Welcome back. We are once again sitting in The Last Cafe at the End of the Internet, having a cup of coffee, and getting ready to bring you another great interview with an amazing author. This week we are spending a few astonishing moments with author Cheryl Mackey.
Cheryl lives in Southern California with her husband and 2 sons. Her books The Unknown Sun and The Immortals parts 1 and 2 are both young adult fantasy and available at Amazon. She currently has a flash fiction story published online at The Prompt Magazine. She has a MFA in Creative Writing and enjoys games, reading and, of course, writing. Her favorite genres to write and read are Fantasy closely followed by Space Opera and Dystopian.
Cheryl Mackey (CM): Tea drinker here! Mostly iced tea. I prefer plain, boring black tea but I’ve tried various flavors.
AB: What drew you to write fantasy novels over other genres?
CM: I was drawn to fantasy because it is 100% imagination. As a child I could escape into a world of my own making or one made by great fantasy authors. Anything is possible and I revel in the unique, odd, or magical. Without fantasy our world would be a whole lot more boring.
AB: You’ve been very busy with publishing three novels. What’s up next for you?
CM: Currently I am about a ¼ of the way through the third book in The Immortals series. I hope to have it out sometime this fall. I’m really excited about this book because it’s the book that answers the questions asked in the previous two. A fourth book will follow to bring the ultimate conclusion.
CM: I was influenced by a range of authors and genres as a child/teen. Isaac Asimov, JRR Tolkien, LM Montgomery, Madeleine L’Engle, Judy Blume, and more. Asimove and Tolkien taught me that the world is limitless in your imagination and Montgomery, L’Engle, and Blume taught me that girls can do and be anything too.
AB: What was that first thing you wrote that you were either most proud of or vividly remember as being that one piece that will always stay with you as a young writer?
CM: In my 20’s, when I was too cowed by my family to ever believe I could follow my dreams, I wrote a modern version of the Beauty and the Beast fable. It sucked. It really was bad, but I had zero knowledge of how to even be an author then. When I went back to college for my MFA in Creative Writing in my 30’s I dragged that terrible manuscript with me and made it the focus. I used what I learned to make it better. I am still proud of it and it will always be special to me, but I’m not sure it will ever be published either. It’s…too personal, a gauge of my life as a writer, a stepping stone to my current success.
AB: You brought along a photo. Tell us about it.
CM: Family vacation in Las Vegas approx 1983. I’m the pig-tailed girl in the middle behind the toys. We were set loose in Circus Circus while our parents gambled (several cousins and my brother and I) and essentially cleaned out the place. That’s maybe a fifth of our haul. One of our many crazy family vacations we went on up until I was 18 or so.
AB: What are you reading right now?
CM: I am a weird reader. I have 2 quirks that always freak people out. I reread favorites religiously and I don’t have a to be read pile. I read what I buy, one thing at a time, and I’ve just finished a great fantasy series by Landon Porter called Rune Breaker. I really really suggest fans of classic adventure type fantasy read the series.
AB: I’m going to take a quick break to get more coffee. Go ahead and Interview yourself till I get back…
CM: Cheryl, Why did you waste your 20’s worrying that your family wouldn’t approve of you being a writer?
CM: Good question Cheryl…Because I was not convinced I could ever be one. I gained confidence in my 30’s and became an author. And I was right. They don’t approve… but I don’t care.
AB: Ok, I’m back. It was a short line. Now some fun questions: Star Wars, Star Trek or Doctor Who?
CM: That’s not fair! I’m a big geeky fan of all 3! Literally. I fangirl.
AB: Who Shot First (Han or Greedo)?
CM: Come on! Everyone knows Han shot first!
AB: That will do it. Thank you again for joining us Cheryl in The Last Cafe at the End of the Internet and good luck on your next projects.
I hope our readers will check out Cheryl’s works. Her books The Unknown Sun and The Immortals parts 1 and 2 are available at Amazon (Click on the Links). You can follow Cheryl Mackey on Twitter: @Writezalot, Facebook: Writezalot, Instagram: csmackey_author and on her webpage: www.writezalot.com