Zach, Cheryl (Byrd) 1947-
ZACH, Cheryl (Byrd) 1947-
(Jennifer Cole, Jamie Suzanne; Nicole Byrd, a joint pseudonym)
PERSONAL: Surname is pronounced "Zack"; born June 9, 1947, in Clarksville, TN; daughter of Smith
Henry (a military officer) and Nancy (a sales manager) Byrd; married Q. J. Wasden, June 2, 1967 (divorced, September, 1979); married Charles O. Zach, Jr. (president of a die casting company), June 20, 1982 (died, 1990); children: (first marriage) Quinton John, Michelle Nicole. Education: Austin Peay State University, B.A., 1968, M.A., 1977. Religion: Episcopalian.
ADDRESSES: Home—Franklin, TN. Agent—Axelrod Agency, 55 Main St., P.O. Box 357, Chatham, NY 12037.
CAREER: High school English teacher in Harrison County, MS, 1970-71; freelance journalist, 1976-77; high school English teacher in Dyersburg, TN, 1978-82; writer, 1982—.
MEMBER: Romance Writers of America, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (regional advisor chair), Novelists Inc., Phi Kappa Phi.
AWARDS, HONORS: Romance Writers of America, Golden Medallion Awards, best young adult novel, 1984, for The Frog Princess, and 1985, for Waiting for Amanda, RITA Award, for Runaway, inducted into Hall of Fame, 1996; cited for children's choice book, International Reading Association and Children's Book Council, 1989-90, for The Class Trip; Holt Medallion, Virginia Romance Writers, 1996, for Hearts Divided; Desert Rose Golden Quill Award, Arizona Romance Writers of America, 2003, for Lady in Waiting.
historical romance novels; with daughter, michelle place, under joint pseudonym nicole byrd
Robert's Lady, Jove Books (New York, NY), 2000.
Dear Imposter, Jove Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Lady in Waiting, Jove Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Widow in Scarlet, Jove Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Beauty in Black, Jove Books (New York, NY), 2004.
young adult romance novels
The Frog Princess, Silhouette (Buffalo, NY), 1984.
Waiting for Amanda, Silhouette (Buffalo, NY), 1985.
Fortune's Child, Silhouette (Buffalo, NY), 1985.
Looking Out for Lacey, Fawcett (New York, NY), 1989.
Paradise, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.
Dear Diary: Runaway, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1995.
Dear Diary: Family Secrets, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1996.
Kissing Caroline, Bantam (New York, NY), 1996.
Carrie's Gold, Avon (New York, NY), 1997.
Silent Tears, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1999.
Secret Admirer, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1999.
Shadow Self, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 2000.
young adult romance novels; under pseudonym jennifer cole
Three's a Crowd, Fawcett (New York, NY), 1986.
Star Quality, Fawcett (New York, NY), 1987.
Too Many Cooks, Fawcett (New York, NY), 1987.
Mollie in Love, Fawcett (New York, NY), 1987.
"sweet valley twins" series; under pseudonym jamie suzanne
Second Best, Bantam (New York, NY), 1988.
The Class Trip, Bantam (New York, NY), 1988.
Left Behind, Bantam (New York, NY), 1988.
Jessica, the Rock Star, Bantam (New York, NY), 1989.
The Christmas Ghost, Bantam (New York, NY), 1989.
"smyth vs. smith" series; for young adults
Oh, Brother, Lynx Books (New York, NY), 1988.
Stealing the Scene, Lynx Books (New York, NY), 1988.
Tug of War, Lynx Books (New York, NY), 1988.
More Than Friends, Lynx Books (New York, NY), 1989.
Surprise, Surprise, Lynx Books (New York, NY), 1989.
"southern angels" series; for young adults
Hearts Divided, Bantam (New York, NY), 1995.
Winds of Betrayal, Bantam (New York, NY), 1995.
A Dream of Freedom, Bantam (New York, NY), 1995.
"mind over matter" series; for children
The Mummy's Footsteps, Avon (New York, NY), 1997.
Phantom of the Roxy, Avon (New York, NY), 1997.
Curse of the Idol's Eye, Avon (New York, NY), 1997.
The Gypsy's Warning, Avon (New York, NY), 1997.
Twice a Fool (romance novel), Harlequin Enterprises (Buffalo, NY), 1984.
Los Angeles (juvenile nonfiction), Dillon (Minneapolis, MN), 1989.
Benny and the Crazy Contest (juvenile fiction), Bradbury (Scarsdale, NY), 1991.
Benny and the No-Good Teacher (juvenile fiction), Bradbury (Scarsdale, NY), 1992.
Here Comes the Martian Mushroom (juvenile fiction), Willowisp (Pinellas Park, FL), 1994.
Contributor of articles, poetry, and short stories to magazines and newspapers.
WORK IN PROGRESS: (Under pseudonym Nicole Byrd) Vision in Blue, 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Cheryl Zach writes for both adults and juvenile readers. Her novels for young adults have won several awards and attracted a loyal readership. Zach once reminisced to CA about the roots of her writing career: "Because my father was a career army man, I led a gypsy's life as a child, changing schools ten times in twelve years. I was born in Tennessee and have also lived in Georgia, Mississippi (the Gulf coast), Texas, California, Germany, and Scotland. I read early and well, and a deep love for books perhaps made it inevitable that my oldest and greatest ambition would be to create my own. I wrote poems, stories, and plays during childhood and won writing awards in college, but commercial success eluded me. I married, had children, taught school, and continued to write when I could.
"At my first writing conference, at Vanderbilt University in the late 1970s, I discovered that writing was not just an art form but also a business. After the first shock, I decided that I wanted my writing to be read, so I began to pay attention to marketing as well as craftsmanship. After years of trying to write 'on the side,' while going to school, teaching, and raising my two kids, I remarried, moved to California, and took a year to pursue my lifelong ambition. Thirteen months later, I sold my first novel. My books have been published in more than a dozen countries outside the United States.
"I came into writing for young people almost by accident, but I do have strong convictions about its importance. I believe young readers deserve the best, and writers for young people have even more responsibility as far as truth and excellence than writers in general."
Zach's books have covered many subjects, from contemporary romance to family relationships to American and English history. The author noted that some of her stories include a young person who is abandoned or fears abandonment. She traces this motif, seen in books like Runaway and Looking Out for Lacey, to her own childhood, when her father was often away on assignment and her mother spent some time isolated from her children due to tuberculosis.
Recently, Zach told CA: "After years of writing mainly for children and teens, I found my writing revitalized when I took a new—or an old—direction. I've been a history buff and an Anglophile from very early on. According to family lore, I have English ancestors, though my cousin, Dr. Suzanne Byrd, has so far traced our roots only as far back as the American Revolution. But whatever the reason, I have always felt a strong connection to England. (I felt entranced—and at home—when I discovered the "Dr. Doolittle" series at the age of six and have sought out English writers ever since, and I wrote my master's thesis on Jane Austen's works.) My original goal was to write historical novels for adults.
"After years of successfully publishing for younger readers, I finally returned to my first love and started a novel set in early-nineteenth-century England. (Jane Austen's era!) I enlisted my daughter, who was also an Anglophile, also widely read in the historical field, and just beginning to write on her own, to critique the first chapters. Her comments were so good that I suggested she try writing a scene, and a writing partnership was born. Our first novel, Robert's Lady, was published in 2000 under the pen name Nicole Byrd (her middle and my maiden name), and our most recent work got strong reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist, so we're pleased with their reception. The Nicole Byrd historical romance novels contain mystery-adventure subplots, allowing me to incorporate another favorite genre, along with accurate historical backgrounds, touches of humor, fast-paced plots and gutsy characters. I'm having enormous fun with them!"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Authors and Artists for Young Adults, Volume 21, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1997.
Something about the Author Autobiography Series, Volume 24, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1997.
Booklist, December 1, 1984, pp. 528-529; January 1, 1996, p. 822.
Children's Writer, December, 1999.
Kliatt, November, 1994, p. 17.
Publishers Weekly, September 9, 1988, p. 138; April 15, 2002, p. 47.
Romance Writers Report, October, 2003.
School Library Journal, January, 1985, p. 89; January, 1986, p. 81; October, 1995, p. 161.
Voice of Youth Advocates, October, 1984, p. 202; June, 1985, p. 124; February, 1986, p. 389; April, 1995, p. 30; April, 1996, pp. 33-34.
Writer, November, 1988; December, 1990; August, 1998.
Nicole Byrd Web site, http://www.nicolebyrd.com/ (February 5, 2004).