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.
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.