Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Interview with Cici Cordelia author of Realm of the Dragon, a Romance Fantasy

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 4 comments

Char and Cheryl
Meet CiCi Cordelia, pen name for the writing team of Cheryl Yeko and Char Chaffin.

Hi, Susan. Thanks for hosting us today to celebrate our new release, Realm of the Dragon., Book One of The Soul Mate Tree Series.
I'm glad to have you here.
Cheryl and Char lead many lives. Both are published romance writers. Both are acquiring editors for Soul Mate Publishing. Both actively grease the working wheels of Soul Mate.

Cheryl is in charge of the newsletter, book covers, and social media promotions. Char handles the Soul Mate blogsite, setting up newbie authors’ bio and book pages as well as organizing daily blogs with Soul Mate’s scheduled bloggers, sharing duties with her boon companion, Kevin.

Kevin’s a little crazy, but he’s a lot of fun and he gets the authors motivated.

CiCi Cordelia has broad tastes. CiCi’s first novel was a western romance, Rodeo King. Their second, Sweet Equation, is part of Cherished Secrets - a trio of novellas of Hidden Truths, Steamy Passions and Triumphant Love. Their third is a venture into a brave new world. Seriously. It’s a paranormal/fantasy/suspense/ story, Realm of the Dragon.

Uncaged Book Reviews says This is the most fun I've had with a dragon fantasy book in a very long time. I've read quite a few different dragon worlds that are so popular within the genre right now, but this one is definitely a stand out...

An ancient legend spanning eras, continents, and worlds. To some, it’s nothing more than a dream. To others, a pretty fairy tale handed down through the generations.

For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.

For sheltered Lily Kiers, it’s all too real. Her escape from danger, straight into the arms of her destiny. Thrust into a realm made of fantasy and unbridled passion, Lily faces violent resentment and jealousy from extremely powerful enemies. Amidst fierce creatures whose very existence defy all common sense, Lily pieces together a past she could never have imagined. Claimed by Kord, Prince of Battle Draconian, their love will not be denied, even as malevolent forces plot to rip them apart.

Realm of the Dragon is up for pre-order and will release on January 18th: www.amazon.com/Realm-Dragon-Soul-Mate-Tree-ebook/dp/B01N7GYVBT
That's tomorrow, dear readers. I've already pre-ordered my copy.

Book Trailer: Realm of the Dragon: https://youtu.be/YKFSkLDKpP4

How did you choose your pen name? I get the CiCi part, but inquiring minds want to know, how did you decide on Cordelia? (Wild thoughts about Anne of Green Gables are dancing in my head.)

Char and Cheryl: Yes, CiCi was the easy part. Then we wanted a name that meant something, and chose Cordelia, which means ‘Heart’. Our tagline is Writing From The Heart.

What drove you into fantasy?

Char: I have read fantasy and horror all my life, but never thought about writing either genres until Cheryl and I started tossing around ideas for a new storyline for CiCi. I think the time was just right for something different. We had already written Rodeo King and Sweet Equation, and though we had begun another installation into the “Oklahoma Lovers” world where we had set Rodeo King, we put it aside to concentrate on a larger project which ultimately became The Soul Mate Tree.

Cheryl: Though my first love is Romantic Suspense, Paranormal reads run a close second. I’ve always wanted to write one. So when I was brainstorming ideas for a project for Soul Mate, it was an easy decision. The idea of a magical tree that brings soul mates together just popped in my head, and Char loved it. Then we agreed on a dragon shifter story and it came together seamlessly, and was so much fun to write.

I cannot begin to express how happy I am that you eschewed werewolves and vampires in favor of dragons. How did you decide on them?

Char:  I do love dragons, and they have their own set of more open parameters than, say, vampires. We found as we moved forward that we had some unexpected freedom as we created our dragon realm.

Cheryl: I love werewolves and vampire stories, but I wanted to try something totally different. I just thought a dragon world would be sexy and fun to write.

I know from a previous interview that Cheryl is a pantser and Char’s a plotter. So how did you use your skills to construct your world?

Char: Writing with someone else opens up a whole new world of compromise. ::grin:: For me, I had to write more on the fly than ever, and Cheryl found herself dealing with my incessant need for outlining. Part of why CiCi succeeds is our ability to meet each other halfway.

Cheryl: Since I started writing with Char, I do plot, just a bit. We do a general outline, so we can stay on track. But the stories never turn out the way we originally plotted them, so there’s still a lot of pantsing going on.

Do you use pictures to inspire you? Where do you find them?

Char: It depends on the story, but with Realm of the Dragon, we spent several hilarious hours during one of our writing retreats, oohing and aahing over not only photos of models who would represent our hero, Kord, but also images of dragons. I wanted to set in my mind how each of our dragon shifter characters would look, and I dragged Cheryl into my insanity.

Cheryl: No. I usually come up with the images in my mind…then try to find a photo that fits my vision.

Did you use an outside editor for the final edit? Why or why not?

Char: Again, depends on the story; for The Soul Mate Tree Project, Cheryl and I are the editors. But for Realm of the Dragon and anything CiCi writes together for Soul Mate, Senior Editor Debby Gilbert edits us.

Cheryl: Debby always edits the editors, so she is the final editor for our works.

Long distance collaboration can’t be easy. Char lives on the road most of the year. Cheryl lives in Wisconsin. I know you get together at conferences. Do you manage any other face to face writing time? Skype visits?

Char and Cheryl:  We communicate daily, either private messages on Facebook or phone. We get together two or three times a year at a conference or writing retreat.

Realm of the Dragon is called Soul Mate Tree Book 1. What is the Soul Mate Tree? Can I get a leaf of it? I am currently Soul Mate-less (unless I count my 14-month-old grandson.)

Char and Cheryl: The Soul Mate Tree is our flagship series. When we presented the idea to Soul Mate Owner and Senior Editor Debby Gilbert, she fell in love with the premise and gave it her professional blessing. The Legend of the Soul Mate Tree is a multi-author effort, with one book release per month, starting in January 2017 and running through January 2018. If all goes well, Char and I plan to do more fun projects, and have some ideas in mind. We already have authors asking us about our next project. Fun!

Once we set everything in motion amongst our authors and culled interest from a dozen interested writers, the project took on a life of its own. Our cover artist, Wren Taylor, is a miracle worker, and created the most amazing cover art, branding the project wonderfully. Then we needed a hook for our project, and since Char used to write poetry, she collected the physical attributes and magical abilities of the tree, items we had already decided upon, and sketched out a poem.

Together, we polished it up, and ‘The Legend of the Soul Mate Tree’ was born:

I am old, I am ancient, my purpose is clear
To give those who are needy a treasure so dear.
They who come to my roots, touch my bark, stroke my leaves
Find the soul of their lives if they but believe.
When I call and you listen, your prize will be great
If your heart remains open and you don’t hesitate.
Do you yearn? Be you lonely? Is your time yet at hand?
Reach for me and I’ll give to you. I’m yours to command.
For your trust, for your faith, keep my secrets untold
And I’ll gift you forever, to have and to hold.

Book Trailer for The Soul Mate Tree: https://youtu.be/VjxyyD3TVoA

What is your next venture? Back to Dragon Realm? I ask hopefully.
Char and Cheryl: If our readers love Realm of the Dragon, we do have two more books in mind. We’re currently working on a historical western that we’re pretty excited about. We hope to have it done in time for an author event Cheryl is attending in June: Wild Deadwood Reads: So, if anyone’s looking for a fun summer escape, check out all the fun events we have planned.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1330472326972227/  We’d love to see you there! 
Char and Cheryl are also in the midst of creating a new website, and would love for everyone to stop over and check it out. They ask you to please excuse the dust, as it's still a work in process :) https://ccromance.com/
Thank you so much for being here, CiCi. I'm looking forward to discovering the Soul Mate Tree and Realm of the Dragon. I wish you many sales. Happy week to you and our readers.


  1. Hi, Susan. Thanks for hosting us today! We hope everyone enjoys our interview. Char and I are also in the midst of creating a new website, and would love for everyone to stop over and check it out. Please excuse the dust, as it's still a work in process :) You can find us at https://ccromance.com/

  2. Susan! Thanks bunches for having us! Always a pleasure to spend time with you either in the real world or virtually! :)


I love reading comments! Please do.