Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Inspiration From Others - Cheryl C. Malandrinos

My love of books began many years ago. I can’t point to a specific book that captured my interest, but I can say our house was always filled with books. My parents were avid readers. They set a good example by reading every night, even if all they had time for was the daily newspaper.

Who knew all those years ago that my love of books would turn into a fabulous and satisfying career?

After graduating from the Breaking into Print program (now called Break into Print) from Long Ridge Writers Group in 2005, I started blogging. Mostly it was about me, my articles for Writer2Writer, and my works in progress.

In the spring of 2007, Pump Up Your Book! (formerly Pump Up Your Book Promotion) opened its virtual doors and I began hosting authors at my blog. Being a tour host offered my readers interesting and regular content. Learning about all those good books made me realize how much I missed reading daily. Yes, I still read from time to time, but many months could pass between books. I wanted to carve out a career in writing and I didn’t feel I could do both well. One thing I kept hearing over and again, however, is the importance of reading what you wish to write. That made sense, so I decided if I wanted to be successful as a writer, I must make the time to read.

So I did.

The more authors I hosted, the more inspired I felt to keep plugging away at my works in progress. I began reviewing books at my blog, which is how I discovered the publisher who would eventually release Little Shepherd, my first children’s picture book.

A few months after I started hosting authors for Pump Up Your Book! I became a member of their staff. I’ve been coordinating virtual book tours for authors in a variety of genres for over three years now, and I love it more each day. I tend to work with clients who write in the genres I am interested in writing and reading most frequently: Christian fiction and non-fiction, mystery and crime, historical fiction, and books for children and teens.

Has this influenced my writing? Most definitely.

I learn from every author I work with. I discover what I love about my clients’ books, and sometimes, what I don’t like. I’ve seen how important it is when you’re writing a series to keep track of the major characters and the need to develop them as the series progresses. I’m learning how to sprinkle in just the right amount of backstory and details so that the reader gets to know my characters and feels like she is right there alongside them.

Can you name some authors who inspire you? How have they influenced your writing?

Cheryl Malandrinos
is a freelance writer and editor. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.

She is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book!, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married.

You can visit Cheryl online at:

The Children's & Teens Book Connection
The Little Shepherd Childrens Book Blog
The Professional Writer's Connection

Cynthia's Attic: The Magician's Castle 2011 Blog Tour!


Cheryl said...

Thanks for having me as your guest today, Mary. I have to run out an volunteer at the library, but I'll be back before noon to chat with folks.


Roseanne Dowell said...

Ah another LR student. I finished the program around that time too. Maybe I saw you in the chat room with Mary and Speck. Isn't it funny where we draw our inspirations from.

Nancy Stewart said...

Cheryl, this is an inspiring interview. I, too, found reading my genre was pivotal in honing the craft. Kudos to you for a from the heart interview!

Mary Cunningham said...

You're always welcome here, Cheryl! I don't know how you wear so many "hats", but maybe you can share your method for getting so much accomplished!

Thanks for stopping by, Roseanne. Stick around because Cheryl will be back, soon, to chat.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Other writers inspire me too, Cheryl. Reading their books, learning of their struggles, their determination helps me to hang in there when the road gets bumpy.

Nice post.

Cheryl said...

Hello all,

How nice to come back to some comments. Ro, it's very possible we were in the chat room together from time to time. I knew your name sounded familiar prior to me getting involved in the Muse Group.

Nancy, you're such a sweetheart. Thanks for your kind words. And Bev, I know I can always count on your for support. It means the world to me.

Honestly, Mary, there are days I feel like I would love to pack my little bags and journey to a deserted island for a month; just me, some books, a big pad of paper and some pencils. There's never enough time in the day, and even when there is, I'm not always in the mood to write. But, the bills don't get paid that way and I don't get to submit anything if I don't write, so I plunk my behind down in the chair and get at it.

I created a schedule that takes advantage of my creative moments. I check email first thing in the morning, promote my clients' virtual book tour stops, do some networking or work on upcoming virtual book tours, then I write for a bit. Sometimes that's 5 minutes, sometimes it's longer. As long as I keep writing I am cool with that.

I work on virtual book tours after lunch and then take a break when the girls get home from school. I try not to go back to the PC until after they are in bed.

I make dinner every night and we read before bedtime, so I am spending quality time with the kids too.

It's not a perfect system, but it's one I can live with.

Thanks to all for stopping by.


billkirkwrites said...

Great way to incorporate time management to make your reading and writing time more efficient. I find the biggest problem is keeping my focus on something to see it through to the end. Thanks for sharing your tricks of the trade, Cheryl.

Cheryl said...

Thanks Bill. I struggle with getting to the end too. I pitched an idea to a publisher in October at the Muse Conference and I just got around to submitting everything at the end of February.

After our conversation, I revised the manuscript again, then needed to draft a cover letter and synopsis to go with it. It took time to put it all together in a way I was happy with. Let me tell you, being able to say that was done was a huge relief.

I'm also determined not to start anything major until my WIP is done.

Let me know if I can help you in any way.

Thanks for stopping by.


Margot Finke said...

Great post Cheryl. And I love your "Little Shepherd." Finding inspiration is the key to wonderful stories.

Margot's Magic Carpet:
WIN a FREE copy of "Taconi and Claude"

Mary Cunningham said...

Cheryl, I can see from your detailed comment that I need to work on discipline!!

You're my hero! :)

Janet Ann Collins said...

Cheryl, you're an inspiration to me.

Cheryl said...

Margot, thanks for stopping by mate. I'm glad you liked Little Shepherd. I enjoy your work too. Congrats on the new release.

Janet, thank you so much for that. All of my fellow angels inspire me in so many ways.

Mary, discipline helps. I'm the daughter of a marine, so I'm kind of use to that. :)

Thanks for all the comments.


Nicole weaver said...


I enjoyed reading your interview. Thanks for sharing.

Nicole Weaver

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by Nicole. I'm sure it's a busy time with your book coming out soon.

All my best,