Welcome to author C.A. Phipps who dropped in from her home in New Zealand to answer a few questions.


Describe your favorite writing spot or space.

I write mostly in my office which looks out across the street and up to the hills beyond. There’s always something to see and my puppy sleeps beside me. When I need a change of scenery there’s always outside under the archgola (a covered deck) or on my bed with my portable desk.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I try for a couple of hours in the morning but seem to be more prolific in the afternoons when I can write for 4 hours straight for a total of 2-4k. I try to write only Monday to Friday (with some success) and tackle social media and marketing in the mornings.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

A book takes me approximately 3 months to write then another month for edits and rewrites. I also write bonus epilogues which are done when the story is complete, and short stories for Xmas etc. which have to fit around everything else.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Far too many! I realized that they weren’t up to scratch or didn’t fit my brand so I tucked them away. You never know when some of them might make an appearance but it’s probably not going to be anytime soon.

Do you write under a pseudonym?

I do, but it is close to my full name which I already use under my romance brand. Of the two pen names, I have 30 books published and some boxed sets.

What comes first for you, the plot or characters?

It’s usually an idea for a story that comes first which warrants a certain character and then this morphs into the plot. I wish it was more linear but this seems to be my process.

How do you select the names of your characters?

The more books I write the harder it gets to find something I like, so if I hear a name I like I add it to a list and hopefully I choose it, because many just don’t fit the story.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Making sure they aren’t all the same. Lol. They have to be good-looking but there must be a point of difference and I think that comes down to tone and mannerisms.

Can you hear your characters talking?

They are never quiet! Which is mostly good, but can be tiring!

Were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one? For how long?

Definitely. When I worked full-time it was nights and weekends. After publishing in 2014, I went down to part-time work, and finally in 2017 I quit my job for what I consider my true vocation. Happy days!

How much time do you spend on research before starting a book? While writing?

I might spend a day before I begin the story but I will have also done some research while writing the previous book.

What kind of research do you do for a book?

Mainly fact checking, ironing out seasons, location and scenery but names, jobs and characteristics are very important too. And let’s not forget an awesome cover!

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

I love avatars because they keep me on track between pen names. So for my cozy mysteries my avatar is a woman (age depends on the story) who loves baking and values family and friendship above all else. (She also loves to solve a quirky mystery or two.).

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I have a weird sense of humor and I always wonder if everyone will get it—so far no complaints.😉

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

That’s easy – my MAC. Being able to use Vellum – a formatting software has been a game changer.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I read and spend a lot of time with family.

Do you ever Google yourself?

I can honestly say I’ve done it once. There were far too many Cheryl Phipps out there for my liking!

What is your favorite childhood book(s)?

Famous Five!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t let others tell you that writing isn’t worth it. Go for your dreams because they can come true if you work hard and want it bad enough.


C. A. Phipps is a USA Today best-selling romance author from beautiful Auckland, New Zealand. Cheryl loves a good mystery filled with feisty heroines and wonderful small towns with heart-warming tales of strong family ties mixed in with a little romance and humor.

She lives in a quiet suburb of New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, with her wonderful husband, whom she married the moment she left school (yes, they were high school sweethearts). A lover of animals, with a few children, and even more grandchildren, who keep her young, she loves family times, dining out, and travel, in that order.



Where to Find C.A. Phipps & Her Books:

Website | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Goodreads


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