Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cynthia Hickey has published two cozy mysteries through Barbour. The third, along with a rerelease of the first two books are in the works as ebooks. A contemporary novella is scheduled for release in the fall of 2012. Cynthia is currently working on a contemporary and a historical romance.

Did you see yourself becoming a writer as a child? If not, what did you dream of being?

I always thought I’d be a teacher, although I’ve written stories and poems for as long as I can remember.

How long did you write before you sold your first book?

My whole life, but only seriously writing for four years. One year before selling my first book.

Many of the people who follow our blog are aspiring writers themselves. Can you share your favorite writing tip with them?

Never give up, never give up, never give up.

Now for the readers…many times, it’s easy for them to connect with the characters in a book, but not so much the authors themselves. Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader to feel as though they know you a little better.

Well, my day job is as a detention monitor at my local school. Seems I’m always working with kids in one aspect or another. Girl scout leader for four years, Sunday school teacher for ten years, foster care parent for nine years, and in my eighth year as detention monitor.

Now that you are published, do you still experience rejections? If so, how are these rejections different or similar to the ones you received before becoming published?

I definitely still receive rejections. They are still disheartening, but now, instead of saying I need to improve my craft before submitting, they say they’ve already contracted something similar, or they can’t connect with the character.

Tell us a little about your latest release:

Chocolate-Covered Crime, the third and final installment in the Summer Meadows mysteries, will no longer be available in paper form. Barbour discontinued their mystery line. But, all three mysteries are in the works as ebooks. Fall of 2012, I have a novella releasing.

As a mystery lover (and writer) myself, I'm so sorry to hear that! So then, let's talk about your first book. If you could only share one line from Fudge-Laced Felonies, which one would you choose and why?

The first line of my first novel, Fudge-Laced Felonies, is my favorite and what sold the book.

“I walked into church on Sunday, not to find God but to search for a killer.”

Doesn’t that just grab you?

Writers often put things in their books that are very personal—like a funny story that happened to them, a spiritual truth they learned through difficulty, or even just a character trait that is uniquely theirs. Is there something in Fudge-Laced Felonies that only people close to you know is about you or someone you know?

After reading this book my mother called me and asked, “Did you write this book about yourself?” I laughed and told her I’d never discovered diamonds or a dead body!

Readers often talk a lot about the hero and heroine of a story, but today I’d like to know something about your villain. Does he or she have a redeeming quality? Why or why not?

My villain had a sad childhood which is explained in more detail in book two, Candy-Coated Secrets.

What kind of research did you have to do for this book? Can you share some articles or website links you found particularly helpful?

Since my husband and I used to own a candy store, and my character owns a candy-store, there was little research to be done, thankfully.

Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

I’ve submitted a contemporary proposal and several historical romance proposals. I also have a novella releasing in fall of 2012.

The most common thing I hear when people learned I’ve published a book is, “I’ve always wanted to do that.” Faced with this statement, what advice would you give to someone just starting out in this business?

Then do it. Saying it won’t get the book published.

Good advice! What is the one question you were afraid I would ask…and how would you answer?

I’m pretty transparent. I can’t think of a question that would frighten me.


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