Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Interview with Cheryl Yeko, Past Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Winner

Cheryl Yeko
Imagine my surprise when I discovered a fellow Soul Mate author, editor extraordinaire, and creator of outstanding book trailers was also a Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence winner.  I bounced right off my balance ball.

The fabulous Cheryl Yeko won the 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence with her debut romantic suspense novel, Protecting Rose.

In 2013, she was a finalist in the same category with her second novel, A Man To Trust.

Me:  *waves* Hey, Cheryl. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me on Romance Magicians. Why did you choose to enter a contest for published writers?

Cheryl: My entry into the writing world was very fast, and I was looking for ways to promote, and to see if I could get some feedback on my writing. So, I entered Protecting Rose in some contests, but I never really expected to win. I had actually forgotten about it, when I got the call. I was beyond thrilled, as you can imagine. J Now, of course, I’m hooked, and enter all my novels in contests. I’ve been lucky that my books continue to place well in these contests, and my novella Mountain Hero just took first place in the 2014 International Digital Awards contest.
Me: That’s wonderful. Congratulations on your success. I’d say the contest wins certainly confirm your talent as a writer. I think many published authors are looking for that kind of feedback. What did you gain from entering the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence?

Cheryl: First and foremost, validation. Protecting Rose was the first time I’d ever attempted to write anything, and I had no idea how well I had done, or not done. So, when I won this contest, it made me feel like a real writer. I floated for at least a family probably wanted to stick a sock in my mouth, because it was all I could talk about. Really, I was so annoying, I’m sure... But, they forgave me. J I’m much calmer now...okay...a little calmer now...LOL
When it was announced that’d I’d won, I saw a huge increase in visitors on my website, like close to 20,000. That was cool. Now, if only they’d all bought my book...sigh.
Then I received an awesome button for my website at I also bought a really nice reading/writing chair and created a nook area in my living room corner, where I hang my writing awards. My Gayle Wilson Award was professionally framed and is my centerpiece.

Me: LOL. I’m sure my family wants to stuff a sock in my mouth at times. ;) I love that the Gayle Wilson win increased your online visibility. I saw the button on your website. Very cool. I hope to have an awards nook someday. What are you working on now? 
Cheryl:  I’m working on two novels, a paranormal with angels and warriors, and a romantic suspense with a serial killer plot. Both are stretching my writing skills. I’m having a lot of fun with the paranormal, and I’ve really freaked myself out a time or two with the serial killer story. My goal is to complete the serial killer story (still unnamed) by 2015, along with another novella for my Hero Series, and the paranormal by 2016. I’m hoping the paranormal goes over well with readers, and I’ll make it a series. That’d be really cool!
Me: Best wishes with your upcoming releases. I bet the serial killer and paranormal stories will go over great with readers. Thanks again for stopping by, and I hope 2015 will be your greatest year yet. *Applause* Check out these other titles by Cheryl and visit her online at her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Have you ever gotten great contest feedback?

The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, sponsored by RWA chapter Southern Magic, was conceived in honor of multi-RITA Winner Gayle Wilson to award excellence in published romance fiction. The contest is judged by avid readers of romance, booksellers, and/or librarians. The winners of each category are awarded a custom-made golden lapel pin. Winners will also be included in a full-page RWR advertisement.

For more details and to enter, go to: Southern Magic


Cheryl Yeko said...

Thank you for having me over today, Meda. :)


Karin Shah said...

Oh, Cheryl! I've been wanting to read these for ages!
I look forward to your turn to the "wild" side aka paranormals!

Cheryl Yeko said...'s slow going, but I'm having fun. Testing my writing skills, for sure...

Cari Hislop said...

Being a curious wench, I went off and read the beginning of Protecting Rose...what a brilliant opening! I put it in my Wish list. That was your first book? Wow! My first book was unreadable. I had three stories in my head and kept forgetting which one I was working on. It took me the equivalent of five novels to end up with something worth reading. I take my hat off to you!!! I look forward to reading your stories!!! Happy Writing!

Cheryl Yeko said...

Thank you, Cari. I hope you enjoy Protecting Rose, it holds a huge spot in my heart. I'm having the time of my life, and every day I wake up and pinch myself to make sure I'm not in a dream...


Joanne Guidoccio said...

Hi Cheryl, Great interview! Love reading success stories--they inspire me!! Joanne :)

Cheryl Yeko said...

Thank you, Joanne, for stopping in. I'm so happy to be an :)


Unknown said...

Yay! I'm so glad you shared your experience with us. And I'm thrilled at the great response to your interview. Thanks again, Cheryl. :D

Unknown said...

Hi Cheryl! Thank you for the interview. I really enjoyed it. I also LOVE that you write in a few different genres and lengths...suspense, paranormal, novella. It's all good to me :-)

Cheryl Yeko said...

Thank you, Ali. I've found I really enjoy writing novellas. I'm struggling a bit with the paranormal, but will keep plugging along. I really like what I've written so far, but it's slow going...for sure. :)