Interview with Cheryl Rogers

Why did you decide to become a writer?
I was a voracious reader as a child. Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy mysteries were my favorites, along with just about any other mystery I could lay my hands on. I loved them so much I decided to become a writer. To be practical, I decided to become a reporter and earned a bachelor of arts in journalism. After working in the newspaper industry for 12 years, I left the business to raise a family.

Now I work as a freelancer and self published author, writing both fiction and nonfiction for all groups.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing as a child. I remember writing in a composition book when I was 11. In high school, I kept a small notepad with story ideas.

I began preparing for my writing career by working for the school newspaper and contributing poems to the school's literary magazine.

My newspaper career helped hone my writing skills and gave me great experience working on deadline. Today I do freelance writing, editing, and desktop design, in addition to offering self publishing assistance to fellow authors.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Through writing I express my inner creativity. I love to create things. But I also enjoy being able to share what I've learned with others -- especially when it comes to my faith.

It is my hope -- and prayer -- that others draw closer to God as a result of my books -- that they are spared the emptiness and pain of not knowing God.

Because I came to know the Lord as an adult, through a severe immune disorder, I know what it's like to go to church and not know God. I know how clueless we can feel trying to deal with problems without the wisdom of God.
What is your writing process?
I prefer to write when I am inspired. Usually an idea comes to me and I'll make some notes or an outline that I flesh out when I have time.

From there, it takes refining and editing until the book is the best I can make it.
How do you approach cover design?
I used to take photographs on the job as a newspaper reporter. And later in life, I ran a desktop publishing company designing and typesetting for print shops. So I make my own covers using a photo background and embellishing it with type. Sometimes I use my own photographs; other times I find an image that suits my purposes.

I do believe it's important to have an image that tells the story.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Being a former newspaper reporter, I was initially interested in traditional publishing. But I soon realized the traditional publishing process was lengthy and, in many ways, a hit-and-miss operation. Not only did I have to have a good book, but I had to have a good book that suited the publisher's needs. And I had to have it when they were looking for it. I also had to convince them the book would sell, and beat out the other books vying to be published. I didn't want to wait for everything to fall in place. So I decided to publish my books myself.

I realized that my experience as a reporter, copyeditor, desktop publisher and webmaster had prepared me to publish. What I really wasn't prepared for was book marketing. I believe, however, that all authors need to market in this evolving digital age.
What sort of books do you write?
I write fiction and nonfiction, but I love to write for preteens and teens to encourage them to seek God. I write stories that teach biblical principles, specifically the biblical path to salvation and the power of prayer. My Bible Camp Mystery series combines the adventure of the Central Florida backwoods with important lessons of faith. My Jonah books, including the short story collection Just Like Jonah Wail Tales, tell exaggerated stories (fish stories if you will) about youths who mess up like Jonah and land in a whale of trouble. In the end, they turn to God like Jonah did, and receive his mercy.

On the nonfiction side, I share lessons I wished I would have known earlier in my devotions book, Fast Track to Victory, A Christian Guidebook. This nondenominational book features 40 devotions with prayers to encourage new and young Christian to spend time daily with God.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords made me realize my books didn't need to make their home on my computer. They could have a life. Through Smashwords, I've realized my dream of global distribution to other e-retailers.
What are you working on next?
I have two ebooks planned featuring Zack, who disappears in my first Bible Camp Mystery, Lost in the Woods. One is a short story about his harrowing adventure at the Cape Kennedy Space Center, where he and his pals Jeff and Chang are junior astronauts. Zack and his friends show the power of prayer as they stand in the gap for terrorists who want to abort the space mission.

I'll also be publishing as an ebook Where's Zack, A Reading Quest, this summer's reading quest to discover where Zack disappears on his family's vacation. Zack travels by car to New Orleans, where they board a train enroute to Beaumont to see relatives and canoe. Along the way they visit Rainbow Springs. a Florida cave, a Panhandle beach, and the Louisiana swamps. Youngsters learn about very real vacation spots, then read about Zack and his family as they visit them. They can guess where he disappears this time!

I also have plans for a third Bible Camp Mystery featuring Chet Harrigan and The Boy's Den, his fellowship for 10- to 16-year-old boys attending a Central Florida community church. This time the boys will actually get on the river, but of course things will NOT go as planned.

I'm having a lot of fun writing these fiction stories, but I also have several ideas for nonfiction books I plan to work on as time allows.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, Alone in the Woods, is more factual than I care to admit. It incorporates not only my experience in the Florida backwoods, but my miraculous healing from a severe immune disorder, Environmental Illness. Sandy's healing in this book is not some wildly fictitious story I dreamt up -- I lived it. I know what it's like to have a God-size problem like Sandy, and to call upon the name of the Lord and be saved.
Published 2013-08-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Growing Faith: Stories with a Message for Today's Youth
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 12,430. Language: English. Published: February 17, 2014. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author
A unique short story collection, "Growing Faith: Stories with a Message for Today's Youth" packs a powerful message for readers nine and up about the importance of seeking God and living for him. This collection edited by Cheryl Rogers, publisher of New Christian Books Online Magazine, contains stories by four authors.
Jump-Start Bible Study
By
Price: Free! Words: 2,630. Language: English (Welsh dialect). Published: October 20, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Inspiration » Spiritual inspiration
Jump-Start Bible Study is a free, 7-day reading plan intended to encourage you to surrender your life more fully to God.
The Gift: A Salvation Skit for Christmas
By
Price: Free! Words: 1,950. Language: English. Published: October 7, 2013. Category: Plays » Religious & Liturgical
This free skit illustrates that salvation is a gift from God. It can be performed by churches, youth groups, Bible clubs and schools.
Where's Zack? A Reading Quest
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,790. Language: American English. Published: August 24, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Religion
When 13-year-old Zack visits the Florida backwoods for a back-to-nature retreat, he disappears in the middle of the night. For 30 hours, he survives the elements alone -- until he is discovered by a helicopter pilot. Then Zack goes on a summer vacation with this family -- and gets lost again! This interactive reading quest is about Zack's family vacation: Where they went and what they did.
Alone in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery
By
Series: Bible Camp Mysteries, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,360. Language: English. Published: September 15, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Religion
After losing a camper on their initial trek in the Central Florida backwoods, Chet Harrigan and his group of 10- to 16-year-old boys return to woods for another harrowing adventure. Two boys leave the group to investigate a campsite far off the beaten path, only to discover a mysterious camper with a God-size problem. ...
Just Like Jonah Wail Tales Workbook
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Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 17,390. Language: English. Published: February 16, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Religion / Bible Stories / Old Testament
Now there's a new resource to teach the lesson of Jonah: There's a price to pay when you disobey. This workbook edition of Just Like Jonah Wail Tales, a short story collection featuring modern Jonahs who land in a whale of trouble, contains discussion questions and Scripture citations.
Trees Walking: A Guide to Truly Loving and Forgiving Others … and Ourselves
By
Price: Free! Words: 6,890. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Inspiration » General self-help
If you've ever struggled to forgive... It's hard to set aside hurts. It's hard to forget painful words that stab. But the truth from God's word sets us free.
Together Again
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,880. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
An unusual dream provokes a 17-year-old soon-to-be college history major named Abe to research former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's life -- and change his own.
Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery
By
Series: Bible Camp Mysteries, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 13,550. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2013. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Boys & Men
A group of relatively inexperienced campers land in a pile of trouble when 13-year-old Zack disappears during the middle of the night in the Florida backwoods. The trouble escalates when a hurricane takes an unexpected turn for the Florida Gulf Coast!!
I Can See God's Word (Skit)
By
Price: Free! Words: 2,140. Language: English. Published: December 13, 2012. Category: Plays » Religious & Liturgical
This easy-to-perform skit is about a boy named Jake who cheats on his math test. When he gets caught, he finds an old Bible his grandpa left him and learns the truth: Jesus is the Word of God and that is how God saves us.
The Lesson of Jonah: There is a Price to Pay when you Disobey
By
Price: Free! Words: 3,990. Language: English. Published: May 11, 2012. Category: Fiction » Christian » Short stories
Jonah learned the hard way there is a price for disobedience. This Bible lesson targets 10 to 14 year olds with that message. The lesson relies on a wail tale, or exaggerated tale of woe, involving a modern Jonah. Reinforce the lesson of Jonah with this free resource by Cheryl Rogers, the publisher of New Christian Books Online Magazine.
Book-Selling Strategies for the Reluctant Marketer
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Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 5,410. Language: English. Published: March 23, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing
Are you the shy type who prefers to blend into the crowd rather than draw attention to yourself? Are you unwilling to turn friends into customers? You may be a reluctant marketer!! In today’s book market, that is probably NOT a good thing. Here's help.
Finding God: Biblical Answers to Questions about Our Maker
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,440. Language: English. Published: January 13, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christianity
Confronted with lies, it’s easy to succumb to the temptation of believing God isn’t real. But knowing our creator is the anecdote. Finding God is about building that all important relationship with the one who made you -- and who can protect you from becoming prey.
I Can See Christian Storybook Treasury
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 9,360. Language: English. Published: March 28, 2011. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
This is a unique storybook collection aimed at building a child's faith as he or she grows. It deals with progressively more complex issues of faith including how we can know a God we cannot see, where to find God, why Jesus came to Earth, and why Jesus died.
What You Should Know Before You Hire a Book Designer
By
Price: Free! Words: 1,570. Language: English. Published: January 20, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing
This free ebook can save you time and money by helping you clarify your goals before hiring a book designer. What you don't know now can cost you later!
Just Like Jonah Wail Tales
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 16,210. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2010. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Religious / Christian / Values & Virtues
Encourage pre-teens and teens to get closer to God with this inspiring collection of eight stories featuring modern-day Jonah style characters. "Just Like Jonah Wail Tales" tells the somewhat exaggerated stories of kids who made bad choices and learned -- just like Jonah -- that there's a price to pay when you disobey.
What You Should Know About Self Publishing
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Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 5,160. Language: English. Published: December 2, 2010. Category: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing
Publishing your own book is the fastest way to get it in front of your readers. What You Should Knnow about Self Publishing gives you the basics so you can get started! It will tell you how to develop your book idea, research your market, organize your book, market your book, and publish your book. This book will guide you through the process, helping you sidestep costly errors!
Making Choices: Life is Like Acorns
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,130. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2010. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
This story -- about a baby squirrel named Peepsy and his mother -- teaches children things are not always what they seem to be! A Bible study, it contains Scripture citations and discussion questions a parent, teacher or other caregiver can use to share their faith with a 5- to 10-year old.
Fast Track to Victory, A Christian Guidebook
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 24,510. Language: English. Published: June 14, 2010. Category: Nonfiction » Inspiration » Spiritual inspiration
Fast Track to Victory, A Christian Guidebook is a book for those eager to run the race set before them. It is for new Christians, young Christians, those who need a miracle in their lives, and those who want to find the God that made them...