Sunday, March 2, 2014

Summer Rain Virtual Book Tour by Cherlisa Starks Richardson, February 24-March 7, 2014

Summer Rain Virtual Book Tour by Cherlisa Starks Richardson, February 24-March 7, 2014

Carpinello's Writing Pages is pleased to interview MG author Cherlisa Richardson as part of her book tour with Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tour.

Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Purple Phoenix Publishing LLC (November 27, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0991095006
ISBN-13: 978-0991095001

About The Book
Sixteen-year-old Summer McClain seemingly has it all—a doting mother and father, two best friends who stick closer than glue, and a grandmother who can cook the pants off any chef who dares to go up against her. Her world is perfect in every way—until tragedy strikes the core of her family.

When Summer thinks the worst thing in her life has happened, she’s dealt more blows that make her question her young faith. Her two best friends, who should be there to love her through her devastation, have personal issues of their own, and on top of that, a girl at school starts bullying her for no reason. Will Summer be able to withstand the heartache, pain, and pressure she has to endure?

In her debut novel, Summer Rain, Cherlisa Starks Richardson has woven together a gripping novel that shows the faith even a child must have to endure when challenged with the pain life sometimes presents.

Now a bit about Cherlisa:
I was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana where I still reside with my family. I’m married and I have a 13 year old daughter. I have always loved reading and writing. I kept a diary as a young girl, and I enjoyed any class in school that required writing. I was in journalism all through high school. Two of those years I was the editor of my school yearbook. Although it seemed as though I would have traveled the path of writing in my career, I took pursued and obtained a bachelor’s degree in business and an MBA. I later continued down that path by working in business for over twenty years. The wonderful thing about God is that when he has given you a gift and a passion he’ll redirect you back to it. Since leaving Corporate America, I’ve had the pleasure living my dream as a writer and becoming a published author.

Why did you pick to write books for Young Adults?

Oddly enough, I did not choose to write for YA at all. I must say it was God’s will and plan for me because when I began writing Summer Rain, in my mind, it was an adult book. As my writer friends read it, they mentioned that it was Young Adult. When the first one said it, I responded, “No.” She insisted that it seemed like YA. When the next couple of writer friends read it and said the same thing, I concluded that maybe it was. After doing a lot of research about YA fiction and lots of prayer, I realized it was in fact YA fiction, and it was what God wanted me to write at that time. He’d actually prepared me for many years for that moment. I lead the young adult ministry at my church for eight years. Prior to that, I lead a youth ministry at a previous church. I have mentored youth and young adults for over twenty years, and I currently lead a Girl Scout troop. I’ve also recently won an elected position as a school board member on the school board in my district. Dealing with youth and young adults are a big part of my purpose in life. Writing in the YA genre has allowed my voice to echo to a much larger audience.

What types of books do you like to read?

I love reading different types of books. I enjoy reading Christian fiction, romance, murder mysteries, historical fiction, autobiographies and humorous fiction. 

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

When I’m not writing I’m usually reading. I also love watching movies and keeping up with my favorite T.V. shows which include The Biggest Loser, Scandal, and my guilty pleasure is The Real Housewives of Atlanta. I also love traveling!

Tell us about Summer Rain and how the story came to be.

I truly believe that God gave me the inspiration for Summer Rain. The bullying concept was inspired by the fact that I have never, ever liked bullies. I’ve never had any tolerance for them. I wanted to bring light to a growing situation and hope to make it a little better by adding my voice to the matter. The whole concept of faith being tested came because no matter who you are or how close you are to God, at some point in your life, your faith will be tested. I particularly wanted to write about young people’s faith being tested because many times when they have the first test of faith they don’t know how to handle it and they give up or turn to the wrong people. Even worst, some of them simply throw in the towel on life, which is why we see a rise in the number of suicides from those ages 10-24.  As far as the title itself, Summer is obvious. It’s because my main character’s name is Summer. Rain came to me because of the trouble and storms in Summer’s life. Hence, the title, Summer Rain was born.
Here's a Peek at Summer Rain:
SUMMER BROWSED THROUGH the different messages posted on Facebook. Nothing new, just the same old stuff teens usually post—pictures of girls with duck lips posing in the latest fashions, boys and girls posing in the mirror holding up their phones, and corny jokes. Sometimes an occasional shot is made at some unsuspecting kid. OMG! Am I reading this right? Summer lifted her head from the headboard of her bed and pulled her iPad closer to her face. Her eyes grew wider as she stared at the screen. Maybe her eyes were playing tricks on her. She hadn’t been getting much sleep lately. She blinked to see clearer. The kids at East High had gone completely crazy. Hadn’t their parents preached the same message to them that hers drilled into her about watching what you post on the Internet? They had no shame in their game and didn’t care who got hurt when they went in on people. The ruthless words they were calling Megan on her page were enough to make even the loosest girl want to crawl under a rock.
Summer read the last comment then turned off her iPad. She’d only gotten on the Internet as a distraction to help keep her awake. She had no idea what she was getting into when she logged onto Facebook. As soon as she thought the kids at her school couldn’t get any meaner, they were taking it to a new level. She couldn’t forget the worst comment about Megan—I hope you die. You’re too nasty to live. Summer’s mouth fell open when she read it. How could anyone be that mean? Then again, why am I surprised? That was the norm at East High. Every other week there was a new target.
Granted, everyone agreed that Megan brought the name calling on herself to some extent. Rumor had it she was trying to get the attention of one of the jocks on the basketball team. Everyone was saying that when she couldn’t get his attention by flirting with him, she went so far as to join the cheerleading squad. That didn’t work, so she resorted to sending him nasty text messages. When he didn’t respond to that, she eventually made the dumb mistake of sending him the picture that made her infamous. She was posing on a bed with nothing on but her bra and panties. Who does that? That’s when everything hit the fan. The boy posted the picture on Instagram using an anonymous account. All of the kids that followed him on the account sent it to their friends who sent it to their friends until it had made its way around the entire school. The hallways were buzzing with the same question every day—who started the picture going around? Whoever the dude was, he was keeping his identity a secret.

What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

I’m working on a romance novella, the first in a three part series that will be geared towards an adult audience. It will still be Christian fiction. I’m really excited about this book because I consider myself to be a hopeless romantic. I think my readers will find this story to be very intriguing. Although I’m writing for a different audience in my sophomore project, I will continue my Young Adult line as well.

What advice do you have for other authors?

The writing industry is rapidly changing and it’s not as easy and glamorous as it may seem. However, I would encourage those with a passion to write to do just that. Write. Stay the course and keep doing what you love, in spite of challenges and obstacles. I encourage aspiring writers to read. In order to be a great writer you have to be a reader. I’d also stress the importance of learning the craft of writing and learning this industry. One of my mantras is anything in life that’s worth having requires hard work and dedication.

Anything else you want readers to know?

I love connecting with my readers. They can learn more about upcoming events and projects on my website. Also, they can contact feel free to contact me through my website, Facebook and/or Twitter. 

Where to find Cherlisa and Summer Rain:






Summer Rain:


Hosted by Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tour

1 comment:

  1. Summer Rain has a beautiful cover- it makes me want to see some green grass and flowers! I don't like bullies either! Wonderful to learn more about Cherlisa and her book. I am always fascinated by the characters that speak to us and the books that nudge us to write them. :) Best of luck to Cherlisa! :)