Monday, January 25, 2010

Guest - Cheryl Brooks

Good morning everyone! Today's guest is Cheryl Brooks who's been with us before so I'll keep my part of this short :-) If you haven't already read it, you can check out my review of her latest book, Fugitive here

Oh, and make sure to read all the way down to the Lynda Again section. Sourcebooks is offering a giveaway of two copies of Fugitive you don't want to miss.

Okay, take it away Cheryl!

Hello! My name is Cheryl Brooks and I’m the author of The Cat Star Chronicles series of erotic science fiction romance. I’m very pleased to be invited to guest blog here on Star-Crossed Romance to promote the latest book in the series, Fugitive. Since this is primarily a sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal site, I thought I’d talk a little bit about what it’s like to write that sort of thing.

So how does one write science fiction? The truth is, I don’t. Oh, I come up with some nifty little gadgets, but you won’t get a lot of technobabble from me, so what I write is probably more aptly described as futuristic. Even so, the best part of any sci-fi story really isn’t the technology anyway, it’s the characters. You can have all sorts of cool stuff that enables you to fly from one world to another, but if the characters aren’t interesting, the story won’t engage the reader.

I recently went to see the movie, Avatar. The basic plot wasn’t anything new, but the characters were developed enough to make them seem real and the fact that it was one of the most visually stunning films ever made was an added plus. Still, all the special effects in the world won’t carry a story if you don’t care about the characters and visual effects can’t help the author of a book that has no illustrations. You can describe a world so that the reader has an idea of what it looks like, but they have to use their own imagination to visualize it.

There are books that I’ve read many times and never had the benefit of seeing them through a cinematographer’s lens, but I can envision the people and places almost as well as if I’d seen them on the big screen. When I’m writing my own books, I can see those things just as well—the lake house on Barada Seven where my petite auburn-haired heroine, Drusilla, has come to paint the exotic wildfowl. I can picture the ugly amphibious eltran, Zef, who lives in the lake and hear his coarse laughter and his frank observations. And then, there is my hero, Manx. I can see his tall, lean form, know the softness of his long dark hair, and feel the heat emanating from his deeply tanned skin. I know how silently he moves and can hear his voice—even the cadence of his speech.

But no matter how alive my worlds or characters may be in my mind, the trick is to convey them to the reader using only the written word, and there are times when I am reminded that my readers aren’t privy to the inner workings of my brain. For example, when I sent in the manuscript for Fugitive, one comment that came back was about the boat that was there on the lake for Drusilla’s use. In my mind’s eye, it was my friend Suzie’s pontoon boat, and I wrote the scenes accordingly. The trouble was, I never actually described the boat! The editors came back with, “Is this a rowboat?” and “Has Manx really been piloting the boat this whole time?” The answers to those questions were perfectly obvious to me, but looking back, there was no description of the boat anywhere. So I had to go back and add it.

The same holds true for the characters. Everyone knows what humans and the creatures of Earth look like, but aliens are a different story. Without the benefit of illustrations, the writer must paint a picture of them using only words. It also helps to compare alien creatures with animals we humans are familiar with and many of the species of wildlife I create are composites. For example, the srakies of Barada Seven are rat-like monkeys. I could add more characteristics, but just those few words give the reader enough information to picture them.

I could go on forever, but it might be best if I stop here and ask a question or two. What is the most imaginative creation you’ve ever read about in a book? Was it a world, a character, an animal, or an event? What made it come alive for you?


When a Zetithian fugitive meets a beautiful Earth woman, their passion may cost them both their lives...

Manx is a Zetithian fugitive with a feline gene that gives him remarkable sexual powers. He has been in hiding in the remote jungles of Barada Seven ever since being marked for extermination by the violent Nedwuts.

Artist Drusilla arrives on Barada Seven, enticed only by the promise of finding a nature paradise there. But she discovers a wildlife she wasn’t expecting when she encounters Manx. Reckless with desire for the beautiful Earth woman, Manx risks his life to win her as his mate.

It’s only a matter of time until the Nedwuts find them, but it will take all of Manx and Drusilla’s passion, skill, and ingenuity to survive.

About the Author

Cheryl Brooks is an Intensive Care Unit nurse by night and a romance writer by dayt. Previous books in The Cat Star Chronicles series include Slave, Warrior, Rogue and Outcast. Hero, book six, will be in stores August 2010. She is a member of the RWA and lives with her husband and sons in Bloomfield, Indiana. For more information, please visit


-- Lynda Again,
Sourcebooks is offering a copy of Fugitive to two readers of Star-Crossed Romance. To get your name in the drawing, 1) leave a comment for Cheryl and 2) send me your snail mail address with Fugitive in the subject line and the ID you used for your comment. My fluffy cat, Wookie Baby, will help me select the two lucky readers and I'll announce it here on Friday. (She'd do it herself but her English vocabulary is limited to NO and WOE, lol)

Today's word is ORBIT -- the curved path, usually elliptical, described by a planet, satellite, spaceship, etc., around a celestial body, as the sun.

Members of my newsgroup will know what to do with today's word. You can know too by joining us. Members of my newsgroup are eligible to enter drawings when I have great books or other goodies to offer. Many of you have been with me since I published my first short story. This is my way of showing appreciation for you.

Members of my newsgroup are the only persons who can take advantage of my special offers. But don't worry, there isn't any chatter. You'll only get notices from me (once a week with an occasional extra notice when there's something special going on) so it won't fill your mailbox. Directions on how to join are below. Hope to see you there!

To join my newsletter, send a blank email to:
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SiNn said...

awesome post i have yet to read any of Cheryl's work after reading the review i deff want to read this book

Cheryl Brooks said...

Thanks, SiNn! Good luck in the contest!

susan said...

I am new to Cheryl's books but hope not for long. I am here to find new authors and new books and I have been lucky to find some great ones. I am looking forward to adding Cheryl's name to my list. Hi Cheryl and good luck with your new release. You are one busy lady. susan L.

Ana said...

What's funny Cheryl is that my friend and I were talking about your books yesterday and talking about how interesting it would be if your books were turned into movies lol.

I love how you describe all the characters and for me it's not hard to imagine what they look like.

I also like when authors describe specific markings like tattoos, or like Cat, scars that you can picture easily.

Great interview. If you haven't read Cheryl's books go go! XD

Nancy Bristow said...

I've read all of Cheryl's books and I'm a member of her blog even though I'm not a huge sci-fi fan. I "gotta" tell you that she does a really fine job of bringing Zef, Klog and Dwell alive in Fugitive by giving them endearing personalities...particularly Zef. He's a crusty friend (who lives in the lake) to both Manx and Drusilla and he simply cracked me up with his dialog. I bet there isn't a reader out there that's read Fugitive and not wanted a Klog and Dwell of their very own...Klog attends to all housekeeping/cooking chores and Dwell is a security computer...again Cheryl gave both fun personalities even if Klog responds in sounds. Fugitive, for me, had sex, well suited h/h, good story and LOL humor.

Cheryl Brooks said...

Hi Susan!
Busy is right! I'd be very happy to have you as a reader. Good luck in the giveaway!

Cheryl Brooks said...

Movies, huh, Ana? You certainly wouldn't be able to bring the kids along with you, but it would be a fun night out with the girls!

Cheryl Brooks said...

Thanks for dropping by sharing your enthusiasm, Nancy!
You didn't happen to bring a Klog along with you, by any chance?
I need one SO badly....

diva donna said...

I love, love this series. I'm not a big Sci-fi fan either. I didn't believe in Aliens. But after I found this series. I want to believe in Future Space travel. Because Cheryl's World of Zetithians have become so much fun. I want to know all these guys and gals.
And there's no better Alien Characters. I think Zef is one of my favorite and he's the funniest.
I'd like to have a small Zef sitting on top of my computer talking dirty and making me laugh.
So ladies, if you haven't taken a trip to a fun place. Grab Cheryl's Books and Enjoy a trip with Hero's and Heroines and Characters you will never forget.

Cheryl Brooks said...

Hi Donna! A little Zef? He'd keep you entertained, that's for sure! Thanks for dropping by!

Lynda K. Scott said...

Okay, all you commenters, make sure you also send me an email with Fugitive in the subject line so I can put your name in the drawing. My email is lyndak.scott @ (no spaces). Cheryl and Sourcebooks are offering two copies of Fugitive to us and you don't want to miss the chance to win :-)

Pamk said...

finally found my copy in my tbr pile. It's next on my tbr list.

annalisa said...

The Cat Star Chronicles series is AWESOME! I was hooked after reading Slave and eagerly await each new book! :)

Cheryl Brooks said...

Have fun reading, Pamk!

Cheryl Brooks said...

Thanks, Annalisa! I'm writing them as fast as I can, but Hero won't be out until August. :-(

susan said...

Cheryl, Hope the day is good to you and best wishes on the new book. susan L.

Cheryl Brooks said...

Thank you Susan!
Have a great day, yourself1

Lynda K. Scott said...

Congrats to Anna Lisa and Susan whose names Wookie pulled out of the box. I'll notify Sourcebooks of your win and you should get your copies of Fugitive within 2 weeks.

Thanks for entering the drawing!

Enjoy Cheryl's great book!

Cheryl Brooks said...

Congratulations Anna Lisa and Susan! I hope you enjoy Fugitive!