Ranch country helped Waggie develop imagination

Robert Smith rsmith@pawhuskajournalcapital.com

Cherie’ Waggie grew up in rural Osage County, and she says it helped her develop a fertile imagination.

“There’s a hill out there and it’s conical shaped,” Waggie said. “The kids on the bus called it ‘the volcano.’ It was a good place to sit and think things up.”

These days, Waggie, 62, lives with her 88-year-old mother near Sperry and writes mystery novels that you can find in electronic form on Amazon. All you have to do is look up her author page.

The daughter of George Waggie of Wynona and Billie Jane Waggie, Cherie’ attended school as a youth at Indian Camp and Pawhuska High School.

Her latest fictional creation is titled No More Heroes. It’s a sequel to a 2011 novel called Twisting Daggers.

Waggie credits her fascination with the written word to a childhood in which she read voraciously and had consistent encouragement from her mother to take language seriously.

“We’re a family of readers,” she said. “Words have always been important.”

Her older sister was highly competitive as a child in spelling bees, and her mother used to respond to questions about words by directing the kids to the dictionary.

In addition to using the dictionary frequently, Waggie also emersed herself in the classics as a youth. She recalls that her peers sometimes wondered how she could spend her time that way.

“How could you not?” she recalls wondering.

Another influence on her writing — she’s been writing something since the age of 10 — is her aversion to bullies.

“I don’t like bullies and I got bullied a lot,” she said. “My characters tend to stand up to bullies a lot. Sometimes the best way to get past it is to write it.”

“I want it to be a career,” Waggie said of her writing. “It’s just hard to find a publisher; it’s even harder to find an agent. There are a lot of writers out there. I want somebody to notice.”

So she keeps writing, and honing her craft, and following the work of other writers.

“I’ve written on gum wrappers. I’ve written on paper napkins,” she said, illustrating how integral a part of her existence written expression has become. She is currently working on several projects and says she can spend long periods of time with her manuscripts.

“If I’m not disturbed, I can go on all day,” Waggie said.