Monday, April 11, 2011

Black Diamond Death

Today we have Cheryl Bradshaw, author of Black Diamond Death.

What is your earliest memory of writing?

I would say junior high school. I started off writing poems and I used to make up a lot of stories in my head, but I never actually put pen to paper until high school. It was then that one of my teachers suggested writing to me as a career. I remember in high school typing a short story on my dad’s old typewriter and it didn’t type out all the keys and when my teacher read it he said, “A good story marred by too many careless errors.” And since I knew why it had the errors, all I could think about was the fact that he called it “a good story”.

How does it feel being published?

It feels like I just climbed Mount Everest, and now I’m standing at the top realizing that I really can do anything. In two months I’ve sold almost 1,200 copies and that feels amazing. The fact that my story is out there being enjoyed by readers everywhere is more than I could have hoped for. It has exceeded every expectation I have ever had for myself.

When did you decide to be a writer?

At 17 I became fully cognizant of how passionate I was about writing, but it took two decades for me to actually decide to start and finish a book and then publish it.

Do you get writer's block? How do you combat it?

Not really. I have days where I read what I have written and I know it’s not my best, but I don’t worry too much about it because I know that once I edit it, it will be much better. When I write a first draft I look at it like it’s the skeleton and I know I can return later and flesh it out.

Where do you write? Do you write longhand, typewriter or computer?

I write on my laptop, and even though I have a perfectly lovely desk, I am usually sitting on my bed typing away.

Tell us about your Latest Book.

My first novel, Black Diamond Death (the first in a series), was published in March 2011. It follows Sloane Monroe, a private investigator living in Park City, Utah. The story opens with a skier found dead on the slopes and then quickly escalates as the presumed accident turns to a possible murder.

Here’s an overview:


Enter the world of Sloane Monroe in Black Diamond Death...


On the slopes of Park City, Utah’s newest ski resort a woman is found dead. At first glance, it has all the makings of an accident. The victim, Charlotte Halliwell, collided with a tree as she schussed her way to the bottom of the hill. But what if her death wasn’t an accident at all––what if she was murdered?


In Black Diamond Death, Audrey Halliwell faces a problem: finding someone who believes her story.

Enter Private Investigator Sloane Monroe.

When Audrey marches into Sloane’s office with claims her sister’s death was no accident Sloane is skeptical at first, but agrees to take the case. With little to go on, she questions the people in Charlotte’s life and discovers Parker Stanton, a jilted ex-fiancĂ© with plenty to hide, and as the son of a prominent businessman, he will go to any lengths to protect his secrets.


Just as Sloane feels she's close to solving the case she stumbles on another dead body and is forced to re-examine the clues from the beginning, but she must tread lightly. With the killer aware that Sloane will stop at nothing to find him, her life is in danger and her every move is being tracked. Will Sloane uncover the truth before he strikes again?

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

  • 1. Live your dream and don’t allow yourself to be dissuaded from doing what you love.
  • 2. Never give up, and don’t let anyone convince you that you are any less than you are.
  • 3. Read daily.
  • 4. Write daily.
  • 5. Don’t ever stop learning and growing. Writing is a process, a craft and there’s always room for improvement.
  • 6.Learn from others. Want to know how other writers did it? Read their blogs, visit their websites, read their guest posts, and hang out where other writers hang out. You will learn a lifetime of tips and tricks by connecting with other writers, and you’ll also make some lifetime friends along the way. It’s a win-win.
  • 7.Promote yourself. It’s something I wish I didn’t have to do, but no one else is going to do it for you – so buck up little soldier and get yourself out there!

And last but not least, I have a set of quotes by my desk that I read often including this one which is one of my favorites:

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls." -Joseph Campbell

Where to find Cheryl Bradshaw



Facebook Author Page:


Black Diamond Death Excerpt

The air was calm, but I was restless. I had a decision to make so I did what I always do when push comes to shove––I shoved back, but not in the way one might think. Skiing had always been my release. There was something about being surrounded by fresh powder in the clean, open air that reminded me what it felt like to be alive. I could stand on a mountaintop with a world of trouble on my mind, and it didn’t matter. Every care I had dissolved just like the snow soon would and the mountain would be reduced to tiny patches of white, mere remnants of a ski slope that once provided the town’s entertainment for the season.

In a few minutes I’d get together with Audrey for lunch and do something that didn’t come easy––tell her the truth. It wasn’t that I lied to her; I was a master in the fine art of keeping things to myself. I always thought it was better that way. But I was wrong to allow her limited access to my life, and I wanted to change that. So I’d explain it all to her, and once I finished I would reveal my plan and hope she’d understand. She just had to.

I rounded the last narrow pass on the slope and traveled downhill through the trees. My tongue had gone numb over the past couple hours and every time my teeth hit against it I felt nothing, like it wasn’t even there, and my throat felt like a strand of lit matches were pressed hard against it. I wondered if I was getting sick. That would explain the unrest in my stomach. The flu had made its way around town so it made sense that it would make it to me, but if it was the flu, why had I lost all the feeling in my face?

I ran my gloved hand across my goggles, but it didn’t help––even when I squeezed my eyes shut and opened them again the trail in front of me was a blur. With what little force I had left, I jammed my poles into the snow and tried to stop, but the slope was too steep and I couldn’t bend my hands or even move them for that matter. My fingers felt like long shards of ice and in one simultaneous motion they launched a mass of frozen liquid throughout my body.

What was happening to me?

In a panic I gasped for air, but there wasn’t any. I tried to cry out, but I was alone, and in my hysteria it hit me. I had felt a similar feeling before––like my body was giving out on me, and I knew what it meant.

I was dying.

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