Cyndi: Hi, Ambur! *waves*
Why don’t we start off with you telling us a bit about yourself, and about your book, Between?
I live in the Pacific Northwest, where the weather is as rainy and overcast as the Scottish Highlands. So I have a nice tan, as you can imagine. XD
Between is a love story set in the afterlife between a modern American girl who dies in a car accident and the 18th century Scottish Highlander who comes to take her to heaven. It's geared towards older teens (and adults who are young at heart). It's my first book and launched on June 1st!
Between was an amazing story, I absolutely loved the chemistry between Lindsey and Aiden. How did you come up with the remarkable love story between them?
Thanks! I am so glad you enjoyed it! *grin*
I wanted to write a good-versus-evil story but felt that angels and demons had already been done quite a bit, so I decided to come up with my own version. Aiden is a Transporter (a sort of grim reaper) and he has a counterpart (the Hell Transporter) who is featured in the sequel. The sequel is about one-third written right now, so I don't have a set release date for it yet.
I am a sucker for a good love story, so anything I write will have a romantic component to it. ♥
Some of my favourite parts of Between were when Lindsey and Aiden were casting, where did you come up with that idea?
The characters are able to “cast” the scene while they are in the realm in between, and there are two ways to do it. They can either cast a memory which plays out before them (not allowing them to interact with people), or they can cast an environment that is fully malleable, but they can’t include any people. It’s a cross between A Christmas Carol and the Star Trek Halodeck.
I can’t really say how I came up with it. I just wanted to provide them with an interactive environment where they could get to know one other and learn about each other’s lives. I really enjoy time travel novels, so blending history with the present was one of my motivations.
In your author blurb you said that you loved Scotland, what makes you love it so much?
I fell in love with Scotland while reading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Her writing was so engaging and vivid that the characters and setting captivated me in a way nothing else ever had. It was like a key fitting into a lock, and the love of Scotland just clicked into place within me.
You’d have to go back about 400 years to find a drop of Scottish blood in my ancestry. I know because I signed up for Ancestry.com specifically to research that! LOL One of my prized possessions is a dirk with a glass hilt that I bought at our local Scottish Highland games. Yep, a definite Scot-freak!
Any books that you’d like to recommend now that I’m desperate to read about more highlanders?
I haven't come across other YA novels with highlanders, but it is a pretty common theme in adult romance titles. Some of them are downright awful cheese-fests, but some are really good. If you haven't read it yet, I'd definitely start with Gabaldon's Outlander series. It is most definitely an adult title, but it's also the best love story I've ever read.
Do you have any advice to share with other prospective authors out there?
My advice to writers would be that no matter where you are in your writing process (haven't started, just finished a draft, ready to go with a polished manuscript), start social networking now if you haven't already done so. Create a blog and get followers. Set up an author page on Facebook. Play and connect with other writers (and readers) on Twitter. Join communities on Goodreads, LinkedIn, AbsoluteWrite, Authonomy and others. Marketing is about getting your book in front of people, so the more eyes you have access to, the more successful you will be when the time comes. Above all, be friendly and supportive!
Anything else you’d like to share?
Writing is hard work. There are a million other things that you could be doing instead of writing. If, after you finish a manuscript, edit it, and get feedback on it, you are able to land an agent and a publisher quickly, then some would say you’re lucky, that you were in the right place at the right time. That may well be so. Still, you wouldn’t have been there at all if it weren’t for the time and effort you put into the writing in the first place.
Certainly, some writers get lucky, while others are stuck waiting in the wings. It’s not always about the quality of the book. That moment of opportunity may be the self-publishing revolution that allows authors to bypass publishers and take their stories directly to readers. It may be something else entirely. The important thing is to not give up. Being ready when the opportunity comes along is what will ultimately result in your success.
Thanks so much for having me on the blog. I had a great time!
Between is available in both print and ebook format from a variety of online retailers:
Ebook only: Smashwords, Apple
Print only: Createspace, My website (signed copy)
Print and ebook: Amazon, Barnes and Noble
There are a variety of ways to connect with me online: My blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Shelfari, and LibraryThing.
I hope you all enjoyed Cyndi's answers as much as I did, and I definitely recommend that you check out her book, Between, I thought it was an amazing story. :D