Dontro to the Rescue by Cheryl WattCheryl Wyatt was born on Valentine’s Day on a naval base, so it might just be her destiny to write military romances. She is the author of a number of medical and military romances. The newest is Doctor to the Rescue, a Harlequin Christian romance novel that typifies her slogan: “Romance with Virtue, Action, Faith, Rescue.”

More than a Review had a chance to ask Cheryl a few questions about herself. Read about her and we know you’ll like her just as much as we do — so go and Like her at Facebook, too!

MTAR: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Cheryl Wyatt: I am a worshipper of Jesus, first and foremost. I am a mom to three wonderful girls who amaze me every day with their sweet, generous spirits. I am a wife to a cute rocker dude and I am an RN who is now writing fiction full time. I love to laugh and to make others laugh. I am very family-oriented. That said, I love adventure too.

MTAR: What do you do when you are not writing?
Cheryl Wyatt: Spend time with my family and with God praying and worshipping. My husband has an A/V company and we travel to a lot of sound gigs with bands you’ve heard of. I’m going to start telling of our adventures on a blog called Verbs and Reverbs soon.

MTAR: What inspired you to write your first book?
Cheryl Wyatt: I’ve always wanted to write, for as long as I can remember. Pre-kindergarten even, I churned out a construction paper and Crayola book that my mom still has. My parents’ belief in me and their encouragement inspired me to try. I believe God had a hand in directing them. I know He is who gave me the talent. I’m so thankful to God and to my parents.

MTAR: What inspired you to write with a medical setting?
Cheryl Wyatt: My editor asked me to try to write a medical miniseries for them. After working in healthcare for almost two decades, immersed in 12 hour night shifts, I wasn’t sure I wanted to write about it after living it. But surprisingly, I am having an absolute blast with the series, Eagle Point Emergency.

MTAR: How did you choose the genre you write in?
Cheryl Wyatt: I think the genre chose me. I enjoy action movies and romance, and I was raised with a healthy respect for the military. I have several family members and friends who served and who still serve and I feel grateful to get to honor them with my books. I love featuring rescuers in fiction as well as unique career fields such as Pararescue.

MTAR: Which book do you recommend for a reader that is new to your writing?
Cheryl Wyatt: I’d recommend starting with A Soldier’s Promise, since that kicks off the Wings of Refuge Series. If readers want to start the Eagle Point Emergency series first, I recommend The Doctor’s Devotion, then Doctor to the Rescue and future books in the order of their release. Even though each books stands alone, the Wings of Refuge series does progress with each PJ (Pararescue Jumper) meeting his life mate.

MTAR: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Cheryl Wyatt: This is going to sound funny, but Aesop’s Fables was one of my favorite books. I loved (still love!) The Littles series of books. I remember those characters so well.

MTAR: What books/authors have influenced your writing?
Cheryl Wyatt: So many, really. Dee Henderson was an influence and an encouragement to me as was Margaret Daley, Ginny Aiken, Debora Clopton, Mae Nunn, etc.

MTAR: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Cheryl Wyatt: The main challenge was that I didn’t have a great grammar class growing up and that was something I had to apply myself to learning. I still do! It was tough to go from one career field (RN) where I was experienced in, to writing, where I had to start all over again learning the ropes. As in medicine, with writing, the learning never stops.

MTAR: How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
Cheryl Wyatt: I LOVE interacting with readers and writing good books is probably the best way I can think of. I do a ton of digital marketing…being active online.

MTAR: Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
Cheryl Wyatt: Tons of them. LOL! They need a lot of work. I have a lot of stories running around inside.

MTAR: What was your favorite chapter (or scene) to write and why?
Cheryl Wyatt: I can’t think of a particular one, but I enjoy scenes with children in them and humorous scenes where I put my characters in situations they’d never willingly go by themselves/if they had a choice in the matter. LOL! Those are SO fun to write.

MTAR: How did you come up with the title?
Cheryl Wyatt: For my books now, my publisher’s marketing and editorial department comes up with title ideas, for which I’m grateful because I’m not that great at coming up with titles.

MTAR: Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
Cheryl Wyatt: I love featuring PJs (Pararescue Jumpers) and other Special Operative Search and Rescue military personnel. People hear a lot about Navy SEALS, but not a lot about PJs, who are elite and not well known skydiving combat paramedics who also do civilian rescues. I think the world is becoming more aware of them as they’re being featured more in mainstream media. I’ve featured them in Inspirational romance, category-length (small) books. I’d LOVE to feature a PJ team in a bigger, more action-driven book and that’s in the works.

MTAR: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
Cheryl Wyatt: When people misunderstand the process, or my intentions. Sometimes errors make it into books and it’s not the author’s fault. I’ve had a few reviews that were hard to swallow, but I try to focus on the reviews and readers who did enjoy the book. I personally hate the concept of reviews because it’s one person’s opinion. I guess they matter in the scheme of things, but it’s easy to get tripped up by bad reviews and blown up (big head-pride) by good ones. So I honestly try not to read my reviews.

MTAR: What has been the best compliment?
Cheryl Wyatt: When a person said they felt touched by God or his spirit by reading my book. Those letters are what keep me going.

MTAR: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Cheryl Wyatt: Write as worship and use your talent to make the right kind of difference. Keep believing and trying. This industry and this pursuit of publication can be brutal. I encourage authors not to give up too soon.

MTAR: Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Cheryl Wyatt: I wish I could express how thankful I am to readers and to fans. It feels strange to me to even say fan, because in truth, I am a huge fan of readers. I couldn’t continue to do what I love were it not for their support and for them telling others about my books. I love interacting with readers and have a Facebook page dedicated to them.

MTAR: What would your fans be surprised to know about you?
Cheryl Wyatt: I am very shy and I have somewhat of an ornery sense of humor. LOL!

MTAR: Dogs or Cats?
Cheryl Wyatt: I have dogs but I love both.

MTAR: Do you have a specific writing style?
Cheryl Wyatt:  Instinct. It’s hard for me to even explain to people who to write or how I write because I am such an instinct writer.

MTAR: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Cheryl Wyatt: That God wants relationship with them and he is intimately acquainted with their hopes, their dreams, their disappointments and their needs and wants.

MTAR: What books have most influenced your life most?
Cheryl Wyatt: The Bible, hands down.

MTAR: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Cheryl Wyatt: Margaret Daley has been and is a mentor to me. I appreciate and love her so much. Same with Ginny Aiken. She’s given me such sound advice. Colleen Coble is also a tremendous encouragement to me and to other writers. She has an amazingly bubbly personality and her positive outlook gives wings to writers’ dreams. Camy Tang is an amazing source of encouragement.

MTAR: What book are you reading now?
Cheryl Wyatt: Just finished reading Robin Caroll’s Strand of Deception for endorsement…oh my word! Great book. It’ll be available in a few months.

MTAR: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Cheryl Wyatt: Alan Schleimer is a new thriller writer on the scene. Fantastic writer. Danica Favorite McDonald isn’t published yet, but she is going to be a fantastic writer and I can’t wait for the world to know it. Same thing with Pamela James. She is one of the best suspense writers I’ve encountered and I can’t wait for these gal’s projects to get picked up by major publishers. Pamela has a way with writing animals and little children, like no one I’ve ever read. Danica takes women’s issues and writes them with grace and finesse. They both dearly deserve to be published. Walt Mussell writes his wife’s heritage in fiction and is a fantastic writer. He totally writes out of the box and I can’t wait to see a publisher take a chance on his work. It’s very unique and deserving of publication. I love Lynette Eason’s work as well. Two other up and comers (unpublished) to keep an eye out for are Carol Moncado and Patty Wysong.

MTAR: What are your current projects?
Cheryl Wyatt: I am batting around ideas for more books in the Eagle Point Emergency series and also a different series for Love Inspired. I’m also working on a bigger book, where I can feature US Air Force Pararescue Jumpers and other search and rescue service members. It’s a bit of a genre change, so that’s the challenge.

MTAR: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Cheryl Wyatt: I just turned in book three in Eagle Point Emergency and it has a Superman/Clark Kent theme about it. It was so fun to write and a bit of a challenge due to a hero-as-bandit element…and I hope readers enjoy it.

MTAR: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Cheryl Wyatt: My friends, for sure. My prayer sisters, my girls’ school and the staff there have all been wonderfully supportive. My church too, although I doubt most of them know I’m a published author…I try to be low key about it there, because I just want to be known as Cheryl-who-loves-Jesus rather than Cheryl-the-author. I feel that each woman’s gifts are important, from the hidden to the more visible. It was a challenge for me to go from having the hidden gift of intercessory prayer to the very public gift of writing for publication, yet I know God called me to it. I don’t want anyone to belittle their impact though, just because the world doesn’t know or see how they serve in secret. Everything we do, if we do it as worship, God will make sure it makes impact and draws people to himself. Encouragement is one of my gifts and I feel like my books are a means for me to offer mass encouragement to people I normally wouldn’t have access to. I will never take for granted the ability to bless people with words that hopefully make a difference in a person’s life or even in their day.

MTAR: Do you see writing as a career?
Cheryl Wyatt: No. I wouldn’t be willing to endure the heartache and headache associated with it, to be truthful. I see it as a calling. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to spend the amount of time and heart and tears and work that goes into getting a book to the point of being publishable.

MTAR: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Cheryl Wyatt: I’ve always wanted to write. I think I was born with it. LOL!

MTAR: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Cheryl Wyatt: Writing is hard. Re-writing is fun!

MTAR: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Cheryl Wyatt: I don’t have a favorite…but I like people who do action well. I love Debbie Macomber and love her mass emotional appeal.

MTAR: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Cheryl Wyatt: Not at this time. I mostly do digital marketing. I have young children and left one career to stay home with them, so with the writing, I strive to market mostly from home via the computer and being active online. When you see me comment online anywyhere…that is really me.

MTAR: Who designed the covers?
Cheryl Wyatt: My amazing art department at Harlequin.

MTAR: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Cheryl Wyatt: The actual coming up with a plot. LOL!

MTAR: Through your research do you typically learn something new from each book you write and what was it with this one?
Cheryl Wyatt: I always learn stuff. I love researching and I have to rip myself away from the research to begin writing the books. The last thing I learned was that Illinois is phasing out LPNs and that is a shame in my opinion because they’re such an asset to health care. I also learned some background on Marines that I didn’t know. The more humanitarian side that people don’t see. I’m going to feature that with the PJ hero book I’m working on. A Marine is a secondary character who I hope ends up with his own book. My dad was a Marine and I’d love to honor his company with the book.

MTAR: What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
Cheryl Wyatt: Psychological mostly because I always feel I’m a terrible writer. I always feel I don’t measure up and constantly fight feelings of inadequacy. It really can be crippling to a writer. That’s why I don’t read my bad reviews because to me, they serve no purpose and mostly the reviewers have never tried to write or traditionally publish a book themselves. Also because I have enough negative voices in my head…I don’t need the discouragement that a harsh review can bring. My publisher obviously believed in me and in the book or they wouldn’t have spent the money publishing and promoting it. So, in a way, harsh reviews are a slam to the publisher as well. I do want to say that there is a difference in an honest review and in an unnecessarily harsh one. Most of the time with harsh reviews, something else is driving it. I try to keep that in mind and pray for the reviewer.

MTAR: What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
Cheryl Wyatt: Romance and action romance for sure. Military romance and now medical themed military romance. Romance that features rescuers. I like the peril-and-rescue theme more than typical suspense where it’s murder/mystery/mayhem. I like writing about natural disasters and humans overcoming in the midst of that and communities banding together.

MTAR: Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Cheryl Wyatt: Yes. For a year I struggled, am still struggling in fact, with the plot for the single title book I’m working on. It’s kicking my caboose, but with God’s help, it’ll come about.

MTAR: Do you work with an outline, or just write?
Cheryl Wyatt: I do a loose scene index and a character sketch…then just write. I’m in between a plotter and a pantser.