Author Interview with Cherene Comick
Why did you become a non-fiction writer…was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
As a child I wanted to write another book of the Bible! My dad let me know that the “cannon was complete”, so I settled for writing poems, letters of encouragement, and short stories to use in teaching. I felt that was part of God’s purpose for me- and if I never did publish anything, I would have at least encouraged some people along life’s journey with loving letters.
What was the inspiration for your latest work of non-fiction?
My life took a drastic turn and suddenly spiraled out of control! My nice neat little Christian life. And now I had material to write about to share encouragement with others.
What’s the main message you want readers to take away from reading your book?
I have 10 “take-aways” at the end of the book. The most important one is that God is faithful and He will take you through your trial too - as you hold tight to Him and allow him to carry you.
If your book is about a personal journey, how emotional was it for you to write it?
Oh my heart - it was hard. I had to relive things and that wasn’t fun at all. Bad dreams and tears were part of it. But the ending was wonderful!
Are you currently working on any new book projects?
Sort of - a children’s story about a Christmas penguin.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers on how to write a non-fiction book? Do you have any advice for them regarding promoting that book once published? If you’re a newly published author, what’s the best advice you’ve received on promoting your book?
I joined a writer’s guild - Jerry Jenkins was offering one, and that helped a lot to sharpen my skills and encourage me in the lonely task of writing and wondering if anything at all will ever come of this exercise!
What’s your writing schedule like? When do you find time to write?
My daughter had a baby, so while she was on maternity leave, I was able to be relieved of my nanny duties. I often went to a nearby community center to write without being interrupted by an adorable little two year old wanting to see what I was doing. I had to schedule the time because it doesn’t just happen. You have to make it happen.
Now that the book is done, I write when I get “inspired”- usually at night some words will come to me and I have to get up and write it down or I lose it altogether.
How did you find your publisher? What was your journey to publication like?
I think this is the hardest thing - to get published. I’m glad I self-published, because it will not go out of print this way and will be available if anyone ever stumbles across it.
My husband and most of my children have been encouraging. In fact, the one son who is a pastor wanted me to republish so he could use it in ministry. Their support has been beyond value to me. My dad read it cover to cover when I sent it and said he couldn’t put it down. My mom can’t read anymore because of Alzheimer’s but I know she would be pleased. The ones in my family who did not acknowledge it or read it just missed out on being a blessing to me, and that’s sad for them, right?
What’s the most challenging aspect of writing for you?
I wonder if anyone will ever read it - so am I wasting my time. But God was so insistent on me writing it - I knew in this case I had to. The results were up to him. I admire people who can write books and novels especially - I don’t think I could ever do that! But I can do short stories and so pretty much every chapter was just another short story that connected to the last one.
Joanne, thank you. It was fun writing about this!
I found at the writer’s conference that writers are the NOSIEST people in the world! Everyone you met would say - what do you write? I didn’t want to tell them! It was so personal to me. But they didn’t know and finally I just fell in with them and started asking others the same questions. I felt stupid that I just wrote about my life - I’m nobody famous. Who would want to read that? That was about the worse thing to get over - the fear and hesitation about putting out there a story so personal and private for others to read - and maybe even reject.
Thanks for stopping by to be interviewed today! I appreciated learning more about your new writing journey!
About the Book
The Shattering: And how God designs mosaics from life’s broken pieces
I think I was sound asleep just after my head hit the pillow that afternoon. I was out like a light. I was “dead to the world”, as my mother-in-law would put it. Utter relaxation. No worries; rest and comfort and peace.
But I jolted awake with alarm and bolted straight up in the bed. A thought had come to my head and blasted me from my slumber. Those who know me know that it is not easy to wake me up! But this mere thought opened my eyes wide and set my heart racing.
"Something’s going on with Doug and Brandee."
A story of one woman's journey from heartbreak to healing, and how God resets the frame of our shattered dreams.
Meet the Author
I always felt like I was a little different than everyone else- because I was a writer. Not that I had published anything! But I knew in my heart I saw the world in a narrative and writing was usually therapeutic and somewhat magical for me.
I was born in 1958 to a pastor's family, and later grew up to marry a pastor. After 20 years of marriage and ministry, three children and a cat, something terrible happened.
It was a cosmic fall from Pastor’s Wife to single mom. Although I could not understand the “why” of the situation, I knew that God had a reason and purpose for everything that happened in my life.
And He wanted me to write about it.
I didn’t want to.
It was messy, it was yucky, it made my stomach turn and gave me bad dreams. I didn’t want to think about it. So I negotiated with God.
“Ok, God, I’ll write my story if you give me a new laptop." I bargained. I couldn’t afford a desktop let alone a laptop. I kind of figured I was off the hook.
But wouldn’t you know it, God gave me just enough unexpected money to buy a new computer!
“All right! All right! I’ll write it!” I promised, and I made a feeble attempt. Other life-changing events happened in my life (it’s in the book- you won’t read it if I tell you everything...) Well after a year, the computer crashed. But somehow I was able to get a replacement! So the deal was still on the table.
Later- maybe a year or more, as I was cleaning the house (a rare occasion) He reminded me.
“You are supposed to write your story. I gave you a laptop. Twice.”
So I got on it. I holed up in a room. I typed, I read over old journals, and put together something I felt was acceptable. Then I went to a writer’s conference to try to get it published.
I was turned down by the two publishers I met with. Someone told me not to feel badly because that narrowed the funnel to get me to the person that would publish it. I guess he was right, because a contact from the conference mentioned me to another publisher who published my story with two other ladies. The title of the book was: “When Everything Falls Apart: Two leg bones or a piece of an ear”; I can never remember the whole title! Anyway, it was not a big seller. Neither was “Hope’s Mission- Growing Stronger Book Two” in which my story was told again in eBook.
What I didn’t know was that a publisher could pull a book and no longer have it in distribution. This happened.
I wanted my story out there to help women going through an unforeseen crisis like I did and know that God would help them, because he helped me and He is faithful. I wanted it available for pastors and counselors to use it as a reference or an aid to their clients.
That’s when I decided to self publish. And now you know how the book came about!
I now live in Fayetteville, North Carolina with my husband Rudy. I am a full time nanny to two of my grandchildren, and love being part of their everyday lives.
Sara Taylor Allen is the pen name of Cherene Comick.
A special thank you to our guest author today! Feel free to comment below and chat with Cherene.