In the Author Spotlight
AL: Hi Cyn! Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.
Cyn:Thanks so much for inviting me!
AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.
Cyn: I just graduated two seniors this spring. My oldest son graduated from the United States Air Force Academy, distinguished in the field of Military Strategic Studies and hoping to be of benefit in the Counter-terrorism arena; my daughter graduated this spring as well from her high school as Valedictorian and carrying straight A’s through 8 semesters. She is planning on attending my Alma Mater in Nebraska where she wants to study biology and specifically the brain in the pre-med program. My youngest is having me run him around while he attends sports camps this summer.
I literally did something major for NINE days running. I was exhausted by the time all the graduation activities were over…but I have to admit, they were also a lot of fun.
In my “off” periods, I’m trying to restore my yard, and get a garden of perennials to survive. I’m not known for a green thumb so that is always a challenge for me.
I’d like to spend some time at a lake or in the hills too, if that works out.
AL: Shifters, cops, pirates…oh my! What current or upcoming release do you have on your bookshelf for the outstanding Blog Bites readers?
Cyn: I just released Welcome to the Jungle and am now in the process of writing a first person narrative tentatively titled Rocky Mountain High (although a few other title possibilities have popped into my mind).
AL: What did you do to pay the bills before making your break in writing?
Cyn: I taught 7th and 8th grade in a self-contained classroom. What that means is that I taught ALL subjects from Math to Social Studies to Art. I taught middle grades for over ten years, then I did a couple with elementary kids and a couple with high school. Of all the grades I taught I loved 7th the most, with 10th grade American Literature a close 2nd.
AL: What do you feel is the most important thing that a first-time author should know?
Cyn: How to finish. Seriously. You can never be published if you don’t finish what you’ve begun.
AL: When you write do you do a detailed outline before you get started or do you have the idea then just 'fly by the seat of your pants'? :-)
Cyn: I’m what you call a “pantser”. Sometimes I fill out a plot grid and put a sentence, maybe two in each square; sometimes I write a synopsis first, but I am one of those that can’t write fiction if I outline. I guess it reminds me too much of research papers I did in college. Not that I minded those, but writing a fiction work is totally different from writing a history paper on the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.
AL: Now for the fun stuff! :-D Sometimes people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. I like to set them straight, so tell us what’s the most unglamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?
Cyn: Hmm…let’s see…this week has been a bit of an aberration for me: I guess pump gas or do grocery shopping. I did them both on the same day :) The messiest job I had this week (outside of cleaning the toilet) was cleaning out the charcoal grill and stacking up the briquettes so I could cook out for the fam. Oh, and I’m pretty much the only one in the family that hauls the trash out to the curb.
AL: If you had to write yourself as a heroine, what kind of heroine would you be? What would you be named?
Cyn: There is a lot of me in both Welcome to the Jungle and in Blind Devotion. I’d be a bit of a smart mouth and by that I mean, I wouldn’t keep my opinions to myself; I’d be outspoken and do and say what I thought was right; I’d be a puzzle solver, a person to take action rather than let life dictate to me, and there would definitely be some sort of teaching happening whether or not it was in a traditional classroom, or helping someone learn a new job. My character would probably be the librarian sort that doesn’t know she’s beautiful and beguiling. So, by proxy, I’d be smart, sexy, savvy and fall for a devilishly handsome ‘protector’ type male (Clive Owen or Gerard Butler PLEASE APPLY ASAP!) who would of course, fall for me too and we’d get it all worked out so we were perfect for one another.
Right now I feel like I should be named Wonder Woman. (I’ve been running nearly non-stop since the middle of March). Seriously, I think I’d have a rather common name like Susan or Jennifer; something that can be shortened and sound HAWT coming off one of the aforementioned gentlemen’s lips in a sexy little nickname.
AL: Now that we know what kind of heroine you are, why do you fall in love with the hero?
Cyn: He is a protector all the way. He puts his life on the line for me and figures out that eventually he can still be my protector without suffocating me. He lets me be his partner without one of us being the “boss”; he gives my ideas serious consideration and even chooses one of them from time to time to enact. He validates me and allows me to reciprocate. Of course, he’s a tiger in bed, and allows me to love him as well. We share rather than control, we enjoy things in common, yet are still individuals with different strengths that the other appreciates as well as different passions the other can support.
AL: Lethal Weapon or Pirates of the Caribbean?
Cyn: Lethal Weapon all the way (and that is absolutely no DIS to Johnny Depp). The Mel Gibson character is tragically wounded and in need of a woman’s healing touch, but also has that he-man protective streak (Much like Tor in Blind Devotion). He’s smart and funny and frequently acts before he thinks (although that does sound a lot like Jack Sparrow). He has a heart of gold, looks at the world with a simple sense of implied naiveté. This man wants very hard to trust but still remember what the knocks feel like from that awful School of Hard Knocks.
AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.
Cyn: My favorite sport is football, so I have to say my favorite quote is by a football player…Mike Singletary. “My favorite part of the game is the opportunity to play.” I can’t think of anything truer for writing. Every sale fills me with this incredible sense of awe…that someone out there is giving me yet another opportunity to play this wonderfully crazy, creative game.
AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Cyn.
Cyn: Again, thank you for inviting me. You’re questions were fun. If any of your readers have questions I’d be delighted to answer them.
AL: If you’d like to find out more about Cyn, please visit:
When Azari runs from a wild animal, she has no idea her life is about to change irrevocably. Unwittingly, she has awakened two mythical beings intent on possessing her. Escaping to an isolated cabin, Azari meets an unlikely protector, Tor, the High Priest of Eiliki. Together, Azari and Tor face the greatest challenges of their lives – survival. Will Tor’s blind devotion to the Goddess prevent him from accepting the greatest gift he’s ever been given, or will the dogma of his religion and his own past keep him from making the right decision?
Silence reigned. Tor looked about his sparse quarters. His hutch, table, globe stand, chest, and bed were all he’d really needed or wanted. While away at the temple, he cast a spell on the wooden cabin, an enchantment to hide the building from the view of others.
He frowned as he covered her feet with the blanket. The enchantment had been in place when he returned. How, then, did this woman enter his abode? Something was amiss. Her story, the ineffective enchantments of his home allowing her entrance to his house through locked doors, left him uneasy.
“Azari,” he said gently. “I need to know if you are a virgin.”
Bright red quickly stained her cheeks. “Wwwhat?” she stammered.
If she were untouched, her state would explain the arousing of the large cat animal she suspected, the cevere. “Are you a virgin?”
Her voice continued to quake. “I am.” She ran a slender hand over her face. “But, I see not what business it is of yours.”
“According to the histories, the cevere is brought forth from its lair when it inhales the aroma of a virgin. I believe this is the animal that gave you chase.” He rubbed his hand over the stubble on his chin. “Your scent is imprinted on the cevere’s mind.”
Tor watched Azari swallow. Once more, her eyes widened. He imagined the things he told her were difficult to believe. Slowly, he continued. “Listen to me carefully. When the cevere wakes, so does the dragon.”
“A dragon?” her voiced squeaked. “I don’t understand.” He spoke with measured words. “They will both come for you. They will wreak havoc wherever they go, and not care what they destroy. If you awakened the cevere and thus awakened the dragon, one of the two will take you.”