Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ask An Editor--An Interview with Cheryl Yeko

Ever wonder what an editor thinks? Or how a writer can connect with one? Today, you'll have a chance to find out. It's my privilege to welcome Cheryl Yeko. She is an acquiring editor for Soul Mate Publishing and an author of romantic suspense.

Her debut novel, Protecting Rose, won the 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in the Romantic Suspense category.

As an Editor, Cheryl welcomes Romantic Suspense, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, and Erotica.
You can contact Cheryl atÿ, but before you do, you may want to discover what Cheryl likes and what she's looking for. I interviewed her and here are thirteen of her insightful answers.

Header by Samulli
1. What length synopsis do you prefer to see with a partial?  Single spaced or double? I prefer double spaced and anywhere up to 5 pages, as long as I get the gist of the story from beginning/middle/end
2. For you, in general, which elements in a fiction submission are terminal problems that would garner automatic rejections and which are tempting and fixable meriting a look at a revision if a talented author is willing to accept your advice? For me, and this is just me, other Soul Mate editors may have a different take...but I prefer the sex to be confined to only the Hero and the Heroine...with no threesomes or sharing of any kind. I prefer my Hero's to be Alpha, and they would never share their women. I wouldn't necessary reject these stories outright, if they are well-written...but, I would offer them to one of the other Soul Mate editors to take a look at.
3. Do you look at sample pages without fail or only if the query is strong? I always look at the sample pages.
4. Cheryl has several reasons she might reject a story. Here's another one. I will reject outright a story that has been written with headhopping, and yes, I know Nora does it, but not everyone is Nora Roberts. Generally, the readers do not easily accept headhopping. I don't enjoy reading headhopping stories, and since, as the editor, I will be reading this novel 3 to 5 times, on average, I only edit or sign books I'd enjoy spending time with.
5. Another reason she rejects manuscripts is this. If I see a ton of grammar issues, passive writing, formatting, or other issues, but the story is good, I will ask the author to edit the manuscript and resubmit to me. Then if I see that the author is capable of making the requested changes...and I see good improvements, I'll offer a contract.
6. What are the most compelling elements you feel are necessary for a good read?   What particularly grabs your attention? I like to see the Hero/Heroine on the pages for the majority of the story, although I'm okay with side plots with romance as well. And in my novel Abducting Casey, I had three different romances going on. It was a lot a fun.
7. Is there a better or worse time of year to query? No. Anytime is fine.
8. Do you have any pet peeves? Yes...if I see a gratuitous scene, the harming of the heroine for example, that is used just for `shock' value and adds nothing to the story, I reject the novel or strike the scene before offering a contract. I have nothing against violence in my novels, and actually enjoy a well-written, dark and violent story...Black Dagger Brotherhood being my favorite J.R. Ward series... But, the violence must be an integral part of the story, and not just a scene thrown out to titillate the readers.  Oh, yeah...and I really hate it when they kill off the family pet.
9. Regarding submissions, what are you sick to death of and what would you like to see more of? I don't think there is a story that I'm `sick to death of' long as it's a well-written story, I'm happy to review it.
10. What does `just not right mean for me' mean to you? It means I didn't enjoy the story, and therefore don't want to commit months out of my life working with it.
11. Do you accept unagented and/or email queries? Yes, absolutely.
12. Which categories do you currently acquire?  Which category is your favorite? As an Editor, I welcome Romantic Suspense, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, and Erotica. And, since I write Romantic Suspense, that is my favorite, with paranormal running a close second.
13. What do you love most about your job? I love helping the authors make their stories shine.

One of the factors that contributes to Cheryl being an excellent editor is that she's also a talented storyteller. This blog wouldn't be complete without mentioning Cheryl's latest release, a co-written novella with another Soul Mate Publishing acquiring editor, and also her BFF, Char Chaffin.

RODEO KING, Book 1 in The Dustin Lovers Series, is a contemporary western, and were both thrilled that it's been hanging out in the top 100, on and off, since its release in mid-June.

Here's the blurb:
Caleb Johnson, 'King of the Rodeo,' is on his way to becoming Wyoming's National Champion. Until an ornery bull sidelines him with a potentially career-ending injury. Returning home to recuperate puts him in the path of Rosemary Carmichael, the girl he deserted to become a rodeo star.

Now he's got to figure out what he really wants: returning to the rodeo circuit and going for that big, National prize, or convincing the woman he loves that he wants a life with her . . . and the son he never knew he had.

If you'd like to learn more about Cheryl and her novels, you can find her at the following places:
Where Love Always Wins:
Soul Mate Publishing:


  1. Gives me hope for writers. I had to look up the word "headhopping." It actually means what is says!

    1. Colleen, I'm glad you feel encouraged. I like reading your stuff.

    2. Hi, Colleen. I'm happy I could be of some help... :) Best of luck with your writing...

  2. Good interview, thanks for sharing. Glad you enjoyed this week's Prairie Walk. ;-)

    1. Heather,
      Thanks. I love your nature pictures!

    2. Hi, Heather. You're welcome. I'm always happy to share.

  3. Excellent interview. I learned a lot. I had to look up headhopping, too. I knew what it meant - change in point of view - but looked it up to be sure.

    1. Hi, CountryDew. I'm so happy you enjoyed the interview. Thank you for stopping by...

  4. CountryDew,
    Headhopping was new to me when I first starting writing fiction, too.
    I guess every group of specialists builds their own vocabulary.

  5. Interesting & valuable. Thanks!

  6. I, too, had to look up headhopping, and I'm still not sure exactly what it looks like even though I read about four examples. I would like to know if there are any best seller books that are written in that way. Maybe I've read one that headhops. I even looked at several passages that showed headhopping vs. third vs. omniscient, so I think I get it, but I can't recall if it's ever bothered me as a reader.

    1. Hi, Forgetfulone. I'm afraid I can't think of one off the top of my head, since I don't read them...but Nora Robert head hops, so you could check out some of her books... :)

  7. Forgetfulone,
    Head hopping is when the author gives you the point of view of more than one character in a scene. For an author like Nora Roberts who does it well, it works, but often times, beginning writers switch the view point character unintentionally and it leads to reader confusion.
    This site has a great explanation-
    Anyway, thanks for commenting.

    1. Very good answer, thanks Mia. I'm at conference this week, so I'm checking in between my full schedule... Thank you for having me over. It's been a pleasure...

  8. Hi Cheryl,
    Great interview. I trust you're having fun at Nationals. I'll have to check out "Rodeo King."

  9. Hi, Barb! So nice of you to drop in.Yes, I'm having fun at Nationals...though the trip here was not so much But it was worth it...

    I think you'll like Rodeo King... :) Talk with you soon...


  10. What is headhopping??
    Since I never read Nora Robets...I don't understand that.

    Anyway...great interview :)

  11. Hi, Novroz. Head-hopping is when a writer suddenly changes viewpoint character or POV repeatedly in a scene. When the switch is done without thought or planning by the writer, thereby confusing the reader.

    I hope that helps...thank you for stopping in... :)

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