I am so excited about this new feature on my Blog and I hope to keep up the interviews so if you are brave enough just let me know.  I found it only fitting that the first Author Interview I did was with Maureen Hovermale aka @Zencherry on Twitter and at Word Press.  Maureen was the very first person to post a comment on my Blog and has been a great supporter of my posts every since.  As if that isn’t enough, she was one of the first to welcome me to Twitter when I first ventured into that Social Media.

 Maureen has been great and is super supportive of the Indie writers on line.  If you haven’t done so already I would encourage you to check out her blog at www.zencherry.wordpress.com and be prepared to be entertained.  Now, without much further to-do I would like to introduce you to Maureen.

 The first question I have Maureen is how you came up with the nickname Zencherry?

I used to get angry a lot. I never quite fit in anywhere and wore my heart on a sleeve. You know common angst and dark poetry sort of stuff. One day I realized that trying to please everyone else and ignoring me just wasn’t going to work and was the crux of my issues. I turned to trying to be ‘Zen’ to center myself. Nothing guru-like or anything, just a realization that the things that were making me angry were really quite funny if you looked at it from a different angle. Almost thirty years later and I’m still a cherry at it though the humor has rounded off most of the harder edges.

So then, how long have you been blogging?

On and off for about ten years. The first nine years were pretty awful and full of animated gifs that made me giggle. We won’t even get into my goo-goo eyes at balls of fluff and the hundreds of posts and pics I put up about my dogs and cats.

Your blog mentions some co-authoring and editing work, how did you get involved with the National Literary Trust?

Purely by chance. I was reading the news online and came across a small article about a start-up site called Libboo created for writers. It was all about their goal to crowd-source a novel and their attempts to bring the publishing machinery to an Indie level. They invited writers, editors, promoters, ad nauseam, to one spot to coexist and hopefully learn how to work and network with each other. The proceeds of the sale of the novel were dog-eared to go to The National Literacy Trust, which is a charity I fully endorse. (I’m sure the wonderful people at The National Literacy Trust don’t have a clue as to who I am, perhaps I should reword my about page so there’s no misconceptions. Hmm.) I scouted out Libboo, talked to Richard Hawthorn and Chris Howard the co-creators there, and decided to compete in a contest based on a first chapter by Richard Wiseman. I won the first round with some fellows on there and went on to the next round. The second part was tougher, but my team prevailed though we nagged, begged, and pleaded for the votes, I’ll admit.

I am not the first to ask this one, and as others have inquired of you on your blog, when can we expect to see your debut Novel?

I started working on Rogue The Aleiva Trilogy; I think it was in April of this year. I put it down to do the Paradox project in June and had twenty chapters done at the time. October first was the date that my team won, and I’ve yet to get back to it, to any significant degree, with NaNoWriMo coming up November first. Hopefully around the time December comes around, I can roll up my sleeves and get Aleiva back on track and finished. I do have two sample chapters up on Libboo that you can read for free. (Mind you, they’re first drafts.) I’d say a tentative date for going into final editing would be March or April for the first novel of the three.

How often do you work on your novel in a typical week?

I wrote almost every day on Rogue until this Paradox project came up. I’ve taken off October, but that’s just a get-my-head-out-of-the-characters-in-Paradox sort of thing. Paradox was eight hours a day, seven days a week with a two-week lay off waiting on some pages and painting my deck. That was a rough schedule and I think I’ll cut down a bit for the future. Who am I kidding? Writing is pretty addictive stuff so I’ll probably be right back into the eight to ten hour days pretty soon.

Are your characters/settings based on real life experiences, a version of people you have met or purely fictional?

On the blog, that’s all real. In my book, purely fictional with a little bit of everyone thrown in there. The people that die though, those are usually the ones that cut in front of me in traffic with helpful middle fingers extended.

What genre do you work in, or are most comfortable in?

Paradox was a murder mystery and I was really uncomfortable doing that since I would completely blow chunks at being a bad guy or thinking scientifically. I’m more at ease doing fantasy as that’s my favorite genre to read. I’d love to do sci-fi, but that’s for the brainiacs.

Your reviews on your blog are very good, how long does it take you to write one, typically?

Thank you! I try very hard on those since I understand that each book is as a baby is to its parents. I start writing them in my head, as I read, and it takes about fifteen minutes once I finish the book.

I know first-hand you are an avid blogger and supporter of indie authors, do you find it easier to write the short posts (which are hilarious) rather than dedicate time to the novel?  

Thank you! The blogs are a lot of fun to write and usually take about ten minutes of writing and a half an hour of editing, so yes, they’re a lot easier for certain. The novel though, that’s my baby and I worry and pick at it until I’m cross-eyed. It’s hard to get into the right zone for the novel; to switch gears, so to speak. It’s only because I have so many people that I love and I try to divvy up time to each of them. The time is coming very soon though that everyone recognizes as writing time. I throw my ear buds in, turn on some tunes and focus on that and that alone, for days sometimes. When this happens, I do occasionally remember to throw cans of Chef Boyardee and loaves of bread towards the family so they won’t starve.

Ok, now let’s get to know Maureen a little better.

(Bites nails and shuffles feet…uh oh.)

Were you born and raised in Kentucky?

No, I’m actually a Yankee by birth, but my dad was a traveling salesman so I’ve been a lot of places.

Oh, then where were you born?

Ohio. Yep, I’m a buckeye by birth, (though I didn’t grow up there), and my southern family has never let me forget it. 😉

Big question for me, are you a middle child, only child, one of a huge brood?

I’m the youngest of three though I was the accidental oops and significantly younger than my siblings. Naturally I was the best behaved. (Looks for lightning to strike)

Normal old boring childhood or were you on a merchant marine ship growing up?

Ha-ha! I’m not sure it was entirely normal, but whose is? It was a little skewed since I was raised Mormon and quit when I ran off with my husband to get married at age seventeen. Quite the rebel in those days, or at least I thought so. Home life was good as far as super religious suburbia goes, but I found it chafed and I always felt guilty for the silliest things.

Favorite Sport and Team?

St. Louis Rams football. We’ve stuck by them in the good and the bad. I am an avid swimmer when the pool isn’t green though. I’ve always wondered about cricket and rugby, to tell the truth. Those look pretty cool.

Dream Vacation?

I’d like to go back to Germany to see the old haunts. My husband was stationed there years ago and the people and places were just wonderful.

Where do you want to retire? and of course why?

You mean we get to retire? Woo-hoo! If we do, (and we’re both workaholics so I don’t see that coming really), it’d probably be akin to something the Gypsy Nesters are doing. Traveling and going everywhere to meet new people and to see new things.

Your husband, you call him Khan; I know he must be a huge supporter of yours; does he give you input for your blog?

Sometimes I’ll be pulling my hair trying to word something just so and he’ll have it spot on and in a blink of an eye. He’s the funny one of the family, truth be told.

Now some word association, one or two word answers please:

How many children? Three.

Boys or Girls? One girl, two boys.

Favorite color? Green.

Favorite pet? Dogs.

Favorite room of your house? Wherever Khan is.

Favorite food? Alfredo noodles.

Fast dance or Slow Dance? Both.

Boxers/Briefs (couldn’t resist a Democrat question) Me or him? 😉

Best book you ever read? Wow. Hard…there’s so many!

How many books a year do you read? 100 +

Favorite Music/Artist? Heart.

Favorite TV Show Currently, Strike Back.

Movie that makes you cry? Me, cry? Never. 😉

Movie that you watch every year or more often? Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and It’s a Wonderful Life and…oh heck…the editor in me just flew her hands up and smacked me. Sorry Peter, I tried. I really did.

Well you wouldn’t be a writer if you didn’t snap on those one/two word answers.  Thank you so much for your time Maureen and I will continue to make my daily pilgrimage to your blog to see what funny or thought provoking posts you have.   http://www.zencherry.wordpress.com

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