Ceri Hebert has embraced the mania. Ceri is a new friend of mine and the author of multiple titles, including Yesterday's Tomorrow from Still Moments Publishing. As some of you may know, I just signed with Still Moments for my second title, and have met some lovely, talented authors there, including Ceri - but enough about me. Ceri has consented to indulge my curiosity by answering a few questions.
Ready, Ceri? (Thrilled to have you here, by the way.) First, what is the first book you remember loving?
The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander and the series of books about a horse called Bonnie by Barbara Van Tuyl were my first favorite books (sorry, I can’t pinpoint just one). My first favorite romance novel was Skye O’Malley by Bertrice Small.
That's so funny. I cut my 'romance' teeth on Skye O'Malley, reading the entire book aloud to my girlfriends on one of our many beach days when I was eighteen or so. In string bikinis, we all shared Skye's romantic adventure, and ended up with sun poisoning. The memory still makes me smile. Where is the oddest place you’ve ever pulled out a book?
Don’t think it’s too odd, but I would always bring my Nook to the gym and read on the treadmill.
Smart. That makes the chore of working out easier, although I wouldn't know from experience. I'm exercise challenged. Don't like to sweat, and all that. Ahem. So, most authors begin writing because they love to read. Is this true with you and if so, did you write your first book because you were inspired, or because you thought, hell, I can do better than this?
Definitely because I was inspired. I started writing when I was a pre-teen so I didn’t have any of those “I can do better than that” moments back then, though I often do now. I started to write because I was (and still am) a daydreamer. I write about lives that I’d love to have (for the most part). I’m also shooting for that Happily Ever After for my characters, the way I want to see it.
Thank God for daydreamers. Without them there would be no books! Besides a critiquing partner, is there someone you let read your manuscripts before submitting?
I have a friend I met over the internet a few years back who has been a huge help. She became a big fan of mine with my story Sweet Forever and now I send her stuff all the time to read. She points out what works and doesn’t work and gives me all sorts of great ideas. I’d be lost without her!
Oh, I love hearing things like that! Friendships are the joyful beat of a happy heart. Tell us about your road to publication. Was it a hair-raising, pothole ridden mountain pass, or a well-tended superhighway?
A pot-hole mountain pass that meanders through little towns, turns back on itself, loops around detours every which way. As much as I yearn for well-tended, my life as it is now isn’t conducive to well-tended.
LOL Life would be boring without a bit of chaos. A writer claiming a favorite book is like choosing between your kids, but do you have a favorite character? And why?
Wow, that is hard. My favorite character hasn’t been published yet, but of my published characters I’d have to say Krista in Where One Road Leads. Life dealt her a crappy hand one night and she spent years paying for it. Still she had the strength to go home, try to set things right and face down the people who blamed her for the tragedy that really wasn’t her fault. She’s strong, but we can see her insecurities.
Strong yet vulnerable, the perfect combination for a compelling romance heroine. Tell us a little bit about Yesterday's Tomorrow. What was the germ of the idea behind the story?
I often wish that I could go back in time and do something differently, but if I did how much would my current life change? For the better? For the worst? I thought it would be an interesting premise for a story.
And you were right. Very, It's a Wonderful Life - ish. We'd love to read an excerpt.
Bob’s white noise machine put me to sleep. The sound of girly laughter and chatter dragged me out.
“Turn the TV down, Bob.” I curled up in a fetal position and pulled my blanket up so just my nose poked out. I refused to open my eyes, not ready to face the day.
“Bob? Bob Weidner?”
That voice didn’t belong in my room.
Why would the television say my husband’s name? I opened one eye just a crack.
My heart did a drum roll.
I opened both my eyes a little more.
Very realistic dream. My heart continued a heavy beat. Interesting. From headaches and dizzy spells to hallucinations. I sucked in my breath to steady my unraveling nerves. This, I wasn’t ready for.
Someone shuffled past my bed.
Bob getting ready for work.
Please let it be Bob getting ready for work. I fisted my hands against the blanket, pulling it up to my chin, as if a lifeline to reality.
“Can you start the coffee?” I mumbled against my pillow and bit my bottom lip, waiting for the reply. Waiting for my husband’s voice.
“Start it yourself.” The voice, far too feminine, far too exasperated to be Bob’s continued. “What’s going on with you and Bob? Please tell me you’re not sleeping with him.”
My breath choked in my throat. I couldn’t have been out of bed quicker if someone lit a ton of dynamite under my mattress. My feet hit a cold wooden floor, not the thick, luxurious carpet they were accustomed to.
I hadn’t lived in a place with a bare floor in twenty years. The cramped room was wrong. The tiny, disheveled bed more wrong. Even the smell struck me as all wrong.
A heavy veil of perfume hung in the air. Nothing like that existed in the penthouse, which, except for the sachets in my drawers and the linen closet, was void of any kind of scent.
“What is your problem?” The person who was not Bob asked, and her brows rose.
My problem? Where in the world did I start? I swallowed quickly and tried to speak, but my throat went unbearably dry. I croaked like a frog.
I stared into the startled face of Sarah LoCaste, one of the girls I had shared an apartment with twenty some odd years ago.
Oh, yeah. That would shake up your morning. I've so enjoyed getting to know you a little better, Ceri. Before you go, where can we find you, and your books?
At my homepage/blog www.cerihebert.com
Yesterday's Tomorrow is available at Still Moment's Publishing
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