|Tricia and Kelly Cheek|
Location: Colorado / USA
Question: How long have you been writing?
Kelly: I’ve been writing almost all my life, starting with short stories and poetry. It was all for fun, though. I dreamed of having things published, but never really expected it.
Tricia: I’ve been writing since high school; poetry, as well as commemorative compositions to celebrate special occasions; creative writing, research papers. Writing assignments were my favorites.
Question: What was the name of the first book you ever published, and when was it published?
“All We Hold Dear,” It was Published in March of 2013'.
Question: Was this book published by a publisher; or did you self-publish?
We formed "Indian Paintbrush Publishing, LLC" and self-published under that imprint.
Question: Tell our readers about this very first book. (For example: What was the inspiration for writing it, and what was it about)?
We met just over two years ago and quickly discovered a shared interest in writing. We began trying to think of a project we could work on together, and we wanted it to be something focusing on Colorado. Tricia had a book about true stories of Colorado historical figures. In it was the story of Isabella Bird, an Englishwoman who traveled the world, and who wrote a book about her adventures in the Colorado Rockies.
Our character, Isadora Byrnes, was originally based on her. In time, though, the character evolved quite a bit so that, now, she and her story bear little resemblance to Isabella Bird.
Our story is about a young Englishwoman, who comes to America in the early nineteenth century. Following a few tragedies, she is “adopted” by a Cherokee family, and reports on the atrocities delivered upon them by the white settlers. With the Cherokee, Isadora endures the Trail of Tears, but she continues on, into the wild and relatively unexplored new region known as the Rocky Mountains, settling near modern-day Manitou Springs.
The story alternates between Isadora’s account, and that of her modern-day descendant, Dora Baskin who, in learning about her legacy, also discovers a very valuable secret that has been passed down from her ancestor. And it is being sought by a violent and ruthless organization that will stop at nothing to get it.
Question: Can a person still buy this book? If so, where?
Yes. It is available from Amazon.com:
Just this one, so far.
Question: Any future writing projects in the works? If so, tell us about it, and any pertinent dates to go with it.
We have completed the first draft of a novel that concerns Roanoke. After numerous similar requests from people who read “All We Hold Dear,” we started writing a sequel, and are nearly finished with that first draft.
Question: What is the title of your current book, and tell us a little about it.
The novel about Roanoke is called “The Lost Colony.” After it has sat and simmered on the back burner for a bit, we will return to it for the editing process. It is about the first English colony in America, which disappeared. To this day, nobody knows for certain what happened to them. Our story, set in the modern day, is based on the outcome of what we think is a plausible explanation.
The sequel to “All We Hold Dear” is as yet untitled. We picked up the story of some of Isadora Byrnes’ descendants, following them through the turbulent turn of the twentieth century and the Colorado Labor Wars.
Again, it alternates between the historical figures and modern Dora who is once again thrust into a difficult situation due to her ancestors.
Last question, if someone comes across this article and reads it, what would you like to tell them about why you think they should try reading your book or books? ()?
We try to create intriguing, sympathetic characters with interesting and entertaining stories. But, we do so while being true to the facts. AT LEAST half of our writing time is devoted to research, and we take very few liberties with the truth. Anything in our stories that is based on actual historical accounts will be accurate to the best of our abilities. So our books, while entertaining, are also informative and historically accurate.
Anything else you'd like to add that I didn't ask you, but you would like to share with our readers?
Kelly is a graphic designer in his “real life,” hoping to soon be able to start living the dream of being a full-time writer.
Tricia is an elementary school teacher, now in her twenty-fifth year as an educator. Her favorite subject to teach is writing.
You can connect with us at:
Tricia & Kelly Cheek: http://www.IndianPaintbrushPublishing.com
Kelly Cheek's Creativity Center http://www.kellycheek.com
Blog Writer's Note to Author: I've always thought that when you can create a story behind actual history it becomes more than just your average book. I think books like yours should be required reading in school. History is hard enough to learn, but I think by creating an entertaining story circling around actual events in history helps one to remember it. As a former teacher myself I can truly stand behind this statement. I think you should present this book to junior highs and high schools to see if they don't agree with me. I have a pretty good idea if you do this, that you'll be selling a whole lot of books to schools, as well as others who like historical-type stories. I hope you'll give this some thought, after all, "War and Peace" was required reading in school back in my day. Good Luck with your writing pursuits, and thank you for the interview.