Interview with Author Cheryl Diane Parkinson

Cheryl Diane Parkinson

I am thrilled to have interviewed author Cheryl Diane Parkinson, who shared with us details of her writing life, her book ‘Cracker‘, which was released on 14th November 2023, and answered a few fun questions. This post contains affiliate links.

Cheryl Diane Parkinson

Dr Cheryl Diane Parkinson is a British Caribbean writer and educator living in Lincolnshire, England. She is an educator of 20 years, teaching English Literature and Language at GCSE and A Level and has completed a PhD at Birmingham University in Creative Writing. Her publishing history includes non fiction articles as well as fictional novels. Her novel Berthas is published by LemonsNGold publishing press. LemonsNGold has published her new controversial novel Cracker: A hostile racist world confronts young, unaware Michaela who struggles to find her way and develop an identity of her own.

A prolific writer, she is signed with Dinosaur Books. Her latest book with them, Last Girl In, is longlisted for the Branford Boase Awards 2024.

As a writer she is concerned with representation of black people within the literary arena and seeks to create characters that others would like to read about.

Dr Cheryl Diane Parkinson also writes and edits for BlackNews UK and has had articles published with ByLine Times.

interview picture 2023


1) Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

I was actually writing another story when the content of that book touched upon an intriguing idea, so I stopped writing that book, in favour of writing the new idea up before it vanished. It flowed out of me so quickly because it felt so relevant and fresh. I wrote the first draft in about 4 weeks. It did take some months though to redraft and polish etc!

2) How did you plan out the plot?

I wrote the plot out in bullet points, Very crudely at the start: beginning, middle, end, and as the plot developed, so did the plan.

3) When did you choose the title for your book?

I had the title of Cracker, from the very beginning, but I was very unsure about using such a title. I did play around with less offensive titles but they simply did not work. The novel I think is offensive. It is supposed to be. And so, it makes sense that the title of the book reflects that.

4) How did you come up with the names for your characters?

Names, like titles of books, I find quite difficult. Sometimes I think about what a character is like and see if I can find a name with the meaning to match. Other times, you can just get an idea of what a character is called. I always know when I have picked wrong because it doesn’t sound right on the character! Sometimes, like new shoes, you have to try them out. Walk around in them a bit and see how they feel.

5) How did you go about researching the content for your book?

I have lots of relevant life experience which enables me to write such a book. However, I have researched by reading other similar books and have spoken to people of colour about their experiences of racism and how it makes them feel.

6) What made you choose this genre?

When it comes to genre, I don’t usually think too hard about it. I write what I need to write. And it is very much about needing to write something which is desperate to spill out of me.

7) How long did it take you to complete your book?

Approximately three years.

8) Can you describe your book in three words?


9) What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

For me, it is about having confidence in what I have written. I am quite critical of my own work and am continually polishing and redrafting. It can be difficult to know when to stop!

10) Why should our readers pick your book up?

To learn. You can never tell what it is like living someone else’s life. Books are a great way of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and experiencing the world through their eyes. Another reason to pick this book up is for validation of your experiences. All too often, racism is determined by someone else who tells you ‘that wasn’t racist,’ or that you have ‘imagined it’, or the common one, ‘you have a chip on your shoulder.’ This book highlights microaggressions as well as explicitly racism with common situations that many people of colour have found themselves in.

Cracker by Cheryl Diane Parkinson


Author – Cheryl Diane Parkinson
Publisher – Lemons & Gold Publishing
Pages – 192
Release Date – 14th November 2023
ISBN 13 – 979-8867720889
Format – ebook, paperback


Cracker is a harrowing tale of a girl living in a world of reverse racism where white people are living the experience of people of color. Michaela finds herself navigating through her young life as a White girl who is constantly othered by society. She faces being bullied and ostracized by her peers in school simply for the color of her skin.

Cracker takes some interesting twists and turns when it comes to taking a perspective on race, and allows the reader to reflect on how racism challenges them…or how it doesn’t.

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Fun Questions

Talking Owl Interview Pic 2023

1) Do you have a writing buddy (i.e. a pet)?

Yes. My Maine Coon, Spock.

Cheryl Diane parkinson cat

2) Do you have any writing quirks?

I like silence, and coffee on tap.

3) Where do you write?

I have spent a lot of money making a lovely study with a desk, beautiful views over my garden and surrounded by lovely books. Only to find I am most comfortable on the sofa with my laptop.

4) Your book has been made into a movie, you’ve been offered a cameo role, what will you be doing?

I’d be the taxi driver that takes my protagonist to that fateful party.

5) A talking owl has just finished reading your book, what’s the first thing he says to you?

‘Batten down the hatches! I can hear the trolls coming!’

Author links


A big thank you to Cheryl Diane Parkinson for sharing her writing life with us and for a wonderful interview.

The above links are affiliate links. I receive a very small percentage from each item you purchase via these link, which is at no extra cost to you. If you are thinking about purchasing the book, please think about using one of the links above. Thank you.

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