Today, I welcome a wonderful online friend, Cheryl C. Malandrinos. She reviews books on her site. Her children's books are precious. Let me recommend to the followers of "Writing with God's Hope" blog her latest release, a beautiful Christmas book, just in time to purchase for that special little someone on your list.
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?