Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif is “Finding Bliss” on her iPhone 3G

My guest today is Cheryl Kaye Tardif, the Canadian author of four best selling suspense novels. What do you do if you have a great idea hit you for a story but nowhere to write it down? You grab your iphone. Cheryl discusses the newest phase of iPhone novels.

It all started when I saw a commercial for Hershey’s Bliss chocolates in their individually wrapped foil packages. I saw the word BLISS on the TV and thought, “Wow, that would make a really neat girl’s name.” Almost instantly a picture came to mind of a teenaged girl with scraggly dirty-blond hair and torn jeans. Foster child, street child, pickpocket, and unwanted, unloved-the complete opposite of the word “bliss”. And Finding Bliss was born.

I didn’t want to lose any of my ideas for this novel, but I also didn’t want to stop watching the TV show that was on, so I grabbed my new iPhone 3G. There is a Notes application and this was the first time I used it. What was really great was that I was able to type in my notes on this new novel idea during the commercials and then email them to myself. Later, I went upstairs to my office, opened the email on my PC, copied and pasted the notes into a Word document and-voila! —I had started a new novel.

About 2 years ago, a writing craze swept across Japan; cell phone novels took the publishing world by storm in this small country. In the first six months of 2007, Goma Books and Maho i-Land published more cell phone novels than the major Japanese publishers did print books. And now, North America has its first English language cell phone novel platform through Textnovel.

I am very familiar with Textnovel. CEO Stan Soper heard about my iPhone novel Finding Bliss and he personally invited me to check out Textnovel. Since I always like to try new things, I submitted three short stories, serializing them over a period of time. You can find my novelette Remote Control there. Stan has shown great interest in Finding Bliss, and there is a possibility that my iPhone novel might show up on Textnovel in the future.

Recently, I was a guest blogger on Book Marketing Floozy and I talked about how authors have to “think outside the book”. Sometimes a book can be marketed even before it has been published, and once in a while even before it has been written. That’s what I’ve done with my iPhone novel Finding Bliss, a novel that has only 2 chapters written yet has already received much media attention.

To date, I have appeared on a number of television and radio interviews, and in newspapers, because I have chosen to write a novel in a completely different way. Another major company contacted me about Finding Bliss a month or so ago, and they too would like to be the first company to “release” this novel to the public. Let the bidding wars begin!

‘Finding Bliss’ will be an emotional, heartwarming story of a damaged teenage girl who must fight to survive in a world of abuse, lies and loss. As she struggles to find herself, Bliss will discover exactly where she belongs and she’ll learn that she is worthy of love after all.” [You can read the first chapter of this novel of Cheryl Kaye Tardif on her website.]

There is no publish date on this book as I have not finished writing it. Once I am done, it will be handed to my wonderful agent Jack Scovil to pitch to publishers.


Cheryl Kaye Tardif is the bestselling author of Whale Song, The River, and Divine Intervention. She is currently working with a well respected producer interested taking the inspiring message in her novel Whale Song and making it into a movie. Her books are available on,, and your favorite book store.


Nancy J. Parra said...

Cheryl, my daughter just got an iphone and has been showing me all the apps. So, I find it really intersting what you are doing. Thanks for sharing!

Sia, thanks for hosting!

Pat Bertram said...

I can see why text novelling is becoming so prevalent -- one is never far from one's work. So much easier than scrabbling around for a piece of paper and writing utensil when the muse strikes. Well, it is easier for those who can text. Takes me ten minutes to send a simple hello.

Cindy Procter-King said...

Okay, I'm officially jealous. I don't have an iPhone or even a laptop. What a great use for the iPhone.

Congratulations on all your success with the text novelling format. That's excellent.

(another Canadian)

Susan Gable said...

Dang, WOW. The book isn't even done yet and you have people wanting it already? That's every writer's DREAM! Now that's BLISS. (G) I don't have an iPhone, I have a Palm Treo -- and sometimes I take notes on it for my books. And I take down voice notes for books, too.

It will run Word, I think, but I'm not sure. I got a new mininotebook that I prefer for Word.

I do like being able to read ebooks on my cellphone, too.

Best of luck, and may the bidding wars be marvelous!

Diana_Duncan said...

I commend you on your bravery! My technological prowess extends to a lighted pen. *VBG*

I'd be terrified that my story notes would get eaten in cyberspace. I've scribbled ideas on fast-food cups, toilet paper rolls, the back of my arm... whatever is handy.

Sheila Deeth said...

I just tried entering goodreads "status update" competition - writing a short story in twitter tweets. It was weird. Fascinating article though.

HollyJacobs said...

Cheryl, Very cool! I had one of my books converted into a cellphone book in Japan a couple years ago. I got a letter in the mail saying the book had been 'chunked.' I thought it was a cool idea! I know Harlequin has cellphone content available here in the US, too. I love new technology!

Speaking of loving, your phone sounds wonderful. I wish Verizon had them. I have texted myself ideas, though that doesn't sound nearly as cool!

Good luck with Bliss!


Anna Campbell said...

Cheryl, great post! I have a cellphone - they call them mobile phones over here. I was dragged kicking and screaming to get one because I got sick of people complaining they couldn't get me when I was out and about (which isn't THAT often!). Now they all complain because I never turn it on. I'm a tragic case - I've worked out how to make and receive calls and that's it. Someone sent me an SMS the other day - still haven't been able to open it! I don't think technology is my thing.

Congratulations on your success!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Anna, I think I'm a bit better with techie stuff than you, but not much, lolol! Thanks for stopping by!

Holly, I swear I learn somthing new about you everyday. I didn't know HQN had ebooks for cells.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Cheryl is traveling back from SF but I think she's going to pop in later.

You techie people amaze me. I think I'm doing good creating widgets or something for my blog, and we have Susan's phone that also almost sings and dances.

TinaFerraro said...

Wow, as an author of teen novels myself, I must say that Bliss's story sounds compelling! And I love how the story of how she came to life in your brain.

And hello to all the familiar "faces" I see her today. I'm new to this site, but will be returning!

Natale Stenzel said...

Wow. That's fascinating -- not to mention convenient. You always have your phone on you, no need to boot up the laptop. I'm afraid I'd get excited and be all thumbs while typing on that little keypad until I lost the idea, though. (I do, however, qualify as techno-idiot*g*.) Congrats on all your success! And on some very cool innovation.

Jennifer August said...

My brother just an iphone last week and he's totally enthused about all the apps. As a huge reader, I can't wait to let him know about this.
I love how the idea for Finding Bliss came about - isn't a writer's mind wonderful?!
Good luck with the novel!

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author said...

First, thank you all for the comments here and for your enthusiasm. I do apologize for not coming on here sooner.

I was away this past week in San Francisco for a seminar on getting corporate sponsorships--something that has already changed my life.

When I returned home early this morning, I found more exciting news about the movie deal I'm negotiating for my critically acclaimed novel Whale Song. Things are really rolling along, at such a pace that my head and heart is just spinning.

Now, I'll answer your comments individually...and thank you for your patience.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of Finding Bliss and Whale Song

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author said...

Nancy, you're right. There are so many fun applications for the iPhone that it makes it not only a useful tool (ie. a cell phone) but it makes it super fun and very creative. I've already downloaded a pile of apps--some utilities, some games and some that are just fun. I even have a Starbucks finder, because God Forbid if I can't find the nearest Starbucks! lol

I like to think of the iPhone as the cell phone for Dummies. I told my mother this; I'm not sure if she was insulted. The iPhone is just so easy to use. Every other cell phone has been just that--a phone, for me. I hated texting because I hated using the numerical phone pad. The iPhone has a keyboard, much like one on a computer.

Hmmm...I think Apple should make me their spokesperson for the iPhone 3G. I've already sold one to my husband and one of his friends.

And as for my iPhone novel Finding Bliss, it's been a lot of fun to write using the Notes app on my phone.

For a sneak peek at the first 2 chapters of Finding Bliss, please visit:

Please click on the thumb icon to vote!


Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author said...

Pat, so nice to see you here. Yes, sometimes finding paper and a pen is just not easy. For a writer I am awful about keeping pens in my purse, and often I'm "hit" with ideas when I'm out. Now I can just make some notes on my iPhone and then email it to myself.

I agree that regular texting is tricky to get used to. That's why I like the iPhone. You get a keyboard that almost looks like a regular keyboard, not the number keypad with the old cell phones. Those always took me forever to type in a message. It's surprising how easy the iPhone's keyboard is to use, once you get used to it. And the more you use it the more it guesses the words you're trying to type, which makes it faster. I type with my right index finger and I'm getting pretty fast. lol


Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author said...

Hi,! You don't have to be jealous. Really. I am sure Apple would cell you an iPhone (pun intended! lol) Maybe that's what you can ask Santa for this Christmas.

I wanted an iPhone over a year ago. But I waited until my contract expired. Then I went for the phone I wanted, knowing that I'd use it more since it had all the extras.

We're going to see a ton of new apps out this year, and that's exciting. And just wait until you all can watch Whale Song (the movie) on your iPhone!!! :-)


Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author said...

Susan, keep on writing!! Sounds like you're using the technology, and that's awesome. We do have it for a reason.

Bidding wars...yes, those are so exciting to think about, and trust me I can so imagine them. Right now my head is on cloud 9 thinking about the movie deal that's in the works for Whale Song. It's going to happen! I can barely believe it.

And Finding Bliss? Who knows? That could end up with a movie deal too.

Okay, Apple, sponsor me!! :)


Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author said...

Diana, thank you for the bravery comment. I'm not sure if I'm brave or just half crazy. I do like to be different. lol

Strangely, I used to be the shy kid that no one ever noticed. I'm not sure what happened; maybe I'm a "pod person". :)

Like with all technology, there's always the fear that something will go wrong, or that it'll crash somehow or that all your hard work will get eaten.

I wrote my first novel when I was 16 and used the latest in technology back then--my mother's electric typewriter. My manuscript was stolen when I took it to school. It was my only copy. If I had emailed it to myself I'd still have a copy on the server. Of course, this was waaaaay before emails.

Yes, I do feel old some days.


Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author said...

Sheila, the "status update" contest on goodreads sounds like fun. Tweeters everywhere are using Twitter in unique ways and texting a story is becoming popular.

I have my own Twitter page, and I have a separate one "written" from the perspective of Bliss Morgan, the main protagonist in my novel Finding Bliss.


Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author said...

Thank you, Holly. Congrats on your own success with your text novel in Japan. That is exciting!!

Yes, right now Harlequin is giving away free novels as e-books for iPhone users. All you need is the Stanza application. There are actually a lot of free e-books you can get.

Very shortly will be coming out with their own program called Shortcovers. It's going to revolutionize the way people read, and I can't wait!


Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author said...

Anna, I can sooo relate. Believe me. Up until I bought this iPhone, I was absolutely hopeless when it came to cell phones. I had an LG. It was great--as a phone. If I remembered to bring it with me. Or if I remembered to charge it. Everyone was ticked with me because I had it but never used it, or it was always dead.

When I first bought the iPhone 3G, my husband wasn't happy. He thought I'd wasted money on a phone I'd never use. But boy did I prove him wrong!! I even got to show my husband how to use his phone. How's that for irony? :)

We both took our iPhones when we went to San Francisco this week. His died before mine did--because I charged mine every night. :) And I used it for hours when we were stuck waiting in Seattle for our next flight. Bejeweled is a mesmerizing game!

Once you learn what the iPhone can do for you, you customize it to your needs by downloading apps you want. You can always delete them if you find you don't use them. Trust me, once you go iPhone you'll never go back. lol It's addictive.


Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author said...

Sia, thanks so much for letting everyone know I was traveling. And I sure hope I don't crash your blog with all my comments. I keep waiting for the alarms to go off. "You have blogged too much here. Please leave!" hehe

Okay, now where was I?

Oh yes...Tina...thank you for your comments about Bliss. I also love how she came to me. So clearly, so forlornly, so wounded was her image, and with all that, inspired by the brand of chocolate. Bliss. The name itself is so contradictory to what she is...until she finally finds herself.

I can't wait to start working on her story full time!

For a sneak peek at the first 2 chapters of Finding Bliss, please visit:

Please click on the thumb icon to vote!! I need all the votes I can get.


Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author said...

Thank you, Natale, and you're right. There's no computer to boot up, no waiting around, no waiting until I get home to make some notes. I do it all on my iPhone 3G in the Notes app, which I then email to myself.

Like anything, it takes a bit of getting used to, but really, ANYONE can get used to typing on the iPhone. It's easy, especially because the keyboard is closer to what we're used to, closer to a real keyboard. The more you use it, the more it learns how you type. And the faster you get.

I like that I can add text to it and delete as well, so editing (while not as easy as MS Word) is doable.


Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author said...

Jennifer, you're brother is one smart dude! :) You and the rest of your family may all be doomed though. As soon as my husband saw what MY iPhone could do, he started hogging it. Every night for weeks after I got it, I'd find him playing with my iPhone. Finally, he went out and bought his own. Now we're in competition to see who can get the coolest apps. lol

I win!! I have 4 pages. He has 2.

Finding Bliss is just one of those novel ideas that really came on strong and wouldn't let me go until I made some notes. I couldn't stop myself from writing the first 2 chaps. Bliss has a voice that is smooth as chocolate. hehe

I know that Finding Bliss is going to impact readers just like Whale Song does. Bliss Morgan will be a character you won't forget!

Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author said...

Ok all, it's getting late and I'm noticing typos in my posts--and darn, no edit button.

So time for me to say adieu. I'll pop by again in a few days.

Take care, and thank you all for your interest.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif

~Sia McKye~ said...

Cheryl, what a wealth of information you are. You went from shy girl to an amazing promoter, which impresses the heck out of me! Spokesperson for Apple? Why not? You use it so well and you're getting lots attention for the book you've started on it. Sponsors are sponsors, so go for it!

I'm so excited for you! A movie deal is major kudos and one that any writer would be thrilled to receive. Keep us posted.


~Sia McKye~ said...

No worries on the site having a set amount for comments. Comment away. If you get a message that your comment couldn't be posted click it a second time and it usually acceptes them.

Dana Fredsti said...

I get so impatient trying to text, I can't imagine using a phone for notes...but my sister is a whiz at it!

HollyJacobs said...

Sia, Harlequin in Japan did one of my books as a Manga, and I think the Manga content was what went to the phone, though I may be wrong. The same story that was Manga was phone content. It was pretty cool. And I didn't get an author's copy of the Manga, so I had to order it myself from Japan. It was very expensive, but my geeky glee was so worth it!


~Sia McKye~ said...

Oh wow, how cool, Holly. I've heard of other authors doing Manga. shristine Feehan for one.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Dana, that's me too. My boss loved to text but he has a phone like Cheryl's with it's own little keyboard and everything. I used a handheld computer for work, about palm sized and I hated using it. It adapted to your typing but still it was so tiny and I have large hands so we weren't a great match. I was quick on it but prefer my PC.

Thanks for stopping by.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author said...

So glad to see I didn't crash your blog, Sia...or set off alarms for posting too much. (People say I sometimes talk too much...gee...where did they come up with that?)

So great to meet you all here. Sia, you have a great bunch of friends and followers. Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog. I really appreciate it.

And yes, I'll keep you up to date on Whale Song (the movie). I have so many wonderful things on the go right now. I chalk it up to not doing what the majority of aspiring or newly published authors do--which is quitting.

If you're waiting for your writing career to take off, all I can say is be patient and keep on writing. Brand yourself online! Get noticed; get known. And query, query, query! Every rejection letter is one step towards a "yes". Everything will fall into place if you're patient, consistent and focused.

It's been 7 years since I wrote my first novel and had it published. Lucky 7! :) Most authors quit after 3-5 years of "trying". Don't "try; just "do". And above all, believe in synchronicity. Things will happen when everything is in place and ready to happen. Belief is everything!

All the best to you all. Now...time to take off my mud mask before it turns into concrete. (Multi-tasking, people! Learn how to do it!) lol

Drop by my blog sometime.

~Sia McKye~ said...

"Every rejection letter is one step towards a "yes". This is a great attitude to have. I think I'll borrow it...

You give some good advice. There lots of nay-sayers out there. I've always felt if this is what you want to do then throw everything into it and not let anything, or anyone stop you or kill your dream.

Yes, I'm proud of my blog and I've worked hard on it and I do have a great group of friends and contacts.

Cheryl, thank you for being my guest. I wish for you continued success.

See you in the movies, kid!

Josephine Chiara Caporetto said...

thank you for sharing this and I wish you the best.

Regards from Josie
Melbourne Australia

~Sia McKye~ said...

Josie, bella, thank you for stopping by! It was good to see you here. :-)