Friday, February 17, 2012

Blog Guest Cynthia Woolf!


Please welcome author Cynthia Woolf as she swings by for a visit where random writerly questions and novel sci-fi talk abound!
Cynthia was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden.  She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.

Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend.  That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.

Cynthia was and is an avid reader.  Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week.  This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug.  She wrote her first story at the age of ten.  A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

She worked her way through college and went to work full time straight after graduation and there was little time to write.  Then in 1990 she and two friends started a round robin writing a story about pirates.  She found that she missed the writing and kept on with other stories.  In 1992 she joined Colorado Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America.  Unfortunately, the loss of her job demanded the she not renew her memberships and her writing stagnated for many years.

In 2000, she saw an ad in the paper for a writers conference being put on by CRW and decided she'd attend.  One of her favorite authors, Catherine Coulter, was the keynote speaker.  Cynthia was lucky enough to have a seat at Ms. Coulter's table at the luncheon and after talking with her, decided she needed to get back to her writing.  She rejoined both CRW and RWA that day and hasn't looked back.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she's made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.
What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?

I think you should go for it. But make sure you do it right. Get a good cover, get an editor or at least have someone who can edit well read it for you. I read each of my books through 3 times before I give it in full to my critique partners for beta reading. I also have other beta readers who read it before it gets published.

Do you have critique partners?

I have the most amazing critique partners. They each have their strengths and the are all incredibly talented writers. All but one is currently published and that person will publish by the end of January.

What is your favorite dessert/food?

I love anything with chocolate, but my favorite dessert is carrot cake. My mother made the most amazing carrot cake with real cream cheese icing. It was to die for. 
 
How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?

It’s not really very likely unless they have something that makes them stand out from the crowd. Some character trait that I can see when I meet them.

What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?

The hardest for me to write is conflict. I avoid conflict in my real like as though it was the plague. So I tend to try and do that with my characters as well. Thank goodness for my critique group who are like an enforcer and make me put in the conflict the story needs.

Was your road to publication fraught with peril or a walk in the park?

Well it definitely wasn’t a walk in the park. I’ve been writing seriously, with the goal of publication since 1990. It’s been a long hard process, that culminated with me publishing my books on my own. So I’d have to say it was fraught with peril.

Cynthia's latest title is Centauri Midnight, book 3 in the Centauri Series.


EXCERPT FROM CENTAURI MIDNIGHT

Audra, please. You’re my queen but you’re also my friend. You must grant me this last request. Let me go after him.” Tensign Kiti Dolana paced the beautiful sitting room. Bile rose in her throat threatened to strangle her. Finally, she collapsed into a chair it’s soft cushions swallowing her as she sat across the small, highly polished and gleaming, coffee table from the Queen of Centauri, her friend.
The Queen, pregnant with triplets, her beautifully distended tummy disallowing much frivolous movement, reclined on the couch. She sat up to pour the tea but had trouble reaching the tea pot in the middle of the coffee table. “Kiti would you pour our tea, I’m a bit like a beached whale right now.” Audra was anything but a beached whale. Kiti knew the colloquial term from her study of Earth.
Her queen was radiant. Her long, chestnut hair falling in waves to her waist was gathered on one side of her head. Her clear gray eyes shone bright in her pale face. She wore a beautiful royal purple empire waisted dress that highlighted her pale features. She was beautiful. Kiti remembered a time, on their way back to Centauri from Earth, when she’d not thought so, because she was jealous.
That was before Audra’s marriage to Darius and when she’d still be betrothed to Anton. Kiti had been in love with Anton, at least she thought she was, and was jealous of Audra. Some of the things she said were unkind, but Audra had seen them for what they were, jealousy and forgiven her the words. They were now the best of friends.
Kiti poured the tea and continued to beseech her queen. “Audra, you have to let me go after him. He killed my brother Joridan, his actions led to Anton being captured and tortured. I need to see they get justice, they deserve it.”
And you are sure it is only justice you seek?” Audra softly asked.
Damn it, Audra.” Kiti was up and pacing the room again. Her long black hair was tied in a high pony tail and swung back and forth with each step she took. The thick, plush carpet kept her boots from clicking on the floor. “I’m begging you to let me go with Garrick Marcus. It’s not just revenge I need. I need closure. I’m the one who should deliver Tybold to the authorities. Garrick Marcus is the best captain in the fleet and I know Darius is sending him after Tybold. Joridan needs us both to avenge his death. To bring his murderer back to Centauri for justice to be served.”
Kiti, are you combat trained? We don’t know what to expect from the Proconians. By this time, Tybold could have convinced them we are conquerors and he’s their only salvation. We don’t know. It could be a suicide mission. I don’t want to lose my best friend.” She went on. “I know you’re grieving. Joridan’s loss and Lara’s return has been very hard on you.”
Stop.” Kiti jumped up and started to pace again. “I know what my life has been like. I mourn the loss of Joridan life and Anton’s capture and torture by Slavarien. Joridan was my little brother. Even though he was a head taller than me he will always be my little brother. I still smell Joridan’s scent in his room. Sometimes it’s so fresh it’s like he just passed by.” Her eyes filled with tears, “I miss the closeness that Anton and I once shared but I do not bemoan him finding Lara. I’m very happy he found his lifemate. It was something he never thought to be able to do. After the torture that both Anton and Lara suffered at the hands of the Slavariens, it’s amazing that they found each other. I wish I had a lifemate out there somewhere.
Audra, I’m a historian and anthropologist, but first I’m Dragonera. Of course, I am combat trained. All Dragonera are. We are the Royal Guard. We are the best.”
Yes. You’re right, but I worry anyway. Must be my maternal instinct.” Audra patted her belly.
You know that the people of Procon are centuries behind us technologically. I’m the only person who can go on this mission that knows anything about their culture.”
I don’t know,” Audra hesitated.
Admit it. Garrick needs me.”
We don’t interfere in the development of other planets’ civilizations. You know that.”
Tybold has already interfered. I say we’ll be evening the odds for the tribes involved. And it’s not as though Procon doesn’t know we exist. They already trade with other planets. Just because they’re not our technological equals doesn’t mean they aren’t advanced.”
Kiti saw Audra hesitate before she answered. “I must confer with Darius before I can give you my answer.”
At that moment Darius came in accompanied by Garrick, Anton and Lara. The three men were in their Dragonera uniforms as was Kiti. The only differences being the color blocking. Darius and Garrick wore amethyst uniforms with cream colored sleeves, denoting their status as starship Captains. Darius’ uniform also had a cream colored stripe from the left shoulder to the waist, denoting that he was Captain of the Royal Guard. As a general in the Royal Army, Anton’s uniform was solid amethyst. Lara, Audra’s twin sister, still had the tanned skin from someone who’s spent too much time in the sun. She wore the House of Danexx royal colors like everyone else did. Hers were an amethyst jumpsuit and long cream colored duster. Kiti’s uniform was solid cream. Her rank as Tensign was denoted by a patch on her left arm.
What do you need to discuss with me?” Darius asked as he took his wife’s arm and helped her to rise from the couch. She gave him a quick kiss. Darius rubbed her stomach then bent and said, “Hello, my children. Are you being nice to your mommy today?”
Kiti swore he expected an answer.
If you don’t quit that people are going to think you’re crazy,” said Audra.
Darius laughed and kissed her belly.
I am. Crazy in love with my wife.”
Lara made gagging sounds. ‘Will you two remember that you have an audience?”
All right. But you and Anton are just as bad as we are.” Darius said to his soon to be twice over sister-in-law.”
Never,” retorted Lara. “No one is as over the moons as you two.
I don’t know, I’m pretty much over the moons about you,” said Anton waggling his eyebrows at her.
The banter was not aimed at Kiti. She didn’t think the two couples even remembered they were not alone. Kiti glanced at Garrick, who rolled his eyes at her. “Audra, the mission.” She reminded her queen tapping her wrist to hurry her.
Oh yes. Darius, Kiti has requested to be assigned to go with Garrick to Procon, to apprehend Lord Tybold. I told her I would discuss it with you.”
I don’t know if she will be needed,” Darius responded.
Garrick spoke for the first time since entering the room. “I think an anthropologist would be very useful on this particular mission. Tensign Dolana would be a definite asset to me in bringing in Tybold.”
Thank you, Garrick. “ Kiti was warmed by his words and agreed with him one hundred percent. To her way of thinking, this mission would only succeed with her help. No one could understand the Proconians better than she could.
Very well,” said Darius. “You will receive your orders tomorrow. In the mean time, can we eat dinner? I’m a starving man.”

Get Centauri Midnight here:
Amazon ebook edition:  http://amzn.to/wdADsZ 
Amazon Print edition:  http://amzn.to/xmz4TT
Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/zHMwF6
All Romance eBooks:  http://bit.ly/wwyzDN
Her other titles are available here:
 TAME A WILD HEART from Amazon http://amzn.to/uEoTO0
CENTAURI DAWN from Amazon http://amzn.to/uwGgHo

Get to know Cynthia better here:

Twitter:  @CynthiaWoolf
 Thanks so much for visiting and sharing your writing journey, Cynthia!
 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing about your writing life and books, Cynthia. It's great to have you!

    ReplyDelete