Interview with Brittainy C. Cherry

Posted on July 15, 2013

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Good evening everyone! I is my pleasure to introduce you to the lovely, talented, sweetheart Brittainy C. Cherry! Enjoy her wonderful interview and even a little tidbit of her writing!!! 🙂

brit C

Do you write under any other names? Nope! Brittainy Cherry is my given birth name, and it seemed meant to be for writing my romances! 

What are you currently working on? I’m working on my second novel, Coffee, Dates, and Tucker, a New Adult romance about Kate, a feminist, Women’s Rights major, and Tucker, a sexy guy who lives each day as if his last and dates someone new each month with no commitment. Drama, drama, drama!

How many (if any) books do you have published and what are their titles? As of right now? None. As of August 16th, 2013? ONE! Yay! The Space In Between, my debut novel comes out!

What inspired you to write your first book? Well, I wrote Andrea and Cooper’s story a long time ago as a screenplay. Yet, I felt as if they never really got to express their full depth in a screenplay, which limits a writer to 110 pages give or take. So my mom said, “Why don’t you try writing it as a novel? See where it takes you.” And I did. And so here we are J

Do you have a specific writing style or one that you prefer? I love, love, love first person and duo first person. It’s such a gem to be able to dive into the minds of my characters and feel what they are feeling. Move how they move. Taste how they taste. I’m also an actress, so when I’m on stage I get to become these different personas, and it’s the same with the characters in my novels. I don’t write Andrea and Cooper, I become them! What a crazy ride that can be sometimes!

How did you come up with the title of your book(s)? Well, The Space In Between came after a few people read the screenplay. But, normally I just title it with the two main character’s names until something comes to me. Coffee, Dates, and Tucker came in an instant after the story popped in my head, so that was awesome!

Is there a message in your writing that you want readers to grasp? Yeah, definitely. What I try to put in my novels is the idea of divine guidance. The idea that there is something bigger out there than just the characters. My characters may not like where they are at times, but they are exactly where they need to be. I want my writing to give hope to those who are struggling, knowing that the current struggles in their life aren’t permanent. It’s moving you to a better beginning, a new chapter in your life, or sometimes, a brand new story. Change isn’t easy, but at times it’s the best thing that could ever happen to someone.

How much of the book is realistic/true? That’s hard to say. I think all stories hold truth within their pages, in some way, shape or form. The Space In Between is realistic in the way of dealing with some serious issues: death, divorce, depression, sorrow. But it also deals with the other side of those issues: life, marriage, happiness, and joy. So I think it is true, there is a wonderful balance that happens in everyone’s life. I once heard a man say that no matter what, in any situation, look for a reason to smile. Look for a reason to laugh. When you find those reasons, the darkness loses any power it holds over you, and that’s as realistic and true as anything can get.

Are the experiences in your writing based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Oh yeah! It’s like the quote that says, “If you wanted me to write nice things about you, you should have behaved better.” LOL. But I can’t say that there is any character based solely on one person I know. But there are quirks, challenges, comedic moments, and struggles that I have witnessed some of my loved ones go through. Also, sometimes I just ‘people watch’ and see strangers walking and think ‘I wonder what their story would be? What if that lady is a secret agent and her husband is a plumber? How would their love story go?’ Those types of thoughts show up sometimes in my novels, based solely on strangers.

What books have most influenced your life most? Pride and Prejudice. When I think of love stories, I think of Jane Austen. How complex yet at the same time so simple her characters were. Her words made you feel things that you didn’t know you could feel when reading. Also, when I was sixteen, I remember reading The Five People You Meet In Heaven, by Mitch Albom, and realizing how connected we as human beings truly are in this world. It made me stop and think about my actions, how they would affect others. So now, when I write, I think about that, too. How will my words affect someone across the world? How will these characters change someone’s life? I hope for the better.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a “mentor”? Colleen Hoover takes my breath away. I talk about it always, but her words make me tear up, her storylines make my heart cry out, and she’s brilliant. If I could be half the writer she is, I would be a happy cookie.

What book are you reading now? Currently reading JL Durfey’s Dreamer, and Colleen Hoover’s Hopeless 🙂

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. Can I say social media?! LOL, but it’s true. Through facebook, twitter, and blogs I have met some of the most genuine, true people who have helped me with my novels. Be it beta reading for me, or just stopping by to tell me to ‘keep going’ and saying that I have a voice and should be using it. I wish I could give each virtual person a hug and thank them; no words will ever express how much they mean to me.

Do you see writing as a career or a hobby? Career. If I could be blessed to do this for a living, I would be so grateful and wake up every morning saying my prayers and thanking the sun for rising one more time. It would be a gift!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? I’m still changing things…lol but I do believe that Andrea and Cooper in The Space In Between have been able to get their story told, their way. I’m glad for that fact.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I was a shy kid…They even voted me as the shyest kid in high school! But during that time, I people watched. I learned how people talked to each other, I listened while everyone else was busy being…busy. When I was 15 I wrote a novel called “Faith Everlasting” about high school, which is filled with cliques and drama, but that’s what I was living at that time. That’s when I truly fell in love with writing.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? Of course! Here’s the first scene of The Space In Between from Andrea’s Point Of View:

Chapter One
Andrea
Three days, five hours, and twenty-two minutes.
Mom kept crying. Her puffy eyes hadn’t stopped swelling for a few hours now and she could hardly breathe. I told her it was all right, but she just kept hugging me, rubbing my hands in hers. She said that she would never understand why these kinds of things would happen to people, but God was always in control. I felt like that was just something people said. When they couldn’t figure out the words, it was always, “In God’s hands.”
Daddy sat in the corner of the room with his thick-framed glasses brushing against his pepper gray-haired sideburns. He was a calm man by nature. Grams said when he was born there was only a whisper to show he was alive. But when she held him in her arms for the first time, he smiled to her. And he hadn’t stopped smiling since. Until today. Today, he just sat there in the corner. Looking my way. Not pressuring me to get better. Not pushing me to express anything.
I turned away from Mom as I lay in the hospital bed and looked outside to the sky. I couldn’t grasp what was happening. It was a complex world. How could the sun shine so brightly and look so welcoming in the wake of such an event? The birds sang and danced pass the window and the kids laughed down on Jefferson Street as they went to the county’s fair. The dogs barked and Ms. Jacobson gossiped. Outside the world of Albany, Wisconsin, was completely normal. Happy. But inside this cold, darkened room, I was in a hospital bed. My left leg was in a sling and my body was bruised on the outside, but the internal damage of my soul was the worst.
Mom tried her best to silence her muffled tears by covering her mouth, as if she didn’t want me to hear her—to avoid my suffering. But I didn’t mind. It was better to hear her than the laughter. She worried for my safety. My calm demeanor scared her the most. But it appeared she was breaking down enough for all of us.
My eyes moved towards the closed seafoam-colored curtain, which was blocking the entrance to my hospital room. I looked down and saw two pairs of shoes—an old brown scuffed up pair and high heels (you know, the fancy kind with the red bottoms, that scream, ‘We’re expensive!).  I knew it was Eric and Michelle, and I watched Dad pull back the curtain to let them in.
They both were silent. Michelle stood tall in a beautifully tight white floral dress featuring a red sweater over it. And there, her boyfriend, my brother, Eric was, wearing his UW-Madison sweatshirt, a pair of slacks, and his scuffed up brown shoes.
I followed after my brother to UW-Madison, where I met some of my best friends. Unlike Eric, I hadn’t become a teacher, but I followed with a cool degree in dance. I’m a fantastic dancer.
As my eyes landed on my leg, my heart skipped a beat. I was a fantastic dancer.
Say something. I wished they would talk. The staring at me with sad eyes was growing to be too much. So I opened my mouth to speak and was just graced with a mouthful of air and emptied words. I tried again, and sounds came out. But the actual words were what slapped me and made my eyes follow after my mom. A never-ending flow of tears poured from me as I smiled to my calm, loving father. “Did someone cancel the rehearsal dinner?”
In three days, five hours, and twenty-two minutes, I would have been walking down the aisle in my white dress inside the beautiful St. Peter’s Church. I would have been beaming with a type of joy that can’t be expressed in words, but only in a feeling. It would have been a warm feeling of knowing that, once I reached the end of the aisle, Derrick would be there.
I would have been marrying my middle school sweetheart and starting a new chapter. We would move out to New York— him to pursue his singing career and I would be pursuing dance. I would go for my Master’s degree if I were lucky, or I would waitress tables (something I have done at Mr. Fred’s Diner off Brady Street since I was sixteen). Derrick would probably be discovered before me because he was talented beyond his years, and I would gladly become his trophy wife and the backup dancer in his music videos (classy!).
But I made a mistake.
“It wasn’t your fault,” Mom said over and over again. But I knew better.
At the end of the school year, I was always overjoyed when Derrick picked me up. I was saying goodbye to my best friend, Ladasha, who was pretty much the best dancer I’d ever seen. Madison had been the third college she had tried out in the past three years. I don’t know why but the first day I met her we just clicked. The Caucasian small town girl in me was so amused by the African-American city girl in her. She would make me laugh at the stupidest things in the world, but some days she’d glance at herself in a mirror and burst out crying. I never knew why. I never asked…I just hugged her.
It was tough saying goodbye because she was on her way to New York City. “To make my dreams come true,” she smirked. Stating how there was something in her heart calling out to her, so before she could finish her degree, she had to follow the voice. I had no clue what the hell she was talking about, but I hugged her tight and promised to stay in touch.
It was always a treat when I’d see him pulling up to my building in his green pick-up truck. Derrick wouldn’t complain once as he helped me load my past year’s dorm items into the truck. When it was all loaded up each year, I would make the drive back home. As a ‘thank you’ for him helping me. It was around four-thirty in the afternoon when we got to the freeway and blasted the newest CD he had recorded.
I hadn’t even seen the car’s tire explode in front of me before it was too late to hit my brakes. I didn’t even remember crying out in pain as my body slammed against the steering wheel. I didn’t know the truck had flipped and was slammed from behind with three other cars piling up. I didn’t have time to fully grasp what had happened.
But I had tasted it—the salty sweet mix of my blood dripping into my mouth as I sat in the car. It’d taken a moment for me to realize I was upside down. I tasted the coopery sensation that infested my tongue with its disgusting flavors. My eyes were filled with tears mixing with the deep red liquids as I screamed out in angst. My right leg was abusively tucked in between the door and driver’s seat.
None of that mattered the moment my eyes shifted to Derrick’s seat. His hazelnut eyes shot open and pierced my soul by saying the last word he would ever say to me— or anyone for that matter.
“Andie…”
In three days, I would be pushed down the aisle in a wheel chair, in my black dress, inside the beautiful St. Peter’s Church. I would be suffocating from a misery that can’t be expressed in words, but only in a feeling. It would be a cold feeling of knowing that, once I reached the end of the aisle, Derrick would be there.
In three days I would be saying goodbye to the only love I have ever known. Three days, five hours, and twenty-two minutes.
But who’s counting?
❤ ❤ ❤

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? “Show, not tell. Show, not tell. SHOW NOT TELL” lol ugh.

Who designed the covers of you books? A guy named Kevin Kimmons. I think he’s a genius. He actually went to college with me, and I thought it would be awesome to have someone from my college days be attached to my debut novel. He did an amazing job, and I couldn’t be happier! (I even told him he would be used in the future, so he should get used to me lol).

What was the hardest part of writing any of your works? Overthinking it all. Wondering if people would like it, and making silly changes to try to fit into a mold. Once I realized and remembered that it was my story, and I could tell it in my best possible way, I got over that hump.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Keep writing. You’re good enough. You’re worth it. You can do it. There’s nothing to prove to anyone. Do you love what you do? Then keep doing it, and if you ever feel alone, if you ever feel like giving up, you can reach out to me and I’ll remind you of the above. You’re good enough. Please keep writing.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Thank you. It’s because of you all that my dreams are coming true J Thank you for your love and support! I love you to the moon and back 🙂 

What character from your writing is your favorite and why? I love Ladasha, from The Space In Between. The way that girl’s brain works, and how she cares for others is so breathtakingly beautiful to me. She’s sexy, she’s deep, and she’s funny as hell (to me at least!). I have played with the idea of a spin-off of The Space In Between based on Ladasha. It would be a good read I think!
To follow along on Brittainy’s journey further, please check out: