Interview with Kimberly Cheryl, Author of Shattered Reality

Kimberly Cheryl is a master public speaker, successful sales person, business owner and author of three novels. In addition to writing her own books, she contributes articles to various magazines and news columns.

After a school career that included years of failed chemistry classes that began too early in the morning, she switched from a pre-med career to one of business administration. She graduated with an MBA and, later, a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice.

Born into a family of readers, Kimberly had never known a time that she wasn't reading or making up stories. Therefore, after a major life altering auto accident, the need for back surgery, a long recovery period, no respite in sight and a dwindling supply of chocolate, she decided to pull out a pencil and notebook and began to write about her experiences and share some of the knowledge she had gained throughout her career.

Kimberly lives happily in Missouri with her amazing husband, two spirited children and a "zoo" of animals including a Newfoundland, three cats and a rabbit. She enjoys traveling, swimming and reading.

We interviewed Kimberly to find out more about her new book, Shattered Reality, and her life as a published author.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Kimberly. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

As a National Sales Leader in the Pharmaceutical Industry with 18 years experience, author, entrepreneur, professional speaker & Nationally Certified R.A.D. (Rape/Aggression/Defense) trainer, I bring a unique depth of knowledge and sensitivity to my specialties of: Advocacy for Change in the Medical Industry, Personal Self-Defense / Anti-victimization Education, and Advocacy for Child Abuse / Victims of Molestation.

Through my books, interviews and speaking presentations, I have given readers & audiences powerful insights into the Pharmaceutical Industry. I have been featured in the British Medical Journal and have been a guest on numerous National Radio Programs, local NBC News and Good Morning America.

As a victim of crime myself, I am also dedicated to providing workplace, personal, and field staff safety training classes to senior executives, management, and employees of a vast array of private businesses and corporations, professional organizations and associations. As a R.A.D. trainer, I have also taught teachers, parents and children in school districts nationwide in personal protection and awareness. This is done by teaching simple mental and physical techniques and strategies individuals can use to avoid victimization in their daily lives. My company’s (Executive Defense Technology) safety programs have yielded positive, immediate and long lasting outcomes.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

This is my story, a mother's story, about the abuse of my daughter and my struggles to over come. I thought I could trust my family members. I thought I knew and could trust the legal system. I was wrong. As a parent, I couldn't find help for ME...what to expect on this journey with my daughter and her recovery. I didn't know how much pain I would suffer as well. This is my story and my struggle toward recovery. Some how, some way, I hope it gives you hope for other parent’s journeys as well.

What kind of research was involved in writing Shattered Reality?

There wasn’t much research involved in writing the story – it is mainly our story of struggling with an issue that we thought would be dealt with inside of the legal system rather than being “swept away”. We were basically told by the Prosecuting Attorney’s office to go home and pretend it didn’t happen. I couldn’t do that. I not only needed closure for myself & justice for my daughter but also wanted to help other parents – there just aren’t many resources available for secondary victims. A majority of the research I have done is in the back portion of the book labeled resources and is also available on my web site: www.shatteredreality.org

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

I designed the cover myself.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

Since I am more of a business / sales person with a marketing & science background, writing has been a true learning process for me. So, I guess it has been a bumpy road. I am very direct in my thinking and it has been hard to develop characters (although I love to read my favorite authors) and to “show rather than tell” when I write.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

Approximately one year.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

No I do not have an agent. I’m sure one would probably be wonderful for better distribution and less time doing all of the marketing myself. It is a full time job and a lot of work.

Do you plan subsequent books?

Not right now. I am very busy traveling and speaking on the topic as well as that of the medical industry. I also have two very active children and 3 loveable nieces that I can’t seem to keep up with.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

I’m definitely a night...Anything! I do not function at all in the morning. I think my best hours are from noon until 3 am. I’m sure that is why I did so well in my MBA classes – they were at 7 PM rather than 7AM like my Chemistry labs were!

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book if money were no object?

Wow, where is that money tree and how do I get a hold of one? Well, anyway, I think I would invest in one of the distributor organizations to help get my book in the libraries, the retail book stores (rather than just through online sales) and the smaller Indy book stores. Distribution and word of mouth are key and I can only do so much on my own through emails, online notifications, direct mailings, book give aways, etc.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Self Promotion is very important. I do leave stacks of post cards at the local Borders and Barnes and Noble stores and they pass them out to customers (they are willing to help a local author). I have sold and signed books at the local independent book stores. I have done radio / TV and newspaper promotions with our story.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

If you feel you have a great story and you want to get it published and make it available, don’t be shy. If you can’t find the right publisher, take advantage of self publishing. My second book, Escape from the Pharma Drug Cartel, was published by Outskirts Press and I have now won two National Awards. Best to you all if writing is your dream. I have found it to be hard work, difficult to take criticism but open to positive help and a very fun and exciting journey despite the huge amount of time involved.

Thank you so very much for this opportunity to share a little bit about myself.

Thank you for coming, Kimberly! Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

You can buy a signed copy directly at: www.myshatteredreality.com or through Amazon.com. You can also find me at www.KimberlyCheryl.net.
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