Interview with Sam Cheever

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and raised in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Though my husband and I have moved all over the country during our time together, I've always been a Midwestern girl at heart. Being from the center of the country has definitely colored my writing. There's a whole different pace in the middle of the country than you'll find on either the East or West coasts...a completely different set of values. My values are represented in my writing. I believe in neighbor helping neighbor and in doing the right thing, even when it's hard to do. I like strong men and competent women. I believe men should act like men and women can be strong and soft at the same time. I believe in hard work and creating my own success, and I take pride in each small victory. I like to think each of my characters reflects those qualities too. Another thing readers might not know about my writing, I base most of my stories in Indiana, just because I can!
When did you first start writing?
I can remember writing my first poetry in high school and having the teacher read it to the class because he thought it was really good. Looking back on it now I realize how dark and filled with teenage angst those first writing attempts were. I shudder at all that angst now. I’ve graduated to more physical writing since then. I’m really more of a blow ‘em up and smack ‘em around type of writer. It’s so much more satisfying than just sitting around fretting about something.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
First let me say that I deeply appreciate what my publishers have given me. Ellora's Cave gave my first book, 'Tween Heaven and Hell a chance to take wing and I haven't looked back since that book hit cyber shelves. I will always be grateful that they believed in me enough to give me a chance. But having said that, I've been frustrated by the "my way or the highway" mentality of some of the publishers I've worked with. I've also suffered under the writing "rules" that many of them operate under. I think I really turned the corner when one of my editors told me my story had too much plot and not enough sex. Huh? Blink... I thought the whole idea of a book was creating a plot readers could enjoy. At that point I realized I wanted to write and publish my own stories, written the way I think they should be written. I really haven't turned back since I made that decision, in fact, I just got the rights back on one of my most popular series and I will be publishing all 9+ books under my own imprint shortly!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords rocks! I'm a self-motivated, take charge kind of person. A real "A" personality. So Smashwords was great for me. I can publish my own books, maximize the way they are marketed, priced, and distributed, and control my own writing destiny for the first time ever. But the best part about Smashwords is that even if I weren't a take-charge kind of gal, Smashwords would make it easy for me to succeed. It's a great tool for writers at all experience levels.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
As a writer, it's when someone tells me they loved my book and can't stop thinking about it. That is the best thing a reader can say to me because I've been there myself as a reader and it's an incredible feeling.

On the business side of the writing, it gives me joy to take a story I've written and turn it into a successful property. Even though the business side of writing isn't considered creative, in many ways it is. Those of us who just plod along in the footsteps of other publishers/writers, doing the same things to market our books that those who came before us did, might not achieve success in any measurable form. But if you can walk outside that pathway just a bit, you might find a way to create success for a book or series. That's my daily challenge and I'm really enjoying it.
What do your fans mean to you?
The easy answer would be that they mean everything to me. Any author will tell you that, with varying degrees of sincerity. It's both technically and spiritually true, after all. Without readers/fans there would be nobody to read and enjoy an author's books. But it's too easy to look at fans as targets for our marketing efforts. Fans are much more than that. They're vindication of sorts, proving (at least until the next wave of self-doubt rolls in) that I really do have the skill to be an author. I mean, if someone else enjoyed my work then I must be doing something right, yeah? Fans are also very handy sounding boards. They'll quickly tell you if you're sliding off target with your writing. You might choose to ignore them if you're moving in the direction your passion takes you, or you might allow them to swing you back if you didn't mean to veer off course. But most of all, I think, fans are partners in an author's journey. They're like good friends you don't know. As long as they're happy with what you're doing, your life is good. But when you disappoint them--at least for me--it ruins your day. I guess it all boils down to this, my fans are my friends and they're sometimes hard on me...but isn't that a good friend's job?
How would you describe your books?
I think of my books as mind candy. I know many writers want to believe their writing is epic and life changing. Not me. I’m looking for my readers to release a few endorphins through excitement and laughter. Real life is complex and difficult. Endorphins make us feel good. Most of us, when we pick up a book, just want to be entertained. My books will never lecture or solve real problems. But they will make you smile, gasp, feel really good, and yes…occasionally…even yell at the characters. Because the stories are built around a subliminal message that I don’t think most people can resist. The message? It’s this: Isn’t this a lot of fun? Let’s do it again sometime. #:0) But having said that, I don’t want you to think I view my books as unimportant. I don’t think there’s anything more important than making someone feel good. I view that as one of my most important missions in life. And I’d like to think I have a gift for it.
What kind of reactions do you hope for from your readers?
I once received a very satisfying review from Enchanting Reviews that pretty much encapsulated it. The reviewer got so caught up in the story she didn’t want to stop and take care of her kids and her husband. (Folks, I don’t recommend you try this at home. #:0) She found herself feeling my characters’ pain, laughing with them and at them, and even yelling at them when they did something stupid. That’s the kind of reaction I want my writing to engender. In my humble opinion, good fiction should require you to climb into a roller coaster car and strap yourself in. It should draw you happily into its pages and not release you until you read the last powerful word. And when you move on with your life afterwards, you should still think about the story and the characters and wish you could jump into another story with them sooner rather than later.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Opportunity. I approach each day with twin goals. 1. To write the best stuff I can write; and 2. To make money writing the best stuff I can write. It may sound simple, but there are so many routes to be explored on my journey. Some days I'm more successful than others. Some days I feel like I'm slogging upriver with the salmon in my efforts to spawn great fiction. But every day is a gift because I'm doing what I love to do. I also like to think I'm doing what I'm good at. But my readers will have to be the judge of that. #:0)
Describe your writing process, what works for you and what are the challenges?
I write visually. This means, as I’m creating a scene it’s actually rolling across a tiny little movie screen in my head. I write as if I’m writing for the big screen. If a scene isn’t large enough for the big screen it needs some work. When I write this way it’s easy for me to see when something doesn’t quite add up, and when the movie starts to get too slow I add depth and movement. The advantages to writing this way are obvious. If you do it well you get a visually beautiful story with intensity and color. The challenge is that movies don’t have the depth of detail a good written story does. So if you concentrate only on how the story plays out visually, you might miss some of the detail you need to satisfy the story and the reader. It’s a real tightrope. A balancing act between the art of writing and the practice of it.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I'm online all day long, so I might discover a book any one of several ways. I might just happen across it in my cyber-travels, I might see a review I like, or I might find it in the "also bought" lists on a eSeller site. Mostly I guess I find books through recommendation of some sort.
Published 2013-08-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Chasing Eros Box Set
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 152,500. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2014. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Action/Adventure
The Chasing Eros box set includes three books featuring Cupids, the Gods of Love, and their struggle against their own weaknesses and magical interference to find love. Chasing Eros is set in a magical world that navigates between modern day Earth and golden Olympus--City of the Gods.
Tall, Dark & Apocalyptic
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 45,390. Language: English. Published: June 20, 2014. Category: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Apart they are pain and death...apocalyptic. Together they are fire and magic...destiny. He’s a warrior, a bounty hunter in a world turned upside down. She’s his latest bounty...a creature of dark power. As everything in their world implodes, they must work together to set it right, while the fire burning between them threatens to consume everything in its path.
The Biggest Poser
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 44,780. Language: English. Published: April 17, 2014 by Musa Publishing. Category: Fiction » Romance » Erotic
May the biggest liar win. Or die trying! Personal trainer for the ever popular, Lose it! reality show, Jillie Maxwell is up for the most important award of her career. And she’s competing against the biggest b-eye-itch she’s ever met. Fortunately for her, she has the sexiest man alive in her corner. Problem is, each and every one of them has a dirty little secret that could tank a career.
Purple Prose
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 22,080. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2014 by Musa Publishing. Category: Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Forget being creatively blocked. Forget being purple. They just want to survive writing the dang book! When she hits the writer's block of all writer's blocks, Lindsey Prince thinks her muse has abandoned her. But she opens her door one day to find a gorgeous new one standing there, "anxious" to help her finish her current project.
Honeybun Fever Box Set
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 92,360. Language: English. Published: November 27, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Immerse yourself in four fast-paced interracial romantic suspense books with some of the sexiest alpha heroes you'll ever meet.
Stealth Honeybun
Series: Honeybun Fever, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 20,920. Language: English. Published: November 16, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Peyton just wants to put his feet up and relax. Willa wants to run her business and be left alone. Neither one of them will get what they want...but they just might get much, much more!
Honeybun Sheik
Series: Honeybun Fever, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 24,080. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Callia Honeybun wants nothing more than a chance to rest up and heal from a bad breakup. Trained in weaponry and the martial arts, Callia is nobody’s victim. However, when she crashes her snowmobile during a blizzard and wakes up in the chalet of a gorgeous man with a middle eastern accent, she has no idea how dangerous her day is about to become.
Shadow of a Honeybun
Series: Honeybun Fever, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,260. Language: English. Published: October 17, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
She's a party girl. He's serious as a bullet. It's a damn good thing that opposites attract!
Hell Hath No Honeybun
Series: Honeybun Fever, Book 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 36,150. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2013. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
What happens to a songbird when she sings the wrong tune? She quickly finds herself in a flight for her life!
Honeybun at a Dude Ranch
Series: Honeybun Heat, Book 6. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 63,550. Language: English. Published: September 22, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Depressed by injuries that have sidelined his career, Heathcliffe Honeybun heads to a Dude Ranch for some "alone" time. But the ranch’s pretty activities director isn’t about to let him mope. And if her charms don’t keep him interested, Nita’s dark and dangerous past most certainly will. Especially when it looks like Heathcliffe has a killer’s target on his back.
Honeybun in a Loin Cloth
Series: Honeybun Heat, Book 5. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 65,960. Language: English. Published: September 9, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
When Godric Honeybun decides to portray a Native American in a war reenactment weekend, he doesn’t expect to run into his own, personal Indian princess on the battle field. Much to his amazement, when someone tries to kill her, he quickly discovers his inner warrior as he fights to keep her safe.
A Honeybun in Hell
Series: Honeybun Heat, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 64,750. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
Edric Honeybun is in Hell, Indiana on Halloween, doing research for his latest book in a haunted hotel. Edric expects to do some research and enjoy a few local ghost tales. What he doesn't expect is to bump up against a flesh and blood killer, fall in love with a beautiful witch named Bella Rawnie, and come face to plasma with a surprise in the local cemetery.
Fast Track to a Honeybun
Series: Honeybun Heat, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 70,100. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2013. Category: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Racer Warwicke Honeybun isn’t looking for love, until he finds Fabiana Maricuz being beaten one night. Suddenly his heart is telling him to protect her…no matter what. Fabiana’s worked hard to overcome her past as a Cuban-American from the barrio. But now somebody is threatening everyone she loves if she won’t walk away from her dream. Can they make it to the finish line together?
Life, Liberty and Pursuit of a Honeybun
Series: Honeybun Heat, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 68,620. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Artist Pleasance Roberts is shocked to find out her client is a terrorist. But when sexy Alfric Honeybun sets his sights on her, she’s not sure who’s more dangerous—her sneaky client, or the uber sexy agent with a funny name, who threatens to walk away with her heart.
A Honeybun and Coffee
Series: Honeybun Heat, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 70,690. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Surprised into hiding in a men's room stall at work, Angie Peterson, owner of the Dunk and Run Coffee Shoppe, overhears two men talking about killing someone named Alastair Honeybun. Picturing a frail, helpless old Englishman, Angie rushes to warn him. There’s only one, small problem, Alastair Honeybun is six foot two inches of yummy man, who's perfectly capable of taking care of himself.
Threads of Yesterday
Series: Yesterday Mysteries, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 57,660. Language: English. Published: May 5, 2013. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
A deadly secret is tangled up in Yesterday’s Threads, and Anna is racing the clock to get it unraveled. As Anna and Pratt work to uncover the deadly intrigue behind some stolen vintage dresses, interference of another kind is working its way to the surface. All too soon, Anna and Pratt find themselves neck deep in trouble from more than one dimension—and wondering which will get them first!
Encounter: Sleep Depraved
Price: Free! Words: 1,790. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2013 by Changeling Press. Category: Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Jorgen thought he was having a wonderful dream, but the woman between his legs was not only real, she was deliciously naughty.
Encounter: Making it Perfect (Foxed)
Price: Free! Words: 1,550. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2013 by Changeling Press. Category: Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Crevan’s trying to teach Sin to be a proper predator. Only problem is, she enjoys being prey rather than hunter when he’s the one doing the stalking.
Encounter: Incubus Nights
Price: Free! Words: 2,510. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2013 by Changeling Press. Category: Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Ally opens a door at a party and walks right into her hottest fantasy.
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 21,820. Language: English. Published: December 23, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Deirdre Phillips knows she's skirting trouble when she waits until late on Christmas Eve to finish up her gift shopping. But she has no idea how much trouble, until she walks out of the mall and finds herself embroiled in a timeless war between elves and dark fairies.
Yesterday's News
Series: Yesterday Mysteries, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 49,400. Language: English. Published: October 15, 2012. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Anna Yesterday owns Yesterday’s Antiques in small town USA. She finds an old newspaper clipping in an antique dresser, which tells a disturbing story she’s never heard before. As Anna starts to dig into it, her sleuthing exposes an ugly cover-up that casts the residents of Crocker, Indiana into danger, and leaves them with a corpse.
Cupid Only Rings Twice
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 20,130. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2012 by Musa Publishing. Category: Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Rori Foster is too beautiful to find love. Men just can’t seem to look past her exterior to recognize the human being inside. But, this Valentine’s Day, Rori’s gonna meet an honest to god Cupid. And he’ll use more than arrows to win her love. Unfortunately he’ll have to save her from the bad intentions of a cocky Love Demon first. But Damios is determined to protect her. Even if he loses her.
Deep, Dark, Desire
Series: Halloween Love, Book 4. Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 16,600. Language: English. Published: September 9, 2012. Category: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Decades of imprisonment and torture have taken Ashton Casey to the edge of madness. His only hope is that his mate, Faye Nicci finds him before he succumbs to the dark magic of his captor. With madness approaching and the mating heat riding them hard, the ill-fated lovers battle time and their own fears to be together. Because the power of mating magic is relentless.
Blue Moon
Series: Halloween Love, Book 3. Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 15,510. Language: English. Published: September 15, 2011. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
Under the irresistible pull of a powerful Blue Moon, flesh craves and blood calls. When Lupire Kidren Bell and Pack Regulator Lanna Soto investigate a murder together, they soon discover the Blue Moon has something more permanent in store for them. They’ll either conquer the Blue Moon’s power or succumb to it. Either way, the mating heat will make the journey memorable!
Soul Warrior
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 29,110. Language: English. Published: July 12, 2011. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
Sick of heroes and on the run from angry gods, valkyrie Bellona travels the country, running from her past and looking for a bad boy to love. She meets fallen angel, Rael, during an earthquake and is drawn to his dark nature, despite the fact that he’s a hero. But their growing feelings will be sorely tested as they try to deal with things beyond their control.
Dream Lover
Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 21,090. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2011. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
Adir Phineas is a genie. Each night he carries his lover to the dream realm, wooing her to give up her wish. Esme Yates comes from a long line of wish holders. But she’s struggling to find Adir outside her dreams. Instead she finds another, a dangerous djinn who would steal her wish to win release into the physical realm. Adir's trapped in the dream realm, unable to help. Will he escape in time?
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 83,760. Language: English. Published: September 27, 2010. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
A beautiful spirit warrior who gets frisky when she drinks ambrosia. A dark and sexy fae warrior with secrets. A cranky gnome. A snippy guardian angel. An opinionated flying horse. And a room full of arrogant gods. Somehow they all must work together to save Olympus from a delightfully evil villain. There’s no way in Heaven or Hell…or anywhere in between…that this won’t be entertaining!
Moon Burn
Series: Halloween Love, Book 2. Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 8,250. Language: English. Published: September 26, 2010. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
Bren Michaels and Micca Richards are elite protectors. Stuck at an office Halloween party, they succumb to the urges they’ve been denying for weeks. But, when a rabid vampire crashes the party, the pair have to put their personal plans aside. They quickly learn that the call to mate is the strongest power they’ll ever face. And accepting it may just make the difference between life and death.
Bound by Blood
Series: Halloween Love, Book 1. Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 11,590. Language: English. Published: September 24, 2010. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
Phelan Donald and Cassidy Rai are elite protectors. Thrown together on the magical night of Halloween, Phelan and Cassidy soon find themselves fighting a powerful attraction that clouds their minds and tightens their bodies with need. Could this mating magic be destined to change both of their lives forever?