Friday, March 15, 2013

YA Author Cheryl Rogers

Today we talk with Cheryl Rogers about her new ebook, Lost In The Woods for teens and preteens.

Is there a story behind your book Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery?

Lost in the Woods is definitely fiction, but it’s based on my experiences while camping in the Florida backwoods many years ago. I personally have experienced the rigors of life along the back trails and rivers -- deer snorting in the night, stinging no-see-ums, spiders spinning webs from the forest trees, alligators lazily sunning themselves, and even a snake coiled to strike. Then there was mud so thick you needed boots and mosquitoes so vicious you knew … it was time to leave.

As a mom, I’ve also been privileged to chaperone youths on field trips and at church.

All these experiences, plus my love of Nancy Drew and other mysteries as a child, came together in this Bible Camp Series that lets me share my faith with young adult readers.

What started you on your writing journey?

I devoured every mystery I could get my hands on while growing up. That included Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and the Dana Sisters. They inspired me to be a writer.

Although I originally studied journalism and became a newspaper reporter, I did that to have a steady paycheck. My first love was fiction.

I learned a lot from my experiences as a newspaper reporter, but I quit years ago to raise my family. I still do freelance nonfiction writing; now I enjoy writing fiction as well.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? 

I have developed an affection for all of these Bible Camp Mystery characters, more so than for the other fictitious characters in my other ebooks. Zack is too adventurous for his own good, but you just have to forgive him, while Chang is just a real nice and accommodating guy. I can just feel his discomfort because he is new and just doesn’t quite fit in yet. I love Peter and his enthusiasm for his Uncle Carlos’ cooking, especially the traditional roast pig (which I ate as a child). Those are just three of them. 

Then I’ve got to give credit to Chet Harrigan, for daring to take a group of guys out in the woods – when the truth of the matter is he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He takes a terrible chance, and makes a real faith walk, even for a former gang leader. He’s got to face the parents.

If I had to pick one of the younger kids, it would probably be Chang because he’s just so amiable. But honestly, I would hate to choose.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?

I really like to write about the times in people’s lives when they come to the end of themselves and know they need God – that place of true surrender. I hope it will encourage others to seek him and find him early, before they suffer needlessly because they don’t know God.

There is such a comfort in knowing God and having a relationship with him. There’s a peace you have when you know the one who is in charge of everything – and you know he is for you. I want everyone to have that.

Can you share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you? 
There are a lot of wonderful Scriptures that I love to pray and claim for myself, my family and others. It is really hard to choose!!

When I pray for my health, I like to quote from 1 Peter 2:24. But I really like Isaiah 54:17 about no weapon formed against us prospering. One that really helps me keep things in perspective is the one about him bearing responsibility for us in Isaiah 46:4. The knowledge that I am his, I am his responsibility, is a great comfort. I need not take the whole world on my shoulders.

What other ebooks have you written for young adults?

I’ve written a short story collection, Just Like Jonah Wail Tales, for 10 to 14 year olds. The main characters land in a whale of trouble for making the wrong choices, just like Jonah in the Bible.

I’ve also written a short story, Together Again, featuring a 17-year-old named Abe who has a strange dream about Abraham Lincoln. He decides to study Lincoln’s life and ends up changing his own. The ebook packs a powerful message about superheroes and teaches us to cherish love whenever we find it.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

My next project is Just Like Jonah Wail Tales Workbook. It includes discussion questions and Scripture readings for each of the original Just Like Jonah Wail Tales stories, plus two more.

The original Just Like Jonah Wail Tales includes six short stories where the main characters make bad choices, but then they seek God and receive mercy.
The workbook is being developed for churches, youth and Bible study groups, homeschool parents and others who want teaching materials for 10 to 14 year olds. The release date is not firm yet, but I’m hoping it will be available in a couple of months, or less.

After that I would expect to release the second ebook in the Bible Camp Mystery series later in the year. The details of that still are being worked out. It will feature many of the same familiar and lovable characters from the Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery, including leaders Chet and Gary, and teens Zack and Chang.

It all sounds like some good reading for the younger crowd. Thanks for sharing!

Connect with Cheryl Rogers at:

Purchase Lost In The Woods at:
Smashwords  (Use code:YY85V at checkout for a free download. Offer good through 3/31/13)

Cheryl Rogers is giving away an e-copy of Lost In The WoodsTo be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your e-mail address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


cjajsmommy said...

I know a boy that would love this book. djragno (at) hotmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

What a great interview! Thanks for having the giveaway.


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