Brenda Cheers is known for doing everything in life very quickly so it came as no surprise to the people closest to her that once she decided on a career as a novelist, it all happened with blinding speed.
A course in Creative Writing was quickly followed by a more advanced one. She began drafting her first novel and then completed three full manuscripts in the next two years.
Her great love is Literary Fiction and this is what she aims to write. Fast-paced suspense novels are what fly from her fingertips, however and these tend to feature strong-willed female protagonists as in ‘In a House in Yemen’ and ‘In Times of Trouble’.
Brenda Cheers — Artist of the Month – March, 2017
AR - Do you have a writing philosophy?
BC - Yes, and it is very simple. You want to be an author? Then park your bottom in a chair every day and write, write, write. There are no shortcuts. It is not romantic, it is hard work.
AR - Why do you write in the style that you do?
BC - I write in the style that comes naturally. I don’t like reading overly descriptive prose myself, so my style is minimalist and the stories move quickly.
AR - What are the major influences on your writing? E.g. imagination, art, experience, love
BC - Pure imagination. I see the story unfolding in my mind like a movie and I must write rapidly to capture it. It means I get very out-of-sorts if interrupted during one of these sessions. If I feel the story approaching like a tidal wave, I jam some headphones over my ears and type or hand-write like a crazy person.
AR - Do you use an editor? If not, why not?
BC - Yes. I believe it is very important to have a trusted editor. How can the results be of good quality otherwise?
AR - Did you self-publish or go down the traditional path and why?
BC - I lacked the patience to try the traditional path. I formed a publishing company.
AR - Why are you a writer and not another sort of artist, like a painter, composer or dancer?
BC - I have been a writer of one sort or another since childhood. There was never any doubt that I would write novels when I grew up!
AR - Who are your favourite authors/artists?
BC - Oh, so many. Too many to name. I discovered the wonderful Australian author Georgia Blain recently. Such talent. Sadly, she passed away only a few months ago. Pat Conroy is a marvellous American novelist. Ayn Rand. So many.
AR - What does literary success look like to you?
BC - I think this is different for me than most writers. Literary success to me was finding I had a committed group of fans who were impatient for the next novel in the series. Many found ways to contact me. It’s wonderful when they ‘get’ my style of writing. Also, finding positive reviews unexpectedly. They can reduce me to tears. I believe that all writers long for validation and this comes from the excitement of the reader.
AR - What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
BC - Hmm. My day job, but then I would starve. I would give up a nice holiday, opting instead for a wee cabin somewhere by myself where I could write and polish a manuscript.
AR - What has writing taught you about yourself or the world?
BC - I like that question. Writing taught me a great deal about myself. It actually unearthed something about me that I had no idea existed. It is deeply personal, so I won’t share it here. Also, I had to do a great deal of research about genetics for “In a Time Where They Belong” and the scientists who helped me were wonderful. I learned a great deal on that subject. An earlier novel was set in Yemen, so I contacted people on Trip Advisor—those who had travelled there--and asked them a lot of questions. By the time I had all the information, it felt like I had visited that tragic country.