Welcome to Worldbuilders, a series of guest posts and interviews by my fellow authors of Christian speculative fiction. Today’s interview is with Cynthia P. Willow, whose newest book, Shelley: A Christian Paranormal Novella, released on March 12, 2016.
We’ll be taking a week off for Easter, but we will return in April with John J. Zelenski, author of The Journal of Ezekiel Walker and Walker’s Vale.
Now let’s talk to Cynthia!
Tony: Before we get into your book and your writing, I have to ask you the most important personal question a person could ever ask:
Coffee or Tea?
Tony: Wisdom speaks!
Tell you what? I’ll go put on another pot of the blessed bean and you can tell us a little about your non-literary life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help, from people or circumstances?
Cynthia: I’m a mom of 3. I have a college student, a teenager, and a preschooler! I’m also a full-time student earning my Master’s degree in Human Services Counseling and Life Coaching. I’m a lay counselor and life coach specializing in soul care and marriage. As busy as I am, writing is my spare-time hobby, and I enjoy it very much.
Tony: Where did you grow up? And how did your childhood affect your writing?
Cynthia: I grew up in a small town in Florida, and when I say small, I mean that we only had three stop lights in town. It was small. My childhood has definitely affected my writing as I have used many people and situations as inspiration in my stories.
Tony: How did you get started writing speculative fiction? Why do you think it’s important?
Cynthia: The first book I ever wrote was full of magic as I wrote it for my two oldest children, who were both in elementary school then. They would bring home the Scholastic flyers, and there were so many books with magic in there. We would all get excited about the choices, and then my son said we should write our own story. Well, 10 years later, one book has turned into 13.
Tony: Tell us about your writing process. Do you write with a pen, typewriter or computer? Do you listen to music? How often do you write?
Cynthia: I use my laptop and type everything in Word. With three children, I write to all sorts of sounds. Most of my writing is done over summer vacation when I’m not homeschooling or attending classes myself.
Tony: No author writes alone. Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books — Do you use Beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?
Cynthia: I have a street team on Facebook, so they get access to my manuscript before I send it to my editor. I get their feedback from the reader’s point of view. Then I send the book to my editor, Carol Fountain, who I’ve been using since the first book back in 2006. My covers have been made by Mary C Findley, Samantha Fury, and myself.
Tony: How many books do you have out?
Cynthia: I have 13 books, which includes a Christian Paranormal book that I co-wrote with my daughter when she was only 13. It can be found here: www.cynthiapwillow.com/ciella-naden.html
Tony: What is your favorite speculation fiction book, movie, or TV series?
Cynthia: It’s hard for me to choose between The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter, and some of my books have been compared to both of those in reviews. Here is a link to one such review: Amazon.com: Charles Thornton Author’s review of The Land of Flames (The Karini and Lamek Chronicles Book 1)
Tony: Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
Cynthia: My newest book, Shelley, is a Christian Paranormal Novella set in the woods of South Georgia. If you like ghost stories, give this one a read. It’s not your typical ghost story.
Here is the blurb from the back cover:
When 13-year-old Narie loses her mother to cancer, she is forced to leave the city and move to the country with her grandmother–a woman who is nothing more than a stranger to her. With no Wi-Fi or cell phone reception, Narie is sure her new life in the middle of nowhere is going to be dull and boring. But she discovers her mother’s childhood diaries and embarks on a search for the creepy house in the woods–a house that Narie’s grandmother insists was only a figment of her daughter’s imagination. Things become complicated when Narie realizes that the woods hold much more than a creepy house. Who is the little girl in the white dress? What does she have to do with Narie’s mother? What secret is Narie’s grandmother harboring?
You can read more and view the book trailer here: http://www.cynthiapwillow.com/shelley.html
Tony: I’ve got chills, Cynthia, Where can we buy your books? How can fans connect with you?