In 2005, with the encouragement and support from family and friends, a lot of research and a small loan, Cheri L. Hallwood embarked on one of the most amazing journeys in her life . . . the journey into the world of writing and self-publishing–and Forever Young Publishers was born.
As a young mother, Cheri had always dreamed of writing children’s stories. However, life has a way of putting our dreams on hold. It would be her grandchildren that would inspire her to fulfill that dream and rekindle her passion for writing. “My playful imagination is still a big part of who I am,” Cheri says with a grin. “Just ask my 6 grandchildren (all girls) . . . they say grandma is SO SILLY. I love it! Being a grandma is the BEST!”
In 2006, Cheri released her first children’s picture book, Winter’s First Snowflake. While “Snowflake” was taking off, Cheri continued to write and work with artist, Patricia M. Rose, to create and publish her second book, The Curious Polka-Dot Present, followed by One Wish for Winifred Witch. Once again, her grandchildren would inspire her latest book by asking their grandma if she would consider trying something new . . . write a chapter book. Always up to a challenge, Cheri welcomed leaping into a different genre. So in 2014, with the help of two of her grandchildren, she wrote and published her first juvenile chapter book, Frogwilla, A Treefrog’s Story. She is currently working on a sequel to be released in 2018.
Cheri’s books have not only delighted children of all ages, but have received the highest of accolades by being awarded the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award and the distinguished Dove Foundation Seal. She continues to share her passion for writing by speaking to students, teachers, and community organizations throughout the country as well as Canada.
“My goals remain the same.” Cheri says. “To encourage children to get excited about reading by creating books that will stimulate their imagination and sense of curiosity about the world around them. Everyone should take a moment and enter the world of a child.”
Cheri lives in Niles, Michigan with her husband, Harry, lovingly known as Ray. Her three grown daughters and their families live in neighboring communities.
Cheri L. Hallwood
I came into this world on a very cold January morning in 1948 in the “Windy City”, Chicago, Illinois. My mother and I, along with my grandparents, moved to Niles, Michigan before I turned two years old.
During these early years, my imagination and fascination with the world around me was the beginning of a lifelong relationship with words. I would read my favorite stories and then dress up and act them out, to the amusement of my mother and my grandparents and any other unsuspecting relative or friend of the family.
I remained an only child until I turned nine. Until then, my constant childhood playmate was my cousin, Donnie, who is five months older than I am. (Which I still like to remind him of today.) We would spend our days exploring the world around us with nothing more than a few toys, each other and our imagination.
We would make up stories and imaginary playmates in order to fill ours days with great adventures.
When I grew up my childlike imagination didn’t go away. It gave me the freedom to enjoy new and exciting adventures with my three daughters. It was during this time that I started writing down some of my ideas and stories. I didn’t have a notebook or journal. I would write things down on scrap pieces of paper, even on the back of phone bills, it didn’t matter. But I never told anyone about them. My life got busy and the writing stopped, but then I was blessed with grandchildren and life was renewed. One never really knows what path life will take you down, but I have learned to never give up on a dream and always believe in yourself.
My husband and I have raised three amazingly talented daughters, who have blessed us with six beautiful and imaginative granddaughters. It is from these wonderful granddaughters that my passion for writing stories has been rekindled. They have given me back my childhood and I am loving every minute. After all, they say that the brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past.
Cheri is available for School Presentations and as a Speaker for your Group or Organization.
We welcome your comments and questions about our books, scheduling a school visit, a book signing or my website. Please use the contact form below to get in touch with Cheri.
To see Cheri’s upcoming events, please check out her calendar!