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Monday, March 5, 2012

Getting to Know a First-time Author, Cheryl Winje, Learn about Her Experience with Her New Book.

Tell us about yourself. Reader’s like to know that authors are real people.

My name is Cheryl.I have a B.S. BIology and was a ski patroller in Vermont before became a paramedic in August 2001. The first day for my first job as a paramedic was 9-11-2001. I am originally from Manlius, N.Y. (outside of Syracuse) and currently reside in Saint Louis, MO with my husband and 3 yr old son, Logan. I started working for the Saint Louis Fire Dept as a paramedic in 2002 where I met my husband who is a firefighter-paramedic. Currently I stay home with our son and new puppy. I enjoy outdoor activities, adventure , family time , baking, entertaining and writing when I can.  

Tell us about the genre of your work.

This is my first book. I have always enjoyed writing poems. This book of poetry is geared towards children.

Why did you choose this genre?

I chose this genre because it somehow feels natural to me. I've tried writing novels, however poetry is what I feel best suits ... me.

What are some of your books, stories that have been published?

My first and only published book (so far) is titled, Shorts...Tailored For Kids.

I also just started a short story.

What ages do you direct your books?

I would gear my books for ages 3 and up.

Can you tell more about your book?

My published book, LinkedIn, is as an interactive book of 18 poems, each followed by an illustration and a how would you draw it page. The last page allows children to tap into their own creativity and draw what they feel. Some have also told me that this attribute can make this book an excellent art keepsake.

 Shorts...Tailored For Kids ISBN: 978-1-4535-8441-5. The book can be found at;; in hardcopy, paperback and e-book.

Does your book have a teaching objective? If so, what is it?

The How Would You Draw It page encourages children to tap into their own creativity. Poems are engaging and brief so children do want to read/ listen and are not be bored.

How do you come up with the names of places and characters in your book?

My son is my inspiration.

How did you develop the character/s in your book?

 Any idea that popped into my head I tried to incorporate.

What is your favorite thing about your book?

Easy to read, engaging and it is meant to be drawn on.

Is your book illustrated? If so, would you tell us by whom, and if you worked with an illustrator, can you discuss that experience?

 My book is illustrated by my wonderful husband, Shawn.

How is writing in the genre you write, different than other genre?

I am new to this arena. I find this genre easier for me. Flows better for me. Again, feels natural. I cannot speak on any other genres since I have not completed anything else longer than poems or short stories.

Are there any problems in getting children’s’ books published?

I am self-published through Xlibris. I personally found the publishing process to be easy, non-stressful. I am searching for a publishing company that specializes in children's books and promotions.

Why and when did you begin writing?

I began when I was probably around 10 yrs old. I've always enjoyed writing poetry. I've enjoyed composing my thoughts, feelings, dreams,ect... through poems. I have always wanted to write and publish a children's book. A couple of years ago I was at a crossroads and decided that if I really wanted to write and publish a book, then I must first sit down and write. My thought was that my book is not going to write itself. So I must write my book.

What is your writing schedule?

I do not have a one. A 3-year-old and a puppy keep me busy. I write whenever the mood strikes and when I get an idea that pops into my head. Sometimes that is at 3AM!

What projects are you working on now, or plan for the future?

I started a short story again probably geared for 3-years-old and up. I would love to find a publisher that specializes in the children's book/ promotions arena.

What kind of advice or tips do you have for someone who wants to write and get published?

My advice is first of all.. if you want to write. Write. If this is your dream then sit down and do it. Even though I am trying to find a publishing company to write for and be published through, I had an excellent experience with Xlibris, a self-publishing company.

Are there any other comments, advice or tips that you would give to beginning writers?

I do not have much advice. I only do what feels natural to me and brings me joy. Especially since I am new to the writing -publishing- promoting world I look for advice from more experienced authors.

What do you do when you are not writing?

Family time. Our families do not live in Saint Louis where we reside. So we are the travelling family. Driving to visit friends and family in diffent areas of the country, visiting my husband's family's farm. Logan loves watching tractors, bobcats and anything that is a truck. There is also everyday life which everyone lives- chasing after kids, house chores,and for us, taking advantage of all of the wonderful kid friendy sites in Saint Louis.

What "Made It" moments have you experienced in life?

I don't really feel as if I've "made It". I feel that I am on a constant, ever-changing, ever-growing journey. I feel as if I have accomplished a lot and have been blessed with the adventures I have had and continue to have in my life.   

I am trying to become more computer savvy. The website for Xlibris is: where my book is published.

Note from Sylvia:  You can visit my other blog at: features a preview to my new book that will be released in 2012, Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts.


indpndntkc said...

This is a wonderful book to introduce young children to poetry, beyond nursery rhymes. I love that there is space- in the book- for my son to draw his thoughts about what he just heard!

MarcoSuzi said...

What a great interview! I've purchased several of this book of poems, as well have my friends after they have seen the book, and are excited about it. The grandchildren/nieces/nephews LOVE it. Waiting for more from this talented author. Educational/fun and entertaining!