Born on September 15th 1974 to the late Rev. Earl R. Cheek and Cindory Cheek in Albany, NY. Faith was raised in Syracuse, NY and Louisville, KY. Faith has always loved to write and quickly became the “letter writer” for many of her friends at school. Faith loves to write in many genres and feels closest to God when she is writing. Faith married at 18 and had six children. Writing became her favorite pastime. It was not until the death of her oldest son in 2006 that Faith decided to take her writing seriously. Faith self published two books before signing with a publishing company. Faith has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and resides in Greensboro, NC with her four remaining children. Faith is just getting started and plans on owning her own publishing company in the near future. Stay tuned to see what this preachers’ kid has up her sleeve.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
I started writing at an early age but it was actually my best friend who told me that writing was my calling. The thing that I love about writing is that I feel closest to God when I write. I guess because I know that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. What frustrates me the most is the literary industry. It can be cut throat, a popularity contest and sometimes down right dirty.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
I started off writing urban fiction but then I got with a publisher who let me write what ever I wanted. I stepped into Christian Fiction and wrote Church Whore, my biggest selling series to date. Most of my books are available on Amazon. I had to take down about 10 books of earlier work but I will eventually put them back up.
3) What projects are you currently working on?
I always have over three open projects. I write to which ever characters speak the loudest. Be on the lookout for House of Sapphire and Nothing to Lose.
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
I think my most significant achievement is when a reader reaches out and says my book changed them in some way. Or my book helped them during a difficult time. In five years I want to have made some of the top best seller lists.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
I understand that I can’t please everybody. My issue is when people hate you for no reason.
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
I wish that I had a writing schedule but that’s too much like right. Lol! I write whenever something comes to me or preferably in the middle of the night when the house is quiet. I do not outline I free style. I never know what’s going to happen in a book until I write it. I have written books in less than a week. Other books take longer. It depends on what’s going on in my life.
7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
Definitely not! It’s never too late to shine. A late start can probably work in your favor. You are more likely to feel comfortable in your own skin. You will probably know who you are and what you will or won’t tolerate.
8) Are you an avid reader and have you always been? What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
I started out as a reader. I’ve always been an avid reader all my life. The first book that stopped me in my tracks was The Coldest Winter Ever. I have so many authors I admire but Eros writing is genius. When I first read his books back in the day I was blown away. It’s funny how God works because fast forward a few years and not only did he become my publisher but one of my best friends. I’m currently writing so I don’t read while I write. I don’t want another author’s words in my head.
9) How has the current state of the world affected your writing? Because writing is an isolated practice, do you find it easier to deal with quarantine? Has it stifled your creativity or has it made you even more driven to get things done?
I’m an introvert so the pandemic hasn’t affected me in a negative way.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry as it is being represented today? Do you lean more towards traditional publishing or self-publishing as a preference? Does being a hybrid author interest you?
The publishing industry needs a healing in my opinion. It’s full of talented hurt people who have been hurt or misused and abused by others in this industry. Therefore they either put a wall up or they will have the mentality of I’ll get you before you get me. Self-publishing is easier. It’s hard getting a traditional publishing contract. A hybrid author would definitely interest me.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
I don’t know if I’m unique but my writing can get as raw and gritty as my personality. Writing soothes my soul. I won’t send a book in if something in it doesn’t make me cry. My writing is a piece of who I am and you can easily find me in a character. I work out my problems through a story. For example, I didn’t have a close relationship with my grandmother so I usually create a strong grandmother who means everything to the main character. I believe that my purpose in life is to empower women, especially the underdog, to make her see her worth. I think that is why I prefer to write strong female characters.