THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR CHERYL KAYE TARDIF

Mystery, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, horror & YA by "Cheryl Kaye Tardif" & romance by "Cherish D'Angelo". Cheryl is represented by Trident Media Group in NY.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Visit Magic of the Muses, where author Cheryl Kaye Tardif talks about her pseudonym Cherish D'Angelo

Today, I was a guest over at Magic of the Muses, where I talk about pseudonyms and why some authors choose to use them--including me--and how my pen name "Cherish D'Angelo" came to be. When I checked the post today, I was greeted with a wonderful introduction from my friend and fellow author Eileen Schuh:

Thank you to Cheryl for not only offering us the following glimpse of her flirty, romantic, magical side, but also for sharing some of the darker moments in her life--tragedies that have made her the angel that she is. - Eileen Schuh, Canadian writer http://www.eileenschuh.com

The birth of Cherish D'Angelo, pseudonym of author Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Throughout literary history, pseudonyms or pen names have been used by authors for various reasons. For authors like Nora Roberts, having a pseudonym allows them to explore new territory, maybe a new genre or a series. My idol Stephen King wrote books under the pen name of Richard Bachman because he didn’t want the market saturated with “Stephen King” books. It was also part experiment; he wanted to test whether luck or talent played a part in publishing.

For me, the choice of writing as “Cherish D’Angelo” made sense...

Read more about Cheryl's pseudonym and discover why she picked the name Cherish D'Angelo.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bestselling author Gail Bowen critiqued my novel Divine Justice - aka Sometimes it's best to leap before you look!

Everyone has heard the old adage, "Look before you leap." Well, sometimes it's best to just leap right in before you look. Looking often stops us dead in our tracks and prevents us from moving forward. Anyone who knows me would probably say I boldly push my way through most barriers. Why? Because I have my eye on the prize, and I can be very persistent, I've been told--perhaps akin to a puppy who wants a treat. :-)

Weeks ago, one of my writer friends posted a notice to our writing group--I think it was Crime Writers of Canada. The post revealed that bestselling author Gail Bowen had accepted the role of Writer-In-Residence at the Toronto Public Library and was accepting samples of manuscripts and would give in-person critiques.

Bestselling author Gail BowenNow Gail and I go waaaaaay back. Well, not me and her personally, but me and her books and movies. I've been a fan of the Joanne Kilbourn murder mysteries since forever. The movies, starring Wendy Crewson, were one of my first experiences at watching something originally created by an author I had read--other than all the Stephen King movies. When the powers that be stopped filming the Joanne Kilbourn movies, I was heartbroken. (Rumour has it that they may be filming 4 more in the future. YAY!)

I followed the link in the email to the Toronto Library website and very quickly scanned the page for the mailing address. Then I immediately printed off the first 3 chapters of Divine Justice, a novel that is in final edits before it goes to my agent. Sealing the envelope, I walked to the post office, told the gal there that my sample was going to be critiqued by the awe-inspiring Gail Bowen, kissed the envelope (ok, I do that sometimes) and sent it on its merry way.

Shortly after, I received an email from Peggy Perdue, Librarian and Curator of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection. When she discovered I wouldn't be able to go to Toronto and that I had assumed (yes, I know...) that Gail would have lots of submissions from out-of-town writers and that she'd maybe email a critique, Peggy mentioned I didn't really qualify. To which I replied, "I do understand why you'd keep this local. But...darn. Perhaps you could slip my manuscript under her door...hehe I'd love to chat with Gail."

Resolved to my fate and believing my manuscript would be shredded as I requested, I crawled back into my den and licked my wounds. No Gail...waaaaa! It's not fair! Why didn't I move to Toronto? Then I put this out of my mind and focused on my next project.

A month passed and I received my sample in the mail. The first thing I saw was a lovely note Gail Bowen had written on the first page. She said Divine Justice was "wonderful--strong, original & compelling!" This made my month! Having a writing peer, especially one I admire so much, tell me my work is wonderful is a piece of heaven, and something I'll never forget. Throughout my manuscript she'd added notes, tips, suggestions--everything I then added to my manuscript on my computer.

We need writers like Gail, ones who are willing to relocate temporarily and sacrifice their time to help other writers. The Writer-In-Residence program is so vital to our literary culture and to writers. Having this opportunity helps me believe a little more that I'm in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. Having a positive critique experience is not always a common thing, but it's evident that Gail really took the time to get to know my characters, the hint of plot, my humour and what I thought was one of my best lines. I learned so much through this critique.

Thank you, Gail, for giving your time and expertise as a WIR, and for taking on an additional out-of-town project. I so appreciate it. And yes, Gail, one day we'll celebrate our successes over a glass--or bottle--of wine. :-)

The moral of this tale: Sometimes it's best to leap before you look!

If I'd spent time really looking over the website, I probably would have figured out it really pertained to Toronto writers. Or I would have talked myself out of doing it for any number of reasons. If I'd emailed and asked about the critique program, I would have found out I didn't really qualify--and never mailed my sample.

Fate? Destiny? Law of attraction? Darn right!

For more info on Toronto Public Library's Writer-In-Residence program, please go HERE.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Short or long book titles?

1 word, 2 words, 3 words, 4...with book titles is less more?

A while ago I read a post by an author/publisher who wrote about book titles--should they be long or short? It made me contemplate how I named my novels, how sometimes I chose the titles before or during the writing or how the titles sometimes chose me.

The title of this publisher/author's post was Would You Pay Attention, Please? Or, How to Keep Up with Trends in Book Titles, Arguably the Most Important Element of Your Marketing! (which personally I think is ridiculously long!)

I have always believed that titles are key to a novel's success. I have searched out books in my genre and studied their titles, text placement, front cover, back cover etc and asked myself, 'Why does this book's title work?' For my own novels, my titles are always tied to the story, often in a symbolic way and sometimes in more than one way. Children of the Fog is literally children taken by a kidnapper nicknamed The Fog, and it represents the children in the story who are cloaked by an actual fog.

I might be an unusual author; I almost always have the title of the book before I've even started it, or at least before it's finished. I sometimes look within the manuscript for the title, as I did with The River--short, mysterious, adventurous, just like the novel. Some titles are just "there", in front of me before I even start writing, like Whale Song and Children of the Fog. Divine Intervention had no title a few chapters in, and then one night I saw a promo for a new TV show--Joan of Arcadia. As the preview ran, the words DIVINE INTERVENTION ironically appeared. I knew at that very moment, and the title affected some of the actual story and gave me my 'Divine' series. (I'm almost finished editing Divine Justice, book 2.)

I am also working on a suspense thriller called SUBMERGED. It's the story of a man who is submerged in grief and self-blame; and it's about a woman and her 2 children who are trapped in a submerged car--a fear that most of us have. I had the title the second I knew that the story would be about someone in a submerged vehicle. I also knew that the title was a play on words, that it would symbolize the main character's overwhelming guilt.

I have another novel plotted: The 6th Plague, a thriller about a small quarantined town gripped by a deadly plague during a film festival. I actually played with a few titles, until I realized what the invasion was going to be--and when I looked up the Deadly Plagues, I found that the 6th one--boils--was perfect. The idea for the story and the title came to me within 5 days.

As for subtitles, I have an aversion to long ones, unless they're absolutely necessary and ONLY for nonfiction. If the main title gives you enough information, then I wouldn't want a subtitle. But if you can't understand what the book is about from the main, then a subtitle is vital. Take for instance this nonfiction title: Kissed by an Angel. Does it tell you what the book is about? No. I am working on a nonfiction book titled: Kissed by an Angel: 12 Steps to Surviving the Death of a Child. This is not just a 12-step program, but a look into the paranormal/spiritual and healing side of grief.

As a reader, I tend to be drawn mostly to suspense fiction with titles that are most often two words. Years ago I read an article by someone who had researched some of the best known book titles. Guess what he discovered? These bestselling books had titles of 1-4 words! Rarely any more than that.

If you're a bookworm, please comment on your preference for titles. If you're an author, which do you prefer--short, long or somewhere in between? I look forward to reading your replies.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of Whale Song

Listen to Cheryl Kaye Tardif's interview on CHIP 101.7 FM

On Tuesday, I was interviewed by CHIP 101.7 FM radio host Chad Bertrand, and we discussed some of my recent news and events. I had a blast!

You can listen to the interview by going to http://www.chipfm.com/ and scrolling about 2/3 down. You'll see my pic. :-)

Or you can directly to the interview at:
http://chipfm.com/web/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.844

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sunday Salon: Whale Song


Here's a new review of Whale Song, the 2007 novel that is now out of print and in negotiations for a major motion picture and a 3rd print edition (movie edition).

‘Whale Song’ imparts love, lessons, hope and forgiveness

Saturday, July 04, 2009

ESC Trillium student says The River "is in my opinion unbeatable and one of my favorites"

A grade 12 class at ESC Trillium High School in Ontario, Canada, studied my thriller The River this year. I was fortunate to be in touch with the students and to answer their questions via a video conference. I know I had a blast and I hope they did too.

Their teacher Pam Morin and I decided to hold a contest. The students would write a book report and Mme Morin and I would judge them. It was a tough competition; all the book reports showed a lot of thought and some varying reactions.

However, the following report stood out for me because I felt Kasandra really "got" what I was after and she noticed the little things, such as the quotes I spent hours looking for so they'd be the perfect ones.

Here is a condensed version of Kasandra's winning book report/review:

"I just finished reading The River by Cheryl Kaye Tardif, for my grade twelve pre-university reading assignment this year. And I must say that I truly enjoyed reading this novel. It was full of suspense, action, love, adventure, science and mystery. Let’s just say I was very impressed by this memorable novel...Ever since I studied The River, I discovered my interest in reading more of Cheryl Kaye Tardif’s books. The next novel on my list would definitely be Whale Song.

I loved the fact that we were reading a Canadian author’s novel, and that the story took place in Canada. I felt as if I could make a connection with this novel compared to other novels that I had to read in the past years. It was also great knowing that I could communicate with the author by e-mail if ever I had any questions about the novel or such.

The River was a great thrilling adventure that had me wanting to read more. It also had a little love story that fit in to the novel perfectly. I could also visualize everything that I was reading even with all the mystery and action going on. With that being said I think this novel would make an awesome movie...I must say that this novel was indeed the first novel that I didn’t want to put down, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t normally enjoy reading for a pastime. I also liked how this novel wasn’t too long to read.

I loved everything about this novel even the littlest things, such as the quotes at each part of the novel. For example, my favorite quote was: "When you arrive at your future, will you blame your past?” -Robert Half. This quote really makes me think. I also think that it was a great opportunity for my classmates as well as myself and my teacher to be able to read this novel, because of the interaction in-between Cheryl Kaye Tardif and my teacher. That was for sure a bonus. So far this novel is in my opinion unbeatable and one of my favorites yet. And I’ll always remember that “Life’s a journey!”

Congratulations, Kasandra, on winning a triple pack of signed novels: The River, Divine Intervention and a signed collector's copy of Whale Song. I really hope you enjoy all of my novels. :-) CKT

*Purchase The River from Amazon (paperback & Kindle), Chapters, Barnes and Noble and many more online retailers. In Edmonton, please check your favorite bookstore.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Authors: If you're looking for an Edmonton company to print your books, check out Scan Copy Print!

If you're a self-published author who is searching for an Edmonton printing company to print and bind your books, I highly recommend Scan Copy Print, located at 5529 Gateway Blvd, Edmonton, AB.

For two of my novels--The River and Divine Intervention--I've had this local company print and bind my books for a fraction of the cost the publisher charges. This allows the publisher to focus on online sales and long distance orders, while I can sell my locally printed books in my area at book signings. Not many subsidy publishers allow you to do this, but I'm fortunate to have a publisher who doesn't mind.

Below is my testimonial/recommendation for Scan Copy Print:

As a Canadian author, I have used the services of Scan Copy Print for a few years now, and I find the quality and service to be excellent. Whether I've ordered print runs of my novels with color covers, bookmarks, business cards or signs, Ashraf, Crystal and everyone else at Scan Copy Print always provide me with very fast service, quality graphics and design, and superb customer service. They have often gone above and beyond to ensure I have the best products. Scan Copy Print is more than a print shop; they take great pride in every product they produce, and I would and do recommend them to everyone. --Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author
I've tried a couple of other Edmonton printers, but to date this one has been my favorite, and the most reliable and helpful. Check them out! :-)

Scan Copy Print
5529 Gateway Blvd,
Edmonton, AB

Phone: 780-434-0744
scancopy@ocii.com

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

ESC Trillium student says "The River starts off with a big bang!"

Michelle, a student at ESC Trillium has this to say about The River:

"I wasn’t much of a reader until this year...To me, reading a book has to be interesting throughout the whole story line. The River starts off with a big bang! Which is very interesting because it gets you into the story right away. The action starts right at the beginning...In this novel, The River, I never got bored of it. It was the kind of book that I could not put down. I kept wanting to read it because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Some parts were very shocking to me. Which grasped my attention and made me want to continue on turning the pages...I would recommend The River to not only students of high school but also to older people because I believe the novel is well written, has great vocabulary, easy to follow and has a good sence of maturity for those age groups. It makes you want to read it all over again. All in all, the novel was amazing and I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to start reading Cheryl Kaye Tardif’s other novels..."

Thank you, Michelle. I am so glad you liked The River! CKT

*Purchase The River from Amazon (paperback & Kindle), Chapters, Barnes and Noble and many more online retailers. In Edmonton, please check your favorite bookstore.