Thursday, February 2, 2017

LADY LAZARUS by Author Cheryll W. Crane


Book title: LADY LAZARUS

Author bio:
Cheryll W. Crane, a playwright, novelist and screenwriter, is also a former educator and Federal Civil Rights Investigator. Her stage play, Mattie Moon, a winner of the San Francisco Bay Guardian Screenwriting Award, had staged readings at PlayCafe in Berkeley, CA. and at Barnes & Noble in Oakland, CA. Her screenplay, Mattie Moon, was a finalist and semi-finalist in the Mooondance and Cinestory Screenwriting competitions, respectively, and it finished in the top 10% of the Nicholl competition.

Brief synopsis of your book:
Mattie Moon, a young African American woman, tells the story of how, when on the verge of committing infanticide and suicide at Eloise Lake, she was saved by the mysterious Stranger Woman and assisted by members of her community. Mattie, who had suffered from issues of abandonment and loss, shows how she grew up, came to the point of despair and is now taking steps toward the hope and faith that may sustain her.

What moment or event sparked the inspiration for your novel?

I had written a short play about a young girl living with her eccentric overly religious mother, when I saw an article about a woman who had drowned her children. She said that she had reached for her infant, to save him, but it was too late. She looked devastated. I remembered also the Susan Smith saga. She and other desperate and/or mentally ill women have harmed their children. I wanted to write about a woman at the edge, who is saved, whose children are saved.

What would you say that you found to be the most difficult part of your writing process?
While writing Lady Lazarus, I worked a full time job, was a mother and wife, so making the time to write was challenging.

Were there any issues you dealt with in real life that influenced your novel?
My parents separated when I was very young. I wanted to live with my father. We had been very close and I missed him. Although we reunited as a family a few years later, I could relate to Mattie’s daddy issue, to the impact of her sense of abandonment. Also questions of religious faith and the lack thereof were on my mind.

What main words of support would you offer to those dealing with emotional illness in their family?
It is important to be patient, to show unconditional love and to seek help.

Genre/Author/Reader and the process:

What genre and age group does your book fall into?

The genre is literary women’s fiction for adults.

What was the most difficult part of delving into such emotional issues where a person contemplates infanticide and suicide?
For me the most difficult part is to not be overly sentimental or judgemental and recognize the fragility of the character’s emotional state.

How many books have you written? 

Are there any precautions you must take in writing an emotional book such as this?
It was important to me not to write too closely to real people and situations that I have observed, to respect their privacy and instead “make stuff up” and not to, aside from the fantastical aspect, to indicate that problems are solved easily.

What are your thoughts about the decline of the printed novel?
I enjoy reading printed novels and read them primarily, but I think it is good that people who read eBooks are able to access them easily and relatively inexpensively.

Do you have any ideas for your book and Hollywood? Actors, directors, music?
For both of my novels, the printed one and the one being completed, I have written screenplays.

Which book to movie conversion is your favorite?
There are many. Wise Blood, Beloved and Pride and Prejudice are among them.

What do you hope readers will come away with, after reading your story?
A sense of compassion for this single mom and other women who are experiencing mental health issues. And the realization that sometimes we really can help one another.

If you had one do over in life, what would it be?
I would have been with my father more often during the time of his illness and thanked him more for all he did for me.

What and who first inspired you to write?
My extended family, especially my mother’s siblings, aunts, uncles and friends.

Current book or project you’re working on: 
My second novel, Back In The Day

Personal info:


Water, Champagne
More than dark chocolate? Fruit Vacation Paris, Guadeloupe
TV shows
Homeland, Insecure, The Affair
Song Back in the day, a tie between The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and Your Precious Love; more recently Love On the Brain. A pattern exits.

How can people connect with you? 


Where can readers find your book?



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