Janet Tronstad - Dry Creek & Other Stories discussion

Guests to Dry Creek > Cheryl Wyatt is coming to visit

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message 1: by JanetTronstad (new)

JanetTronstad Author Tronstad | 1204 comments Mod
I'm setting up the thread so we can start to collect some questions for Cheryl Wyatt. I feel like we should have a drum roll for her! Cheryl started writing military romances back when there weren't so many. My hat is off to her! So let's start the questions coming.

message 2: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 603 comments Oh this is so exciting, I love Cheryl and her books. She hooked me by mentioning cricket and knowing about it.
One of my favourite scenes is the one where now I cant remember his rank but the father of the triplets, was herding the imaginary geese for his son. I love that scene. How did you come up with the idea.

message 3: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (Jennafraugh) | 126 comments Fun!

message 4: by Jillian (new)

Jillian (JillianHart) | 107 comments Hi, Cheryl! So good to see you here. : ) I've put on my thinking cap and came up with a queston for ya.

How do you come up with your ideas?

Jill : )

message 5: by JanetTronstad (new)

JanetTronstad Author Tronstad | 1204 comments Mod
Cheryl, what I'd like to know is how you decided on doing books with a military theme.

message 6: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Eberly (KathyEberly) | 218 comments I enjoy reading Cheryl's books and especially enjoyed Steadfast Soldier and all of the rest of the books in that series. When will we see your next book?

message 7: by Camy (new)

Camy (camytang) CHERYL!!!!!!!!!! Wassap homie?????? :)

message 8: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments I am so excited to be here! To tackle some of your questions:

Jenny-Hey, my Aussie/Cricket-loving pal! So good to see you! I got that gaggle of imaginary geese idea from a cousin who, rather than have an imaginary friend when she was little, had an imaginary flock of crows! Those crows went EVERYWHERE with the family and about wore her mom out. :-)

message 9: by Cheryl (last edited Feb 04, 2012 06:29PM) (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments Jennifer-it's good to see you here. Thanks for coming!

Jillian-thanks for coming! I get ideas all around me. Things I see and hear. I'm an avid eavesdropper. LOL!

I once saw a big hunky (cute, too!) police officer in uniform at Walmart. He had the most perplexed look on his face. In addition to that, he had an ENTIRE CART FULL of stuffed animals. He kept putting a few back, then exchanging the ones he'd stuck back on the shelves with others. It was Easter time and I must have ran circles around that aisle watching him for a solid twenty minutes before he finally decided on seafoam green ducks and pink rabbits....about 20 of each. Not sure if he was going to speak at a school or what...but I could not get the intrigue of that out of my head.

So that scenario and the unanswered question as to what he was going to do with all of those kids' stuffed animals became the opening scene to a book I haven't turned in yet. Of course the heroine had to be the strange stalker lady who watched him for twenty minutes because she HAD to know what he was going to do with all those toys. Was he going to take them to a childrens' hospital? Cancer ward? School?

I never found the answer to that question...so I answered it myself in a book. :-)

That's just one example of how an everyday sighting ends up into a full-fledged story.

Some books have originated from one single line that one of my kids or my husband say.

Once, Camy, Danica and I were on a road trip. A man and woman were hugging and sobbing at a gas station. He had a backpack or a guitar or something and they were obviously saying goodbye. That scene of that emotionally-broken young couple haunted me and we brainstormed it until it became the premise for A Soldier's Reunion (Love Inspired June 2009). Really I get story ideas from everything I see, hear and even touch.

I am very sensory oriented and love fabrics with unique feels to them. My sensory obsession became a line in The Doctor's Devotion (releases July 1 from Love Inspired) in that I used it to describe the "purple velvet dusk descending on the grounds outside the Eagle Point Emergency Trauma Center." In line at the store (probably Walmart!) a lady in front of me had a purple velvet duster on that I could NOT keep from touching, which cracked her up. LOL! I so loved the feel and the violet color that I used it to describe the setting and Southern Illinois sunset outside. Stuff like that.

I guess you could say that I get a LOT of my story ideas at Walmart! LOL.

message 10: by Cheryl (last edited Feb 04, 2012 03:54AM) (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments Janet-first, thank you so much for kicking me into gear with being more present on Goodreads. I appreciate you having me here. It is truly an honor!

To answer your question, I was encouraged by editor Dave Fessenden, who was my instructor at Christian Writers Guild, to pursue action-driven romance, because over the course of teaching me, he helped me discover my voice and said my strongest voice came out in those action scenes which eventually morphed into military-themed books. So I tried submitting one and my spree of rejections ended when Melissa Endlich contracted the first book in Wings of Refuge which features an elite team of Pararescue Jumpers (PJs) who are special operations skydiving paramedics. I had known about PJs because of doing research on Vietnam because my dad served. I have been raised to honor servicemembers and our family is very patriotic and Support the Troops, kind of people. My dad is a member of the Patriot Guard (the Motorcycle organization that guards family members of fallen servicemembers from people trying to protest them.)

So really, it's in my blood. I have several family members and extended family members as does my husband who have served and who currently serve. Plus, I was born on a Naval base in San Diego on Valentines' Day! So, hey, that right there destined me to write military-themed romance!

message 11: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments Kathy-so great to see you here! Thank you for your kind words about my book. The next book is The Doctor's Devotion and releases July 1 of this year. It's the first book in a new series that is loosely related to Wings of Refuge. It's called Eagle Point Emergency and the PJs make cameo appearances in the new series. :-) Book two in Eagle Point Emergency is called Doctor to the Rescue and releases January 2013. The series is in keeping with my military brand in that it features a former trauma combat team that comes home from a long deployment to open a much needed trauma center in a small town. It revives the town, literally, economy wise. It will have a strong community feel and of course ROMANCE! Plus hunky former-military doctors. :-)

Camy!!!! HEY, MY LONG LOST BFF! LOL! Camy and I have been so steeped in deadlines that we haven't had a chance to be gabbing one another's ears off lately. We'll get caught up though, and she's going to help me plot mayhem in my next book. So fun! She is an excellent brainstormer and a wonderful friend.

Will check back in later!

message 12: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments Yeesh! Forgive all the typos. Can you tell I got up too early this morning? LOLOL!


message 13: by Sally (new)

Sally | 7 comments Hi Cheryl!! It is great to see you on here. I love your books. How do you decide which book, or character, or theme you are going to write about next? Do you have a guideline you have to follow to get books done in a specific order, or when you finish one, do you get an idea and take off on another book?

message 14: by Valri (new)

Valri Western | 433 comments Cheryl - I too, love all your books! i've read every one of them! I loved the PJ books and learned a lot about them. I enjoy military books and learning about all branches of service. Thanks for expanding our learning! Can't wait to hear from you again - it's been a long time, girl! Will this new series be set in one town like the PJ series was?

message 15: by Cheryl (last edited Feb 04, 2012 04:39PM) (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments SALLY!!!! So good to see you here! Did it snow at your house? If so, I'm coming over! LOL. Sally and I have the love of snow in common. To answer your questions:

I normally plan books around a series premise. Since I love writing military and special operative and rescuer/First Responder type heroes, the series is usually linked by the characters being on the same team, platoon, task force, squad, etc. Future characters almost always arise from secondary characters in previous books.

I never plan themes but somehow they always end up in the books. LOL! Usually my editor ends up pointing out to me what my theme is. LOL! I think to a large extent I am an instinct writer. Most of the process is intuitive, so that even though I don't plan themes or story structure beforehand, it ends up being there. I think that happens because I am an avid reader and have been since I was young.

I have noticed a common theme that arises from my books is rescue and people being rescued by God spiritually and emotionally. I think that's because I have a strong sense of being rescued by God. I love writing about rescuers, which the PJs are.

I wanted to continue the Wings of Refuge Series to infinity, but because I'm a nurse, Love Inspired asked me to try write a medical-miniseries. Eagle Point Emergency is that series. They wanted it to be set in a small town, and to center around a small hospital or clinic, etc. and for most of the heroes and heroines to be doctors, nurses and other caregivers. Those were the guidelines they provided, then said the rest of the palette was mine.

I wanted to stay within my military brand so I wrote a proposal featuring a former military trauma team who comes home to open a trauma center in a rural community. My editor loved the idea and where we are! :-)

The books are written in order according to my contract. I turn in the initial idea and if that is accepted, then write a proposal for three or so books. I decide which character's story needs to come when and finish one book at a time.

I have more ideas than time to write them all! I am constantly getting new story and series ideas and I'm very thankful for that.

I give precedence to my contracted books before developing other story ideas. Hope this answers your questions! :-)

message 16: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments Hi Valri! Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, the new series is set in Eagle Point, a small fictional town in Southern Illinois...one town over from Refuge. The Pararescue Jumpers make a few cameo appearances in this series.

If you like PJs, have you watched Discovery Channel's Surviving the Cut--Pararescue Edition? Two of the PJs in that documentary help me with research and were featured in the documentary. They are true heroes, like my fictional ones, only they don't care about getting the recognition for the dangerous job. They truly have that "So Others May Live" mentality. I'm glad to have had the privilege to honor them in my books and hope to continue to do that as long as I write.

I'll check back later!

For now I wanted to say that it just dawned on me that I just wrote a scene last week with a secondary character who is named after two people on this discussion thread.

Jenny Shupe is mother of the hero, Ian Shupe, in book two! Jenny...after my Aussie friend and Shupe after Sally, who has been so gracious to proofread/line edit some of my work before I turn it in to my editors. So, it's really neat that we're having this discussion now as I'm writing the series with the gals' names. :-)

I love writing and really hope you all enjoy the books when they come out.

message 17: by Sally (new)

Sally | 7 comments Hey, Cheryl! No, I do not have any snow. I think it must be banned here. We haven't gotten anything! I figure when it finally starts, it isn't going to stop. I will let you know when it starts so you can come on over and we'll get snowed in together! I want to build a snowman! Thanks for the in-depth look at how your books come about. Being rescued by God spiritually and emotionally is a great theme! After reading your books, I feel stronger in my walk with God and closer to Him. I thank you for that, and your love for God and using your talent for Him.

message 18: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments Awwww! Sally, that is so awesome that you feel closer to God after reading the books. That is the ASOLUTE BEST thing an author can hear I think.

It is my hope as I write that readers are more aware of God's love when they reach The End than they were at Chapter One. So this is good to hear!


message 19: by Susan F (new)

Susan F | 71 comments Books with a military theme are meaningful to me as my sister is married to a reserve member who has been sent to various places, including Iraq, since 9/11. I have other military and law enforcement officers in my family too. They are heroes and that is always 'fodder' for romance isn't it? :) It's a lot of fun to read your answers Cheryl. I'd enjoy going to Wal-Mart with you.

message 20: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments SF, bless your sister and her hubby for serving. Truly, the families of military members serve along with them in the form of sacrifices they make of time spent away from their loved one, managing a household alone during deployments, and the emotional stress of worrying about their loved one. There is so much we take for granted, and I hope that my books raise awareness of how people can reach out to families of deployed service members.

I'm ready for a Walmart trip. Let's go! :-)


message 21: by Susan F (new)

Susan F | 71 comments You're on, lol.
Two days before my brother-in-law was to leave for Iraq my sister had a partial mastectomy. Breast cancer had been discovered. She went through radiation treatments while he was in Iraq. It's really an incredible thing and a huge walk of faith for both of them. I still get emotional about it and he's been back home over a year now and she is cancer free, praise God!

message 22: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments That's awesome, SF! I'm so glad that she's okay and that he made it home to be there for her.

message 23: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments So, SF, people on this thread have asked where story ideas are sparked from. After your post, I got to thinking about how, normally, it's the person left at home who has the great burden of worrying about the one sent overseas in harms way.

Yet in your family's case, and I'm sure in many others, the servicemember had to go away, leaving his loved one in harms' way and they had each other to be concerned over. Not to downplay what your family went through, but immediately my mind started weaving a scenario where a deployed hero has to leave a loved one who has been newly diagnosed. What a true sacrifice he made by going. That's the kind of real-life fodder that makes for a very good story.

I'm glad your sis and her hubby were blessed with a happy ending to their real life story.


message 24: by Susan F (last edited Feb 04, 2012 07:59PM) (new)

Susan F | 71 comments I'm not surprised it could spark your imagination. It's that kind of story for the Lord. As sick as she was, at times, my sister tried hard to cover it up and push forward. She even sent boxes with extra goodies for his room mates while he was there. She was totally in a relationship with God throughout her husband's deployment. She had to live on faith that he would be all right and that she would survive too. I think it's an honor that it stirs your creative process. I love your books and the hit-home messages they give.
He on the other hand was in a scary place in my mind. I can't imagine the stress of it. He is a newer Christian and this was truly a test of faith.

message 25: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments Your sister sounds like the perfect role model for a book heroine, SF! Her total reliance on God, her will to persevere, her looking out for the welfare of others even as she endured suffering of her own, much in silence from what it seems. To be in the middle of something like that and to be able to look outward rather than be self-absorbed...are what good book heroines are made of. She is a real-life heroine. I'm sure she had you praying her through as well!

Your brother-in-law would make for a multi-layered hero too, especially with the vulnerability of his faith being in such a new place, yet they pressed on. Amazing story!

Thank you so much for sharing.

message 26: by JanetTronstad (new)

JanetTronstad Author Tronstad | 1204 comments Mod
That is an amazing story, SF. Thanks for sharing it.

message 27: by Valri (new)

Valri Western | 433 comments Cheryl - we have a shared birthday coming up! I think of you every year! :) HUGS!!!

message 28: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments Valri, that's right! I almost forgot. You know, we should have an online Valentine's Birthday party!

message 29: by Valri (new)

Valri Western | 433 comments Let's do! I just became a grandma for the first time 10 days ago of a precious baby girl - Mae Elizabeth and I'm spending a whole month with her right now so that is the best birthday present ever! What shall we do for OUR party????? :)

message 30: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 603 comments Cheryl wrote: "I am so excited to be here! To tackle some of your questions:

Jenny-Hey, my Aussie/Cricket-loving pal! So good to see you! I got that gaggle of imaginary geese idea from a cousin who, rather th..."

once again the emails stopped so glad I checked. thats so cool about the crows. I love how they had to have seatbelts too.

message 31: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 603 comments Cheryl wrote: "Hi Valri! Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, the new series is set in Eagle Point, a small fictional town in Southern Illinois...one town over from Refuge. The Pararescue Jumpers make a fe..."

so cool to know a character is named after me (I do fine until I see the whole name) once read a book with a Jenny blake in it and it shocked me. Considering she caused a few issues! but the first name is fine.

message 32: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 603 comments we do have a birthday thread on the LIH group.

I identified with Lance (was he the last book in the wings of refuge series) he wanted to be a young father after having older parents. I really identified with his thinking as my mother was almost 45 when is born and dad was over 54 and he then died when I was 11. I could relate to the older parents and how he wanted to be a much younger father.

I would love to know what that policeman was buying the things for I think I would have asked when I saw him picking some then putting them back etc in fact I know I would have asked!

message 33: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (Mitzi_wanham) | 100 comments i haven't really been reading that many LI novels (when i was younger i read Harlequin A LOT) Guess i usually reach for the Bethany, Harvest House, Waterbrook and Thomas Nelson novels, but am loving the LI series very much. i will be looking for novels written by you, Cheryl. Thanks!

message 34: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments Valri, congrats on the new grandbaby! I'll be brainstorming what to do for OUR BD party, but I'm really serious about it. :-)

Jenny, I'm glad you connected with the hero in Steadfast Soldier. Yay!

Re: The Infamous Walmart Mystery: I almost got up the nerve to ask the policeman what he was going to do with all of those stuffed animals, but then thought it would be funner to unshackle my imagination on it. LOL!

Oooh! Will have to check out that birthday thread in LIH.

Marianne, thanks for stopping by and also for being willing to give LI and my books a try. You'll have to let me know what you think once you do!


message 35: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments Once I get my author copies of the new series, I'll be looking for influencers, meaning people who will post an honest review or a simple one-line plug on Facebook/Twitter, etc: "The Doctor's Devotion by Cheryl Wyatt is in Stores Now!" Status Update/Twitter in exchange for a copy of the book.

Let me know if any of you want to be added to my list of influencers to contact when my author copies come in.


This reminds me I need to put a review up of Lilac Wedding in Dry Creek. Have you guys read it? It is SOOO touching. I can't wait to read the last brother's story. He's away in the military somewhere, if I remember correctly. He needs to walk his combat boots home and reunite with his brothers and mom. :-) I got it a month ago because I'm in the Reader Service book club for LI, but I think it will be in stores in about three weeks or so.

What LI book have you guys most recently read?


message 36: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 603 comments Hi Cheryl, Janet is sending me a copy of Lilac Wedding in dry Creek so when it arrives I will read it.
My most recent book was a LIS by Virginia Smith A Deady Game and it was really good. The next one will be Missy Tippens new book.

message 37: by JanetTronstad (new)

JanetTronstad Author Tronstad | 1204 comments Mod
Cheryl -- lots of my buddies here are signed up to receive a free review copy of Lilac Wedding (just as soon as I tear myself away from my work-in-progress and mail them out -- I'm hoping for Monday guys so it won't be long).

message 38: by JanetTronstad (new)

JanetTronstad Author Tronstad | 1204 comments Mod
Cheryl -- Tyler might have been in the military, but he's a farm boy at heart. He doesn't come roaring home in in his boots though. Instead, he comes in his old pickup. And the woman he's come to see is in a bright-red convertible and is very surprised to see him (no, nothing like a baby -- it's just that everyone thinks Tyler is dead and she's planned a funeral for him -- oops! For that very night. Again, oops! It's too late to cancel so ----). Tyler's book comes out in July.

I'm working on Gracie Stone's story now.

message 39: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 603 comments Janet it sounds really intriguing.

message 40: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments Oh YAY! I was really hoping Tyler would have his story!!! I can already tell it's going to be good. I'm really happy to know that Gracie will also get her happy ending.

How cool that Tyler's book releases the same time as The Doctor's Devotion! Awesome. :-)


message 41: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments Jenny, I just finished Missy's House Full of Hope. It is really good too.

message 42: by JanetTronstad (new)

JanetTronstad Author Tronstad | 1204 comments Mod
We should get Missy on here, too. Actually, I think someone mentioned her earlier.

message 43: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Daley (MargaretDaley) | 37 comments Waving to Cheryl. Good to see you here.

message 44: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments Hi Margaret! Thank you.

message 45: by Melody (new)

Melody | 304 comments Hi Cheryl, finally getting some computer time (I love Sundays!) so I am catching up on all the posts here. Have loved reading every post!

My most recently read LI were Mail Order Christmas Brides by Janet Tronstad and Jillian Hart, The Earl's Mistaken Bride by Abby Gaines, and The Sheriff's Sweetheart by Laurie Kingery! Loved them all, as I do every LI. Best line of books ever... All you authors are awesome! :)

message 46: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Wyatt (CherylWyatt) | 35 comments Melody, I love Mail Order Bride stories! Thanks for the kind words and for stopping by.

message 47: by Melody (new)

Melody | 304 comments There is something so captivating about the mail order concept to me. I love them!! :)

message 48: by JanetTronstad (new)

JanetTronstad Author Tronstad | 1204 comments Mod
I should mention that Jillian and I are going to host a write-your-own mail-order bride ad for Valentine's Day on Harlequin.com. I'll post all about it in the Dry Creek group. I'm looking forward to what kind of an ad everyone would post about themselves (not sure what I will say either).

message 49: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 603 comments Is it Karen Kirst that has a mail order bride type series too.
oh and isn't there a LI series with emails I may have imagined this.
I like the mail order bride idea too.

message 50: by Valri (new)

Valri Western | 433 comments Hello everyone! I've had a migraine today so have been out of it! Had to keep my "baby time" limited too but was just checking in to see what everyone wrote! CHERYL, I will definitely be one of your reviewers for The Doctor's Devotion! I love doing stuff like that! Right now I am out of state but I should be back home in a couple weeks! I have to spoil this grandchild while I can! Janet knows I loved her Mail Order Brides book with Jillian. It was a great book! I could spend all day with my TBR pile but then there is so much else to do in life too - like hold grandbabies! Well, time to take another migraine pill - I need relief!

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Janet Tronstad - Dry Creek & Other Stories

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