Interview with Cheryl Merz

Cheryl Merz Cover
Author Talk: Richard Lowe Interviews Cheryl Merz

Cheryl wanted to be a writer as a teen. It took her fifty years to get started, and she’s been making up for lost time ever since. She’s written twenty-seven and a half novels, a handful of non-fiction books, and countless words on social media. When she’s not writing, she enjoys hiking near her Colorado home, listening to live music, and of course, reading.

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Interview Transcription Cheryl Merz

Richard Lowe  00:00

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I’m interviewing Cheryl Merz today. She wanted to be a writer as a team. It took her 50 years to get started. And she’s been making up for lost time ever since. She’s written 27 and a half novels. And I want to hear the story of the half a handful of nonfiction books, and countless words on social media. When she’s not writing. She enjoys hiking near her Colorado home listening to live music and of course reading. Welcome jomres So Cheryl, what is the story of you starting writing? Why did it take 50 years?

Cheryl Merz  00:39

Well, 50 years ago, we didn’t have the internet. Self publishing was not easy. If had gone to traditional publishing. And like many writers, I am very critical of my own work. So I went to school, I went to college, I majored in English, got my Mrs. Degree, raise my children had some careers along the way. And then I found myself in a position where I had plenty of time on my hands, and no income. So I, I basically put my profile up on what was then our desk, now up work, and met a gentleman who pretty soon began to use all of my time. So it just grew from there.

Richard Lowe  01:43

Very good. And what’s the what kind of novels or books do you write?

Cheryl Merz  01:48

Well, under my own pen name, I’ve written a few romance novels. I’ve written some a couple of sea adventures for another client, but my major client with him I’ve been working for the past almost five years has created series of archeological mysteries with a little bit of speculative fiction extend. I’ve written all almost all of his books, 14 of them. Okay. And that’s where the half comes in. We’re halfway through with the last one, the one I’m working on now.

Richard Lowe  02:22

Oh, I understand. Okay. So, what got you into Romans?

Cheryl Merz  02:28

Laziness. I hate to admit it, but I did a little research after realizing that I could be quite prolific, I write very fast. I did a little research on what was the biggest market with the least amount of research to do because I had quite a bit of the ladder to do for my, my client. And romance was it. At the time, it was pretty wide open. I met some people online who achieved success, quite, quite generous success financially with their first books. So I jumped into the fray. And I sold some books, I sold a respectable amount of books. However, I was working 14 hours a day, sometimes writing up to three novels at the same time. And, you know, 10 to 11,000 words a day, it was just not sustainable. So something came along that stopped me from writing my last book, and I went to those striding full time. Okay, so you’re a ghostwriter. I am a ghostwriter. Will Tell me a little about that. How’s

Richard Lowe  03:47

that work?

Cheryl Merz  03:49

Actually, I have only one client, my, my long term client, and it’s more of a collaborative type of writing. He, he comes up with the core idea. Together, we write an outline, and I begin writing. He lives in Australia. So when I’m asleep, he’s editing the previous day’s work, putting his own spin on it. When I’m awake, I edit his work because he was born in South Africa, and his first language isn’t English. So although he’s competent in English, it’s not sellable quality, so I edit his work and then start over for the next day. So it’s quite collaborative. And it’s a heck of a lot of fun.

Richard Lowe  04:46

Interesting. Interesting. Have you had other clients in the past? Was he been your only client?

Cheryl Merz  04:51

I’ve had other clients in the past. He and I actually started with nonfiction. I edited several of his books first and then I wrote a few more. And then he decided we should write fiction. And I’ve had a few fiction clients. I’ve had a few nonfiction clients, but I’m, well past retirement age, and I don’t want to work full time. So I do his writing. That takes up to half a day, depending on the budget for the month. And that’s all.

Richard Lowe  05:26

Well, that must be an interesting lifestyle being a ghostwriter. You like it?

Cheryl Merz  05:30

I do. It gives me an outlet for my creative side. And it gives me time to be an entrepreneur, which I’ve been for more than 20 years. I use the other half of my time to be a serial entrepreneur.

Richard Lowe  05:50

What do you do before?

Cheryl Merz  05:53

You mean, when I work for a living

Richard Lowe  05:56

before you were a writer?

Cheryl Merz  05:58

Well, I ended up as a real estate agent, a real estate broker in Utah. I was I was that when the real estate bubble hit. And that took us down a lot of us who were small brokers, my husband joined the gig economy so that we could keep a roof over our heads. And I couldn’t work of course, not licensed anywhere, but Utah. So that’s when I began looking for a way to make money online, which eventually led to the, the oDesk profile and, and the ghost riding.

Richard Lowe  06:36

I understand it sounds like an interesting route to have taken.

Cheryl Merz  06:41

That that year that we wandered was very interesting. We we were at national parks and monuments throughout the southwest. It gave me quite a bit of fodder for some of my settings, and gave me a great deal of interest in the Native American cultures that we encountered. It was probably the biggest adventure of my life.

Richard Lowe  07:08

What was your favorite National Park?

Cheryl Merz  07:11

We only were in one national park most of the time we were in national monuments. Okay. It was two days after my 63rd birthday that I climbed the highest peak in Texas, which isn’t very high. And I did that solo hike. And it was it was great. It was you could see forever once you get got to the top of it. And I still can’t remember the name of it.

Richard Lowe  07:39

That’s okay. I remember. I traveled all around the National Parks after my wife passed away on the southwest. So I went to a lot of them. And I went through Texas, just the Panhandle. I think it’s called the Panhandle in the Guadalupe national park that’s near on the way to California on the way to caverns. Carlsbad Caverns. Yeah,

Cheryl Merz  08:05

that’s it. Guadalupe. Did you do my typing?

Richard Lowe  08:10

No, no, I didn’t hike. I just got out and took some photos. I was on my way to the caverns. I’ve always liked caves. So I just stopped there because it was there. And it was interesting and then moved on, and then spent three days in the caves. Wow. You know, I’m not claustrophobic so.

Cheryl Merz  08:29

You don’t have to be close. I mean, Carlsbad is huge. I love to hike. It’s probably my favorite thing after reading. So hiking up to the peak of Mount Guadalupe was. It was very exciting to me. Even though I got blown off the mountain.

Richard Lowe  08:50

It’s an interesting place. I like the southwest. I like the deserts. I’m probably going to write some stories that are based there. At some point. I hit the Grand Canyon several times took the train hit Joshua Tree 50 times I love Joshua Tree. Wow. I got lost, you know, fell down a mountain all kinds of adventures. It was fun. Yeah, I’m fascinated by a fellow traveler. I was southwest. That’s very nice.

Cheryl Merz  09:19

We we moved seven times in 2010. Okay. Then in a few weeks here in a few weeks there we were at Timpanogos National Monument we were at okay, my mind has gone blank again, but we read several

Richard Lowe  09:41

it’s no worries.

Cheryl Merz  09:46

It was it was just so interesting to see the parks. That year. I got one of the senior passes so that I can we can go to more and we’ve got one right now. Right nearby Colorado, Nash To the monument here and haven’t been there yet, but we’re going tomorrow.

Richard Lowe  10:05

Very good. Very good. What’s your favorite memory about writing? When you think about what you’ve done?

Cheryl Merz  10:12

I thought about this. And the favorite. I think the favorite memory about writing was a time when I went on a retreat with the Colorado Romance Writers, which is a chapter of the Romance Writers of America. We went up to Estes Park, which is near Rocky Mountain National Park. And Estes Park is also the home of the hotel. That was Stephen King’s inspiration for the hotel he wrote about in The Shining. So we spent a long weekend there. Six or seven of us, had a great time, drank a lot of wine did a little karaoke. And I wrote a novella that weekend and entire story. So that was, it was a lot of fun.

Richard Lowe  11:02

Interesting. Can you tell us what it was about?

Cheryl Merz  11:05

What the novella was about? Yeah. It was a lead magnet. Many of you writers need to know what that is. I intended it to be a free offer for people who would sign up to my newsletter. And it was sort of a sequel to one of my romance novels. It was about a woman who reluctantly went on a rafting trip down the Colorado River, through Grand Junction and into the Moab area where I grew up. And some misadventures that happened along the way.

Richard Lowe  11:45

Oh, interesting. Moab is near Arches National Park, isn’t it?

Cheryl Merz  11:49

Correct. Arches is right outside Moab. I grew up. I’ve been there.

Richard Lowe  11:53

Okay. That’s fine. That was fine. Okay, good. And why did you choose romance?

Cheryl Merz  12:04

Big market, basically. Also, I didn’t have time to do research. So I needed something that didn’t require much, if any research I, I ended up researching a few settings, but most of them were set in the southwest that were for another locations.

Richard Lowe  12:25

Okay. Okay. Have you ever written any other kinds of novels than Westerns or science fiction or anything like that?

Cheryl Merz  12:32

Well, the archaeological thrillers that my clients write has a bit of. I call it speculative fiction. It’s, it’s based on reality, or sometimes based on conspiracy theory. But I have always made an effort to make whatever we wrote plausible, even if it wasn’t real. So yeah, a little bit. Well,

Richard Lowe  13:05

that’s an important part of being a writer is being able to suspend the reader’s disbelief. Exactly. I mean, warp drives don’t exist. We have Star Trek, and people believe teleport devices are on the edge of ridiculous as far as science is concerned, but we still believe it because it’s in the story. The writer does a good job. Yes, they may. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. love Star Trek. The older ones, not the newer ones.

Cheryl Merz  13:33

Well, I don’t know if you’re old enough to recall Dick Tracy and his wrist radio.

Richard Lowe  13:39

I do recall Dick Tracy.

Cheryl Merz  13:40

We’ve got those now. So who knows? Maybe we’ll have teleporters.

Richard Lowe  13:46

Yes, I’m still waiting for the lunar colony that was promised me when I was reading science fiction. But I don’t think I’m gonna see one this lifetime.

Cheryl Merz  13:58

Maybe not, maybe not.

Richard Lowe  14:02

Now, as far as other artists are concerned, you mentioned authors need to know about lead magnets? What are some good promotional techniques that authors should know, know about and use?

Cheryl Merz  14:12

Well, the best one I’ve ever found. And it’s true in the romance genre, I’m not sure about others. But in romance, if you’re an indie published author as I am, you better be putting out a book every four to six weeks. And romance readers alike book their books to be 80,000 to 100,000 words. So you have to write pretty quickly and fairly cleanly so that your editor doesn’t take forever. The next best way and as far as I’m concerned, is to have a list and that’s, that’s just par for the course for whatever you’re doing independently, whether it’s writing or you know, selling things from China. You have to have An email list. And of course, a lead magnet is a way to exchange value for an email address.

Richard Lowe  15:10

So in a lead magnet, you basically give away a gift book in your case or an novela novella in return for an email address, so that then you can send those people messages. Correct. And that attracts people to your list. Otherwise, why would they join up? Exactly, because there’s got to be 50 billion lists out there.

Cheryl Merz  15:35

At least I think I belong to most.

Richard Lowe  15:39

I use rules a lot. And to automatically file things. I don’t have to deal with them. Right? Because I don’t really want to unsubscribe from a lot of them. Mostly because I’m a copywriter. Also, I want to see what kind of copy comes out but I don’t want to read them.

Cheryl Merz  15:54

They take some time. I’m on a lot of lists from friends. My My friends are Romance Writers or, well, they’re all Romance Writers. Some of them are fantasy romance. Some of them are historical romance. There are a lot of flavors of romance. And oddly enough, romance isn’t my favorite type of genre to read. So I don’t honestly unsubscribe because that would make my friends wonder if I don’t love them anymore.

Richard Lowe  16:28

I’ve actually been thinking about writing a science fiction, romance.

Cheryl Merz  16:32

Interesting. That’s, that’s making one of my friends quite a bit of money. She does publish a new short novel, it’s probably around 50 to 60,000 words, every single month. Every four weeks.

Richard Lowe  16:49

I’ve been publishing short Kindle ebooks. They’re 10,000 to 15,000 words. On average under pen names, one per week.

Cheryl Merz  16:59

Yeah, well, so you can do the work?

Richard Lowe  17:03

Yeah. Well, that’s if you want to survive as a writer, you better be doing the work?

Cheryl Merz  17:07

Absolutely. I can’t make a living writing much less than worth 4k A week or excuse me, a day? And that’s what I do.

Richard Lowe  17:18

Yeah, I would say is to be a professional writer actually earning an income. 4000 words is probably about the minimum you need publishable words every single day. Yeah, are almost publishable ready to send to the editor.

Cheryl Merz  17:31

Right? Wait. But of course, my words are edited by my client and his or edited by me. So by the time it gets to an outside editor, it’s pretty clean.

Richard Lowe  17:44

Yes. So just to reinforce, for those who are listening, a an email list is the number one way to help build your tribe or your followers out in the world, as you say. Because you stay in contact with those readers and you send them updates about your books and about how you do and and what you’re writing, as you’re writing, you probably send updates to them. I would imagine saying I’m working on my new novel, and here’s a couple paragraphs or something. And there’s an adventure my characters having to do stuff like that.

Cheryl Merz  18:16

I do. Sometimes I send outtakes. Sometimes I send cover reveals just anything to keep my work top of mind for my readers. And of course, social media is a big help as well. You I gained a following of about 50 Hardcore readers who were posting my updates all over the all over Facebook. I had to put a stop to it because Facebook began to give authors slaps for that. But it was nice to know that people valued the entertainment I gave them enough to promote me with no thought of reward was really heartwarming.

Richard Lowe  19:12

Yeah. And I think the key thing that I’m hearing from you is you’re not posting by my book, you’re posting information or entertainment to help to cause your readers to want to talk to you or want to learn more about you or your stories.

Cheryl Merz  19:26

Absolutely. Buy my book never works on Facebook and I see a lot of writers making, wasting a lot of money using paid ads that goes straight to their Amazon page. As far as I’m concerned that that’s a total waste of money. Get them to your website where you can keep them

Richard Lowe  19:50

right. When they sign up with Amazon you don’t own that email list. Amazon does

Cheryl Merz  19:57

precisely that The one thing I learned early in my entrepreneurial career is that anytime you are dependent on somebody else’s platform, you don’t own your business. It’s, it’s it’s job number one to own your business.

Richard Lowe  20:19

In fact, I teach courses on how to brand yourself as an author. And one of the things I tell people, which you just reinforced is you start with a blog. And that’s your home, everything goes there, because Facebook can’t close down your blog. Doesn’t matter. I mean, unless you’re going away wacko on your blog and doing something really weird. The host isn’t going to shut you down just because you said a naughty word or two. Right? And you can’t do that on Facebook.

Cheryl Merz  20:49

You can’t do it on Facebook. Amazon can delete your account for any reason or no reason is many romance authors are finding any platform that isn’t yours is vulnerable to somebody else’s when

Richard Lowe  21:05

Correct. Yeah. And of course, even your web host is vulnerable to their whim. But they’re a lot less vulnerable than other things. And you can always create a backup and go to a new host.

Cheryl Merz  21:15

Absolutely. Which you should be doing all the time. I see so many writers crying on social media that their their hard drive has died. And they’ve lost their last novel that was almost finished backing up daily, please.

Richard Lowe  21:31

Yeah, in fact, I think in the description, I’ll put a link to a program called Carbonite that does automatic backups of hard drives, that everybody, in my opinion, should own that product or one like it. Because there’s also live drive, which is what I use. Because it’s automatic backup, everything you do. And then you don’t worry about it. And I’ve lost hard drives, there it is

Cheryl Merz  21:53

so high. Fortunately, all of my work is backed up on Dropbox. So because of the collaborative nature of our work, my client and I use Dropbox to sin, send our files or actually keep our files in one place.

Richard Lowe  22:10

And that stores them in what’s called the cloud, which is off site, something out in the world that somebody else has. And that’s what I used to do for a living. So, but this is the kind of stuff

Cheryl Merz  22:25

more in common than you know, I used to be in it, an IT specialist at a hospital in near Washington, DC.

Richard Lowe  22:33

We could have very long talks about this. Maybe in another interview

Cheryl Merz  22:39

some other time. Sure.

Richard Lowe  22:42

I used to be in it for Trader Joe’s. Oh, cool.

Cheryl Merz  22:45

I love Trader Joe’s. Yeah.

Richard Lowe  22:49

So you’re you’re, you practice what’s called the right what I call the writing life, which is you’re self employed, and you’re your own boss. And you make your own rules other than of course, what your clients want your clients really our boss, but you can turn down clients and things if you want. What do you enjoy about the writing life besides, well, just what do you enjoy about the writing life? And what is it to you?

Cheryl Merz  23:14

Well, to begin with, it was freedom. And that goes for any home based type of income generation. I wanted to be able to do my work when I was at my most productive and rest when I wanted to, and so forth. Of course, I came late to that, that life, I was already retired. However, one of the things I enjoy the most about how I’m living now is my collaboration with my client. He and I chat on Skype daily. We finish each other sentences he’s he’s a very funny man and a very generous man. And when you said something about your client is your boss. I quite frequently argue with mine. Because he is a project manager. He’s not a writer, although he does right. One of the things I learned quite quickly as soon as he persuaded me to write fiction is that I, I needed some education on the craft. And I have taken the opportunity to get it so I argue with him a lot over how the scenes should go and various things having to do with pacing the novel, that’s the most frequent argument we have. He’s good natured, he gives in sometimes.

Richard Lowe  24:49

I actually have several clients like that, but I call it book coaching rather than ghost writing.

Cheryl Merz  24:54

Uh huh. Okay, well, because I write you know, A nine tenths of the book, he usually contributes a few sentences or changes a word here and there. I call it ghost writing.

Richard Lowe  25:10

Well, it’s, it’s kind of ghost book coaching, I guess. But it’s the same concept. Only for book coaching, I charge by the hour and ghost writing a typically fixed price.

Cheryl Merz  25:21

Oh, really, I charge by the word. Okay. I know how many words I can write per hour. And what I want to make per hour. So I make it work out.

Richard Lowe  25:34

It’s basically the same concept is your charging rate based on time or in production? Sometimes me and my customer will just talk for the whole hour that we have a session every day. And we don’t write anything. Because we’re working on plot. Sometimes we write and it goes really well anyway, this supposed to be at you. So just

Cheryl Merz  25:59

I fixed price, the plot, we will determine that will take so many days or a week or whatever we think it will take and fixed price for that time. And I spend the amount of time during that week that also gets me my hourly rate. So Okay.

Richard Lowe  26:19

Well, you’re you’re reinforcing something that I like to stress to, especially beginning writers is that if you have the skill of writing, you can turn that into income, not just through your books, but through ghost writing, and copywriting and writing blogs and doing all kinds of other things. It sounds like you’re taking advantage of those skills. Oh, absolutely.

Cheryl Merz  26:42

I edited for a while I’ve proof read. I have an English major, unfortunately, without an education degree. So it opened doors during my working life. But as far as making an income now, I’m doing all sorts of things, including developing an online course. That’s not about writing, but about writers being productive. Okay.

Richard Lowe  27:13

Okay. Yeah, that’s, that’s an interesting point. When I hear writers saying, The, they sometimes think they’re doing really good when they write 500 words in a week. It’s like, you’re not gonna make it making 500 words in a week, you might be proud of that. And it might be something to be proud of, because you did, you did something. But you need to be doing a lot more than that, to actually make a living out writing.

Cheryl Merz  27:37

It’s certainly if making a living is your goal. And not all, not all writers have making a living is their goal, of course. But, you know, I would venture a guess that at least half of those who say they don’t care whether they make any money, are lying to themselves. You know, it’s not, it is work, it’s not. It’s not something that you would want to do day in and day out. Just for pleasure. Part of the pleasure of seeing your words in print, or, you know, on an e reader, at least, and, and having other people read them. So, writing 500 words a week, you’re right, that’s not going to cut it. That’s why That’s why writers say that it took them 10 years to write their novel. And in this day and age, that’s ridiculous. You can’t, you can’t write a current novel, if you’re doing it over 10 years.

Richard Lowe  28:44

Very true, especially when you get into more technical type novels like science fiction, or even fantasy. I mean, the novels have changed. They have. It’s like, Game of Thrones changed fantasy, and mortar, the rings, movie and stuff. And it’s very different now than it was when I was growing up.

Cheryl Merz  29:02

When I was in, in high school, we read Charles Dickens. People today probably can’t even read Charles Dickens any better than I was able to read Chaucer. You struggle through it, but it’s so different. The the tropes are different the the language is different.

Richard Lowe  29:25

Right? What you use the word though that might be unfamiliar. What is trope mean to to you?

Cheryl Merz  29:33

In romance, it’s friends to lovers. Or it’s good girl meets bad boy and and changes him for the better. Right? In romantic suspense. Its female detective. Surprises male detective by being smarter than he is. or female detective gets in trouble and is rescued by male detective. There are very many new ideas out there, what’s, what’s out there? What’s, what’s important about your writing is that you bring your own knowledge and and twist to it. So that even if it’s something if even if the trope is one that someone has read 100 or 1000 times before, they still enjoy the story, because you’ve brought your voice you’ve brought your, your take on how the characters would act and feel and express themselves.

Richard Lowe  30:43

Exactly, exactly. Yeah, you can turn a common trope into something unique, because you’re unique, and you just use your skill. How do you fight writer’s block?

Cheryl Merz  30:56

I don’t believe in writer’s block. I’m a very organized writer, I write from an outline, more often than not, so I never sit down without knowing what I need to write that day. And because I know what I need to write, I don’t stare at a blank screen wondering what to write. One time in my life during a year, when I had a series of very upsetting events, culminating in my mother’s passing, I was unable to write the book that I was trying to write that that year. And I say that year because I kept trying to write it, even though I was terribly distracted by all these upsetting events. So as far as I’m concerned, writer’s block is either being unprepared, or being distracted by something that’s too important to just set aside.

Richard Lowe  31:56

That makes that makes a lot of sense. That makes a lot of sense. So I guess the solution would be find out what’s distracting you and become undistracted.

Cheryl Merz  32:07

If that’s possible, you know, the the events I’m talking about were not possible to set aside of course, so I set aside the the writing. When I picked it up again, I found that my inspiration for the book I was trying to write the one time in my life that I’ve tried to pass it instead of plot it. I just didn’t have that book in in in me anymore. So that’s when I actually went back to ghostwriting contacted my client and said, you still have worked for me, and he jumped at it. And that’s why it’s been ever since.

Richard Lowe  32:48

Interesting. Yeah, I’m a complete pantser I just sit down and write and it’s done.

Cheryl Merz  32:54

No, applaud it.

Richard Lowe  32:56

It’s fine. We each have our methods.

Cheryl Merz  32:58

Well, and you know, to be honest, I think I’ve gotten closer to that. I used to take a beat sheet. And it’s kind of a combination between the Save the cat beat sheet by like, whatever his name was, and in a snowflake method, so I had it down to a numerical science. And I had a one sentence description of each scene. And how many words I was going to write in that scene, until I got the book completely plotted out. The trouble with that was, I usually had to had to make some revisions, because the characters don’t always behave the way you expect them to. Toward the last half of the book, I was constantly re plotting but these days, it’s a it’s a loose chapter by chapter plot.

Richard Lowe  34:04

You just said something interesting that I hear from a lot of experienced writers is that the characters write the book for you in some ways.

Cheryl Merz  34:12

A little stinkers. They just,

Richard Lowe  34:14

they just take over and it’s like, I didn’t know that was gonna happen.

Cheryl Merz  34:18

Exactly. I’ve described to my, my client that the way I write is, I look at what I’m supposed to write. And then I start the movement movie in my head and write down what happens. And so I guess I am, you know, moving toward pantsing. And I think maybe that’s, maybe that’s okay, for an experienced writer. I’ve written a couple of million words. Now. I think I know how to pace the novel. And that before I didn’t, I knew nothing about novel writing when I started writing fiction, which is why I disavow some of the earlier books.

Richard Lowe  34:56

Yes. Yes. One thing that you seem to be good at at least that’s my impression, based on some of our conversations on Quora is networking. And based on our conversation before this, how do how should writers network with other writers? Or should they network with other writers? And if so, how should they do it?

Cheryl Merz  35:17

Oh, absolutely. Just, you know, to tell a story on myself, when I started writing, I not only knew nothing about how to pace or, or a novel, how to grow a character or anything of that sort. I also thought that I could edit my own books, because my mechanics are very good. It wasn’t until I joined CR W. That I was shamed into being a professional. And not in a mean way. It was, it was my shame. People would say to me, what you don’t have an editor like it was, you know, just unheard of? Well, you, you and I both know, especially if you’ve read a lot of Indies who haven’t taken advantage of an editor or proofreader. You can’t edit your own books. It just you don’t see your mistakes. So there was a lot of growth in professionalism by networking. There’s a lot of support by networking. Other other riders know what you’re going through. Other riders helped me through that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year, just by saying, you know, you’ll get back to riding don’t worry about it, just take care of things. And your readers will be there when you get back. And unfortunately, I don’t know, I never published another book under my own pin name. But I still have readers who messaged me, private message me on Facebook to ask how I’m doing so

Richard Lowe  37:09

yes, yes, I find networking to be critical. I found, like I said, you on Quora. And I found writers on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, all over the place, or even live and in real life in the professional world, writing critique groups. And it’s very important that we have this camaraderie with other writers, partially because they can help promote our books, partially because as you said, they serve as a as a support group, in a way and we can learn the craft of writing from each other, I learned a lot just by talking to you today. We can spread spread the word, you know, we can all kinds of things. I belong

Cheryl Merz  37:51

to a mastermind group that was the subgroup of the CR W. We were all Andy published or wanting to be in by Andy published. And we exchanged ideas for just that aspect of writing and publishing. I learned a lot from them. I hope they learned a lot from me, it’s, it’s critical. It’s critical. You can’t write in a vacuum. Another good place to find networking, especially locally.

Richard Lowe  38:28

I’ve actually have a writing critique group on meetup science fiction group we meet once a week. Yeah, it’s important to you can certainly write without a writing group, which is can’t promote without writers. Because to get your books out there, and we should be helping each other. And that’s, that’s my feeling is that the more we help each other, the more we sell more books, and we the more we get the word out about whatever we’re writing.

Cheryl Merz  38:57

It’s so true. It’s true in every aspect of business I’ve ever endeavored to be in. There’s plenty of room for everybody out there, as long as everybody plays nicely with others.

Richard Lowe  39:17

Exactly. Well, it’s been fun talking to you. We’re at about 45 minutes so far. Do you have any closing remarks?

Cheryl Merz  39:26

Well, as as I mentioned to you before, I am working on a an online course about riding productivity, and it’s, it’s mostly aimed at female riders. And the reason for that is many female riders wear all the hats not only in their writing career, but also in their personal lives. They’re the caregivers for their children. They’re the chauffeurs. They’re their shoppers in the house cleaners and everything else and if they Andy, they’re also the publisher and the promoter, and, you know, possibly the cover artist who knows. It’s a lot to take on. And throughout my entrepreneurial 20 years, I’ve learned some lessons on how to be productive without being overwhelmed. So that’s the topic of my course. And I’m researching. I realized that not everyone is has the same situation as I do. So I’m researching and to do that I’m interviewing writers, half hour interviews that they can look at their convenience. And I would love if any of your listeners would find me on Facebook. They can find me at Sheree ch e ri dot MERS in ER Z on Facebook and just private message me and say they’re willing to have an interview. So I’ve been

Richard Lowe  41:01

interviewing Sheryl MERS. And fascinating interview fellow ghostwriter, which I didn’t know before we started so I’m finding that fascinating. And if you liked this video, we’re going to be doing them twice a week. So be sure and subscribe, which is this button down below this thing and get notifications whenever a new video comes out. Thank you for listening. Thank you for coming. Cheryl.

Cheryl Merz  41:26

Thank you

Richard Lowe
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