When I asked CeeCee how she might describe herself, she answered: “Never forget where you have been, so you can remember where you may not want to go again.” Experiencing the unique insights and thoughts of the author is one of the reasons we read. I am glad to introduce this southern fantasy author to you here on No Wasted Ink.
I am Cheryllynn Dyess. I am a forty-two year old woman born and raised in the southeastern part of the United States, mainly Georgia and Florida. I was raised loving the outdoors and being crafty. I enjoy fishing, crafting, reading, and football. I graduated from the University of Phoenix with my BA in Healthcare Administration/Health Information Systems. I have about twenty years of healthcare experience from reception to health aide to dental assisting in oral surgery to management. I have always had a drive to take care of others.
I am a mother of four and two grand-babies. I have three fur babies. Two Chihuahua’s and one Chihuahua and one mini Australian Shepherd mix. Currently, writing is one of two occupations I have. Avon is the other. Yes, I am the Avon Lady! I have been in Avon for two years and it has been very successful for me. The earnings from Avon have paid for all the publishing and marketing costs of my books as well as many household bills. Actually, I started Avon to pay for my writing expenses and the business has grown immensely.
When and why did you begin writing?
In the mid to late 1980s, I began scribbling away thoughts and pieces of crumbs to whole dishes that are now poems. I began writing for no reason other than I felt the drive to do so. My hand met the pen and the pen met the paper, creating many pieces of work that are still on the original paper from decades ago.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Two years ago I began writing as a serious notion to be a writer, but only when I saw my first book published in my hands did I acknowledge that I was an actual writer.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
My most recently published book is Kyluna, Jein’s Journey Series Book 3. In Kyluna, Jein has been accepted as the type of woman she wants to be and now is allowing herself to accept her destiny. Accepting love and fate has always been a struggle for Jein, since meeting Rohm she has had little choice but to accept and enjoy what life has meant for her. She finally finds a land worthy of her people and is visited by…well, now you will have to read the book to learn that part.
What inspired you to write this book?
I am not sure that inspiration drove me to write this series to be honest. It’s hard to explain, I was told I should write a book because I had talent. So one day I said, “Okay I will.” I sat at the computer and Jein’s Journey started to unfold. In many ways Jein is a reflection of myself, so in that case I am my own inspiration.
Do you have a specific writing style?
When I write I typically grab an idea and start writing, editing and rewriting. I do not plan much although I do research when needed.
How did you come up with the title of this book?
Jein’s Journey was a given title when I knew it would be more than one book about Jein. Jein’s Journey is not only about where she goes to look for a home for her people but also about her journey with life.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The underlying message in my novel is to accept who you are and to always be true to yourself no matter what. Too many times people change who they are to fit others desires and needs and this is not how we should be at any time.
Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The events are not comparable to any in my life or any others that I am aware of, but as for experience, yes. The general feeling of being an individual different than what others deemed acceptable, always struggling with being true to oneself, is in reference to me. I grew up in a home where I could not be myself and when I did, I was chided greatly for not being what I was expected to be.
What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?
Writing influences most comes from Edgar Allen Poe, others include more recents like J.K.Rowling, T.M. Nielsen, Jennifer Malone Wright and N.K.Jemisin.
Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?
Kristy Charbonneau did the cover design on all my books, not just this one. I was refered to her from a fellow author and was greatly impressed with her work from my first self-published book and had to have her to repeat her magic for me.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Advice for writers, well I would say first if you chose to write know that your work does not end at the ending page of the story. Whether you are self-published or published through an agent the work does not end with the hit of the submit button. Martketing, marketing and marketing are forever a job. I would advise that a writer take time to read about several paths that are available for editing services, cover designs, formatting professionals, publishing venues and most of all marketing. There is a lot of work to write a book but if you do not do the proper amount of work to get it in the hands of readers it was all for not.
My second huge piece of advice is to remember that you will not please all readers. If you have a style of writing and a genre you prefer then stay true to yourself and your writing.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
To all my readers and to any readers, really, remember that the author you are reading the work of has poured their souls out for the world to see openly so do them a kind favor and leave a review of that book you just read. Let us authors know how you like the work or follow us on one of our social media networks. We love to hear feedback and to have interaction with our readers. As always, I would love to say thank you to my readers for taking the time to consider my work, purchasing it and reading it.
Cover Artist: Kristy Charbonneau