Cheryl, tell us a little about yourself.
Thanks for having me, Janet. I’m a wife and stay-at-home mom who has been an avid reader all her life. I’m the author of Little Shepherd and A Christmas Kindness; the latter written under my pen name, C.C. Gevry. The publisher recently released a digital version of the book.
Tell us about your writing journey.
I had dreamed of becoming a writer since childhood, but I didn’t pursue that dream until I left Corporate America in 2004. Entering the Breaking into Print program offered by Long Ridge Writers Group, I focused on article writing. After graduation in 2005, I connected with Lea Schizas and the Muse Group. She started The Muse Online Writers Conference, which is where I met an Australian writer who gave me my first paid job writing time management and organization articles for writers. This conference is also how I met both of my publishers. Little Shepherd came out in 2010, followed by A Christmas Kindness in 2012. I also have a picture book under contract, currently titled, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving.
I like writing time management tips, too. How neat that you started writing that way. Congratulations on the book you have contracted. Did you ever feel like giving up? And how did you press through this?
I’m a stubborn person, so giving up isn’t in my nature. Just tell me I can’t do something and I’ll work twice as hard to prove you wrong. Rejections are tough. I think the quickest rejection letter came within a week of my submission. That hurts. Still no contracts from agents, either. In some ways it’s a blessing that I had a tough childhood, because I learned to depend on myself and not let too much get in my way. I also firmly believe that God has a plan for my life and that He has called me to write. If that’s true, as long as I keep my heart open to His direction, things will fall into place.
As for pressing through, I give myself a day to whine after receiving a rejection, but then I forget it and move on. I have numerous ideas in my head and several picture books written, but not as much time as I would like to focus on my career because of responsibilities at home and work. Time is too precious to waste worrying over what happened yesterday.
Oh, Cheryl, I love that thought. Time is too precious. What gave you the idea for A Christmas Kindness?
The idea for A Christmas Kindness came from a desire to encourage my girls to think more of what they can do for others than how many gifts are under the Christmas tree. Jesus called all of us to have a servant’s heart, so I hope this book reminds them of that, as much as our volunteer work does.
How do you feel this book will encourage children, or did you have something in mind like this when you wrote it?
Not only will A Christmas Kindness encourage kids to consider others, it will show them that you don’t have to spend money to make a huge difference in someone’s life.
Anything more you'd like to add?
When A Christmas Kindness was first published as a softcover, it came out under my pen name, C.C. Gevry. My original thought was that since it wasn’t a religious project and not part of my “Faith-filled journeys for kids” brand, I needed the pen name. Later on, I realized that both books are connected because they are set during Christmas and are message-driven fiction. That’s why the digital version was released this year under my real name, Cheryl C. Malandrinos. Eventually, the printed version will be republished under my actual name, too.
Also, I have to mention the lovely artwork provided by Caroline Mabey. Her illustrations are beautiful. I am so thrilled she was selected to illustrate A Christmas Kindness.
I like the cover. Beautiful. Where can people find you?
You can follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003698189011 or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cheryl-C-Malandrinos/170542359697682
I’m on Twitter @ccgevry or @ccmalandrinos. You can also find me on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4341623.Cheryl_C_Malandrinos
Where can we purchase your book?
A Christmas Kindness can be purchased from my publisher at http://www.4rvpublishingcatalog.com/cheryl-c-malandrinos-or-cc-gevry.php It can also be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
The digital version can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and soon on iTunes.
One last question, if you could be a type of music, what would it be?
Gospel music. I hope my writing inspires and empowers young people.
Thank you so much, Cheryl. I enjoyed getting better acquainted. I hope many will take advantage of purchasing this book. A Christmas Kindness will make an ideal children's gift.