Friday, August 15, 2008

Charlotte Author . . . CHERIS HODGES . . . An Old School Mix Q & A . . .

Cheris Hodges

Joseph-Beth (Charlotte, NC)

Fall 2006

from Lori's Picture Collection

The following is an interview I snagged with the talented and driven, yet humble and extremely nice Cheris Hodges. Ms. Hodges is a journalist and and author who hails from Bennettsville, South Carolina, but who currently works and resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.

I don't mind admitting that I'm a bit envious and in total awe of Cheris' ability to churn out one novel after another. She's written and published an impressive eight titles since 2001, the most recent, Let's Get It On (Kensington/Dafina) tumbled onto the shelves a couple of weeks ago.

Tell us about your latest novel. My latest novel, Let's Get It On, is a story that I had a lot of fun writing because I got to talk football! In this novel, fictional Wide Receiver Maurice Goings is on top of the world. His team just won the Super Bowl and he's about to get married in a lavish wedding. But his bride jilts him at the altar. Maurice and his brother James take his honeymoon at a singles resort and while he's there, Maurice runs into Kenya Taylor, the woman whos heart he broke nearly a decade ago.

Kenya doesn't want anything to do with him, but she knows that she's going to have to face him because after her vacation is over, she's moving to Charlotte, the same city Maurice lives in.

Sparks fly between the two, but is Kenya willing to give Maurice a second chance?

I know you've written and published a number of novels--eight to be exact. How are you able to be so prolific while maintaining a day job that also requires you to write? About 20 cups of coffee a day. (LOL) I love to write. I think it's just in my blood. Sometimes I'd rather be writing than hanging out with friends or going out and enjoying a lot of the nightlife in Charlotte. When I start a story, I connect with the characters and I have to finish it. I also love journalism. I used to think I was going to be a real life version of Lois Lane, but there is no Superman to save me, so I have to keep myself out of trouble.

Have you ever considered writing outside of the romance genre? If so, what other type of writing might you consider in the future?I would love to write a mystery. I've started on a few and I have a few mainstream fiction projects that I've worked on as well. My first book, Searching For Paradise, wasn't a romance and I'd like to revisit those characters.

What has been the most difficult or challenging aspect of maintaining a career as an author? With the price of gas, sky high, getting to book signings is a problem. I'd love to go all over the world and to every store that has a Cheris Hodges book, but I can't.

Who do you read? Or, do you even have time to read? I love Phillip Margolin. He writes legal thrillers. Brenda Jackson is another of my favorites. I have to make time to read because the more you read, the better writer you become.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you think new writers/authors make? I think the biggest mistake we make is, we think once the book is on the shelves, the work is over. It's just beginning when your book is in stores among thousands of others.

What one/single picece of writing and/or marketing advice has helped you the most? Never give up. I got a lot of no's before I heard one yes. I took all of that rejection in stride and promised myself that I would do everything I could to sell books.

Are you working on anything new? If so, are you at liberty to share? My next book, More Than He Can Handle, will be out in February. Here's what the back cover says:


As maid-of-honor to a friend who's gone Bridezilla, Winfred "Freddie" Barker is dealing with minute-to-minute drama from her crazy-extravagant wedding. So when the ceremony is over and the reception starts heating up, Freddie blows off steam with a little champagne--and a lot of the best man, Cleveland Alexander. It was definitely going to be just a one-night fling, 'cause no woman in her right mind would fall for that man's arrogant, self-centered self, no matter how caramel-fine he is . . .


As a hard-core bachelor, Cleveland Alexander was strictly all about beddin' and forgettin'. And the only reason he let Ms. Winfred Barker call his bluff was to put her stuck-up attitude in check. But once he sees how complicated and caring she really is, he'll do anything to help solve her problems--and convince her that the love between this is a lifetime of real . . .

I have to thank one of my readers and friends, Louise Brown for inspiring me to write about Cleveland Alexander. His brother, Darren, was a character in my novel, The Business of Love.

Is there anything else you'd like readers to know about you? If I could have anything in the world, it would be a 1967 Mustang Fastback, baby blue.

Thanks Cheris for taking time out of your busy schedule in order to answer a few questions in the Old School Mix. As hard as you work, something tells me you may be closer to that baby blue Mustang than you think (smile).

The following is a list of Cheris' other titles: Searching for Paradise (2001); Revelations (2003); Cautious Heart (2004, reissued in 2008); A Love of Her Own (2005); Second Chances At Love (2006); The Business of Love (2006); Just Can't Get Enough (2007) and Let's Get It On (August 2008).

If you' like to read more about Cheris or read excerpts of her work, visit her web site:

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