Pull up a chair, grab that cup of jo and have some of these wondeful cookies. Today we're talking to Cindy Cromer, our guest for the round table.
Welcome Cindy, glad you could stop by.
So, what motivated you to write in the genre you write in?
CC: Ever since I was little I have loved to read. In elementary school, I'd rather read Nancy Drew mysteries than play in the playground. Nerd right? In eighth grade for an assignment I wrote a descriptive essay and was placed in the honors Literature and English classes in High School. At that time I had visions of becoming a best selling author but my favorite subjects were science and math. Nerd again! I majored in Chemistry and Biology in college, went on to become the president of a laboratory network, and wrote numerous research and technical documents, but in all of my spare time continued to read any mystery/suspense novel I could. I always jokingly said one day I would write a book. My family teased me mercilessly to write a novel since I had read so many. One day while reading a fiction book by a well known author, I won't mention the name, I counted four characters with the same name. That did it! I threw the book down and did what I claimed I'd always wanted to do. I sat down at my computer and contemplated a plot I'd like to read. I created the main character, Caitlin Martel, and utilized my scientific and executive background and brought her to life. Once I got going, the second book, Desperate Deceptions started to form.
PB: Sounds like you've got things worked out and are motivated to put together the next book in the series. I hope you'll share more of Desperate Deceptions when it comes out.
CC: How long does it take for you to write a novel - and why? That is a loaded question. The first book, 404 pages, didn't take very long to write, a month or two. Now that I have been through the editing process and have gained invaluable experience, the second is taking me longer. I know what the evaluation team and editors are looking for and it scares me and I don't want to have any errors. Then there is writer's block. It is a real phenomena. I'd like to take a moment to share some tricks I have to get past the frustrating points when words and creativity just wouldn’t come. First I re-read the last three scenes that I had written to build my confidence and boost my self-esteem, convince myself I could do it. When that doesn’t work, I read. At this juncture, I deliberately choose books I wouldn’t typically or a book that I have read before but didn’t enjoy. Sounds a little strange, but this method works well for me. For one thing, at this point I’m not enjoying the material and it motivates me to get going, knowing that I can create a much better book. Also, I can never predict when inspiration will hit. Writing is 24/7, I can’t just say, “oops quitting time”, there’s no such thing for a writer.
PB: With so many publishers out there, new authors are always wanting to get into the industry. As a published author, what would you suggest to a new author?
CC: Be prepared for rejection, sometimes it’s brutal. If you believe in your work, don’t give up. Be persistent, if you were rejected by an agent or publisher before, don’t be shy and try again. Grow thick skin and don’t be offended, embrace each criticism and rejection as an opportunity to edit and polish your work. Most importantly, always carry a notepad when a computer is not readily available. As I said above, you never know when inspiration will hit.
I have a funny story, about that burst of inspiration, coming at a time when you just can’t get to a computer. I actually have several but I’ll limit it to one if you want to include.
One time we were on a cruise and perfect scene came to me. I had nothing to write on but a bunch of receipts from on board charges. So there I was, jotting down note after note on these little pieces of paper with the sea winds whipping all around.
It’s taken some time, but my family has gotten used to me when I go into writer mode and drop everything to get down what I need to in writing, before the thought is lost.
PB: If you could talk to any author in history who would you choose?
CC:James Patterson of course! I'd love to meet him, dazzle him with my writing, and be selected to co-author a book with him. Talk about dollars and royalties coming in! Honestly, I'd prefer to make it on my own but would like to meet James, his diverse writing style is brilliant. I'd also like to meet John J. Nance. He has an incredible and interesting bio.
PB: What's your next book about?
I am currently putting the finishing touches and edits to my second book, DESPERATE DECEPTIONS, and it involves more family drama and suspense. It is focused on the newly formed but strained relationship between Caitlin and her biological grandfather. It could be considered a sequel, but I have written it as a stand-alone and the reader won’t be lost if they haven’t read DESPERATE MEASURES. Of course, my goal is to propel the sales of my first book and make the reader want to read both. I have a third and fourth book in rough draft format, and are completely different from the first two. They are mysteries, but totally different characters and plots.
Once I finish those two I would like to get back to a few of the characters I created in DESPERATE MEASURES, especially Tomas. I created him as a minor role to provide a bit of comic relief to the reader, but he took on a life of his own and I want to create his own story line. Barry Solerno also needs to be the main focus of a book. I have no idea where I came up with him, but he became my favorite character. Also, I a have children's book I have been dabbling with, no title yet, but this one shouldn't take me long to finish.
PB: Wow, sounds to me like you're a very busy woman and that you've got a game plan for your writing career.
If our audience has any questions please take a moment to ask them... next up Cindy's got some questions of her own for us!