Sunday, October 17, 2010

Interview with Cindy Spencer Pape

And after the whirlwind of reviews from last week, I'm lucky enough to sit down with their author, Cindy Spencer Pape! Let's get down to it!

Clara: Why did you choose gargoyles for this series?

Cindy: I wanted something different, that hadn’t been as overdone as vampires, werewolves, etc. Also that year, my publisher was doing a special group of stories featuring birthstones. Garnets, January’s birthstone is featured in the first book, but I didn’t stick with that series for the others. Still, each book features a gemstone, so I thought gargoyles, who turn to stone, would be a good match for that theme.

Clara: How extensive was the research for this project? Did you look up myths about gargoyles or did you create your own mythology? 

Cindy: Mostly made it up. The bulk of the research was getting their French words and phrases right—my college French is a little rusty.

Clara: Did you find that there was a pivotal point in your career, a point where you said to yourself, "Yeah, I can do this!"?  

Cindy: Not really. I always doubt myself. In about 1999, I decided to sit down and try to write a book. I did, and finished it, even though it’s awful. But that gave me the courage to write another, and another, and another.

Clara: Was there ever a point where you almost gave up writing? How did you overcome it? 

Cindy: There was. In 2006, I’d been writing and submitting and collecting rejections for a while. I had three manuscripts I was trying to place, so I decided to try the e-publishers. I sent one to Ellora’s Cave/Cerridwen Press, one to Triskelion (long gone now) and one to The Wild Rose Press. I told myself if one of them didn’t sell, I was done. As it turned out, all three did, and I instantly had three publishers to juggle.

Clara: How do you come up with your stories? Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow? 

Cindy: Some of each. It’s very free form, but I do write enough of an outline that I kind of know where I’m going, though I rarely stick to it completely. My ideas come from everywhere—bits of overheard conversation, old fairytales, movies I hated the endings to, dreams—you name it.

Clara: What do you do to overcome writer's block? 

Cindy: Procrastinate. Then eventually, just sit down and make myself string one sentence after another until it’s flowing again.

Clara: Do you have a favourite story that you've written? Favourite character? 

Cindy: I can’t say I do. You have to fall a little in love with each hero, and identify a little with each heroine or you’ll lose interest in the story and that will show in your writing.

Clara: You cross genres—from contemporary, to historical, to paranormal. Did anyone ever tell you not to do that? Do you think that it's more difficult to create a "brand" when you cater to multiple genres? Or, conversely, do you find that your fans are broader?  

Cindy: Yes, I’ve been told I should focus on a single “brand.” But then I’d really upset the readers who love my westerns, if I wrote only paranormal. Or upset my paranormal readers if I wrote only historical. It’s also a way to keep my writing fresh and my interest level high—I need to vary my style now and then. I do find that most of my readers will cross genres and read my other books.

Clara: What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Cindy: Don’t. Give. Up. And enjoy what you’re doing, or don’t do it. If writing isn’t fun, you should probably look to something else.

Thanks so much for having me here. It’s been a lot of fun to talk about my gargoyles!

Clara: Thanks for stopping by, Cindy!

Cindy's Stone Heroes gargoyle series which I reviewed last week is now available in paperback form. Find it here



  1. Clara, thanks so much for spotlighting me this week. It was a lot of fun!

  2. I love this series and am so happy to see it in paperback!!! :)

  3. Might have to get me some of these! Always look forward to reading you, Cindy.

  4. Cindy is an auto-buy for me because I know whatever she writes it will be wonderful! I love her westerns as well as her contemporaries and paranormals:-)

  5. Thanks for the great interview. :)

  6. Enjoyed the post!

    Gargoyles--There's just something about those Gothic dark creatures that intrigue me.

    It's wonderful that you write stories for different genres. I for one like variety. One week I might want to escape to a paranormal realm, but on another day, I may want put on my cowboy hat for a good old western story.

    With what ever you do, I wish you the best. :)

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