I have this fascination with pen names and those who write under them so I couldn’t help but ask Cherie about hers. Take a seat and read what I learnt about her and her work in this recent interview.
Hi Cherie, welcome to Beauty and Lace.
Can you tell us how you got started as a writer?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. When I was young, the stories, the characters would fill my head and I’d have to get them out. My mum and dad have boxes of “books” written by me. I pretty much failed Year 10 Maths because I spent the year writing my first horror novel under the desk when I should have been paying attention to my teacher (in my 15-year old’s deluded mind, the greatest horror story ever written). It wasn’t until many years (and many really bad, never-seen-by-anyone-but-me manuscripts) later that I would finally submit a book to a publisher. When they offered me a contract, I think my husband had to pick me up from the kitchen floor. Twice.
You write under 2 different names, can you explain your reasoning for us?
Lexxie Couper (my other pen name) writes erotic romance. The plots are driven by sexual passion and eroticism. Cherie M. Hudson may be a little spicy, but the stories that I write as Cherie aren’t dependent on sex to progress the plot. Cherie also writes with a slightly younger reader in mind, a reader learning who they are and what it means to be an adult.
I’ve just realized how strange it is to speak about myself as if I’m two different people. No wonder my poor husband never knows which way is up with me when I’m in a writing frenzy.
Unconditional is your latest release, and your first as Cherie M. Hudson, can you tell us a little about it?
Unconditional is a bittersweet comedy about an American college student who suffers from Parkinson’s disease and the Australian hero who sweeps her off her feet. Or is it she who sweeps him off hers? Hmmm…. It is Book One of the Always series.
Maci suffers from early onset Parkinson’s, what made you want to explore this heartbreaking, debilitating disease?
I wrote a heroine who suffers from Parkinson’s because my father and my brother both have Parkinson’s (and my uncle passed away from complications caused by Parkinson’s) so the disease and its impact on those affected by it is something very close to my heart.
Unconditional is, essentially, my way of not only understanding the challenges and futures of those that I love with all my heart, it is my way of helping there be a greater understanding of Parkinson’s.
Raph is the leading man, what can you tell us about him?
Raphael Jones is not at all what he seems. While he comes across as brooding and arrogant to those he doesn’t know or trust, Raph is warm, loyal and completely protective of those he loves. And when Raph loves, he loves hard and with every inch of his soul…as Maci discovers. Intelligent and stoic by nature, he is also cheeky and loyal to those he knows and loves. He is essentially a farm boy. His parents own a large cattle station on the fringes of the Outback and he spent his childhood growing up there, knowing he was going to help run the property when he finished his university studies. When his older sister marries into European royalty, Raph becomes an unwitting and unwilling celebrity.
Oh, and he’s hotter than Chris Hemsworth (I know, right? He’s that hot )
What are you working on now, can you tell us a little about what’s next for you?
Next for me as Cherie M Hudson is Unforgettable, the second book in the Always series. There’s a secondary character in Unconditional called Brendon (aka The Biceps). Unforgettable is his story. It’s about second-chances, broken trust, secrets and life-changing decisions. In Unconditional, Brendon is a cheery, playful optimist who never lets anything rattle him. In Unforgettable, I rattle him. Big time.
Do you have a process, do you like to plot it all out or let the characters dictate the direction?
I tried plotting out once; as soon as I finished plotting the book I was bored with the story. I must admit, I love going on the journey with my characters just as unknowing to what is going to happen next as they are. It’s exciting. And scary. And at times nerve-wracking. I’m always convinced, 2,000 words into a story, I’ll run out of words before I get to The End. The closest I have to a process is the creation of a specific playlist for each book. Unforgettable’s playlist includes a lot of Fun., Fall Out Boy and Adele. I play it loud. Very loud.
What is your favourite place to write? Do you have a favourite time of day for writing?
We just moved recently and I finally have an office to myself. I love it (it’s full of geek things like Thor bobble heads, Funko Pop Groots and Doctor Who memorabilia). I walk in there every weekday and write from 9:30am – 2:15pm. Unfortunately, my writer’s mind never ever shuts down, so I’d love to be writing every minute I’m actually doing non-writing things. It’s frustrating to be peeling carrots for dinner and hearing the muse whisper in my head. My muse is a pain in the arse sometimes.
Can you tell us what’s on your current TBR pile?
My TBR pile is an eclectic mix. In it you can find Rock Chick by XXXX, Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes, Karen Marie Moning’s Iced (the 6th Fever book) and – for the umpteenth time, Douglas Adam’s Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’m also overdue for a reading of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and I’ve just bought Victoria Dahl’s A Little Bit Wild.
What does being a woman mean to you?
It means being independent, strong, courageous and determined no matter what life throws at me. It means being my loved ones’ support and comfort when they need it, and their reasoning and logic when support isn’t enough. It means being naughty and mischievous when I want to be. It means knowing I have a voice, an opinion. It means being soft and feminine and stronger than steel.
It also means painting my nails and wearing lipstick when I feel like it, and wearing the daggiest shorts and ugg boots I own because I can.
Thanks for your time Cherie.
You’re more than welcome.
To get your copy of Unconditional head to: Momentum, Amazon (Kindle), Amazon UK (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook devices), Google Play (All devices except Kindle), iBooks Store (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac), Kobo (All devices except Kindle)