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CHERYL McKAY - INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY of FINALLY THE BRIDE

Book promo shot by Christopher Price
ABOUT AUTHOR: Cheryl McKay is the screenwriter of the award winning film, The Ultimate Gift, and co-author of the ACFW/Carol Award winning novel, Never the Bride. She recently penned the film sequel to The Ultimate Gift, called The Ultimate Life. Cheryl keeps her purple pen busy through Purple PenWorks.


How did you come up with the premise for Finally the Bride?

During the novelization process of getting my Never the Bride script turned into book with Rene Gutteridge, I started to feel God prompting me to write a non-fiction version of my story, sharing of all my years of being single and waiting on Him to do something about the lack of love in my life. He’d asked me to surrender my pen to Him (just like I wrote into Jessie’s story in Never the Bride). The years that followed of waiting on Him included a lot of trials, lessons, and preparation that I felt God wanted me to share in Finally the Bride. This includes a lot of journal entries where I’m pretty honest about what this journey was like. The book ends up having this “real time” feel because readers go through the journey with me. I started the book having no idea what the ending would be or whether or not I’d be married by the time I would be ready to publish it.

Lisa Crates & Chris Price
How does the cover process work for you? Did you have any say in picking out the cover for your books?

Well, with Finally the Bride, this was a blast. My husband actually had a big hand in designing it. He did the photography on the back (of my wedding dress and our rings) and the front is actually one of my bridal portraits. If people don’t know me, they don’t usually realize that until the end since you can’t see my face. We chose this photo because it almost looks like I, as a bride, am waiting in line for my turn. My husband has also done some great photography for my blog and website. I’m hoping he can have a hand in designing more covers in the future, whether we publish traditionally or independently.

What do you like most about the writing process? What do you like least?

For me, writing can redeem anything difficult or painful I’ve been through, because I can then share about it to help others. (I’ve written various aspects of my life story in about 5-6 scripts, and now am writing a lot of non-fiction.) If I can find a way to put myself or my personal experience into what I’m sharing, I am much more passionate about it, and it makes writing fun and pretty easy. In fiction, I also enjoy living in the world of characters, finding their voices, and just playing with them. I know I’m onto something when the voices don’t stop chattering in my head and they’re too fast to keep up with when typing.

What do I like least?
Probably if I get an assignment I’m not as passionate about. It can be tough to squeeze out pages if it’s an area foreign to me or that doesn’t speak to me personally.

Your book Finally the Bride is very personal, encouraging and the principles can be applied to any area of our lives. I appreciate your honesty and perseverance. Now that you’ve been married a little while what is your favorite thing about being married? What has surprised you?
Wedding photos by Lisa Crates 

We just hit our one-year anniversary in May. One of the nicest surprises is that we had been warned about how hard the first year is; everyone called it a big adjustment. We found that to be quite far from reality. We had a ball! I guess we both waited so long to find someone that, once we had it, we were so grateful for it. It’s really nice having someone to share the ups and downs of life with.

Can you tell me about two WOW—moments you’ve had since being published? What made it a wow for you?

There is nothing more meaningful than hearing from people you’ve never met, saying you’ve changed their lives. One of the comments I get most often is that people feel like I somehow got inside their head and wrote their thoughts. Apparently, all the ups and downs I felt during my long journey as a single person is very relatable to others on the same path. Being able to help others makes putting details about my personal life out there worth it.

I think another may is the first time I held Finally the Bride in my hands. Especially because this was so personal and seeing my husband’s work on the book cover was just so fun. It’s been a long time in the making (after so much waiting), representative of a dream come true, and to then hold it in my hands was so meaningful.

Can you give us a sneak peek into what you are working on now? When will it be released?

Rene and I have another novelization in the works (like we did with Never the Bride), based on my romantic comedy script Greetings from the Flipside for B and H Publishing. It’ll come out Fall 2013. I also wrote the film sequel to The Ultimate Gift, called The Ultimate Life. I hope we shoot this year. And of course, we’re still working on raising the funds to shoot Never the Bride, my passion project! I hope we get to shoot in Charleston, SC, such a romantic city.

Later this summer, I’ll be releasing my autobiography that has been about ten years in the making. It’s called Finally Fearless: Journey from Panic to Peace. It’s geared toward those who struggle with fear, panic, and anxiety attacks, and those who are tired of fear ruling their lives. It ruled my life for over twenty years, but no more. It covers aspects of my life when I was too afraid to get married.

If you had the opportunity to write anything on any topic (and you were guaranteed a market to sell it in) what would you write? Why?

I have a screenplay called Song of Springhill based on the mining disasters that happened in Springhill, Nova Scotia in the 50s. My grandfather was one of the survivors. It’s a beautiful story of hope, faith, and a town that refused to give up when most people thought everyone underground was dead. They experienced a few major miracle rescues up to 8 days after disasters, finding people alive. It’s an extraordinary story, very inspiring. I’d love to do the book version and of course, see a movie get made.

What do you hope to accomplish in your book? What do you hope readers walk away with after reading Finally the Bride?

Wedding photos by Lisa Crates 

If anyone has been waiting a long time to find love, I desire for readers to find hope in my story. They’ll hear from someone who gets it, who’s been there (and was there for 39 years of my life.) If anyone’s ever been waiting a long time for God to bring a promise to pass, I think my story can encourage them as well. It doesn’t just have to be for singles. God does, indeed, fulfill every promise He makes, even if it takes a while. I hope my story is a journey of faith that inspires people.


QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK

If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and what would you do? (All expenses paid)
Wedding photos by Lisa Crates 

Europe. My husband and I love to take trips and explore new places, especially great places to take photographs. I think our dream vacation would be to go to Italy, see the canals, Rome, Paris. I’d love to see the Vatican. I’d have to do some research if we were to ever plan a trip, but one of my hobbies is being our trip planner. I find fun places for us to go closer to home than Europe, for day trips or weekend trips. I also planned our whole cross-country trek from NC to CA when we moved my husband out to California after we got married. It was a blast!

What THREE things would you not want to live without? (besides family and friends)

My laptop, Chapstick, and water. But I also can’t imagine life without chocolate so I’m sneaking in a fourth one.

Name two of your favorite books you read growing up?

Amelia Bedelia series of books. Hilarious! My sister recently checked them out of the library to read to my nephews, and we were cracking up way more than they were. And Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham.

You are shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians – all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do you think you’d play?

I’d figure out what everyone’s gifts were, and help them figure out what roles to play, making sure we had all our bases covered—kind of like being a movie producer and managing a crew. Hiring people who have the right talents to get to the job done. People are happier if they can be in a role they like and are good at. I’d try to figure out what that was for everyone.

A friend of yours has a time machine and they are going to let you use it for a while. Where would you go and what would you do?

I love this question. I have always asked God if He could make me a “flashback generator” so I could watch scenes from my own past. (I wrote that device into a script once.) I have many times from my own life I’d love to return to, so I could have stronger memories. So rather than visit a time period I wasn’t a part of (even though a visit to watch my parents in the 50s would be oh-so-cool), I’d like to go back and watch scenes from my own life like Scrooge gets to do. First visit would be to watch the scene when I first met my husband in the 90s. Neither of us remembers that moment! (We were just friends back then.) I’d love to visit some of my favorite Christmases. Watch my first exposure to Disney World (which is my favorite place on earth!) Watch some hilarious memories of the 80s teen era with some of my friends. So I’d be a viewer watching the younger version of me, rather than going back in time to participate.

Though it would be fun to go have a conversation with myself like I did in a dream once. I’d also use it to visit times I want to write about, like the night my grandfather was rescued from that mining disaster. Because I’m so nostalgic, God probably knows better than to give me this sort of device or I’d spend too much time captivated by the past.

ANY FINAL COMMENTS CHERYL!!
Thanks for all the fun questions, Nora. I so appreciate your ongoing support of my work. Excited about the interaction with readers @TBCN! People can learn more about buying my books and the film, The Ultimate Gift at: http://cherylmckay.wordpress.com/buybooksmovies/


I also have two author pages on Facebook, one by myself and one with Rene Gutteridge for our novelizations. And my twitter is: @purplepenworks

Cheryl

Cheryl’s websites:
www.purplepenworks.com

Thanks Cheryl for stopping by and letting us get to know you and your books. I LOVED Never the Bride and Finally the Bride. I‘ll be the first one at the theatre when Never the Bride is released in theatres. It’s a book that is near and dear to my heart.

I also was deeply moved by your transparency in Finally the Bride. I feel this book applies to us ALL whether you are waiting to be a bride or waiting on any promise God has made you. It takes faith to stand on what you know to be true of God and His plan for your life. Thank you for the opportunity to read both books and get to know you!

HEAD OVER TO TBCN NOW and Enter the drawing. CLICK THIS LINK TO ENTER CONTEST http://www.bookfun.org/group/tbcnfeaturedauthors/forum/topics/july-2012-book-giveaway-cheryl-mckay-finally-the-bride-non-fictio

You'll be able to interact with Cheryl at The Book Club Network and enter a drawing for a chance to win one of your giveaway packages. She's giving away books and Movies! THANKS CHERYL!! I'm really looking forward to featuring you and your book @TBCN!


Sincerely,
With a grateful Heart


Nora St.Laurent
The Book club Network
www.bookfun.org

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