Interview: Cheryl Brooks

Today, Literary Escapism is excited to welcome Cheryl Brooks, author of Hero – the sixth Cat Star Chronicles novel, to the floor.

He is the sexiest, most irksome man she’s ever encountered…
Micayla is the last Zetithian female left in the universe. She doesn’t know what’s normal for her species, but she knows when she sees Trag that all she wants to do is bite him…

He has searched all over the galaxy for a woman like her…
Trag has sworn he’ll never marry unless he can find a Zetithian female. But now that he’s finally found Micayla, she may be more of a challenge than even he’s able to take on…

Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away two copies of Hero to two lucky individuals.
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Literary Escapism: Would you mind telling the readers a little about yourself and the Cat Star Chronicles universe?

Cheryl Brooks: I’m originally from Louisville, KY, but I now live with my husband and two sons in rural Indiana. I’ve been a critical care nurse from more than thirty years, and I’ve written off and on during that time. After that first rejection letter, I stopped submitting manuscripts and pretty much quit writing altogether for about ten years. I didn’t get started again until after I watched Under the Tuscan Sun and said to my husband, “Wouldn’t it be cool to be a writer and live in Tuscany?” To which he replied: “Write!”

So I wrote! I printed up manuscripts and put them in Amazon boxes for the gang at the hospital to read. I submitted my contemporary romances to several agents and editors and was repeatedly rejected. Later, I wrote The Rescue, which was the erotic sci-fi romance I’d always dreamed of writing. Then I joined RWA and saw in their magazine that Sourcebooks was accepting erotic paranormals, so I sent them The Rescue, which was later re-titled The Cat Star Chronicles: Slave, which was released in April of 2008.

The Cat Star Chronicles series follows the lives of six Zetithian men who were captured and sold into slavery near the end of the war in which their world was destroyed. With their handsome cat-like features, amazing sexual prowess, and the ability to purr, these men are so hot that someone got jealous enough to disintegrate their planet. Hero, the new release, is the sixth book, and features Trag, the younger brother of Tychar, who was the hero of the third book, Rogue. After twenty years as a slave, Trag is now a starship pilot and is searching the galaxy for a woman who can make him forget the love he feels for his brother’s wife, Kyra. He finally finds Micayla, a young Zetithian woman who was raised on Earth, ignorant of her homeworld and even her species. She has never met a man who can arouse her passions, and when she meets Trag, all she wants to do is bite him! When they’re thrown together in the quest to bring the bane of Zetith to justice, sparks fly and an exciting adventure begins!

Literary Escapism: How did you come up with the idea for the Cat Star Chronicles?

Cheryl Brooks: I had always wanted to read a really hot sci-fi romance, and back when I first started writing, there wasn’t anything like that on the market. Then years later I read a paranormal romance about a woman who had to pose as the slave to a dominant male. I don’t really like that premise—the book was a gift—but it started me thinking how much more fun it would be if the man was the slave and the tone of the story a little lighter.

Literary Escapism: What is the biggest challenge you had creating the universe for the Cat Star Chronicles?

Cheryl Brooks: Coming up with feline-sounding names for my heroes!!!! There are only so many of them. After that, keeping track of the different species and their various characteristics is the hardest part. I know I should catalog them, and maybe I will someday—when I have the time!

Literary Escapism: You have some unique names in your books, how did you come up with them?

Cheryl Brooks: The Zetithian names are mostly cat-related. The other names are just made up. I type in some letters and then start rearranging them or replacing them until they look the way I want them to. I try to keep each of them within a book distinct enough that the reader doesn’t get them confused.

Literary Escapism: If you could be one of your characters, who would you want to be and why?

Cheryl Brooks: I’d want to be Kyra, the heroine of Rogue because not only did she get the chance to fool around with two Zetithians (Trag and Tychar) but she can play the piano!

Literary Escapism: I heard that The Cat Star Chronicles are ending after the 9th book. Do you have any new series or projects planned?

Cheryl Brooks: Not really. I’ve only just come up with the ideas for books 8 & 9. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. I have a lot of contemporary romances that I’d like to see published, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Literary Escapism: What are you going to miss after you finish the Cat Star Chronicles? Is there a particular hero/heroine that you’ll miss “talking” to?

Cheryl Brooks: I’ll miss my Zetithian heroes. I love them all to pieces!!!! I loved creating all the weird little aliens and I’ll miss some of them even more than the main characters.

Literary Escapism: What is your favorite scene from any of the Cat Star Chronicle books?

Cheryl Brooks: It’s a scene in Hero, but it’s a spoiler, so I can’t tell you about it!

Literary Escapism: When did you know that you wanted to be a writer? Were your family and friends supportive?

Cheryl Brooks: I’ve been writing off and on for the past thirty years, and my friends and family have always been very supportive—in fact, I wouldn’t be published at all if they hadn’t insisted that I keep submitting manuscripts.

Literary Escapism: Who inspired you the most to follow your dreams of being a writer?

Cheryl Brooks: I’ve always enjoyed the books of Mary Stewart and Georgette Heyer, but Star Trek and Star Wars are responsible for the sci-fi end of things.

Literary Escapism: What is the writing process like for you? Do you need anything to get you going in the morning before you can write (such as coffee)?

Cheryl Brooks: My choice of stimulants is tea. If I’m off from work, I eat breakfast and then drink my tea while I check email and blogs, and the day stretches out from there. I write books, blogs, and whatever needs doing, stopping for meals and trips to the potty and to feed the horses and clean the barn twice a day. I’m usually up until after my blog posts at midnight, and then I shower and climb into bed and read Harry Potter until I fall asleep.

Literary Escapism: In your free time what can you be found doing?

Cheryl Brooks: Free time? LOL! What in the world is that? No, actually, I do a bit of gardening, cooking, guitar playing—but not nearly as much as I used to—plus, I have three horses and a family to look after.

Literary Escapism: Is there anything you can tell us about Hero that you haven’t said already?

Cheryl Brooks: Have I mentioned that Trag is totally hot and a ton of fun? No? Well, I should have, because he is!

Literary Escapism: What are you currently working on? Anything you can share on your current Work in Progress?

Cheryl Brooks: I just sent off the manuscript for book 7, Virgin, which will be released in June 2011. It’s about Dax, a Zetithian man who has never met a non-Zetithian woman who interests him. He has always felt that his freedom was more important, until he meets Ava, a spunky half-breed Aquerei who holds the key to the salvation of her father’s homeworld. The attraction they feel for each other can’t be denied, but can they save the world and still hold on to one another?

The fall 2011 release hasn’t got a name yet—nor have I started writing it—but it’s about Tarq, a guy who sees himself as the Johnny Appleseed of the Zetithian race and roams the galaxy sowing his wild oats. He’s never been in love, but then he meets Lucy…

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About the Author
Cheryl Brooks is an Intensive Care Unit nurse by night and a romance writer by day. Previous books in The Cat Star Chronicles series include Slave, Warrior, Rogue, Outcast and Fugitive. She is a member of the RWA and lives with her husband and sons in Indiana. For more information, please visit http://cherylbrooksonline.com/.

Want to purchase Cheryl’s Cat Star Chronicles?

  1. Slave at Amazon or the Book Depository
  2. Warrior at Amazon or the Book Depository
  3. Rogue at Amazon or the Book Depository
  4. Outcast at Amazon or the Book Depository
  5. Fugitive at Amazon or the Book Depository
  6. Hero at Amazon or the Book Depository

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Thank you Cheryl for taking the time to visit Literary Escapism!

Contest Time! Cheryl has graciously offered to give away two copies of Hero to two lucky winners. All you have to do is: Simply ask Cheryl a question. Apologies to my international readers, this contest is only open to US/Canadian addresses.

As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):

  • +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
  • +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
  • +1 If you are a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter
  • +10 Purchase any of Cheryl’s novels (listed above) or any novel through LE’s Amazon store or the Book Depository sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: jackie AT literaryescapism DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries.

There is one thing I am adding to my contests now…the winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.

The contest will stay open until September 3rd, at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer.

I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.

About Jackie 3273 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.

16 Comments

  1. Good morning! I worked last night, so I’ll be sleeping for a while, but will check in this afternoon to respond to comments and answer questions.

  2. I just stopped by to support our Cat Master CHERYL. She’s the best. I’ve read this whole series. HERO is really fun. And what a Ending or maybe it’s a Beginning. You’ll all have to read it to find out. And I can say, there’s nothing like it in this whole world or elsewhere. Only problem I had while reading Hero is: I wanted to bite someone too. And my hubs didn’t appreciate it. And I couldn’t get him purring. LOL!!!

  3. Good Morning Cheryl! I’ve only had the chance to read SLAVE so far, but I LOVED IT! Which of your heroes and heroines was your favorite to write?

  4. Like Donna, I’m also here to support Cheryl. She’s such a warm and genuine person with a great sense of humor and I found those traits translated well into The Cat Star Chronicles. I’ve read the entire series…not EVEN in order, mind you, which I generally prefer to do but in this case it didn’t matter. While I read across most all genres my exposure to sci-fi has been limited and then along came Cheryl Brooks with her hot and humorous Zetithians and I got hooked. Cheryl can tell a good story and transport me outside of myself into fantasy-ville, which is exactly where I want to go in my world of reading. I’m looking forward to her next treat in July 2011 when VIRGIN will be published.

  5. MinnChica,
    My favorite hero to write is probably Trag in the current release. He had such a wide range of emotions and I never knew what he was going to say next! My favorite heroine would have to be Jack. She never ceases to amaze me, because, like Trag, she has a mind of her own!

    Throuthehaze,
    I’d thought about a spinoff with Lerotan Kanotay, one of the recurring characters in the series, but haven’t been asked for it, so I haven’t written it! I could probably come up with a new species, but I’m currently writing an erotic short story about clones that may turn into a novel if I’m not careful!

    Hello, Donna and Nancy! Thanks for dropping by. I appreciate your support an awful lot, and your contributions to my blog are priceless!

  6. Sandy G,
    My input on the cover of Hero was to tell them not to change it. It was purrfect just the way it was!

  7. Cheryl, if you could have any critter of the feline nature, big or small, what would it be?

    I’m follow on FB.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  8. Hi Meredith!
    I have six cats hanging in and around my house, five of which adopted me, rather than the other way around. Something tells me that if there was a Zetithian out there in the woods, he’d probably wind up on my porch looking to be fed!

  9. please don’t enter me in the contest! I’ve already read the book and it’s gorgeous!!!

    Cheryl, the interview was really interesting to read – thanks so much!
    wish you all the best, Melanie

  10. Great interview! I really enjoyed Under the Tuscan Sun as well – the scenary was gorgeous. So glad your husband encouraged you to write – I’m really enjoying the Cat Start Chronicles!

    Have you gotten to visit Tuscany?

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