February 27, 2012

Writer Wrangler: Cheree Alsop

Cheree Alsop

author of

and YA Werewolf series

more info here
and she's here today for a chat.

I noticed your music playlists are leaning towards rock, does that have an influence on your books in terms of the theme and characterization?
Music is my muse. I find that rock music in particular calls to me because of the broad range of emotion it can evoke. Before I write a book, I create a playlist that describes the variety of emotions I want to capture through my writing. Heartache, pain, love, betrayal, joy, and fear among so many other feelings are echoed in the music I listen to when I drive, cook, work out, or relax, and I find that the best parts of my stories come to me while I listen to music.

I might listen to a song a hundred times while I work on one particular scene in a book, and if I read it again and feel the same emotion, I know I’ve captured what I wanted to for that part of the story. My books aren’t light and fluffy; the characters go through real trials and feel the agony of loss, of pain, and the joy of triumph. If it wasn’t for the music I listen to, I feel that parts of the stories would be missing the depth that makes them stand out.
What/who were your influences as far as your writing is concerned?
My favorite books are The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith, The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s a broad range of styles and themes, but what I cherish the most from each of these authors is the way they write a character so believably you feel that by the end of the story you know them and could meet them on the street.

I love watching a characters develop and grow through the trials in their stories. I also love the detail of the world the characters live in, and the ability to see it differently through each of their eyes. I love to read, and I feel I learn something from each author. Everyone has a different style and way of capturing their world, and I love to get immersed in those worlds. It’s something I hope readers can relate to in my stories as well, the ability to escape into a different world we might otherwise not have the chance to experience.
There seems to be an underlying theme in both Galdoni and Shadows and that is captivity, can you tell us more about that?
I feel that each of us experience captivity in one way or another. We may not live in chains or fight for our lives against cannibalistic creatures, but we face bonds through the circumstances of our lives, whether we feel stuck and can’t find a way free, or we can’t find a way to surmount the trials we face. I feel that each of us can relate to Nexa or Kale because we each face our own type of captivity that we are fighting overcome.
On Shadows, how did the idea of Duskies and Sathen came about, and such interesting names I might add?
In Shadows, Duskies are the cast-off children from two separate races. The Luminos, children of the light, are powerful during the day but helpless at night. The Nathos, children of darkness, gain their power after the sun has gone down. The Duskies aren’t as strong as the other races, but they also don’t lose their power, so they are feared and treated as slaves because the other races fear that they could overpower them. Sathen are creatures who devour everything in sight, including each other. Because the Sathen are massing together, the Luminos and Nathos are forced to rely on each other and the Duskies for protection. I came up with the name Duskie because they don’t lose their strength at dusk and dawn, the hours when both the Nathos and Luminos need protection. The Duskies are treated as inferior, but they are feared because the Nathos and Luminos know how much they need them. The Sathen are a seething horde of red-scaled, serrated-toothed, razor-clawed creatures that mass together, especially in the desert, and prey upon any unable to defend themselves. The origin of the Sathen and more details into the lives of Nathos and Luminos are tied into the next book, Mist.
I have been so fascinated by the world you created in Shadows, do you have pictures of this world that you can share?
When I began writing, all I saw in my mind were these people of light and people of darkness who didn't trust each other, but had to work together because of the Sathen. The Duskies got stuck in the middle, and, well, you saw what happened!
original Shadows cover
I am the world's worst artist. I draw pictures on my daughter's lunch bag in the mornings for school and I think all of her friends laugh at them. I asked her if she wants me to stop, but then she said that her friends trade her brownies and stuff so they can keep them. How embarrassing! I would love to draw the world of Shadows, but black and white stick figures would probably leave people even more confused than before.
I really wanted to do a cover for Shadows the way I did for the Silver Series and Galdoni, but I couldn't find anything that captured the world. A girl who read a rough copy did the drawing for me, but I've had a bit of a struggle with the cover art. I don't know if anything could really capture that world like I have it in my mind!
I'm so glad that you liked the story, that you could see the caves and the kingdoms. I'm also really glad that you liked Nexa and Axon's relationship (sorry about missing out on the whole Mother-in-law drama! That would have been a great idea....)
Cheree: Monster-in-law novella?! lol
How many books do you plan to write for the Shadow series?
The Shadow Series will be at least five books long. I’m halfway through the second book, Mist, and I’m excited to begin working on the third.
Can you tell us a little bit what the next book in the Shadow series will be? Release date?
I am 148 pages into the next book in the Shadow Series which I've named Mist. I'll be releasing the next book in my werewolf series (book 4, Violet) the end of this month/early next month, and then I'm hoping to release Mist the end of March. It's been quite the ride, but I love the world of Shadows and I predict there are going to be at least five books in the series, and possibly a branch off depending on how things work out.

What are you up to now?
I love to write, and my goal is to release a book every month or two. I have four more books in The Silver Series, my werewolf series, waiting to be released. I have the second book of Galdoni waiting in my mind to be written, and there’s also a book about Shifters called Stolen that’s almost ready to be published and will herald a new series of its own.

Thanks Cheree for letting me pick your brain. So wonderful working with you, I feel like we really bonded over this amateur enterprise.

Our blog is open to you and your world anytime and I'm looking forward to Mist. 

All of Cheree's books are available in Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. 

For more information and updates, please visit


  1. Wow , Cheree sounds very interesting person. I like the look of her werewolf series. How cute her daughters friends trading brownies for the pics. I find that very creative that she listens to the music for the moods of her storyline.

    Wonderful Interview/Wrangle


    oh ps. loookie, Timeless 1 day...more Lord Maccon:D

    1. Michelle - Thank you and if you like I can introduce you and you can review her Silver Series, she's looking for a good blog to plug it esp since book 4 is coming up.


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