Rising Star Spotlight: CiCi Cordelia!


Char Chaffin and Cheryl Yeko Co-write under the name of CiCi Cordelia!
How long have you known each other?
Cheryl & Char:  We’ve been friends since 2011, when we both came onboard Soul Mate Publishing with our debut novels. We got to know each other virtually, and by the time we met in person at our first romance conference in 2013 in Atlanta, it was as if we’d always known each other. A forever friendship was born.
How did the idea of combining each of your talents into one pen-name and author identity come about?
Cheryl & Char:  During RWA Atlanta, we’d tossed around writing something together, and after one frenetic brainstorming evening came up with our first co-written book, Rodeo King, which debuted in 2014. We were thrilled when Rodeo King finaled in the 2016 Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Awards.
We had so much fun writing together, we decided to keep doing it, and agreed a pen name was in order. CiCi’s first name was easy, since both our names start with ‘C.’ All we needed was a last name. Eventually we came up with ‘Cordelia’ which means ‘heart,’ and our tagline is ‘Writing From The Heart.’
How do you come up with the ideas and storylines for each of your books?
Cheryl & Char: 
We text and talk on the phone frequently, bouncing ideas off each other until one resonates with both of us. Sometimes one of us will get an idea, the other might not care for it, and we set it aside. More often than not we find ourselves revisiting stored ideas and finding something we both like and can work with, after all.
How do you work out who writes what?
Cheryl & Char: 
Once we have an idea outlined, whichever of us comes up with an opening chapter usually goes first. One of us writes most or all of the first chapter depending on how it comes together, then we pass it back and forth, refining and revising, until we’re both happy with the result. We then set it aside and start the next chapter. In this way we really end up writing each chapter together. We also brainstorm together and spend a lot of time on the phone as well. If one of us gets stuck, usually we can resolve anything by a fast phone chat.
Do you think the writing process is easier or harder when two people are writing the same story?
Easier. I love brainstorming with Char. It’s so much fun, and the stories practically write themselves.
Char:  Definitely easier. Both of us possess different writing strengths, and our creativity increases tenfold when we write together.

Read the entire interview in the Dec/Jan 2019-20 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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