Welcome to our new monthly author spotlight blog series! Each month, we will be shining a light on a different author, showcasing their work, and providing insights into their writing process. Whether you are an avid reader, aspiring writer, or simply curious about the creative minds behind the books you love, this series is for you. Join us as we delve into the worlds of a diverse range of authors, exploring their inspirations, challenges, and successes. We hope you enjoy this series and discover new authors to add to your reading list!
First up for July we have the dynamic duo writing team Char Chaffin and Cheryl Yeko who write together under the pen name, CiCi Cordelia. Take a moment to read their bio and then dive in for a fun interview.
CiCi Cordelia is the writing team of Char Chaffin and Cheryl Yeko, who create heartwarming and captivating romance stories. Their writing expertise includes a solid understanding of the key elements that make a great romance read: a strong story, a passionate romance, fascinating characters, and a happy-ever-after ending. Their engaging and emotional plots will leave you wanting more.
Whether you're a fan of historical or contemporary romance or gripping thriller stories, CiCi Cordelia has something special for everyone. So, immerse yourself in their captivating stories and fall in love with their writing.
Want to follow CiCi? Please sign up for their newsletter, filled with fun articles, recipes, excerpt from new short stories, and more!
PPP: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
CiCi: Individually we think we wanted to be writers around the same time in our lives, in our fifties. Cheryl had already started writing what would be her debut novel, Protecting Rose, and Char had begun her debut novel, Promises to Keep. It would be a few years after we both traditionally published with Soul Mate Publishing, that we began talking about joining forces and becoming CiCi Cordelia.
PPP: What was the first book that you wrote?
CiCi: Our first book as CiCi Cordelia was a Western Contemporary, Rodeo King. We had so much fun writing it together, we knew we’d want to co-write a lot more in the future. Which was exactly what we did!
PPP: How many books have you written?
CiCi: As CiCi, we have written ten books, two of which are anthologies.
PPP: On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing?
CiCi: It does vary. Both of us also work on solo books, and Cheryl is also working on a screenplay of her first solo novel, Protecting Rose. I’d say five to six hours a day, more if we are brainstorming together as CiCi.
PPP: What comes first for you, the plot or the characters?
CiCi: Most of the time it’s the plot, although we’ve sometimes had the characters chosen by name before an actual plotline is sorted out, especially in our ‘Brides of Little Creede’ series. With the first trilogy, which featured the Carter siblings, our characters were easier to create because after Book One we already knew them for Books Two and Three.
PPP: What was your most difficult book to write? Your easiest?
CiCi: We’ve talked about this before and we both agree on The Substitute Wife, Book One of our ‘Brides of Little Creede’ series as being the easiest to write. Once we settled on using Cheryl’s ancestors’ true story of their meet-and-marriage, the words just flowed for us. As for the most difficult, we also agree on our first (but not last!) paranormal book: Realm of the Dragon, Book One of the anthology, ‘The Soul Mate Tree.’ The paranormal aspects proved challenging enough, but a huge side challenge for us was making the story of our main characters fit within the confines and parameters from our poem, “The Legend of the Soul Mate Tree” which drove the plotlines of all thirteen books within the series.
PPP: Do you have a favorite book or character that you have written?
CiCi: We may have differing opinions on this one. *grin* When it comes to book characters, Cheryl loves Frank Carter from The Dance Hall Wife, Book Two of Brides of Little Creede. My favorite is Sheriff Joshua Lang from The Innocent Wife, Book Three of Brides of Little Creede. I think we both love our Georgia gambler Knight Gleason, whose appearance spans several books in the Little Creede universe, and we both got such a kick out of writing Zinnia Blackwood, the elderly, crotchety matriarch of the Blackwood clan. She dominated The High Society Wife, Book Five.
PPP: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
CiCi: I think we need to answer this one separately! Not sure about interesting, but Char researches the bejesus out of everything, even resorting to sketching out entire towns, before and/or during the writing process. She also leaves horror films on as TV background noise while she writes.
Cheryl’s final step is to send the manuscript to her Kindle and listen to it on fast speed, reading and listening at the same time. It takes pure concentration, but it’s a great way to catch small typos that are easily missed.
PPP: Tell us about your current WIP or your most recent book?
CiCi: We have several we’re plotting! Firstly, we’re writing Poisoned Legacy, a serial-type novella that we’re featuring in our CiCi Cordelia newsletter—one chapter per newsletter—beginning in May. Once we get all the chapters shared in our newsletter, we’ll publish it. We also have two series projects in the works: a new Little Creede trilogy that brings the world of Little Creede, Colorado into the twentieth century, and a Historical Western Paranormal series, featuring some very (in)famous people, places, and events presented in a wholly different way.
PPP: Where did you find your inspiration for writing it?
CiCi: For the new generation of Little Creede, that’s always been in our plans, the desire to tell the story of Little Creede’s children—now all grown up and facing the new century with bravery and of course, romance. For our serial Poisoned Legacy, Cheryl came up with the idea for a mystery/suspense, a genre we have not written before. Char liked it, so we are running with it! For the Historical Western Paranormal series, we just started talking one day, got to thinking out loud, “What if Jesse James or Butch Cassidy was (insert paranormal creature here),” and before we knew it we were researching people, places, and events with the idea of doing some major twisting. That’s all we can say for now.
PPP: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
CiCi: CiCi has a new website and newsletter! We’d like to invite our readers, old and new, to sign up for our newsletter, which features all kinds of fun things, and a bonus feature: sharing a chapter per newsletter of our latest, Poisoned Legacy, a mystery/suspense novella.
Link to the newsletter signup: https://ciciwriter.com/newsletter-signup/
As a ‘thank you’ for signing up for the newsletter, we’re gifting, through BookFunnel, a free ebook copy of CiCi’s debut novella, Rodeo King!
The Substitute Wife, Book One of ‘Brides of Little Creede.’
HARRISON . . . Once his fortune in silver mining is secured, Harrison Carter finally sends back home for his fiancée. It's been four years since he's seen Jenny. But it's Retta Pierce, Jenny's sister, who arrives by stagecoach with young daughter Adeline in tow. When she brings devastating news and a written plea from Jenny to marry and care for Retta and little Addie, what's a good man to do?
RETTA . . . Fulfilling her dying sister's request, Retta travels across dangerous territory to marry a man she barely remembers. But the hard miner who meets her at the stagecoach surely isn't the same one her sister claimed was kind and honorable, a gentleman who'll embrace her and her daughter as if they were his own. Has she made a mistake she'll pay for, the rest of her life?
TWO PEOPLE . . . Thrown together in shared sorrow, Harrison and Retta struggle to forge a life in the brand-new state of late-nineteenth-century Colorado.
BUY LINK: Amazon
Thank you, ladies, for stopping by. It’s always a pleasure spending time with you.
Until next time...
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