INTERVIEW WITH AUTHORS ROBBIE CHEADLE AND MICHAEL CHEADLE!
Please help me welcome authors Robbie and Michael Cheadle to Jemsbooks.blog Segment of Interview an Author.
It’s a pleasure to have you here, Robbie and Michael. The soap box is all yours.
1. Please tell us something about yourself.
I am a qualified chartered accountant and have worked in corporate finance and capital markets for 19 years. I started writing poetry as a young teenager but stopped when I was 16 years old. I started writing poetry again in 2014. I was watching my children and niece playing one morning when a poem came into my head, virtually fully formed.
I started writing publications in 2014 for work. I wrote a series of seven non-fiction publications about the African capital markets. This gave me a lot of insight into the formatting, editing and publication process.
jjspina: I’ve read some of your poetry on your blog. It’s lovely! You are a talented poet.
2. When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
Michael and I started writing the Sir Chocolate series of rhyming verse stories during 2014 when he was 9 years old. They were initially an undertaking to encourage Michael to practice his writing by making up stories together. After a while, we re-wrote his lovely ideas into the rhyming verse format and started making little fondant figures to illustrate them. I used to take the booklets to Sunday School and read them to the children. The children’s pleasure in the stories and Michael and my own enjoyment at writing the stories and making the illustrations kept us going. We published our first Sir Chocolate book in August 2016 and have published a further four books subsequently.
jjspina: That’s a wonderful way to teach your son how to write.
3. What process do you need in order to write?
I don’t really have much of a process. I write a lot of poetry on the move. An idea will come to me and I jot it down at traffic lights, if I am in the car, or the minute I get the chance if I am doing something else at the time. I also do a lot of writing on aeroplanes. My recent longer book, While the Bombs Fell, was written with my mother. We would have a chat about a particular event from her past and she would then write down some notes for me. I developed the notes into a specific story or chapter and did the historic research that we necessary to fit her memories into the timeline of events during World War II. I write when I get some free time, whenever or wherever it comes about. Sometimes early in the morning or late in the evening, during weekends and while travelling. Sometimes I manage to snatch 30 minutes during my lunch break at work but that doesn’t happen often. I usually work through lunch as I am very busy most of the time.
jjspina: Whatever and wherever your muse appears, go with it, Robbie.
4. How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
The ideas for the Sir Chocolate stories largely came from chats to Michael. He thinks of such fun things like the trolls that defend themselves by throwing liquorice chunks and live in a cave in book 1, Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream berries story and cookbook. He had the idea for the fondant five when I was making the figurines for a cake for a function and we thought of the dragon that breathes multi-coloured fire depending on his mood one afternoon when we were attempting to make sugar crystals.
jjspina: Michael is certainly creative like his mother.
5. What projects are you currently working on?
I have recently finished the editing for While the Bombs Fell, a historical fictionalised account of my mother’s childhood growing up in a English town in Suffolk during World War II. I am currently working on a book of poetry with fellow poet, Kim Blades. That is nearly finished and will go for editing and finalisation in October this year. I am working on a supernatural horror story under the name of Roberta Eaton. I got the idea for this book while writing While the Bombs Fell which is set in Bungay, East Anglia. I discovered there were a large number of ghosts in the town and this inspired my WIP called Nemesis. I am planning to release this book in March 2019.
Michael and I have also recently finished Sir Chocolate and the fondant five story and book which I plan to release in May 2019. I also have two other neglected WIP books, Silly Willy goes to London which is about ¾ finished and There’s no return to sender which is a book about living and coping with a child with PTSD and OCD.
jjspina: Wow, you have certainly been busy with all the WIP books.
6. What hobbies do you have when you are not writing?
Haha, writing is my hobby. It is what I do when I am not working. I also bake and make creations out of fondant art. Blogging is also something I really enjoy and is, by far, my favourite of the social media. It is really the only one where I feel you can develop friendships and get to know people better.
jjspina: You are a talented baker. I have seen some of what you can do and it’s incredible.
7. What advice would you give prospective authors?
You have to keep writing. I was lucky, I found Anne Samson from TSL Publications to help me with publishing my Sir Chocolate books. She has given me a huge amount of help and guidance and I am very grateful to her. Writing is a lonely and demanding occupation but you have to keep at it in order to grow and learn. I learned a lot from other bloggers too. Sally Cronin, Sue Vincent, Charli Mills and Dan Alatorre have taught me an enormous amount about blogging and writing and making the most of both of these things. I was extremely lucky to have discovered Sally’s blog early on in my blogging career. Through her I have met this entire network or wonderful and supportive bloggers.
jjspina: Yes, I agree about how supportive Sally Cronin and other bloggers have been to help us get our books out there. They are true friends.
8. Do you have any unusual talents? What are they?
I do like to bake. I don’t think that is particularly unusual but my fondant art isn’t that common. I find it very relaxing to make lovely things out of fondant, especially, delicate and realist flowers.
jjspina: We all need some outside activities to do besides writing. I think our hobbies help us to become more creative and relaxed. You definitely are a talent with fondant art.
Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.
Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.
Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books. Robbie is also the author of the new Silly Willy series the first of which, Silly Willy goes to Cape Town, is now available.
Robbie and Michael Cheadle’s books
Sir Chocolate books – currently available in hard copy and as ebooks
A5 format for children aged 6 to 9 years
Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream berries story and cookbook:
Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet live in Chocolate land where you can eat absolutely everything. Join them on a fantastic adventure to find the amazing strawberry cream berry and learn how to make some of their scrumptious recipes at the same time.
Sir Chocolate and the baby cookie monster story and cookbook:
Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet find a lost baby cookie monster. Join them on an adventure to return the baby to its mother and learn how to make some of their delicious recipes at the same time.
Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook:
A greedy snail damages the flower fields and the fondant bees are in danger of starving. Join Sir Chocolate on an adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have magic healing powers and discover how to make some of his favourite foods on the way.
Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River story and cookbook:
The Condensed Milk River where Sir Chocolate goes fishing has stopped flowing. The water creatures are losing their homes. Can Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet solve this problem? Includes five lovely new recipes.
Sir Chocolate and the sugar crystal caves story and cookbook:
Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet journey to the sugar crystal caves to collect the sugar water they need to make their soda pop. To get to the Chocolate Chip Hills they must cross the Chocolate Mousse Swamp infested with alligator sours and a meringue ghost. When they arrive, they discover that the sugar crystals are melting, and something needs to be done to save them. Learn how to make some four fun creations out of biscuits and the sugar crystals too.
Silly Willy goes to Cape Town currently available in hardcopy and as an ebook
Blurb: When the George family go on holiday to Cape Town, Cautious Craig cannot believe what he has to endure at the hands of his naughty and wilful younger brother, Silly Willy. Willy throws tantrums at the most embarrassing and inappropriate times, causes a commotion on the aeroplane and tries to steal a chameleon from Butterfly World. What is a poor older brother expected to do in these situations?
Coming in 2018
What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War II?
Elsie and her family live in a small double story cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Oftenthey come and the air raid siren sounds signaling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.
Despite, the war raging across the English channel, daily life must continue with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its scary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.
Includes some authentic WWII recipes.
Follow Robbie Cheadle at:
Thank you, Robbie and Michael, for coming today. It was fun to learn more about you and your books. I wish you all the best with all your books and future endeavors. Please feel free to come back again, now that you are part of Jemsbooks.blog family, to share new releases.
Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read about this talented mother and son duo. Please take some time to peruse their books and links.
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