Cheryl Lawson’s debut novel, We Are Mars, is coming out May 15th, 2018. Cheryl lives in Kamloops, BC, Canada, with her husband and son. Cheryl grew up in South Africa, moving to Canada in 2006 when her son was just a year old. They settled in the lower mainland of BC, before moving, in 2017, to Kamloops.
How did you decide to become an author?
I went from being a graphic designer, to a photographer to artist/photographer before I realized none of those things were truly telling my story, so I sat down one day and developed the outline of my creative manifesto and before I knew it, I had my first book. As I was completing it, I realized I really enjoyed writing and that I had so many ideas for fiction stories, that I felt compelled to explore. Fast forward to today and I have a 390 page sci-fi novel with my name on it.
How does your professional background help with your writing?
I’ve always been interested in writing and in my years as a designer, photographer and artist, I’ve written articles, been an editor numerous times and produced magazines, booklets, journals, etc. My training and command of language as well as my creativity helped me to produce the books I have written.
Can you tell us more about why you wrote We Are Mars?
We Are Mars is inspired by the renewed interest in Space and space travel/colonization that has come out of the last decade, led by people like Elon Musk (SpaceX), Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin), Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic) and the various Space agencies that have been pushing further into the field of Space exploration. I wrote the story with the view on a future where a Mars colony is a real, viable entity with it’s own set of issues and challenges. It’s not speculative, it is assumptive – we will go there, there will be a Mars colony and this is how I envision it.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. Dig deep and persevere, because every story is worth telling. Also don’t rush it – be patient, because it is a lengthy process. And hire a great editor.
What are some upcoming publishing projects you are working on?
I am working on a sequel to We Are Mars, entitled Storm At Dawn. I’m not sure if the Rubicon Saga (We Are Mars is Part 1 of this series) will continue beyond a second book – that’s up to my characters. I have a coffee table book I am working on from all my flower photography. I hope to have it done for Christmas. I’m also co-authoring a short story compilation about odd phobias – it’s a gently comical nod to all the forgotten and eccentric phobias people suffer from.