Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Meet the author of "A Friend in the Storm"
Cheryl Ricker!

Leave your comment and an email address for a chance to win Cheryl's book.
AND check out this site for a chance to win a KINDLE in Cheryl's contest:

How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” or have you just loved writing all your life?

Good question. God called me to be a writer when I was in elementary school. Later, in high school, I won a poetry writing contest in a literary magazine which prompted me to major in Creative Writing in university. The Lord kept nudging me forward in this pathway. I’ve just never looked back.

What genre do you write in? (Would you explain what it is?)

I’ve written fiction, non-fiction, devotionals, screenplays and poetry. Right now I’m focused on poetry and fiction. I also like blogging on my “Fresh Air” blog that offers help and encouragement.

Can you describe your writing process for a poem?

Sure; It usually starts with a spiritual insight, inspiration or phrase. I pray for wisdom and direction, asking God to anoint my words and make His truth fresh and understandable. I want readers to experience His love so they’ll choose to further trust Him.

Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a book?

Always longer than I’d like. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many hours I worked on each poem for “A Friend in the Storm.” I kept reworking them because I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I also wanted each poem to fit with its corresponding quote and Scripture so everything would flow together.

I spent many months hunting for memorable quotes and Scriptures. I started the book in 2005 and I didn’t stop editing until it went to press, if that gives you a hint.

Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through? Who has inspired you the most?

I couldn’t quit because I don’t know what else I would do. Writing’s what I love.

Writing and sharing my faith.

Yeah, it’s discouraging at times. Not everybody gives you a rave review; and if you’re sensitive like me, that can cut. Bestselling author, Gary Thomas, who endorsed my book, recently reminded me of something that helps me keep things in perspective. I’m writing for an audience of One: Christ. That truth tames my discouragement.

Who inspires me most? Billy Graham. He’s not into what others think or say about Him. He’s out to please the King of kings. That’s the kind of evangelist I want to be.

Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Grin.

Zondervan was always my top choice, so I’m super blessed to work with them.

I tried several smaller publishers first, but the doors wouldn’t budge. Oh well…

Would you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?

When I’m not writing and marketing, I like listening to sermons, watercolor painting and reading Christian books. I also like spending time with my family, biking, swimming, and, of course, eating out!

Where would I like to travel? Paris France. I’m originally from Canada so I speak a little French. I think I’d like to practice in the Eiffel Tower and a few romantic places! I’d bring my husband of course!

Tell us about A Friend in the Storm. What prompted you to write it?

I started writing poetry for a friend dying of cancer. When she asked me to visit her, I didn’t know what I’d say until God reminded me that I could write her a poem. It just took off from there. She wanted more!

After fulfilling her wish of reading them at her funeral, several people encouraged me to turn my poetry into a gift book.

I researched grief and gift books and I realized I wanted not only to speak to the heart (through poetry), but I also wanted to speak to the mind and the spirit ~ so I included quotes and Scripture.

I wanted to address the difficult question: “Why would a loving God let this terrible thing happen?” To do this best, I wrote most of my poetry from Christ’s perspective. He’s the only One who can truly say, “I’ve been there. I understand.” A Friend in the Storm isn’t just a unique conversation; it’s an innovative way to share God’s comfort and help people find lasting hope.

How and where can readers buy your book?

They can purchase them on my website, at most Christian bookstores, Amazon, CBD, Zondervan’s website, and various Barnes and Noble and Borders stores.

Would you give us your blog or webpage so people can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?

Be happy to. You can find me at:
Thanks for having me! I don’t know what you’re going through, but I know God will never waste pain. Cry out to Him. He’s waiting for you today.

Throw me all your passing worries,
pressing thoughts and testy weights,
past confusion, mass intrusion;
Throw me all your human hates.

Letting go, you’ll find true lightness
From the One who took your shame.
I’m a pro at trading burdens;
After all, that’s why I came.

Blessings, dear readers! Don't forget to comment and leave your email address for a chance to win Cheryl's lovely book! It's a treasure!


Kym McNabney said...

Loved the poem, REST.



Kathleen Rouser said...


What a gift that you took the time to comfort your
friend in this way. Thank you for sharing about your


Another great interview.


Teresa Slack said...

Carole, I love reading your interviews. You have such interesting and diverse writers with wonderful responses. Keep 'em coming.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Carole! Appreciate the comments everybody!

Just thought I'd let you know that I decided to give away a KINDLE.

Please feel free to check it out on the contest section of my website,

Blessings to you!


Kathryn Page Camp said...

How great to have a large publisher accept a book after small ones reject it. Must be a God thing.

Mary Allen said...

Nice interview. Cheryl, I meet you briefly at ACFW conference and was so pleased to see your book of poetry in the bookstore. Keep up the great poems for they do indeed honor our King.

apple blossom said...

I love poetry. Please include me in this drawing. thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Emma said...

Great interview.This book sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

Carmen7351 said...

Loved your poem! Would love the book!

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Carman sent me!!!

karenk said...

a wonderful posting...

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Karen said...

Wow! I would love to win this to give to a great friend.


Christ is Write. said...

I'd love to be part of this giveaway.

tessaehall at gmail dot com


Tessa Hall

Maureen said...

You have been blessed with a wonderful gift.

Carman sent me!


Nancye said...

I enjoy poetry, especially when it comes from the heart. I would love to win this beautiful book. Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Grandma Juanita said...

Yes, I love reading, and would love to win a book. Grandma Juanita

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