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Author Interview: Cheri Vause

After twenty years of teaching theology, Cheri decided writing mysteries was a natural progression for her. She lives with her husband and two dogs, Scully and Mulder, on a small ranch in Texas.

  • : I've always been a writer, but I usually wrote things like news articles, theological pieces, and some poetry. Writing was in my blood because of my love for telling a great story. Stories are important to a culture. They teach us the subtleties of character, empathy, and our shared history. The most important thing we can learn from stories, is that we aren't alone in our trials and tribulations, and we do matter.
  • : It was an unusual paragraph in the Talmud that motivated me to write my first story. The Garden of Souls was born from that short paragraph, and I learned that I could tell a story that not only taught the reader something exciting, but it had an idea behind it, and it was fun to read.
  • : The Touch of a Shadow is the second book in my Shadow series about two private investigators living during the sixties. Much of what I have them investigate and experience is similar to some of the things which happened during the sixties, only I twist it, and make it out-sized. I prefer psychological terror and that's why my titles have the word Shadow in them. Too often people see the shadow, but are unable to see what's causing it, because it's back lit. I like that because it means reality isn't always what we believe it to be.
  • : I began writing when I was a young girl, but the first thing I wrote of any consequence was in college when we read our poetry to the public. Poetry was my entry into the writing world, and I still love it. There are times when only a poem can break me free from writer's block.
  • : I grew up in Southern California, and was a true LA kid. It wasn't until I moved to Texas then to Europe that I discovered there was something other than going to the beach and listening to Rock n' Roll as a way of life. Although, I did love the theater and classical music. I found Dostoevsky's books and that changed my life. When I became a Christian I found meaning. Now, I look for that extra dimension to everything, and I put that in my stories.
  • : I write from about six am to about three to five pm every day, except Sunday. Sometimes I take Saturday off.
  • : I'm writing a Gothic thriller about a man who wakes up one morning and discovers he can see into the spiritual world. It drives him to the other side of England, to the haunted shores of Cornwall where he must battle against ghostly forces to finally learn who he is.
  • : I like photography and reading. My next favorite past-time is watching great old movies. I find many of my ideas are fed by all my past-time activities.
  • : I have an idea and let it percolate, and find a hero who can be a part of it. Usually, I know how it begins and ends. I see it in my head. I love to make women the villain, very noirish, although I had men as my villains in my last novel. The third one in my series I have three villains and two are women. I find women killers are more frightening because they get right down to the business of killing. I try to visualize each character and how their personality will affect the story. I allow them to grow as I write. Sometimes I have to dream a resolution to a problem within my story, and I get right down to writing it from Chapter One til' the end.
  • : The Brothers Karamazov is my favorite, and next to that is Rebecca. They both hold very interesting ideas behind them. In Dostoevsky's book you find faith, familial disputes, and an unwillingness to face your culpability in the problems surrounding your life. These are all out-sized characters. However, Daphne du Maurier writes about a woman who is so effaced, you never find out her name, because she's overwhelmed by the dead former wife of her husband. I love that contrast between the two books.
  • : I've done many kinds of jobs from being the company manager of a deaf theatrical group to planning weddings to making lighting fixtures. My favorite job was and is teaching theology and writing. I hate planning weddings. It's the unashamed bitchiness that drove me from that job.
  • : I own a Kindle, but I hate it. I prefer holding a book in my hand. I realize some people love their e-readers but I have enough trouble sleeping. I don't need to court a device that will interfere in something I love, that also helps me solve problems in my stories. Sorry.
  • : My publisher tells that department what the book is about and they present me with several designs, then I tell them which one I think best represents what I wrote about. This designer is so intune with my work that he only did one cover for The Touch of a Shadow. It is absolutely perfect.
  • : I tried cards, posters, an outline, and I found that some notes on the time period or history of something has proved better for my process. I write and discover as I go along, and that has helped me more than being detailed. I like to discover what my characters are going to do as I write. They guide me, but sometimes I have to reel them in if I find they do something that is completely out of character, or I'm forced to reveal a deep reason why they behaved that way.
  • : Sharing a story that has a deeper meaning than just a superficial story is my joy. I love to make people think, to examine their thought processes. That's what writing is all about for me.
  • : I have a blog on WordPress: and an author page on Amazon: In my blog I explore writing from all angles. My favorite is Wednesdays With Writers. It's just a quote and picture of an author.
  • : The third book in my series will be out later this year and is a cliff-hanger. Don't despair, the fourth will be out next year, and I hope to write maybe another Gothic, a science fiction (not fantasy, but real science), and two adult fairy tales.
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