Interview with YA Author Cheryl Bentley

Cheryl is a British author who has a degree in English from the University of London.  her hobbies include traveling and hiking…by day she works, by night she writes 🙂
Author of:
Petronella & The Trogot
(review here)
Hi Cheryl! Can you introduce your book?
It [Petronella & the Trogot] is about a lonely woman abused by most people because she is ugly. She retreats to a cottage in the woods but a dark monster in shape of a tree appears in the garden. Then she meets a mysterious hooded horseman in the woods who tells her the medieval Strincas civilisation are coming out of their tombs and she will have to manage them. It’s all linked but you have to read it. It’s full of ghosts and monsters.
What is your favorite place to write?
At my computer which is in a cosy little corner of my bedroom. I usually write at night because I work full-time during the day.
How did you get the idea for Petronella & the Trogot?
It just came to me because I have been lonely in my life and have tried to get away from people who hurt me. That’s where it started then it spiralled.
What is the best piece of constructive criticism you ever received?
Never to let anyone put you down. Carry on with determination.
How did you choose the title and the main character’s name?
I wanted an unusual name for an unusual woman. Kept thinking about it until I came up with a name I liked. I don’t know how I thought of the name Trogot but the “tr” comes from the first two letters of “tree.”
How do you overcome “writer’s block”?
I stop writing till I feel like it again, then I go back to the keyboard. Mind you, it could be months before that happens.
Are you a full time writer?
No, I work full-time in an office. Writing is more of a hobby.
What was your writing process for Petronella & the Trogot like?
It took me a long time to write it. I started it then left it there for about a year. Then I went back to it and wrote bits when I had time. When I got to part two I thought I’d better finish it and made more of an effort to sit down and write.
How did you find a publisher for your book, do you have a literary agent?
No, I don’t have a literary agent. Sparkling Books takes on authors directly. There is a form to fill in on their website.
What is some advice you would impart to aspiring authors?
Never give up. It is worth getting someone to read your book and give you honest criticism before you send it to a literary agent or publisher.
If you could have breakfast with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and what would you eat?
It has to be Shakespeare. I just so fell in love with him at university. His sonnets still give me the shivers even though I’ve read them many times before. I’d eat whatever he ate. Maybe it would turn me into a sublime poet?
If you had an animal spirit which animal would it be…why?
Because freedom is the greatest asset we can have and because I love mountains, it’s got to be an eagle. I wouldn’t hurt or scare anyone though.
What is the next book you want to write?
I’m toying with the idea of writing a book with Queen Bellatrix (she’s in this book) as the central character. I like strong women.
Last words?
I want to thank Patrice very much for giving me this interview and for the time she has put into it. We met through Twitter. She’s great!
–Thank you so much Cheryl!  I look forward to your future works 🙂
Whimsically Yours,
PnC
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