It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for another edition of our Featured Writer Series. Today I’m excited to bring you a true renaissance woman, Cheryl Malandrinos.
V.R.L: Thanks for being a part of our Featured Writer Series, Cheryl! First off, tell us a little bit about how you started your writing career.
CCM: Thanks Vanessa. It’s great to spend time with you and your readers. I’ve been an avid reader since preschool and began writing in my teens. Of course, back then I was using an electric typewriter with an “i” key that stuck. (Doesn’t that make me sound like a dinosaur?) I had always wanted to pursue a career in writing, but it wasn’t until I became a stay-at-home mom in 2003 that I could do much about it. I began blogging, getting involved in writing groups, and networking. In 2006 I began writing articles for Writer2Writer on the subjects of time management and organization. In 2008, I presented a workshop on these topics at the Muse Online Writers Conference. I am also a founding member of Musing Our Children, and last year took over as editor in chief of their quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens. My first children’s book will be released by Guardian Angel Publishing this fall.
You are involved in quite a few things. You do a lot of online book promotions, you’re a copy editor, create video trailers, and much more. How do you manage to do all of these things and still find time for your own writing?
Now, why didn’t someone tell me I am supposed to manage my time? LOL! Seriously, time management and organization have always come easy to me. I took for granted that it was this way for everyone until I was asked to start writing articles on these topics. Making time for my writing is a challenge. Working as a virtual book tour coordinator for Pump Up Your Book Promotion is a full-time job. Luckily, I love it, because it requires me to be online almost all day long. I go to my office right after the girls get on the bus at 8AM. Then except to eat or do housework, I am there until 3PM when the girls come home from school. The rest of the afternoon is spent with the girls. I go back to my office after they are in bed for the night and try to use that time to write. It doesn’t always work, but I make decent progress. Some weeks are more productive than others. The reason many people struggle with time management is that they don’t know where their time is going. I began tracking my time, which allowed me to cut out areas where I wasted it—surfing the Net, overcommitting to projects I didn’t have time for, and just plain old focusing on things other than my writing. I religiously write a weekly to-do list to keep me focused.
I understand that you are sponsoring “Promo Day” this year. Tell us a little about that.
Officially, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is sponsoring PROMO DAY. Jo Linsdell, a wonderful and talented lady I met through the Muse Online Writers Conference, puts on this event each year. PROMO DAY 2010 will take place on Saturday, May 15th. In Jo’s words, PROMO DAY is “an all day, online, international event for people in the writing industry packed full of tips and advice along with a variety of opportunities for writers, publishers, editors, etc. to promote their work and services. Readers are also welcome to drop in and get to know the authors better.” This is the first time that Pump Up Your Book Promotion is sponsoring PROMO DAY, but I doubt it will be the last.
You have a children’s book coming out and are currently working on a middle grade novel. Can you tell us a little about those?
Now you’re in dangerous territory because a writer likes nothing more than to talk about her work. [snicker, snicker]
My first children’s picture book will be released by Guardian Angel Publishing in the fall. Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love Christmas; so it will be no surprise that my first book centers around this holiday.
Little Shepherd Boy tells the story of Obed, a young shepherd in the fields outside of Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth. After the angel’s visit, Obed is hesitant to follow the others to see the newborn King because he doesn’t want anything to happen to his flock. His father finally convinces him to go, but Obed spends the whole time worried about his sheep. When Obed returns, however, he discovers all his sheep safe and sound and not even the fire has dwindled in their absence. Obed believes it is a night of miracles.
My current work in progress is a middle grade novel about a young orphan girl named Amelia who is sent to live with her spinster aunt in a fictional New England town. Aunt Martha is a very unhappy person. Amelia is determined to figure out why her aunt is so miserable and fix it. Amelia’s best friend is Ralph, the stable hand at Havenwood, Aunt Martha’s estate. Ralph is opposed to Amelia poking her nose into her aunt’s business. In addition, Amelia wants to teach Ralph to read, but he refuses, even though Amelia is sure he wants to learn.
Where can we read more about you and your work?
Thanks for asking. I’m in the process of having a new website designed, but for now, readers can find me at http://ccmalandrinos.tripod.com/ I have a few blogs that I update on a regular basis:
I can also be found at Facebook and Twitter if anyone looks up ccmalandrinos.
Thanks for giving me the chance to talk about myself and my work.