Looking for an author who will take you on a journey with her words and at the same time, bend over backwards in support of authors, readers and the community? Then meet CJ Warrant, a prolific published romantic author living in the Chicago area.
“Not your everyday romance” is the theme of her works which include contemporary and suspense, along with M/M romantic fiction. She’s actively involved in numerous writer’s groups including Windy City Romance Writers and Sisters in Crime to name a few and her talent, as evidence by her library of published works, has earned her a full time career as an author. CJ is also a cancer survivor and many of her books are written to fund research and create awareness through the Authors and Dancers Against Cancer organization.
And surprise! I’m excited to announce is that she’s revealed to us the cover of her upcoming release, Four Days, hitting the market on November 27. CJ is a star in her field, and I was so honored that she made time to share her journey with Books Uplift readers.
You are an author, but is it your day job? I am a full time author from Monday through Friday. But the weekends are for my family, or events such as writers’ events or author signings.
Did you always want to be an author? No, not always. I’ve always been creative and, most of my early career was a cosmetologist. However, I’ve always written since I was a little girl.
What is your most recent book and what inspired you to write it? Well, I have two books out at the same time. One was written for an anthology, which will be launching Solo sometime in January 2021. It’s called Dance of the Mourning Cloak, which is a mystery with a small supernatural twist. It’s based around this small eerie Tennessee town. And my second book, which I’m very proud of is called Four Days, which was also part of another anthology in which all proceeds go to the Authors and Dancers against Cancer organization. With the theme of cancer, Four Days is dear to my heart since I’m also a breast cancer survivor. Four Days will launch on November 27, 2020, with a prelaunch starting November 1, 2020.
How do you hope your book uplifts those who read it? I hope my book takes the readers out of their day to day lives, which at times can be stressful. Especially in these trying times, I hope my latest book, and the rest of my books, can sweep the reader into my world. Whether it’s in one of my contemporary romances or my dark romantic thrillers, my stories will lessen any burden of their lives.
What are you most excited about with this book? Four Days deals with cancer and loss, and how my characters handle the trauma in their own ways. And sometimes, love at first sight can make a happily ever after. Now, what else is exciting about this novella is that it’s my first of many M/M romance books I will be publishing.
How did writing a book help your career take off? First, I finished the book with some difficulty. Then I wrote another, until I realized that I had to learn about my craft in writing, and the industry I was stepping into. I knew by writing those few books what my voice was at the time and what I had to hone, in my writing.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in your professional industry? Learn your craft. Learn about the publishing industry. Find your people—what I mean is join a writers’ group that will support you and help you along the way. Writing is a loner job, and friends help.
How do you handle setbacks and criticism? With setback, I take it in stride. I would walk away, bake or do something other than writing to clear my head. Then I go back, and the time spent away usually settles the issue I have in my head. Where criticism is concerned, I brush it off. I learned very early on to have thick skin and that you can’t please people all the time.
How do you hold yourself accountable and achieve the goals that you set forth? I write every morning. When I write fresh words, I write with a group of wonderful authors that gets together on Facebook every morning to do sprints, which helps with accountability. Once those sprints are done, I keep writing until I reach my word goal. I make myself a daily goal of how many words I want to write that day, which happens to be 1500 each day.
What do you find most fulfilling in the career that you’ve chosen? The writers I meet. There are so many talented authors out there that I’m in good company. And the readers, who I adore the most. They keep me in the chair to write.
What book uplifts you? To be honest, there’s more than one book that keeps me uplifted. But if I have to choose one, then it’s the very first romance book that my dear Aunt Charlene (God rest her soul) gave me to read when I was twelve. It was a harlequin romance called The Leopard in the Snow by Anne Mather. (lol, I knew I was too young to read that kind of book, but at the time, it was my little secret between my aunt and I.) You see, it isn’t what the book held inside the pages, but what the book represented for me. It was my first taste of romance, which lead to my writing romance.
Anything else you’d like to share with your readers? Yes! I have a small town romance series coming next year. I can’t give details, but I sure can give you a hint. Small Tennessee town, racing, second chance at love and a whole lot of crazy going on. If you want to know more details, come join me in my Facebook group. And sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get firsthand information on my upcoming books, giveaways and event signings.
Image Courtesy of CJ Warrant