Yours truly was interviewed a few days ago on the website: New Criminologist:
Up Against The Book Shelf
An Interview with Cherie Rohn, True Crime Author
By Ron Chepesiuk
Cherie Rohn has always lived by the credo that “nothing is dull."
NC: How did you get into writing and come to write your first book, Thief?
Around this time, Indian casinos were springing up like tumbleweeds around New Mexico. Three of them were in the Albuquerque area where I lived. About twenty blackjack dealers confided to me that they made excellent tips. I decided to take the plunge. Well, I knew more about the mating habits of Beluga whales than I did about dealing cards, so I enrolled in a local blackjack school to learn the ropes.
Since he only gave me basics, I had to supplement his "bare bones" accounts with plenty of research. I also fleshed out details via interviews with Slick and his cronies who were still around. (Most of Slick’s friends died from unnatural causes.) The story evolved bit by painstaking bit. It was like applying layers to a lacquer bowl, each layer adding another dimension to the story. Nine agonizing years later, I finished and THIEF! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artist, hit the market.
NC: How do you tell if the story is worth writing about?
CR: I’ve had some fairly well-known individuals inquire whether I’d write their bio. All but a few didn’t make the cut. I measure each prospect against the following criteria. Do they have a really dynamite story? Do they have the ability to tell their story with help? Are they trustworthy? Do they have the money to pay for my writing services as I write, not after it’s published?
Plenty of guys have the first 3 items, but not number 4. After I wrote Slick’s book while holding down fulltime jobs, I vowed from then on I’d only write for cash, except for rare circumstances.
NC: Are there any true crime writers that have an influence on you or that you admire?
That said, I’m always looking for a new collaboration…something that blows me away with its potential.
NC: What about your future as a true crime writer. Where do you see your career heading?
CR: Ambition comes in many forms. My goal has always been to concentrate on quality rather than quantity (maybe because I write at a snail’s pace.) If I complete 3-4 important projects, I’ll be very happy…but who knows? Two are in the works.