Please contact E. B. Davis at for information on guest blogs and interviews. Interviews for May: (5/4) Linda Norlander, (5/11) Connie Berry, (5/18) Mary Keliikoa, (5/22) Annette Dashofy, and (5/25) Rosalie Spielman.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

What Obsessions – I Mean Skills – Does An Author Need? By Cheryl Hollon

Cheryl Hollon is waving hi! Thank you Writers Who Kill for inviting me to be your guest. 
I recently attended a workshop that invited the participants to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test (MBTI). It was used to create three-dimensional characters as well as a tool to understand yourself an author. There are four principal psychological functions based on how humans experience the world – focus, intuition, feeling, and thinking. The test reveals which of these four functions is dominant for a person. They break out like this:
·      Focus:             Extrovert / Introvert
·      Intuition:         Sensing / Intuition
·      Feeling:            Thinking / Feeling
·      Thinking          Judging / Perceiving
I have taken this test multiple times and I typically score one of these two ways.
ENTJ – Extrovert, Intuitive, Thinking, Judgmental
INTJ – Introvert, Intuitive, Thinking, Judgmental
My score depends on what phase of my focus personality I’m living with at the time I take the test. I’m also center-brained without the normal left brain/right brain dominance. What does this mean?
Let’s start with the fourth element, the thinking. I’m critically judgmental about my writing. I’m constantly revising my current WIP to make the current story better than the last book. Luckily, I have deadlines, or I would still be polishing the first book in my series. Would I like another pass? You bet – always.
As a recovered engineer, I fall into the thinking type rather than feeling first. That means that I approach my stories with structure and plot first, then lay in reactions and feelings after I am sure that the scenes that are left will stay. I’m the first to admit that it is tough for me to get the emotional journey right for my characters. When I begin to squirm in my chair – apparently that’s the right emotional level.
A strong sense of intuition has been my strength for as long as I can remember. This helps me make better business decisions. I’m not always right about those choices, but I have usually done a fair amount of research.
Scoring as both an extrovert and an introvert means that I have an unusual set of tools to use in this dream career of mystery writer. I’m equally comfortable out talking to strangers in crowded conferences or ensconced in my little writing shed pounding out the next book.
What’s your writing superpower? 
The Webb’s Glass Shop Mysteries featuring new owner Savannah Webb are set in St. Petersburg, FL. The series begins with Pane and Suffering, continues with Shards of Murder and Cracked to Death. The fourth book, Etched in Tears releases on November 28, 2017. It is available for pre-order at the following links:

When a famous glass artist is murdered at his own exhibit, deadly secrets are put on display, and it’s up to glass shop owner Savannah Webb to see through a killer’s cover.
Celebrated glass artist Dennis Lansing is returning to St. Petersburg, Florida, for an exhibit at the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum. His unique style of embedding document images in his art is at the vanguard of contemporary glasswork. But as Savannah’s first boyfriend and a former apprentice to her father, Dennis’s return home has her reflecting on the past—a trip down memory lane that takes a dark turn when Dennis is found murdered at the museum with an old reference letter from her father in his pocket. A search through her father’s records sheds new light on Dennis’s history, but it seems his present life wasn’t so transparent either. Now, with a gallery of suspects to consider, it’s up to Savannah to figure out who fits the mold of a murderer.

About Cheryl:

Cheryl Hollon writes full time after leaving an engineering career of designing and building military
flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling a lifetime dream, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind the house, Cheryl and her husband design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.
Cheryl is Vice President of the Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime, a member of Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America. A mystery conference addict, she regularly attends SleuthFest in Florida, Malice Domestic in DC, Thrillerfest in NYC, and Magna Cum Murder in Indianapolis, IN . You will also find her at Left Coast Crime and Bouchercon, wherever they are being held.
Cheryl and her husband live in St. Petersburg, FL in a 1920’s Craftsman Bungalow.


Jim Jackson said...

Hi Cheryl,

I'm an INTP. The P often surprises people who "know" me because they see me in "work" mode where I can act like a strong J in order to get the job done, whereas my preference would be to suck information before making a decision.

One things that you can do using Myers-Briggs (or other personality trait systems) is to understand what happens when two characters of opposite types are together. (And Extrovert and Introvert go on a road trip -- a Judger and Perceiver are business partners, etc.)

~ Jim

Warren Bull said...

An interesting tool and a fun series.

E. B. Davis said...

Is there a link to the test, Cheryl? Might find out something more about myself, and it would be helpful with character development.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Cheryl, This is fascinating! I've never even heard of "center brained" people. It sounds like it means that you have a great skill set for a writer.
Best wishes with your series and I must say your covers are absolutely beautiful (fitting for such an art-focused series and author).

Kait said...

I have heard of Myers-Briggs but never participated, although I admit to having horoscopes cast for my characters! What a great insight MB provides, gotta check it out. I'm echoing EB's ask about a link to the test.

Your comment on the difficulty of writing emotion hit close to home. Isn't that strange? Thank you for having the courage to admit it. Looking forward to Etched in Tears.

Cheryl said...


I apologize for my absence. I haven't been able to post from my phone and had to go home to use the home boy computer.

The Myers-Briggs site I use most is

There are many free sites and I usually take the test every few years. I'm still a split personality type, but it seems to work for me.


Gloria Alden said...

Cheryl, I've never heard of that test. I'd have to say I'm a mixture of both. I easily talk with people I meet in a grocery store or other places. However, I'm not comfortable being the center of attention unless I'm at my writers group, which just met today, although I have willingly went to book clubs to talk about my books, and I'm looking forward to talking to retired nuns at their home. I had donated some of my books to their library through a retired nun who used to be with my church.

The introvert part of me likes being alone in my home with only my critters. One event that I wanted to never go through again is when I won teacher of the year for elementary teachers in my county. I hated that our principal put up a big sign congratulating me when I knew there were other teachers in my school who were equally good teachers. A man active in my church often shouts out to me at some events "There's my favorite author" in a loud voice. Part of me is tickled at that and I laugh, and part of me is embarrassed when others start laughing.

Cheryl said...

Gloria, I need a lot of both social time and solitude. I don't mind being the center of attention if I'm prepared. My Tai Chi instructor announced my next book signing to the whole class. I was uncomfortable being singled out when I was practicing the set. I hid my embarrassment and thanked her. She's normally shy, so I wasn't expecting that.