Where Would I Be Without You? Industry Love by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

I’m afraid this blog post will turn into a novella. There are so many people who have supported me and continue to support me on my writing journey.

Thanks to Long Ridge Writers Group, I met the first two people who would influence my writing: Jean Lauzier (whose last name I still need to look up every time I write it) and Tonya Stokes. It was Tonya who gave me my first writing gig after graduating from Long Ridge. Jean, invited me to join a writers forum she and Tonya had started, and our friendship blossomed from there. Over the years these ladies have provided great feedback and encouragement. Our conversations lately are just blurbs on Facebook, but I’ve never forgotten how they brought me from tentative graduate to confident writer.

Next would have to be the amazing Lea Schizas. For the life of me I can’t remember how Lea and I met. I’m not even sure who to thank for guiding me to The Muse Online Writers Conference. Lea is the main coordinator behind this fabulous, free and fun event. I’ve attended every year, and I always learn something new.

Supporting and encouraging writers is in Lea’s blood. If anyone asked who my mentor is, I would have to point in Lea’s direction. She has without a doubt had the most influence on my career. An author, editor and publisher, I’m fairly certain Lea could fly if she put her mind to it.

I met Cheryl Wright from Writer2Writer at the first Muse Con. She requested some of my articles. This led to a five year working relationship that secured my role as a time management expert. Her editorial insight made me a better writer.

Lynda Burch at Guardian Angel Publishing accepted my first children’s book for publication. I would still have the title of aspiring author if she didn’t have faith in me and my story. I am honored to be part of the GAP family. My fellow angels are a blessing. We have a tight-knit group and many have become wonderful friends (the owner of this blog among them).

My two critique groups help me mold stories and get them ready for publication. Thanks to their help, my next book, A Christmas Kindness, should be out this fall. I know I am a stronger writer thanks to them.

Kathi Macias may not know she’s been such a strong influence over my career, but she has. Kathi is a client of mine and has been a beloved friend for years. I’ve watched her ministry evolve and can’t help but be inspired. She’s the one who made me realize my children’s books are more than the sharing of faith or a source of entertainment for young people. If I listen to God and keep my heart open to him, my books can also be a way for children to get to know him. Isn’t that what God requires of us—to spread the Good News and to draw others to him?

I can’t end this post without mentioning the fabulous librarians over at Wilbraham Public Library. I have put those ladies to work. They have trudged into the basement to dig books out of storage on more than one occasion so I can perform market research. They have requested books from as far as Florida. I love the Internet, but it only takes you so far.

For every person who has touched my writing life in some way, you have my heartfelt thanks. Writing isn’t for wimps. It takes a thick skin and tons of perseverance to survive in such a competitive industry. Without the help of these people, and many who have gone unmentioned but not forgotten, I couldn’t have made it this far. May God bless you even more than you have blessed me.

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer, children’s author and editor. Her first children’s book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing. Her next book is due out in the fall of 2012. She is a member of the SCBWI, a book reviewer and blogger. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married.
You can find Cheryl online at:



  1. Wow! Cheryl thanks for sharing this great post. I am so happy you had so many people that helped shape your writing career.

    Nicole Weaver
    Trilingual Children's Author

  2. Cheryl,

    Living life with gratitude as you do excerts your beauty from within and out. With a strong community of friends and family is a true blessing.

    All the best,
    Donna McDine

  3. Thanks for stopping by ladies. I would have been here earlier, but work got in the way and then I was off to my happy chore of Mystery Reader.

    Kai, thanks for having me as part of your monthly feature. I'm off to promote this now.

  4. Cheryl, how thoughtful of you to post this and to include me among those who influenced your writing. You are a blessing, my friend!

  5. Great post, Cheryl. My thank you list is long, too. Sometimes I wonder if it is enough just to acknowledge people in the front matter of my books -- I probably should send them chocolate, too :-) Support and mentorship is more valuable than gold and diamonds.

  6. We're sure part of a wonderful community. Thanks for the reminder of all the people who have helped.

  7. Thanks for sharing your journey and the many friends that were/are your mentors, Cheryl. And behind them all is a very talented lady. So happy to know you.

  8. Thank you, Cheryl, for the mention, but remember, as Beverly wrote and I 100% agree, you are a very talented woman who took a hold of her career and pushed forward. There may have been people who inspired/motivated/and guided, but without your own passion you wouldn't have succeeded as much as you have these past several years.

    So kudos to you because you deserve each one.

  9. Wonderful and heartfelt post Cheryl. It reminds me that none of us reach our goals alone - we all get help, a push, or some guidance along the way. Thank you.

    BOOKS for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

  10. Look at all the wonderful friends who have stopped by. Thanks you for your kind words. They mean so much to me. I don't know what I would do without all of you.

  11. Cheryl, I'm so glad you were able to participate in the Industry Love portion of my Share The Love theme this month.

    Thanks everyone for stopping in and commenting. This support makes me think of "It takes a village..." So true.

  12. Cheryl, I knew from the first moment I saw one of your articles at the Muse Conference that I needed your articles on my website.

    You are a fantastic writer, a wonderful person, and I class you amongst my special friends. The fact I was able to help you along the way is an added bonus for me.

    And as Lea has said, without your passion (blood, sweat and tears!) it would never have happened.

  13. Cheryl, this is such a nice post, and everyone who knows you, knows you are a special friend and writer. I know I am blessed to have you in my life as you have helped me on my journey as a writer also. Thanks for your support, friendship and candor!

  14. Kai, I'm thrilled to part of this. It gives me a chance to thank all those people who have made such a difference in my writing life.

    Cheryl, I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised when you contacted me. I took your class that first year at the Muse Con and I knew it would be great to work with you. Thank you for your kind words.

    Nancy, thanks for stopping by. I'm so happy we are in a critique group together. I enjoy watching your stories develop.

    Thanks again everyone for making this a special day.

  15. This is such a lovely post, Cheryl, and a nice way for you to show your gratitude to those who have helped you along your way. We all need each other to help us better use the abilities God has given us. I'm thankful to be in a critique group with you and appreciate your great suggestions. Kai, thank you for sharing!

  16. Thanks for stopping by, Connie. I love that we are working together too. I enjoy getting a chance to read your work.

    Wishing you the best,


  17. Great post, Cheryl. Lynda Burch and Lea Schizas have been influential in my life as a writer, too. Two great ladies for sure!

  18. Thanks for your comments, Mayra. We travel in wonderful circles.


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