Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Interview with non-fiction writer and memoirist Cherise Kelley

Today I have an interview with non-fiction memoir writer Cherise Kelley. She's talking about her new book, How I Got Him to Marry Me: 50 True Stories, which is available now from Size 12 by St Patrick's Day.

Cherise will be awarding a $25 Amazon or BN.com gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below. And to increase your chances of winning, you can visit other tour stops and leave comments there.

Welcome, Cherise. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I waited almost too long to get married. First, I wanted to graduate from college. Working my way, that took ten years. I was 28, and all the guys who had been begging me to marry them when I was 18-21 had already gotten married and settled down. I was 31 by the time I finally did get married. The next mistake I made was waiting too long to have children. I never did have any, and now I'm past it and full of regret.

Please tell us about your current release.
Fifty women who got married after 1990 tell us their true stories: how they got him to marry them and not just live together for the rest of their lives. Half of these women were young when they got married, but half were over 30 and some were over 40, like me. Not all of them are white. Some are very poor. Some are single mothers.

What inspired you to write this book?
This book pulled at me until I got it written. I want to help all the single ladies who are out there either alone or with men who are fine with just being boyfriend and girlfriend for the rest of their lives. Don't settle for that, Ladies! You deserve for him to marry you. Let these 50 true stories show you how to accomplish that.

The truth is, when I met Dan I was not looking for a husband. Indeed, I had just ended a relationship with a man who was pushing for a more serious commitment. I was a fiercely independent woman, still trying to make it on my own. All that changed the night the two of us met at a local restaurant. We met in the summer of 2000 when I was 24 years old. I knew from the first conversation I had with Dan that I wanted to marry him. However, he was not so sure. 

We had seen each other around a time or two before. He'd caught my eye at my friend Landry's 4th of July party the previous year, then again during a weekend at her lake house. I had inquired about his status, but she had told me that he was in a serious relationship. I have never been the type of person to pursue someone who is committed. Therefore, I put him out of my mind for good. He only knew me as "Landry's friend Kathi" and had never given me a second thought.

The night Landry invited a bunch of us out to meet her new husband was interesting. The newlyweds showed up late, which gave Dan and I a chance to talk for the first time. I learned that he and his long-term girlfriend had recently broken up after he had bought a $5,000 engagement ring for her but before he'd been able to offer it. He was devastated. He swore that he would never marry. I thought it was the grief talking, but I had no idea how pervasive that thought was in his mind.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am working on novel-length versions of a few of these true "Marry Me" stories! Sign up here if you would like to be notified when the next one is available! http://eepurl.com/w96_v

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In high school, I first realized that English was my favorite class and writing was my favorite activity. I didn't get paid for my writing until I started publishing articles online, in 1998.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I have the perfect part-time job for a writer: I'm a high school substitute teacher. I only work when I want to. I get summers, Christmas Vacation, and Easter Vacation off. I also love hanging out with teens all day, on days when I work! I wrote a book about my part time job: High School Substitute Teacher's Guide: YOU CAN DO THIS!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I'm an introvert, which means activity outside of me drains me. I have to have silence when I write (and when I read).

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
In first grade, I wanted to be a first-grade teacher. In second grade, I wanted to teach second, and so on. I ended up teaching high school English for a few years, but now I have an even more amazing job as a writer and editor!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thanks for reading!


Thanks, Cherise! Readers, don’t forget about the giveaway, leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win.


Cherise Kelley said...

Thanks for blogging my book, Lisa!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Ingeborg said...

I enjoyed the interview, thank you.


Miss Snark said...

It seems like an odd topic for this day and age. How is your book being received by the Hipsters?

Andra Lyn said...

Thanks for sharing! I really liked the interview! :)

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Cherise Kelley said...

Good question, Miss Snark. I get comments on Goodreads everywhere from "Marriage is sacred and how dare you tell women to push for it" to "Wouldn't feminists tell women to go for it, whatever their dream is?"

My honest aim in publishing this book is to help the woman who wants marriage but whose boyfriend has instead proposed living together. I believe women deserve the commitment of marriage and that a woman shouldn't settle for just living together if that is really not what she wants.

Shannon R said...

I thought it interesting your comments about almost waiting too long to get married. Is there really anyone in your youth that you feel you should have married? If they couldn't change your mind maybe they weren't worth marrying

fencingromein at hotmail dot com

Cherise Kelley said...

Ah, Shannon, what I meant was the older I got, the fewer men were interested. It felt as if I was running out of chances! When I met Scott, I just knew he was the one, though. :)

Mary Preston said...

I like quiet too. So, as an introvert how difficult was it for you to do the interviews for the stories?


Cherise Kelley said...

So long as I get enough quiet and alone time each day, I don't mind talking to people. I am introverted, but not shy. That said, I interviewed the ladies online, in writing, so it wasn't difficult for me at all. :)

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

that's great that you considered yourself a writer even before you were a paid one! thanks!!

inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

Cherise Kelley said...

Thanks, Carrie. There's a saying among writers: "Writers write!" A person is a writer as soon as they write. As for being an author... Well, there are disputes about if a self-published writer is really an author or not.