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Interview with:

Cherie DeBurger [cherie5] 

What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
My mother and sister were/are avid readers so it was only natural for me to become one as well. I used to read Nancy Drew Mysteries, Judy Blume books, and then I got into Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and anything scary. I have always loved to write and have been doing so since I was young. I always kept a diary growing up I would write little stories for fun. My mother is always the first to read whatever I write. I trust her judgement and she promised me she would tell me the truth if something was not very good, which she has done a couple times already.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favorite genre is suspense/horror. Although my main writing is humorous stories about life in general with children, I love it when I can side step into the darker side of my psyche where anything goes. My sister has told me that my mind has to be twisted to come up with some of the plots I create. I won the August and September fiction short story contest on the website thetimeiswrite.net and my last story is still posted there. To read some of my Lifes Moments articles you can check out my blog at blog.canadianparents.com/cherie5/
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
When I get an idea I immediately write it down before I can forget it. I can get ideas from just watching people, or things I see on TV. There is an endless supply of things that give me ideas, including my dreams. Once I get an idea I write down an outline of how I think the story will go and sit down and type.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Suspense/thrillers inspire me.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
I believe the basic ingredient of a story is imagination, without it you have nothing, with it you have everything.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I find writing in third person is easier. In my mind I float above the story as it is happening (while I am writing it). If I tried to put it in first person I don't feel that the story would flow as easy.
What well known writers do you admire most?
I admire Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and John Grisham. I have been reading them for years and have not found anyone that compares to them.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
The character has to have real characteristics, real feelings, anything to make it possible to relate to them. I try to envelope myself into the characeter so I can describe the details better.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Children's stories I can come up with out of the blue, I do it for my kids all the time and I would say yes I am just as good at telling them. As for the suspense/thriller genre I write and re-write my stories, I never get it right first time around.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
I definately write for myself, it's like a therapy for me. I leave this world and enter the one I am making, everything else goes away. I feel the range of emotions my characters are feeling, I really get into it.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Yes, reader feed-back helps me. I love to hear what people think and if they are getting the point that I am trying to make. I want to know if the story is easy to follow and understand. I am far from perfect and need all the input and advice I can get, whether I follow the advice or not is the question.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
Yes, I just started competing in fictional short story contests and have won twice on the website thetimeiswrite.net
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
I get an idea and run the plot by my mother or daughter and depending on their reaction I go ahead with it or try to think of something else. I usually complete the piece once I start it and then get opinions.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I try to write everyday, but with five children it is a very busy household. I have a weekly column in the Chatham Daily News so I always try and stay 15 or 20 articles ahead so I don't get crunched by the deadlines.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
I have my computer on the kitchen table and I write with everything whirling around me. I don't have a quiet spot all to myself, I have to be able to keep an eye on the kids but, as all mothers, I can tune them out so that helps.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I write on my computer. I don't print it off until it is completed and polished and then I file it so I have a hard copy as backup.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I like the Canadian Parent website, canadianparents.com, I am also on thetimeiswrite.net often.
What has been your experience with publishers?
My experiences have been good ones. They have been very supportive and willing to work with me regarding any changes they want. I always try very hard to comply with the guidelines of submissions which helps start the working relationship off on the right foot.
What are you working on now?
As always, I am working on my column, as well as suspenseful short stories. I am continuously looking for contests to enter or magazines or ezines that would be interested in printing my work.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Dig out the old stuff, re-read and re-edit, and give it to someone to read. I find I am my own worst critic so it is best to get someone elses opinion even on the stuff that you think stinks.

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Cherie DeBurger
Wallaceburg, Canada

[cherie5] Cherie DeBurger
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Web address for this interview:http://www.whohub.com/cherie5

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