Cynthianna grew up watching Star Trek and reading the science fiction classics along with Harlequin romances by the bushel. Somewhere along the line she figured it was just as fun to write stories as it was to read them. She has published both contemporary romances and fantasy romantic-comedies and also writes SF/paranormal erotic-romance under the pen name of Celine Chatillon. Her screwball fantasy romance series inspired by the hit TV series Doctor Who is entitled Loving Who. You can read excerpts from her novels at her web sites: http://www.cynthianna.com and http://www.celinechatillon.com
When she isn’t living the exciting life of a romance novelist, Cindy evaluates manuscripts for a literary listing service and reviews books. Her funny writers’ guide, Defeating the Slushpile Monster, is now available in both Kindle and print formats. More about her non-fiction can be found on her Confessions of a Blonde Writer blog at http://www.cindyamatthews.com
Cindy is happily married to the multi-talented artist and fellow author A. J. Matthews. They enjoy attending historic re-enactments and science fiction cons and chatting with friendly folk. Feel free to drop her a line or meet up with her at an author’s chat.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve always been a bit of a cock-eyed optimist. I love the “happy ever after” ending (or at least “happy for now” ending). Even when all else goes wrong in the world, it’s nice to think that lovers can find each other, fall in love, and have a wonderful life together. Romantic fiction has the best of all genres along with this inherent optimism that just can’t be denied.
Tell us about your writing process.
Mostly I write by the seat of my pants. I’ve tried outlines in the past, but I didn’t feel they helped me much. Once the characters start “talking” to me and I have their backgrounds and a setting and time established, there’s no real need to create extensive outlines. I just follow the characters’ choices and journeys.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Characters can be quite chatty at times. They won’t stop talking to you–in your dreams, while waiting in line at the store, driving home, etc. Writers, as a whole, seem to be schizophrenic with all these voices in our heads!
What advice would you give other writers?
Listen to your heart and write what you like to read. It shows in your writing if you’re not happy with either the genre or the characters you’re attempting to write. Don’t follow the crowd–be original.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I joined the Romance Writers of America and several other professional national and local writers’ groups. I advise all wannabe writers to join a writers’ group and attend meetings (in person), so you can learn the ropes from others who have gone before you. Publishing is a business–writing is an art. Most writers don’t really understand how the business aspects work and it shows sometimes.
I wouldn’t recommend self-publishing to fiction writers. The stigma is still there for “vanity published” authors that essentially says that no editor or agent was willing to take you or your manuscript on as an author. At least attempt to submit your work to publishers and agents and gain valuable feedback from them before attempting any other route of publication. You owe it to yourself and your readers to present a professional written, edited and produced book.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The sky’s the limit! Who knows what it’ll look like in another fifty years at the pace technology is changing… Perhaps books will have 3-D holographic characters who act out the story on the page? I can’t want to see them. 🙂
What do you use?: Co-writer
What genres do you write?: romance, women’s fiction, science fiction/fantasy, paranormal romance
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print