Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Today's Author Guest: Cindy Keen Reynders

As promised yesterday, fellow mystery author Cindy Keen Reynders is visiting my blog today. To read her bio and see her photo, please page down to yesterday's post.

Above is the cover photo for her most recent book, A Killer Slice, the third installment in the Saucy Lucy series. Below is Cindy's post about persevering in her publishing career. Please leave a comment for Cindy to let her know what you think, and feel free to ask her any questions you want about the post, her books, or her life as a writer.

Courage and Believing in Yourself

My first two books, The Saucy Lucy Murders, and Paws-itively Guilty, published by Medallion Press, gave me the courage to call myself a novelist. However, it felt like the forward momentum in my writing career came to a grinding halt when Medallion passed on the third installment. Such is the world of publishing. Still, this is a disappointment that is never for any writer easy to accept.

As time went on, many fans of the books contacted me, wondering if they would see more of the sleuthing sisters, Lexie and Lucy. Since I had already written the third book in the Saucy Lucy Mystery series, A Killer Slice, I decided, after much research, to contract with Amazon’s CreateSpace to publish the title on my own. This is a decision I have not regretted. To see the joy on people’s faces as they receive yet one more book of this fun series makes it all worthwhile. And my local independent book seller here in Cheyenne, Wyoming, City News Book Store, has been more than supportive in helping me keep all three of the books available for readers.

Back in August, after I had forged my way into the land of the Indie publishing world, Blaze McRob, co-owner of Angelic Knight Press, contacted me. He wondered if I had a publisher, and what manuscripts I might currently have available.

A few years previously, I had finished a novel titled, The Seven-Year Witch, and I sent it to Blaze’s staff to see if they would be interested. To my delight, they loved the book, and within days I signed with them to publish it. This was a lovely surprise that came on the heels of my decision to walk alone in the publishing world for a while. Angelic Knight Press is producing some pretty great books these days, and I’m honored to be a team member and to have them support my writing career.

The Seven-Year Witch will be out in the next month or so, and I’m getting pretty excited. My editor, Stacey Turner, sent a sneak peak of the cover art, created by artist Rebecca Treadway. It is oh so lovely, with a depiction of my witch in a sexy dress and high heels. I can hardly wait to see the finished artwork, and actually hold the book in my hands. Rebecca produced such tantalizing cover art that my husband, who is not into leisure reading because he reads so much at work, took one look at my saucy, golden-haired witch and announced, “I’m going to read this one, honey.” That’s quite a compliment from the man who hasn’t even cracked the cover of my other books!

A little background: I wrote The Seven-Year Witch during a frustrating point in my life, just as I did with my Saucy Lucy books. When I'm down about something, I want to laugh like the dickens. So I spent about eight months, butt planted in my office chair every morning from 4:00–7:00 a.m., snickering and giggling as Miranda Rose, novice witch of the Wysteria, Oregon, Hedge Haven clan came to life. I enjoyed the characters so much that I believe I channeled good vibes onto the written page.

While the Saucy Lucy series has amateur sleuths, sisters Lexie and Lucy, solving murders in the small, fictional Wyoming town of Moose Creek Junction, The Seven-Year Witch is completely different. This is a fun story about a young novice witch, Miranda Rose, who has been assigned by the Supreme Witch's Council to track down the wizard who is holding the legendary Philosopher's Stone. Once the task is completed, Miranda will be eligible to be promoted to high witch—a lifelong dream. Her parents and her six sisters are highly accomplished, and she desperately wishes to join their ranks.

With the deadline to find the stone fast approaching, Miranda travels back in time to the year 1877, and finds the tower where the wizard is holding the stone. He refuses to relinquish the gem and zaps her out the window. She lands in an abandoned field not too far from Merry Olde London, shaken to the bone and covered in soot.

On his way home from a tavern late that evening, Sir Maxwell Chadwick, the Duke of Pellamshire, sees a fiery ball of light streak across the midnight sky. Curious when it lands near the road, he pulls over his carriage and climbs out to investigate. He never expects to find a bedraggled woman in the field, much less a beautiful witch desperately in need of his seductive charms. Needless to say, sparks fly!

The interesting thing I’ve learned about all of this is that as authors, we must believe in ourselves and our work. I’ve also learned that books may not always sell at exactly the time we want them to sell. Meanwhile, we’ve got to be ready to pitch and promote them to publishers whenever the opportunity arises. Never believe a book is dead, even though publishers might not be biting when you’re marketing it. All it takes is the right one to see it at the right time, and it may finally get the opportunity to move off your jump drive and onto the page.

Always keep in mind the famous phrase, “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.”
For more information about when The Seven-Year Witch will be available for purchase, you can go to Angelic Knight Press’s website.

Thanks, Cindy, for sharing your publishing journey! Does anyone have a story to share about your own travails and triumphs in publishing or do you have a question for Cindy? Fire away!


Lynda Hilburn said...

Cindy: Congratulations on the latest steps in your publishing journey! I'm so happy you kept exploring other options. Sometimes not having that next book picked up by a particular publisher is a really GOOD thing. Keep writing! This is a marvelous time to be an author.

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Thanks, Lynda. You are an inspiration to me with your writers journey!

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Thanks, Lynda! You are an inspiration to me with your writer's journey.

Blaze McRob said...

I really love this post! But, then again, I should: I still say I'm Cindy's #1 fan. What makes me doubly excited about Cindy's journey is that living in the same town as her gives me the opportunity to be there when she has her book signings and to be more than some far away publisher who can't be there for her, not that my spunky friend needs me to hold her hand. Cheyenne is small, but Boulder and Denver are beckoning. It's time for Cindy to get the recognition she truly deserves!

Did I mention her stories are great?! All of them!


Anonymous said...

Great post and thank goodness for small presses! They're the voice and advocates for new writers. And sometimes a writer needs a "no" to head in the right direction. When my YA book didn't sell, I wrote a cozy mystery which is now in print. Keep writing!
Sally Carpenter

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks for your comments, Lynda, Blaze, and Sally, and thanks for visiting, Cindy. I hope you'll check back tomorrow for any late comments.

Efi Loo Publishing said...

Cindy, what a lovely interview. I am so excited to see you highlighted on Beth Groundwater's blog! What an honor.
I cannot wait to read the Seven-Year Witch.
Your can do attitude and confidence in your work is an inspiration to many aspiring authors out there and it is indeed a marvelous time to be an author.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Cindy, your story is an inspiration and proves that a committed author should never give up. Always be ready, because you never know when the universe will decide it's your turn to shine. I'm looking forward to reading "The Seven-Year Witch."

Gloria Alden said...

It's great how you've progressed with publishing even when it didn't look too good, Cindy. I had just decided I'd probably go the
Indie route, too, because I believe in my book and want to get it out there. But then a small publisher came along, who seems to be interested in it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but if it doesn't work out that way, I know I have other options like you did.

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Thanks to everyone for stopping by, and I'm honored to lend encouragement to hard-working authors out there! Publishing is going through some exciting times, and it's wonderful to be a part of it.