Meet the fascinating award winning, bestselling author Cherime MacFarlane, who lives in Alaska. A prolific multi-genre author, she has a broad range of interests that reflect her ‘been-there-done-that’ and ‘no nonsense’ attitude of life. She has tackled several different genres; Romance, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal and written about all sorts of characters and plots that evolve from a vivid imagination.
Q: Who is the real Cherime MacFarlane?
A: Well that is a loaded question. Let’s start by saying I’m the daughter of a great father. I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for my father. He defied the doctors and found a way to not only keep me alive but have me flourish. My father is the reason I’ll tackle darn near anything.
Q: Cherime, when I read about your lifestyle, a female version of Bear Grylls comes to mind. You’ve changed the complete front end on a van, hauled water, cut wood, butchered moose and bear and used a fish wheel to catch winter fish. In addition, you commuted 130 miles to work over snow and ice-covered roads for more than 30 years. I admire your tenacity and adaptability in living in Alaska, despite being born in warmer New Orleans. Exactly how do you make bear bacon and how hard is your life in Alaska?
A: Ha! Ha! I did what I had to do to keep myself and my kids alive, well and warm. Alaska didn’t care if we only had an outhouse. The powers that be didn’t care if we hauled water. As long as we didn’t steal or murder, how we did live was on our shoulders. And it’s still that way in a good portion of the state.
On the matter of bear bacon, first you have to kill the bear. Thankfully, a neighbour’s teenage son did the killing. I got the bacon for dashing down to her house after a phone call, and helping butcher the bear out. After that smoking was about what you do for hams. I just had to construct a small tepee- like affair, hang the side meat and keep the fire going.
Q: Tell us about your father, Forrest Lundin.
A: He called himself a Mountain William because he was well-read and not quite a Hill Billy. Dad had rheumatic fever as a kid and couldn’t open his jaw wider than a teaspoon. But he was an eagle eye shot. Which is probably the reason the Army had him teaching gunnery in WWII. Dad was stationed outside New Orleans where he met Mom. He once said he dreamed of her for years before he finally found her. He told the best stories at bedtime. My dad had a kind and compassionate heart. And could he ever raise girls. He taught both daughters we could do anything we wanted to. For the physical stuff we might have to use brain instead of brawn. That kind of father raises tough, independent women.
Q: I have seen some spectacular Alaskan scenery that you have photographed. Is photography a hobby of yours?
A: It has become a hobby.
Q: For the last 50 years or so you have been making jewellery. Is this something that you make to sell, or do you make these for friends and family?
I do sell at craft fairs. And sometimes give earrings away as prizes in events.
Q: You are an award winning writer and best seller of about 33 books and novellas. Although a multi-genre writer, a lot of your books are romance novels. You speak of your late second husband with a lot of passion. Is he the inspiration behind the romance novels?
A: Allan MacFarlane was a man much like my father. I thank God for the time we had and bitch at God often that it wasn’t long enough. There wasn’t anything or anywhere I wouldn’t have gone with that man. Allan understood love, and neither of us shorted the other. We gave it all we had. Yes is the answer.
Q: You write contemporary, historical and paranormal romance, as well as fantasy books. Which genre do you favour and is there another genre that you would like to tackle in the future?
A: If you read what I write there is one underlying theme, relationships. Not just love, it’s all about life and how we each deal with the people we encounter.
Q: Out of all the books you have written, who is your favourite character, and why?
A: Edan MacGrough. He has to overcome a handicap and learn to leave hate and mistrust behind.
Q: What do you struggle most with, as a writer?
A: Bloody damn time. There is never enough.
Q: Tells us about your current work in progress.
A: The first in a series called Southwest of Homer. That is a bit of an inside joke as Lower Cook Inlet is southwest of Homer. This is about fisherfolk, male and female. Homer Bait and Switch is a tale revolving around something that tends to be an Alaskan-only problem. If two people are attracted to each other and one is a newcomer, can the chechako make it in Alaska? If not, there may be two people with broken hearts.