Saturday, December 05, 2015

The Writing Life with Cheryl C. Malandrinos, author of 'A Christmas Kindness'

Cheryl C. Malandrinos has been a writer since the age of fourteen. She just didn’t do anything about it until after all of her kids were born. She is the author of the Christmas picture books Little Shepherd and A Christmas Kindness. She is also an editor, ghostwriter, blogger, and book reviewer. Cheryl lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband, two daughters, and three rescue cats. She also has a son who is married. She’s here today to chat about Little Shepherd, right on time for the holiday season. Let’s give her a warm welcome!

What’s inside the mind of a children’s author?

Oh, lots of things: a plethora of ideas, numerous characters, holidays, teachable moments, a wide array of emotions, and a desire to touch the heart of young people.

What is so great about being an author?

Knowing I can create a story that someone I might not know or have a chance of meeting enjoys.

When do you hate it?

It’s tough dealing with rejection, but it’s part of the game.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

There isn’t one. I write in between my full-time duties of real estate agent, wife, mom, sister, and friend. I usually spend the Mondays before my writer’s group meets trying to come up with something good.

Do you think authors have big egos? Do you?

They can. They are just as human as everyone else. I don’t think I do. My skills are a gift from God, and therefore, I can’t take the credit.

How do you handle negative reviews?

I haven’t received many, but they are tough. You cry for a few seconds and then you move on.

How do you handle positive reviews?

I thank the reader and share them all over the place.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

They usually ask what I write and what the names of my books are. I’ve actually sold a few books that way simply because I’ve connected with the parent of a child who likes the messages they impart.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

My writing time is so limited it’s rare I don’t feel like doing it. Forcing it doesn’t work for me. I get up and do something else for a while and then sit back down and try again.

Any writing quirks?

I tend to research way too much. It’s easy because I love it.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

That’s not a concern of mine. I take it seriously and that is all that matters.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate? 

No. I love it all. I’m even one of those crazy writers who really enjoys editing. I actually think I am a better editor than a writer.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

Each of us defines our own success. For some it might be money, but for others it might just be getting those words down on paper. My success increases with each child’s heart I touch.

What has writing taught you?

Patience…but I am still learning.

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect. – Ronald Reagan


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Title: A Christmas Kindness
Genre: First chapter reader
Author: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Publisher: 4RV Publishing

About the Book:

Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who has only one request for Santa, Robert is confused over what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?

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