Interview with Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of 'Divine Sanctuary'

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is an award-winning, international bestselling Canadian suspense author. Her novels include Divine Sanctuary, Submerged, Divine Justice, Children of the Fog, The River, Divine Intervention, and Whale Song, which New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice calls "a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart...a beautiful, haunting novel."

She is now working on her next thriller.

Cheryl also enjoys writing short stories inspired mainly by her author idol Stephen King, and this has resulted in Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories (collection of shorts) and Remote Control (novelette eBook). In 2010 Cheryl detoured into the romance genre with her contemporary romantic suspense debut, Lancelot's Lady, written under the pen name of Cherish D'Angelo.

Booklist raves, "Tardif, already a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border."
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About the Book:

There's no place like home…

In the Divine trilogy finale, the heat is tripled when CFBI Agent Jasi McLellan must rescue Emily, the ghost girl that haunts her dreams; expose her own mother's killer; and uncover a murderer that preys on the weak at Sanctuary, a controversial cult nestled in the woods near Mission, BC.

Something insidious lurks behind the safe haven of Sanctuary's wrought iron gates. Led by the charismatic Father Jeremiah, the cult's idyllic lifestyle seems perfect on the outside. But a lethal hunter is on the prowl, and in a carefully executed game of cat and mouse, the body count rises.

Along with Victim Empath Natassia Prushenko, Psychometric Empath Ben Roberts and Special Consultant Brandon Walsh, Jasi follows three trails of clues that lead to one terrifying conclusion: home is not always the safest place on earth.

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Q: Thank you for this interview. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing background?

I have been creating stories ever since I could print my name. I excelled in story composition in school. At 14, I was a paid journalist for a small newspaper. At 16 I wrote my first novel. Unfortunately it was stolen when I brought it to school to show my Language Arts teacher. I wrote my next novel a couple of years later and queried agents and publishers in Canada and the US, without any luck. Then in 2003 I decided to self-publish. Since then I have had the best of both worlds—self-publishing and traditional publishing. And I’ve had 3 agents, my current one from Trident Media Group.

Q: What fact about yourself would really surprise people?

I was a background actor in the ‘90s for two popular TV series—The Commish and The Heights (kind of a Melrose Place twin). I really enjoyed it!

Q: What scares you the most?

I have a few fears, but the worst one is that something terrible will happen to my daughter or husband. I also fear snakes, spiders, being trapped in a submerged vehicle and flying. The latter I really have to work on as I love traveling.

Q: What makes you happiest?

Hands down, the thing that makes me happiest is writing and hearing from readers that they enjoyed my work. This is deeply and personally fulfilling.

Q: What are you most proud of in your personal life?

I am most proud of my daughter, Jessica. She has grown into a beautiful young woman with many talents and a bright future ahead of her.

Q: What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?

Marketing is the most difficult of the three for me. I always have tons of ideas, but things change so quickly in this business that you have to always been on top of the industry. Thank God I’m not afraid to experiment or think outside the bookstore.

Q: Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? 

I have already experienced certain levels of success. And that’s how I define it; there are levels. I’ve written a number of works, which is a success in itself. I’ve published them—another success. I’ve reached the “Holy crap, I can actually earn living from my writing” level. And I’ve hit the “OMG, my book is on Amazon’s Top 100 overall bestseller list” multiple times with various titles. And the level for foreign translations; my last deal was a 5-book deal with a German publisher. But there’s a level I can’t wait to reach, the “I can’t wait to see my book on the big screen or as a TV series.” That, to me, is the ultimate success—for me anyway.

Q: Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?

DIVINE SANCTUARY is the final book in the Divine Trilogy. DIVINE SANCTUARY takes you inside a cult set deep in the woods in BC. Three psychic agents and a former fire chief are investigating a murder on Sanctuary’s grounds. They’re also searching for a missing reporter. With the first two books, DIVINE INTERVENTION and DIVINE JUSTICE, readers follow two subplots, which are finally resolved in the final book. Think part CSI plus part Ghost Whisperer plus part Medium and you’ll have an idea of what to expect.

I wrote this series because I love to explore the paranormal/supernatural. I wanted to explore how psychics could help law enforcement agencies solve crime. And with DIVINE SANCTUARY, I also wanted to explore the meaning of “family.”

Q: When you are not writing, how do you relax?

I love watching movies and TV series, especially suspenseful ones. I also enjoy relaxing out on my deck, a glass of Arbor Mist wine in my hand and my Pomeranian, Chai, beside me. I also love traveling. 

Q: Please tell us why we should read your book?

If you’re looking for unique characters and stories that combine murder, mystery and emotion, you’ll enjoy this trilogy. Each book could actually be read as a standalone, but you’ll get even more out of them if you read all three.

Q: What kind of advice would you give other authors just getting their feet wet?

Learn the craft of writing, especially Chicago Manual of Style rules for grammar and punctuation. Learn how to sculpt descriptive sentences and strong dialogue. After that, learn the business—because this IS a business, and you’ll need to invest time, energy and money in it if you want to see success. Be everywhere online and start promoting yourself as a writer before you’re even published. And most of all, enjoy your characters and their stories. Happy writing!

Q: You have a contest on your Facebook page. Can you share that with us?

I’m holding a Rafflecopter contest and giving away some great prizes. To enter, visit my Facebook page HERE. If you’re on a mobile device, please go HERE. You can enter daily until August 31, 2014.