Thursday, November 5, 2015

An Interview with Cindy Blackburn


By Pamela James

MM2: Cindy, give is the backstory on how you became an author, why you became an author and a series author?

The first story I wrote was back in second grade, and my teacher read it to the class. But after that I didn't write fiction for many, many decades. I took it up again in my forties during bouts of insomnia, and somewhere along the line Jessie Hewitt popped into my head. I've always loved series! Once I get to know such lovable and quirky characters I don't want to let them go--whether as a reader or a writer.

MM2: Where is your favorite place to write?

I'm sitting here right now! The porch of my tiny shack in Vermont is my favorite spot. But this is only a summer place. Back home in SC, I have a comfy chair that fits both me and my cat. No desks, please.

MM2: Take us thru your writing day?

I like to write first thing in the morning. Then I putter around doing other life stuff in the afternoons, and on ideal writing days I get back to my writing in the evening for an hour or so before bed. I've read that time before falling asleep is a great time to think about your story. Then your subconscious works on it while you sleep. That does seem to work for me!

MM2: What is the best part of writing a series?

Getting to really live with the characters I love so much. I know them so well, when I hear stories or snippets of dialogue in real life, I often think of how my characters will make use of the stuff. It's also WAY less scary and daunting to start a new book with these folks I already know. And lastly, it's SO fun to watch them change and grow and take on lives of their own. For instance in my latest Cue Ball Mystery, Five Spot, Karen Sembler gets herself into a romance. Karen! I had NO idea that would happen until I began writing.

MM2: They say it takes a village to write a book. Who is in your village?

What a great way to put it! My husband John is CRUCIAL to all my writing efforts. I am technically-challenged to put it mildly, and he helps me with all the computer stuff. He also helps me make decisions on marketing and publicity, and he's one of my beta-readers. I can't say enough good things about the Sisters in Crime group I belong to in Greenville, SC, or the Lowcountry Romance Writers of America I used to belong to when I live in Charleston, SC. Other authors are always very supportive.

MM2: I love to ask this question. Past or present what five authors would you like to sit down and share a meal with? What would you like to know from them and what would you tell them?

Wow, this is a hard one. I love Dorothy Sayers, Jane Austin, Barbara Pym, Robert Parker, and Joan Hess. I think they're all very entertaining, and so I think I'd let them talk about whatever popped into their heads. I'd tell them the champagne I was serving was my character Jessie Hewitt's idea!

MM2: Tell us about where you live? Be our tour guide and of course we want to know why you love living there?

I've already mentioned my shack in Vermont. It's on a lake and I live here in the warm weather. I love looking out at the waterfowl and at my flower garden leading to the water! Inside is very rustic. Although I do have electricity and running water ... almost always. In South Carolina I live outside of Greenville in a very cool and spacious condo. The building used to be a highschool so I have high brick walls and many huge sunny windows. No garden, but a balcony with flowers. My writing chair is in the sunniest spot.

MM2: Did you used to have other hobbies?

I used to read a lot more! Now I'm always writing. I like to exercise--yoga, walking, biking, kayaking. And I like to garden.

MM2: Tell us about your family life?

One hubby, one cat, no kids. Things are pretty quiet in our household except for when Betty the cat thinks I've forgotten her dinnertime.

MM2: Okay let's talk about your latest book in the "Cue Ball Series", and what comes next in your writing career?

Five Spot!! The fifth Cue Ball Mystery is now available! Yay! Jessie and Wilson go to a Romance Writer's conference called the Happily Ever After. And take a guess what happens! Oh, and there's that little side story about Karen's romance. Just WAIT till you hear about her first date!

At long last! Jessie Hewitt is about to take her rightful spot in the Hall of Fame. No, not the one for pool sharks. This is the Romance Writers Hall of Fame. Jessie’s so excited she’s even convinced ├╝ber-hunky cop Wilson Rye to tag along for the induction festivities. But things don’t go exactly as planned. How could a conference called Happily Ever After take such a wrong turn? Take a guess.

What comes next? I'm working on the 2nd Cassie Baxter Mystery called Unexpected. What's unexpected? A five year old boy named Truman steps into her life. Let's just say, Cassie's not a kid-person.

MM2: Here are some fun questions. What is your favorite meal, dessert, song, holiday, place to vacation, way to distress after a long day? Also your favorite television series and movies?

Meal--Pizza and champagne
Dessert--Chocolate ice cream, chocolate anything!
Song--Gosh, I don't think I have one! But like Jessie, I like old fashioned 60's and 70's rock and roll.
Vacation--Anywhere in Europe when I've saved enough pennies and dimes.
TV show=-Big Bang Theory
How to unwind--Big Bang Theory and NCIS repeats, long walks, bike rides, or kayak paddles. And as Jessie does, a glass of champagne at happy hour is always nice!

MM2: What would your characters tell us about you?

That I'm very energetic and hard-working. That I have to do a lot of revising to get them and their stories ju-uust right!

MM2: Lastly, leave us with a quote from one of your characters?

Jessie--"A day without champagne is just plain dumb."

I love this series and hope it continues for a long time to come!

Thanks, Pamela! And thanks for all these thought provoking questions. I hope everyone enjoys Five Spot!

Cindy Blackburn is living the dream! She spends her days sitting around in her pajamas, thinking up unlikely plot twists and ironing out the quirks and kinks of lovable characters. In other words, Cindy's a writer.

When she's not typing on her laptop or feeding her fat cat Betty, Cindy enjoys taking long walks with her cute hubby John. A native Vermonter who hates snow, Cindy divides her time between the south and the north. Most of the year you'll find her in South Carolina. But come summer she'll be on the porch of her lakeside shack in Vermont.

Cindy's favorite travel destinations are all in Europe, her favorite TV show is The Big Bang Theory, her favorite movie is Moonstruck, and her favorite color is orange. Cindy dislikes vacuuming, traffic, and lima beans.

1 comment:

Review: Deadly Solution by Keenan Powell

Maeve Malloy is a lawyer who has had struggles with drinking, done a stint in rehab and trying to prove herself again as a lawyer.  She is...