Hello and Welcome to this stop on Sheri's tour!! I was lucky enough to not only review this fabulous book but also to score an interview with her!
Hi Nikki! Thank you so much for having me here today.
Hey Sheri!! That's actually funny because that is my first name..lol!!
How old were you when you first realized you wanted to write?
One Christmas when I was eight years old, my father gave me a huge Daily Reminder to use as a diary. I loved it. For the next twenty years, he gave me one every year for Christmas. I wrote my heart out.
I think the fictional writing bug caught me in high school when I learned people would pay me to complete their English writing assignments. Shh! Endless supplies of short stories were catalogued in my brain, just waiting for my pen to hit paper.
Most authors have an unusual story or way that they come up with their ideas for books…Do you have one?
Wish I could say a moment of utter brilliance came upon me, and without further hesitation, I had my rough draft. Not quite the way it happened.
I signed up for an online writing class and the assignment was to put our character in a pitch-dark room and write from his/her point of view. Participants in the class were turning in the same old rhetoric: people who were blindfolded, struck with blindness, in a cave, etc. I wanted something different and somehow a centaur in hiding came to me.
And then I asked myself the all important question – what if . . . ?
What was your biggest influence that steered you towards writing?
Hands down, my husband. I married a cowboy jock. He ropes and rides, competes and shows. Whatever he does, he's good at (right now, he trains and competes with border collies in sheep dog trials on a National level).
I wanted something to do for myself, but couldn't figure out what it would be. I threw-up from nerves when I showed horses, so that was out. Got glue in my hair with scrapbooking. Since I was reading two or three books a week, he suggested I try writing. Having seen the few short stories I'd written for my kids, he encouraged me to keep going.
Though Remedy Maker is my debut novel, I've written two others before it.
I have to ask, what are the hardest scenes for you to write?
Fight scenes for me are the most difficult. Like a dance, you have to choreograph them perfectly. To make it harder on myself, I often use more than two people in my scenes. Drafts to keep it all straight would litter my desk by the end of a chapter.
Here's a scene where Rhycious has encountered rebels who wish to overthrow the kingdom:
Backed by the roar of a hundred ghostly Centaurs who terrorized him in an alternate reality, Rhycious heaved to his feet. With a determination that was truly the dead coming back to life, his sword cut diagonally, catching Dryas by surprise. The honed edge of his trusty weapon sliced the traitorous soldier’s thigh wide open.
Blood spurted and Dryas cried out, stumbling away. Inertia carried Rhy’s blade along its path of destruction, and then rocketed down. His single-handed grip on the sword’s leather-bound handle tightened, slicing a clean line deep across the enemy’s cheek.
Stretched to their limit, the ligaments in his shoulder burned as he cleaved the hefty sword. With two powerful forward lunges, additional ground was confiscated in his favor. Spinning on the ball of his foot, Rhycious streaked for the screaming Nymph.
Are sex scenes difficult for you to word?
For me, scenes involving intimacy aren't hard to word once I have the sequence of events figured out. LOL The tough part is not rushing the moment, to allow the reader to become fully engaged. And writing so the experience is seen through the character's eyes and mind.
I'll share a partial scene where Patience, the heroine, wakes next to Rhycious:
Under the blankets, Patience turned toward him. “Good morning, Remedy Maker. Wazzup?”
Rhy chuckled deep in his throat. “I’ll show you.”
He guided the slim hand caressing his chest down to his jutting erection, and taught her how to wrap her warm fingers around him. A few tentative strokes later and his eyes rolled back in pleasure. Uncontrollable urges to thrust into her palm pushed his hips and legs forward.
She gave a yelp of giggling surprise. “Pan’s hooves, Rhycious! Your feet are freezing.”
He held her body close, relishing in the perfection of her slender figure against his much larger one. Her mouth moved in harmony with his, and to Rhy, she tasted of eternal hope.
Do you see yourself writing in another genre?
Outside of Romance, I doubt it. It's the genre I love to read — it's my first love. I wrote a western themed time-travel a while ago that I've been itching to get back into. But I can't imagine leaving romance to dabble in something else. (Never say never though, right?)
Has your family been supportive?
At first when I would announce another chapter finished, they'd pat me on the back and say, "that's nice." When they realized I was seriously chasing the publication dream, and after receiving numerous contract offers for Remedy Maker, they now ask when my next book is coming out and love telling their friends about it. My family gives me space so I can write — I call that unconditional support.
Are any of your characters reflective of you?Rhycious is a Remedy Maker for the Centaur kingdom. Modern medicine doesn't work for them, so they go the homeopathic route. Likewise, I try to eat food that keeps me healthy, and exercise every day. Although I'll take an Excedrin for a headache, I'll try drinking water to see if I'm dehydrated first.
But that's as far as it goes in similarities between myself and my characters.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Eat bon-bons and sit in the sun!
LOL Actually, living on a ranch will keep me busy 24/7 if I let it. I like going for trail rides on my horse Bert, taking the boat out in summer for a few ski runs with the family in the morning, and always love watching my husband while he works his Border Collies on the sheep. Something magical happens between a handler and his dog as they move a flock around a designated course.
Who is your favorite book heroine?
In all honesty? Goldilocks. And I'll tell you why: She walks into a bear's house (do you know how BAD bears smell?), eats their food till she's full and sleepy, kicks back on their beds for a nap, and faces them off when she wakes up.
Now THAT's my kind of heroine!
Do you have any unusual habits that revolve around writing?
While writing, I like to wear something with a hoodie attached. You've heard of a dream catcher? Well, I swear the hood acts like my muse catcher and keep my thoughts from wandering too far.
What is your favorite mystical creature?
A centaur, of course! I find horses to be gorgeous creatures with big hearts and an eagerness to please. Cross that with a muscular Alpha male, and . . . yeah. Centaurs, for sure.
What were some of your biggest challenges at the beginning of your career?
Finding an empty computer to write on. Everyone in the house had their own computer, except for me. So when the kids were at school, I'd use one of theirs, saving everything to a flash drive. But when my muse hammered hard at night and it was bedtime for preteen boys, I was beside myself. I'd have to turn the PC off in the middle of a scene and kiss the kids goodnight.
Any writer will tell you that stopping when you're in the zone is worse than writers' block.
How do you feel about reader comments?
I love them! I answer when questions are asked and encourage people to contact me. This is another reason I brought prizes with me today, to show my appreciation for the reader.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
family and friends love you. In doing so, they won't tell you which part of your writing might need help. Joining a critique group will enrich your writing angive you valuable insight to the profession that you won't find anywhere else. In return, you'll critique their work and possibly read the next bestseller in the making! Win-win all the way.
Where are your books available?
Remedy Maker is available direct from Ruby Lioness Press, as well as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all the usual places.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I'm currently writing two books — Book Two of the Centaur series tentatively titled Trolly Yours. The outline is complete and I'm digging in with all ten fingers to finish the manuscript. The story involves a character with a huge ego named Aleksander, introduced in Remedy Maker. He meets the only mythic female in the Boronda Forest who isn't fazed by his charms and good looks. Ooh-wee . . . and the sparks fly!
I’ll be coming out with a short story called Portals of OZ for one of my publisher's anthologies (Love Down Under). I had so much fun writing it that I decided to write additional shorts for two more anthology calls. The stories are based on the mythological characters I created for the Boronda Forest.
Where can we reach you and become informed of updates?
I'm so glad you asked! You can find me at these online locations:
Google+: http://gplus.to/Sheri Fredricks
Remember! I have a prize for one lucky commenter, so don't forget to leave your email address! Among other goodies, your name will go into the grand prize drawing for a $20 Amazon gift card at the end of my book tour.
Let's take a look at Remedy Maker:
Always on the hunt
for the uncommon things in life, author Sheri Fredricks thrives on creating
adventures in her mythological kingdom for her readers.
Thanks so much for stopping by!!! Good Luck!!
Man by day, Centaur by night, Rhycious is a remedy maker who needs his own healing.
He's the royal physician, famous for his cures. War and posttraumatic stress disorder has broken his spirit, preventing him from finding true happiness. Then a direct order from the queen to investigate an uprising forces him out of his secluded cabin at the edge of the forest.
Patience is an optimistic, good-natured Wood Nymph who works as a mediator to ensure harmony within the Nymph sector.
Environmental pollution in the aquifer stream that feeds the taproot tree of her heart is slowly killing her. Resigned to the fact she will not live long, she sets out to discover the mysterious disappearance of her sister. Experience has taught her to deny herself the love of a male, but the gruff Centaur is different. He doesn't push his expectations on her, only his healing nature.
When Rhycious loses his grip on reality, he believes his inability to control his disorder will drive Patience away. Nevertheless, desire flares, and Patience draws him close. Kidnapping and betrayal turn their mythic joint venture into a deadly bout.
Will their love endure when survival hinges on trusting each other?
A former engineering secretary, Sheri lives on the beautiful central coast of California. "I wanted to move away from inflexible right angles and create an unboxed world with no boundaries." A voracious reader since her early years, Sheri found her brain crowded with stories and characters of her own. "Ultimately," she says, "my husband encouraged me to write them all down."
Sheri loves to spend time at home. A computer hutch keeps her focused on creating stories, but the panoramic view of life on a ranch will call her outside to play in the sun.
Thanks so much for stopping by!!! Good Luck!!