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  by Dee Gentle
Leslie Tramposch: Managing Editor - Sara Reyes: Marketing and Publicity

September 2006 Issue


I Need My "Space"
Spotlight on Futuristic/Science Fiction Romance

Special Features

Publisher Spotlight: Aphrodite's Apples

Rowena Cherry

Alien-romance author ROWENA CHERRY is a self-described lifelong lurker and fact magpie.

Rowena's youth was spent on the tiny British island of Guernsey: a mystical, idyllic setting with its prehistoric earth-goddess, red granite Martello towers dating from the 1800’s, underground gun emplacements and concrete casemates which were once part of Hitler’s North Atlantic Wall, and where there are legends of faery men emerging from a dark, dramatic cave called the Creux des Fées in the historic Hommet Headland intent on mating.

A school chess champion and winner of the Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award, Rowena went to ancient Cambridge University for her four-year combined honors degree in English and Education, after which she taught at exclusive boarding schools, first in Dorset, then in North London suburbs, where she met and married her auto designer husband, who whirled her off to Germany to live the glamorous life of an alien abroad. 

Reassigned to America, the Cherrys rode in pace cars at the Indy 500 and Brickyard, flew in corporate jets to exotic and exclusive locations.  Their life so far has been fantastic inspiration for romance novel scenes and alien-world building.

Rowena's first alien romance, FORCED MATE, was published in 2003.  Her second title, MATING NET, came out in 2005.  The third book in the alien djinn series, INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL, is due for release in February 2007.

Rowena lives in Michigan with her husband and daughter.

Visit Rowena online at

or at her alien romances blog

An Interview with Rowena Cherry

PNR: How long have you been writing? What inspired you to choose writing as a career?

ROWENA C.: I've been writing for approximately fourteen years.  I started my first full-length work of romantic fiction, FORCED MATE, in 1992 or 1993.  I didn't know what I was doing, and because I was stubborn and shy about admitting what I was doing to anyone but the tax man, I probably did everything the hard way.

For instance, I never should have tried to market a debut novel as a 600 page trilogy! 

A few months ago, I sat beside literary agent Kristin Nelson on Linnea Sinclair's "Starships, Sorcerers, and Sexy Heroes, Oh My!" panel (I was all over the Sexy Heroes) at the Romantic Times convention.  Kristin listed the 10 biggest turn-offs an author can put in a query letter.  "Very long manuscript" was high on her list.

As for what inspired me...?

Vanity.  My competitive nature.   A notion that this is something I can still do when I am 100 years old (if I want to), and I can do it almost anywhere. 

I started writing "creatively" when I was seven or eight.  I used to write vaguely sexually coercive poetry, sew it into little books and give it to a (female) second cousin.  I cannot remember why.  I think I was unduly inspired by the pop music of the day.

Remember "You were meant for me," by Freddie and the Dreamers?

It never occurred to me that I might write novels.  At University I dreamed of being published, but I was thinking in terms of Doctoral Theses, and original theories about Shakespeare.  However, I couldn't afford a fifth year at Cambridge.  I left Newnham College as a Bachelor and a spinster.  (Secretly, I'd yearned to be a Master and a Mrs.)

When --some years later-- I became an international corporate wife, I was happy to play Bridge (competitively); to help my (slightly dyslexic) husband put together the speech part of "presentations"; and to write book reports on the myriad motivational manuals that were required executive reading in the 1980's.  For pleasure and private amusement, I wrote long letters to family and friends --comparing my husband and his ways to the local wildlife (we had woodpeckers, rampaging boar, squirrels, deer, pine martens, vultures...).  Looking back, I might call it an early form of blogging.

Then, one day, a publisher friend of my husband's, an automotive magazine publisher, told me that I ought to Write.

He got me thinking.

By the way, mentioning Duplicate Bridge may seem frivolous of me, but it's the scandalous Empress Helispeta's passion. 

PNR: Do you have a strict writing schedule? How do you balance your personal and writing time?

ROWENA C.:  I'm have a hard time keeping to schedules, strict or otherwise.  I should establish one and stick to it, but I don't.  I'm wobbly on balance, too.

It seems to me --though I may be kidding myself-- that I'm either researching, plotting, promoting, writing, or editing... or editing... or editing.   If I'm writing, I'm likely to be so deeply involved that almost everything else gets neglected until it becomes a priority. 

I'm assuming that by personal time, we're talking hair, nails, laundry and stationary bicycles (not necessarily in that order) rather than quality time with family members.

I don't "do" hair, nails, bicycles, fine dining, or shopping, except for food.  That saves some personal time, which I promptly fritter away in the kitchen, because I cook meals from scratch.  My child has food allergies.  My dh frets about saturated fats and trans-fatty acids.

As for the writing process, maybe I'll 'dream load' and a scene will come to me in the middle of the night.  Or, maybe it won't. 

One night last year, for instance, I realized that it would be pretty wicked if my underestimated Djinn heroine were to see the hero for the first time, throw up her hands in horror, and blast him onto his backside.

When I say 'see the hero' this is a fully clad scene. 

In fact, this turned out be such a dynamite scene (pun intended), given the reactions of everyone else in the throne room, that the Royal Shotgun Wedding Gone Wrong ended up being submitted as Chapter One of INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL.  What I'd drafted as early scenes were gutted and used as backstory scattered over the next ten chapters. 

Then my editor pointed out that there were too many characters hanging around the throne, and a new reader wouldn't have a hope of knowing Who was Who.

Playing Rubik's Cube with my scenes would tend to blow a schedule.  Another problem is that sooner or later I turn perfectionist.

I might take a day, a week, or even longer to get a simile or a turn of phrase just right.                 

By 'just right' I mean that the thought or image or fragment of dialogue must be in character, in Point of View, economical, as witty as possible, communicate the underlying tensions, and have Something-Else going on.

PNR: Could you tell us about the alien Djinn series: how did the idea for the series develop?

ROWENA C.:  Thank you for asking.   The central premise of my alien Djinn is that the legendary beings we call jinn, djinn or genie were aliens, and they acted like original wolves.

My premise in FORCED MATE was very Von Daeniken, in that I suggest that all gods of human mythologies are inspired by genetic memories of visiting aliens. 

It is a wonderfully convenient rationale for shared customs --such as playing chess-- and the possibility of interbreeding!  I also give the aliens "Smart" semen.... and I think I'm veering off topic.

The series!  As I mentioned, FORCED MATE started out as a trilogy, but I've lost interest in the notion of three consecutive stories with Tarrant-Arragon and Djinni-vera as the hero and heroine.

I don't like a sequel to negate the Happy Ever After that I was promised at the end of the original book.

Fortunately, I've no shortage of potential heroes in my alien djinn world.

In 1995, while transcribing the typewriter-written draft of FORCED MATE onto a computer, I created a very elaborate Genealogical Tree for the two rival branches of the divided royal family.  I'd compare having that tree to Cell Phone roll-over minutes.  I want to use what I've invested.

Unfortunately, it's a challenge when the rest of the alpha males in the family can't logically be as powerful as Tarrant-Arragon, unless I mess with his Happy Ever After.  

When I read a series, I like each hero to be more impressive than his predecessor.  Kathleen Nance did this really well in Wishes Come True and More Than Magic.

In the meantime, Tarrant-Arragon has more than one potential rival, and his is not the only superpower in my alien Djinn world.  There is an obvious answer for the future.  FORCED MATE was set in 1994 for more than one good reason.

PNR: What does science fiction romance have to do with chess?

ROWENA C.:  Nothing whatsoever.

However, SFR and Chess link through me.  It's a bit of a stretch, but think of a triangle, and the points are:  Sex, Getting Noticed,  and Exposure.

Chess is a fascinating game of strategy, patience, and good manners which even bright seven-year-olds can enjoy.  Many civilizations have been credited with having invented it.  Conceivably, chess could have been given to us, not by ancient Indians, Cretans, or Chinese but by visitors from another world.

How civilized the world would be if nations settled their differences by sending their chess champions to single, ritual combat!

Besides, chess is sexy.  Think of all the Mating,  Taking, and Forking.  The possibilities for flirting and seductive innuendo are ... not endless ... but great fun.  And, if for one reason or another it is not convenient for the hero to learn something important about the heroine by having premature sex with her, he might learn something equally interesting and intimate by watching her set out to beat him at chess.

Aquascutum (the clothing firm) recognizes that there is something very sexy about a well-dressed man playing chess against a beautiful woman.  You should see the advertisement in the British quality papers, showing Pierce Brosnan!

One has to consider the competition if one wants to be noticed.  There aren't very many Romances with chess titles.  I can think of a few science fiction novels, Pstalemate for one.   When I started entering FORCED MATE in RWA contests for the unpublished, my title raised a lot of hackles.  I got the impression that CHECK MATE would have been more acceptable... except it is often spelled CHECKMATE, these days.

I stuck with FORCED MATE because "Forced Mate" is Pandolfini’s name for an end-game position where there are the two Kings and pawns.  The first King to make a pawn his Queen wins.  It seemed appropriate for a cosmic love-triangle romance.

MATING NET was a bit more of a stretch. The King WILL be mated, no matter what.

When I was researching websites, and pondering the image I wanted to project (and how I could possibly differentiate myself), I was very struck by Sue Grant's website.  I was especially impressed by how Sue had chosen “author of aviation romance” as a tag.

OK.  "Author of chess-titled romance" is nowhere near as clever, but experts do say Write What you Know.   I know a little about chess.  As a schoolgirl I was one of twenty seven players chosen to represent Guernsey in an exhibition simultaneous match against International Grandmaster and then President of the World Chess Federation, Max Euwe.  I also teach chess --as a volunteer-- to small children.

I’m moving more in the direction of "author of alien djinn romances" now that I have three titles, and there is a limit to how many plays on words I can make about mating and forking….

PNR: Why is the third book in your alien djinn romance series titled INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL?

ROWENA C.:  It’s another chess term.  INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL is —approximately— the situation when chess players recognize that no matter how well one player plays, or how badly his opponent plays, there is no way either player will to get to mate… checkmate, that is!

At one point, this title was a wicked triple play on words.   Now, it's still a pretty good in-joke.

I imagine I'm a risk-taker to give a romance novel a title like that.  After all, what famous cover model would want to pose with a label like that spread in huge letters across his groin? 

On the other hand, a lot of readers assumed that FORCED MATE was a violent book.  I hope that INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL will give a … softer impression.

PNR: Is there a story behind how SURVIVORMAN, Les Stroud, came to read your book?

ROWENA C.: Oh, yes!  Thank you for asking this. 

Long before I ever saw SURVIVORMAN, which is now on The Science Channel,  I researched the living-rough aspects —from several library books, and a lot of strange-seeming correspondence about body hair, threading and other DIY methods of hair removal, personal hygiene, sanitary products, and hair dye on my favorite yahoo group loops such as paranormal romance and FFandP— and I'd sent the manuscript to my editor.

It seemed to me that Les Stroud was doing something very similar (but much more dramatic and dangerous) to what I was hoping to achieve with INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL.  That is, if I can say so without sounding pretentious, through entertainment we were trying to communicate a little information that could possibly help to save a life.

So, I googled SURVIVORMAN, and  sent Les an email, asking if he might be interested in helping me out by taking a look at a novel I’d like to describe as “SURVIVORMAN with sex” (if he did not object).   I wanted him to read the “Survival” scenes to check for verisimilitude and plausibility.

I'm amazed at my cheek, but he truly was the ideal "beta-reader".

It’s all very well for me to read two or three guidebooks on how to skin a hare for cooking, and another on how to make a decent loincloth from a dead deer, but few textbooks deal with exactly the creature that I need, especially if it is an alien creature resembling a capybara sized rabbit.  (Capybara: largest, Earthly rodent, guinea-pig family).  And, if they did, my intellectual properties attorney would probably tell me that I couldn’t use it.

Naturally, I hoped that SURVIVORMAN would be so enthralled by the “coping in the wild” scenes that he would read the entire book, and give me a cover quote.  Apparently, Les did enjoy it (and only identified four or five references that needed to be edited slightly).

He wrote in part:

"What a fantastic read!  A book full of possibilities, humor, intrigue and action.  I loved it!" ~ Les Stroud, aka "Survivorman".

PNR: As a reader, I find your writing to be intelligent and witty; does this approach come naturally to you? Do you find humor to be an essential element in your work?

ROWENA C.: Thank you!   I’d like to think that my writing is intelligent and witty, certainly I hope my heroes are!  I can happily suspend disbelief about a lot of things, but I personally couldn't believe in a Happy Ever After with a humorless mate.

I try to use all the different varieties of humor -- the elegant and cerebral, as well as the slap-dick... by which I mean that the arrogant hero metaphorically slaps some symbol of his superior manliness on the table to impress his lesser rivals, and snags a splinter.

Does intelligence and wit come naturally, though?  As I've probably just demonstrated, I tend to go too far down the low road of humor.

Writing in the best of good taste means controlling my lamentable tendency to amuse myself (and only myself), especially during love scenes. 

I call this sort of writing “Gorilla Testicles” for two reasons.

Somewhere in the BBC archives is a wildlife program where the scientist found it necessary to measure the size of a sleeping gorilla's testicles using a monkey wrench.

I'm not sure why.  He must have had an odd sense of humor, like me!  The testicles, by the way, were remarkably small.  Not worth the time and effort involved in measuring them, or in watching them being measured.

Around the time I saw this program, I was writing my FORCED MATE heroine’s “dark moment” scene.  She grabs a blunt instrument from a wall display, with a view to defending her virtue.  I put it into her head to compare this tool with the infamous monkey wrench.

Later I realized that my heroine should not have such irreverent thoughts under the circumstances in which she found herself.  Not only were they out of keeping with the mood of the scene, but they also interfered with the pace… and the two or three lines about the gorilla testicles added an extra page to the manuscript.

So, I removed the testicles, but the label stuck.

PNR: Your writing puts readers in the setting with the characters; what sort of research did you do for this book?

ROWENA C.: I love to research, and I do a lot of it, which is partly why it takes me so long to write.  My books’ acknowledgements pages are usually worth an amused glance, to see what names I’m dropping and how many “horses’ mouths” I’ve visited.

For INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL, I also farmed out some of the scientific stuff.  Paid researcher Jennifer Lasseter double checked and dumbed down for me the answers to such questions as Why is the sky blue? (and also Under what circumstances could the sky be green — and human life be possible?) for instance.  And also, whether it would be possible to make a guitar on a deserted island. (It would, if the right sorts of trees grew there.)

Like most authors, only a fraction of my research ends up on the printed page, otherwise the book would be twenty times as long, and would read like an info dump.

I might  (I did!) chat with a male cover model for an hour about what he does in the gym and elsewhere to hone his abs and other splendid muscles, and all there is to show for it in the text of INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL is a couple of lines of terse dialogue.

Though I wouldn’t deliberately turn an ankle, I did try to shave my legs with a sharp shell fragment (razor shells do not work!) and I’ve been known to sit in the sea, and ponder exactly what it feels like to have a cold wave rush between my legs (and if one is going to cross one’s legs at the knee and one’s thighs are slightly less than perfectly toned, the experience can be unexpectedly loud and unflattering.)  What they said about From Here To Eternity is true.  Sand gets everywhere.

I’ve talked to psychics and mediums, card readers and card players, and Healers, and to a surprising number of persons with vivid memories of broken jaws, also to persons confined to wheelchairs (Tarrant-Arragon’s mother, Madam Tarra plays a small, but telling role in this book).  And I’ve talked with a couple of rock musicians as well as those who’ve loved them.

Also, Sue Grant gave me a wealth of advice about the dynamics of a small starfighter being forced to ditch onto water.

PNR: What were the challenges you faced writing a love story set on a deserted island?

ROWENA C.:  The challenge was one reason I decided to do it!  One day, Kathleen Nance and I were at a very poorly attended booksigning in our local library.  Almost no one came, and no books at all would have been sold if some of the authors hadn’t bought each others’ books. 

So Kathleen and I beguiled the shining hour (three hours, to be exact) by brainstorming our works in progress for Dorchester Publishing.  Kathleen warned me that a desert island was a deadly (meaning dull) place to set a romance, and I’d have problems.

That did it! At the time, I was wavering between having my hero and heroine sent into exile on Earth (for the fun of the heroine’s reactions to our comparatively backward planet) or on the fictional and watery planet An’Koor.

A survival romance was conceived.  I began to make a mental list of all the sexy and funny adventures to be had while trying to make a shelter, dry wet clothes, go to the toilet (even a hero and heroine do have to), find food, remain plausibly attractive… etc. 

Imagine what would happen if a sea creature nibbled the hero’s penis while he was fishing?  Could this author possibly make a scene with an imaginary canderu romantic? (Canderu: a small, presumably near-blind, predatory fish that normally is attracted to the urea released from a larger fish’s gills, but which is sometimes confused when a man pees in the Amazon river. It eagerly squirms up inside what it thinks is a tubular fish’s breathing apparatus.)

Is toilet paper funny?  Well, it is if you don’t have any, the heroine is a Paris Hilton type, and the hero offers her a strip of seaweed.  And suppose the heroine has PETA tendencies, and objects to the killing and eating of furry animals?

As you can imagine, there had to be other characters, not marooned on the island, who were vitally interested in what the hero and heroine were doing and whether or not they would survive. 

I think I’m tending to talk about how I went about solving the challenges, rather than about what the challenges were.  Here’s one though.

Conventional wisdom has it that the modern romantic hero and heroine ought to make out around page 100 or 200 (I am simplifying enormously) but that this roll in the hay, or sand, or bracken, or sackcloth and ashes is far from the satisfying resolution of all their doubts about one another.

It seems to me, if the hero and heroine are trapped on the desert island, they might nevertheless manage to save a World, or a blood line/, or a life, or a tree… while they are there, but they cannot unmask whoever is trying to kill them, or destroy their world....( etc)  if the villain is not on the desert island with them.

So, do they shuttle off to deal diplomatically —or otherwise—with their enemies, and then return to their exile (why would they, if they have triumphed?) to make love and prove that they are fully capable of a Happy Ever After?

PNR: Could you tell us the steps you take when developing an alien species?

ROWENA C.:  I could.  I've given workshops on the topic, but I'm not sure I can condense it. 

Most importantly, if we are talking Romance, you need to know whether or not your plot calls for these aliens to breed with humans.  If so, you have to make sure that they are plausibly capable and motivated.  Then you have to consider how they are going to get away with it.

At this point, you need to give some thought to their home planet, unless they live in a space ship or space station, because that is going to affect size, color, skin texture, strength, muscle mass, what they eat, breath, and drink, their body core temperature, fertility, number of hearts.

You also need to consider their genetic origins, history, spirituality, beliefs and values in general, social order, economy, politics, education, and intimate customs.

There are a couple of How To books I like to re-read while working on an early draft of my novels.

The Joy of Writing Sex by Elizabeth Benedict,

How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card.

The Writers' Digest book club has a great variety of books on this subject.

PNR: Do you feel your writing is character driven or plot driven? How do you balance these two elements?

ROWENA C.:  Character driven!

For me all plot begins with the hero.

I want to know why he wants whatever he wants from the heroine? What thwarts him? What it is about him that is going to cause trouble, be it his reputation, sex drive, past, a telltale tattoo on his penis…?

What adventures are in keeping with his character that might make him heroic?  How far he has to change in order to win the heroine’s love?

I start with his looks, his place in the family tree, his hobbies and passions, goals, his vision for his future versus the visions others have for him, who his antagonist(s) are, what his blind spot(s) are, his secret yearnings (perhaps to be loved?), and his inner conflicts.  And, all my heroes are highly intelligent, and they all play chess, at god level (of course).

Then, I give him a plausible quest.

If “plot” is not something that the hero would naturally do, or a scrape that he would get himself into, I’m about as interested in throwing a gratuitous action scene into the mix as I am in inserting a gratuitous sex scene.  However, I will do it on demand, if my editor demands it.

I start with the hero because he has to be someone I could see myself falling in love with.  If he isn't, I'm wasting my time trying to create a heroine with whom I can identify.

My heroine’s genes are important, so I start with her place in the family tree, her status in her world, her looks (she does not necessarily have to be a conventional beauty).  I need to figure out her views on sex, her interests and gifts (though she may be an under-achiever, she has to have a light under her bushel). I must understand her secret desire to shine in a male's world, and know what her is problem with the hero?

If six is an ideal number of memorable characters, and you’ve already got a hero, a heroine, and a main antagonist, that leaves room in theory for three good supporting characters.

I draft the next round by function-- the hero's confidant or the heroine's confidant, or the villain’s side-kick; then I add family members whose behavior and/or history explain why the hero or heroine is the way he or she is… bad genes, bad nature/bad nurture, misguided parenting etc.

My protagonists’ heroic—or anti-heroic—parents are my weakness.  I admit it.  Because of them, I always exceed six characters.  To me, it doesn't seem right to kill off the hero's or heroine's inconvenient father, for no better reason than to streamline the family or someone younger and sexier can be more powerful.

However, there is a family tree in the front of the book.  And, if the character is Djinn royalty, they've probably got a Royal name with the Dj- prefix.  The D is silent.

PNR: Your characters are irresistible; who is your favorite character(s) to write? The most challenging?

ROWENA C.:  When I was writing FORCED MATE I would have said that my favorite character is Tarrant-Arragon. 

Then I wrote MATING NET, and I “fell in love with” Djohn-Kronos, who was supposed to be the villain.

I have to say that my favorite character to write is the Hero, whoever he is (all my heroes are very different) which may not be quite answering the question.

My favorite recurring character is Grievous, the English mercenary.  His function is rather similar to that of The Chorus.  He comments on what is going on.  He is also quite funny.

PNR: Your niche seems to be futuristic/sci-fi romance. What is it about this genre that captures your imagination?  Is there a genre you haven’t written but would like to try?

ROWENA C.: To be brutally honest, I never said to myself, “I want to write futuristic/sci-fi romance.”  What did capture my imagination was the notion of sharing Tarrant-Arragon's love story.

FORCED MATE had to be some sub-genre of science-fiction because I saw Tarrant-Arragon as the ultimate hero.  I wanted him to be a god and an Emperor's heir, and I wanted a clash of cultures between my hero and heroine.

Really, that meant that he could not have been a speculative Historical hero.... unless I made him Japanese, and took liberties with history.  As a former teacher of History (and English) I was uncomfortable about doing that.

Besides, Tarrant-Arragon had to be over seven feet tall.  He had to rule an interstellar Empire.  I have no inhibitions about messing with Darth Vader types.

And so, the hero dictated his genre.

As for other genres, my mother tells me that I have a criminal mind.  I dare say at some point I shall have more interest in murder mysteries than in love scenes.

I’d love to write cosies.  If anyone is going to be a hard boiled detective, it has to be an elderly lady, and if she choose to use very strong language once in a while, she will shock everyone.  I’d like my card playing, card reading, mind reading, psychic Empresses to solve crimes in outer space.   Maybe one day.

PNR: In your opinion, what is it about the futuristic/sci-fi genre that seems to cross the traditional male/female reader boundaries? Do readers expect more or less romantic elements in this genre?

ROWENA C.:  We are getting a good number of male readers visiting, and commenting positively at the alien romances group blog,

so I agree with you that to some extent Linnea Sinclair, Susan Kearney, Susan Sizemore, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Margaret Carter, Colby Hodge and I do appeal to a wider readership… either that, or Linnea’s and Margaret’s brilliantly provocative questions draw them out.

I don’t feel qualified to opine on what attracts readers or crosses gender boundaries.  Both Linnea Sinclair, and CT Adams and Cathy Clamp have told me that where a book is shelved is important, and Cathy Clamp is absolutely fascinating on the topic of what is on the cover and the effect cover color has on the male decision whether or not to pick up a book.  CT and Cathy’s covers for Hunter’s Moon and A Touch of Evil are great illustrations of that point.

It could be that publishers’ art departments are more adventurous with SFR covers, or have more man-appealing props with which to work.  For instance, the Dorchester cover for Susan Grant’s The Scarlet Empress was glorious.

As for great romantic expectations, funnily enough, it was a male test reader of the pre-edited INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL who pointed out that he’d expected more romantic elements than he found.  Dave could have been an exceptional reader.

Another possibility, which I have not heard mentioned, and which I have not researched, is that the current acceptance by publishers of frank and graphic terms for sexual activities and equipment might be more user-friendly to male readers.  I assume that many males who enjoy a good story might have felt out of their depth with the euphemisms.

PNR: Like a growing number of authors, you started out in the e-publishing market. How does being contracted with a print publisher differ? Do you plan to e-publish in the future?

ROWENA C.:  I think e-publishing makes commercial sense, and that it will continue to grow exponentially as more people realize how convenient, easy (and environmentally responsible) it is to buy and download a book to their own home computer or to an e-book reader.  

When one considers that a device not much larger than a pack of Tarot cards can hold 50 novels (or text books), one cannot help but see the possibilities, no matter how much one loves the smell, feel, weight, texture and sensation of a paperback in one’s hands.

I keep the e-rights to my print books, and the print rights to my e-books.  I am very happy with both Dorchester and with New Concepts Publishing, so I have not considered doing anything else with anyone else (or by myself) with the exception of the electronic version of FORCED MATE which I revised and self-published in Jan 2005 after NBI went out of business.

This will sound terribly superficial, but I loved the Matthew Twiggs cover of the e- and POD version of FORCED MATE because he was exactly my image of how Tarrant-Arragon should look, and I self-published for an excuse to keep the cover on my website.

PNR: Your website features an awesome, interactive Djinn Family Tree. Could you tell us about your plans for the alien Djinn series; will we be seeing more of these alpha heroes?

ROWENA C.: Thank you for the compliment.  A lot of work went into that interactive Djinn genealogy, and I do mean to work from it for some time to come.

The existence of that tree gives a discipline and inspiration and framework for other stories.  It also presents some fascinating challenges because I didn't double check all my arithmetic before I copyrighted it along with an early version of FORCED MATE back in 1995.

To my horror, when looking over my numbers, and way too late to fix the discrepancy, I discovered that I’d unintentionally married off a couple of girls at the age of twelve.   This was not so outrageous in our own Medieval times, and it doesn’t sound so bad when calculated in my aliens’ gestates. (Gestate...gestation.... 9 months.)

As the relevant books are released, I intend to add more character sketches about the other alpha heroes in the series….  I really ought to put up something about the heroines.

The next hero --after Prince Djetthro-Jason-- ought to be the enigmatic and somewhat Adam Adamantine ’Rhett (“Prince” Djarrhett) , but Martia-Djulia’s misbegotten sons are growing up fast, and then there are the mysterious and elusive twins who run spies and jet-racers on the Bright Side of the Pleasure Moon.

And there may be some lost girls.

PNR: Please tell us about the projects you are currently working on; what can readers expect to see in the coming months?

ROWENA C.:  At the moment, I’m working on edits and early promotion for INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL which comes out in February 2007. 

Looking ahead, I’m putting together preliminary research for a work tentatively titled KNIGHT’S FORK, which will lead to a new series that I’m calling DEMETRA’S DAUGHTERS.

I'm also quite heavily committed to participate in various workshops and panels at the 2007 Romantic Times convention.

PNR: Thank you, Rowena, for taking time out to speak with us. Where can readers find out what's new and how can they contact you?

ROWENA C.:  Thank you for asking, and also thank you for the pleasure and privilege of talking with you.

The best place to find out my news is to visit my website

and follow the links to my current newsletter

Readers can contact me at

Or write to Rowena Beaumont Cherry

PO Box 554 

Bloomfield Hills MI 48303-0554

Or, Comments are enabled, and can be made at any of my blogs:

I blog occasionally but only about my books at Amazon:

I have a periodic blog at:

Read more at any of the following blogs:

Also at

Also at

Also at

Rowena's news is posted at Divas of Romance

Also at All Star Scribes

Rowena Cherry


Where heroines get more hero than they bargain for when they take an alien to bed.

Sex, sex gods, and science fiction! Authors blog at


Rowena Cherry



Family Tree
Available Now
Buy it now!
New Concepts Pub.
October 1, 2005
ISBN #0976539713
Read the Reviews!

MATING NET - Helispeta wanted to marry well ... but not THIS well.

What is an ambitious young princess to do when she finds herself irrevocably married to the wrong god? What is her jilted fiance to do?

Prince Devoron-Vitan, supreme commander of the Tigron Empire's star forces, wants to go home and find out what the star-blazes is going on. In one short gestate, his twin brother Djohn-Kronos has killed their father, taken the throne, nullified all existing royal betrothals, and started a war.

Then, rumors reach Devoron-Vitan that Djohn-Kronos intends to catch Devoron-Vitan's fiancee, Helispeta, in his MATING NET.  

Buy it now!

Self Published
January 1, 2005
ISBN #0976539705


  Read the Reviews!  

FORCED MATE - He has found the mate of his dreams.
She hates him.
What is a god-Emperor to do?

By all the Lechers of Antiquity, what is a god-Emperor to do when his chosen mate is caught on tape speculating that he is a brute and a bore in bed? Renowned for his sexual prowess all over the galaxy, Prince Tarrant-Arragon has a reputation for depravity to keep up, even if the reality of his private life is a far different story. His personal inclination would be to woo his intended with charm and wit, but politics and Tigron tradition call for abduction followed by swift consummation. Embarking on a skilled seduction, Tarrant-Arragon feels confident in his ability to take his queen. But he hasn't counted on the unpredictability of his little Earthling or the startling fact that she would make a pawn of his own heart.

Buy it now!
Love Spell
November 2, 2004
ISBN #0505526018
320 pages
Paperback (reprint)
Read the Reviews!

FORCED MATE - "She thought she'd recited an alien poem, not wedding vows! She's either married her greatest enemy or started an intergalactic war..."

Coming Soon
Buy it Soon!
Love Spell
February 2, 2007
ISBN #0505526711
Read the Reviews!

Shot down...for failing to mate in public. Marooned on an island with the ultimate fashionista, who wouldn't take off her clothes to save her own life, Djetth was discovering that when a Tiger prince is honor bound to hide his true identity, when his best tool of seduction bears a damning tattoo, and his very life is in danger, survival isn't just a matter of making out.

Someone was trying to kill them...
Even in the outrageously wicked Tigron Empire, who would dare to attack a royal princess and her consort? So what if she had spectacularly rejected Djetth's hand and privately turned her pretty nose up at his other princely parts? With the aid of two exiled empresses acting as psychic sleuths, some misplaced guitar glue and a talent for disguises, he would unmask a killer and prove this was certainly not a case of... INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL




Featured in this issue:

Futuristic/Sci-Fi Romance
Aphrodite's Apples Press

Interviews with:


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