Interview with Fantasy Author C.L. Roman

Guest Author Appearance at Gulfport Art Walk

Fantasy author C.L. Roman will be visiting the Tampa Bay area soon. I'm so excited to introduce you to this incredibly talented author.

Interview with Cheri Roman

Welcome, Cheri! Let's talk about your latest book. What's it about?

My latest book is a paranormal YA about Lila, a teenager who knew three things about herself for sure: she was human, she was ordinary and she was adopted. She was wrong on two out of the three.

On her fifteenth birthday, she simultaneously discovers a hitherto unknown ability to cast fire, and burns down her family home. Lila was adopted, but the details of her birth story have been kept from her, with good reason. Now she is being pursued by people who want to use her abilities, or her body, to benefit themselves.

It’s the second book in the Witch of Forsythe High series.

Describe your writing process. For example, do you plan out your books or are you a pantser (one who writes by the seat of their pants)?

For the most part, my process consists of putting my behind in a chair and writing, as often as possible, usually with a cup of coffee close at hand.

LOL, well, I guess it’s more than that really. Generally, I start with a synopsis these days, but I used to be a pantser. That’s how I wrote Descent (the first novel in my Rephaim series.)

But you know, books have a way of surprising you. Whether it’s a minor character who just won’t stay minor (yes, I’m talking about YOU, Aurora Fischer of the Witch of Forsythe High Series) or a story arc that turns out to be way bigger than you thought it was going to be (which is how Rephaim became a series instead of a stand-alone), it’s easy for an author to suddenly find themselves standing on the proverbial cliff having run out of road, er, ummm, plot. A synopsis gives you a kind of roadmap. For me, the story still changes a lot during the writing, but at least I know where I’m supposed to end up. And knowing where you’re headed is pretty helpful in making sure you get there.

Plus, I have a tendency to rabbit, that is, run off chasing story threads that actually turn out to be spin-offs or completely separate stories of their own. A friend introduced me to the benefits of writing a synopsis before starting the actual manuscript and it has really helped me write faster and cleaner. I still chase those rabbits, but it’s usually on a notepad next to my computer.

What factors influenced you in becoming an Indie Author?

There were a number of factors, actually. Part of it had to do with the cost/benefit of accepting a publishing contract with a traditional outfit. I tried my luck with the larger houses, but the truth is, they receive thousands of submissions every year, maybe every month, and the odds against winding up anywhere but in the slush pile are pretty steep, no matter how talented you are. If you’re writing something that doesn’t fit their formula, they aren’t going to look twice. Not their fault. They have a responsibility to play it safe, and for the most part, that’s what they do. Smaller houses make it a bit easier to get across the threshold, and they do offer some benefits, such as editing, cover art and the like. But in the end, most of what they can do for me, I can do for myself, without giving up most of my royalty check. I decided it was just more cost efficient for me to pay for whatever services I needed up front, and bet on myself.

If you were able to pick any fictional character to have lunch with, who would it be and why?

Oy, that’s a tough question, mostly because there are so MANY. Gabaldon’s Claire and Jamie Fraser, for starters. Just for the history.  Plus, I’d really like to take my chance at time travel. I always thought Verne’s Captain Nemo was an interesting guy too. But the truth is, I’d mostly just like a tour of the Nautilus. I’d say Mary Poppins, but really, that might be a bad idea, because I’d be eyeing that carpet bag the whole time, plotting ways to, umm, borrow it. Then there’s Elizabeth Bennet for her sense of humor. James Bond, because of, well, you know. Or Robin Hood – I’d want him to teach me to shoot. And I love most of Dean Koonts’ characters, especially Deucalion from the Frankenstein series. I mean, with a lifespan like that, he has to be a fascinating conversationalist.  It is just too hard to pick one. Hmmm, I’ll have to give this one some additional thought. Maybe we can have a cocktail party instead? I’ve always liked the adage, “the more the merrier.”

What's next for you?

I’m honored to have been invited to collaborate with a highly talented group of authors working together to create some great stories. The group is called the Alavarium Experiment and this is their second venture. My story is about a group of inter-galactic accidental pirates. In the process of escaping what some might call harsh justice, they happen upon what appears to be a hitherto undiscovered planet. Things are not always what they seem. The pirates are part of the last remnants of humanity, and the planet turns out to be oddly familiar.

The fun thing about this project is that it was designed to be a short story – 3500 to 10,000 words. But the prompt actually sparked an idea for a novel, which in turn sparked the idea for the story I’m working on for the project. All I can say is, serendipity is a wondrous thing and inspiration cannot be explained, it can only be enjoyed when it hits, because the rest is actual work.

Where can readers get their signed copies of your books in person?

In May I’ll be hosting a table at the Gulfport Art Walk down in St. Petersburg. I am excited to be joining you there, Bria, signing books and enjoying the day with readers. I’ll also be hosting a table at the Indie Book Festival in Orlando on October 7-9.

Meet Cheri Roman

At the Gulfport Art Walk on May 6th, Cheri will be sharing a booth with me from 6-10 PM. You can RSVP on Facebook to let us know you'll be stopping by. More info on the FB event page.

Social media links:
Twitter: @cheri_roman


Books by C.L. Roman


  1. Thanks Bria! I had such fun talking with you! Can't wait to see you at the Art Walk!

  2. Today is the day! I'm so looking forward to hanging out with you, Cheri


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