, they learn about the value of love and kindness. The book is educational, inspiring, silly, and will put a smile on your face.

AuThursday – Chelsea Williams

Please welcome Chelsea Williams to the Clog Blog!  Chelsea, tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m Chelsea, I’m a single mom living in a small town in Indiana and I’m an upcoming children’s book author. My book, There’s Something About “I Love You”, will be available for preorders next month! My hope for the book is to remind people of the power of love. I’ve struggled with my mental health, and feelings of unworthiness for a long time, but becoming a mom helped those negative feelings start to heal. I felt like there was no way I would have been given the opportunity to be such a special little girl’s mom if I wasn’t worthy.
How do you make time to write?
I work a full-time job where the hours are early so I usually come home and take the time I have before school pick up to write. But I also make sure to just make the time. Writing is something I love, and it’s really like therapy for me so it’s important to me to make time for it.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Absolutely! You’re talking to someone with self-diagnosed ADD so writer’s block, mental fog, I definitely struggle sometimes!
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
So my first book coming out is a children’s book, and I think it came to me because I have a young daughter. I’m such a kid at heart and I’ve always loved a good animated film and still cherish the books I read as a young girl. It just made sense to me to write a children’s book where I can write something with an important message while also having it be fun and light-hearted. I also have a couple novel ideas rolling around in my head though so I’m hoping to bring those to fruition as well! I’ve always loved reading and writing. Immersing myself in a story has been a way for me to escape life at times. And my imagination can run pretty wild so I’d love to work on a novel next!
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
I’m indie publishing my children’s book. I think for me when I wrote my first manuscript, I had sent it in for a review and the feedback I got was good, but they wanted to know why I wrote it in rhyming format. They said it’s not popular and I’d need a reason to do it that way. My reason was, that I liked it that way. And so many books I’d read as a young girl were in rhyming format. I love it! And I truly think it helps kids read, it’s a form of poetry and I really feel like it’s an art. So after years of not working on my book because I kind of felt like I’d hit a roadblock, I just decided I’m going to work hard and publish it myself. I didn’t want to have to wait for someone else’s approval.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
I’d say I’m both. I’m about 3 months away from 30 and the older I get the more introverted I become. I think I’m just a homebody. But with the small group of friends I do have, I’m super outgoing and love to laugh and just be myself. I’ve also been working on my social media presence to get the word out about my book and I do find myself coming out of my shell more and more. I guess it just affects what I write about. Sometimes my introverted side wants to shy away from sharing the REAL thoughts and feelings I’m having.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Probably,
“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.”
I’m really good at telling myself I’ll never change or I’ll never get through something. So I like that one because it’s kind of the kick I need to be like, well yes, actually I can. I just have to decide to and work on it.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
If you want to start writing, just do it. Period. Don’t let fear or other people’s opinions stop you from doing something you love.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Www.chelseawilliamswrites.com is where you’ll find my blog and you can keep up with my children’s book (which is my main focus right now) at www.Instagram.com/writerchelseawilliams
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
Love is a powerful thing, so strong,
like a hero saving the day!
When all seems lost, it swoops right in,
and makes everything okay.
For nothing is lost forever
when love is leading the way.

AuThursday – Libby Webber

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I am a mom, martial arts instructor, and program director. I’ve been writing my whole life. I write thriller and action stories.
How do you make time to write?
A good support system. And hard boundaries.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
No. I believe that’s there our aspects in life that preoccupy us, or other stories that are needing our attention at that moment.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I am currently writing in the thriller and action stories. I love these genres because it deals with the darker side of life.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
I indie published my first book, The Assassin’s Legacy, and it is available on October 26, 2021.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
A mix of both. It allows me to get the life experience to make great stories, but also the downtime to write those stories.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Words have power.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
It’s your timeline. Do not be on anyone else’s schedule but your own. No one’s habits are the same as yours, no one’s mind works the way yours works, so no one‘s journey will look like yours. I Worked on my book on and off for 10 years, doing the querying doing the pitchwars, and it wasn’t that I wasn’t dedicated, it’s that I was living life, and waiting in the wings for other people to recognize me. I got good feedback on my book, but it was too long for industry standards for a new author. I couldn’t cut the book without losing the story, and I didn’t want to put it away and try to write something shorter to appease big publishers.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Or
TikTok libbywebberauthor
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
IMG_6658Aeron glanced around the familiar hallway, the hardwood floors, crappy lighting, and fake potted plants coated in dust. Nothing about it indicated one of the world’s most influential political players lived just on the other side of the faded wooden door in front of her.
She took a deep breath and smoothed out her skirt, fingers skating over the blade strapped to her thigh, the reassuring pressure reminding her this was not a social call.
“Showtime,” Luke’s low voice whispered into her earpiece. A surge of nerves jetted through her bloodstream.
Should anything go wrong tonight, Luke and her brother, Decius, were perched in a sniper’s nest and guaranteed her a swift death.
She pulled the earpiece out, tucked it inside a pocket on her bra, and knocked. Her heart pounded a few times before the practiced breathing calmed the nerves. This should be like any other mission, he was a target to be eliminated.
But it wasn’t like any other mission. Shaun Brinks was a Legacy Member—a trained assassin like herself. And the man she was sleeping with. Shaun pulled the door open, hair tousled and his brown eyes blinking with sleep.

AuThursday – Jamie Dalton

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’ve always loved to write. I’ve done bits and pieces here and there. Several years ago I decided to fully commit to a book. To really see if I could do it. I got 20k words in, realized it wasn’t working, and started over. I got 30k in and decided to look for a book cover. That got me into making book covers which took over everything. I got so booked up that I dropped out of college to focus just on writing and making book covers. Now I have my first published work coming out on Halloween and my first full-length book coming out soon after.
How do you make time to write?
Lol about that. I’m a wife, mom to a 2-year-old, and take care of my disabled mother and uncle. I do my book cover business in the middle of the night and write using Google docs on my phone usually during naptime instead of doing the million other things that I should have been doing. It’s definitely been a balance of learning that priorities have to shift sometimes to make everything possible.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Absolutely!
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write high fantasy. I’ve always used books as an escape and when I escape I need to do it from everything. Plus I’m a sucker for fae, dragons, magic, and retellings

How are you publishing your recent book and why? 

I had initially planned to do traditional but the more that I learned as a book cover designer the more I realized that I would prefer indie. I like making the choices myself, I like marketing (I know I’m weird) and my book cover business can cover my editing and hiring someone to do formatting and a cover so I thought why not? I can do this.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Honestly, this really depends on the day. I’ve become much more of an introvert over the last few years than I ever was which has helped me focus on writing, but I still get my extrovert vibes from social media and marketing myself.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
We always judge our worst self to someone else’s best as they do the same to us.
I think as writers this is especially true. It’s hard not to compare especially since how someone views are book is so personal to them.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Always stop writing while you know what’s next. Stopping even mid-sentence can completely change if you get anywhere the next day and get those juices flowing to keep going through writer’s block.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
Excerpt of the Black-Backed Mirror by Jamie Dalton from the Season of the Witch Anthology
Kalob shook himself as he snapped out of his memory. “Not yet. I want to see something first. Every mage can do any spell, but most have one or two types that they are naturally attuned to. Let’s figure that out for you first so I can see what we should focus on.”
Before she could even process what he had said, a stone smacked her square in the face.
“What on earth was that for?!”
The laughter that erupted from the bent-over wizard only fueled her anger.
“I’m sorry. Truly I am.” Wiping tears from his eyes, he picked up a stick. “You’re definitely not naturally attuned to earth, or that wouldn’t have hurt you. Don’t worry about the blood. I will patch you up when we’re done.”
She glared at him as she wiped her lip and eyed the stick with distrust. “What are you doing with that?”
A twinkle in his eye told her she wasn’t going to like this. The stick poking into her side told her that that assumption wasn’t wrong. After investigating the end of the stick, another jab followed into her hand.
She jerked herself away and screamed, “What is wrong with you?! Stop stabbing me!”
He shook his head and ignored her fury. “No, You’re definitely not attuned to be a nature mage. The stick would have sprouted leaves if you were.”
Claire could practically feel the steam coming from her head. “And you had to poke me twice to figure that out?”
He turned his head towards her, and with a shrug of his shoulders, he casually replied, “I didn’t hit skin the first time. I had to be sure. Give me a minute. I need to get something for the next one.”
The thought of escaping crossed her mind as she watched him turn the corner toward the back of the cottage. She walked to the edge of the clearing and into the forest. Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she noted the chirp of birds overhead and a family of rabbits carrying the spoils of Kalobs garden towards their burrow. Wouldn’t she have noticed by now if she had a magical ability? She certainly wouldn’t have let herself become a victim if she had found a way to protect herself. She could only hope that once he was through with this testing, things would be quieter. This really wouldn’t be the worst place to live.
A chill rushed from her head down her spine as water crashed against her body. Droplets flung from the tips of her hair and edges of her skirt as she rounded on the culprit. “What in the nine realms are you thinking?!”
Kalob ducked behind a nearby tree to create distance between them. “I swear I needed to do that. You’re definitely not water attuned. In fact, it’s almost like water is your weakness.”
She shot daggers from her eyes while wringing out her hair. “It took an entire bucket of water to figure that out?”
“Probably not, but you smelled pretty terrible as well, and this took care of that.”