Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tame a Wild Bride: An Interview with Author Cynthia Woolf and a Giveaway!


With us today is Colorado native and multi-genre author, Cynthia Woolf. We're talking about her Tame series, being a full-time writer, and what she enjoys doing when not putting pen to page. Welcome Cynthia!

Did you plan to be a writer or did it just happen? 

It just happened.  I studied to be an accountant.  That didn’t really work either.  I got into sales and use taxes, reporting and paying those taxes for various companies.

What is your favorite non-writing pastime?  

Gardening.  I like making flowers grow.  Not so much with vegetables, that’s my husband’s forte.

When did you decide to take that step that made you a published author? 

I was in the hospital, I thought I’d had a heart attack, it was just anxiety, but while I was in there, I finished my second book.  When I got out I was talking to one of my critique partners who told me about self publishing.  She’s the one who got me on the self publishing train and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Is writing a full-time career for you? If not, how else do you spend your work day?   

Currently, I do write full time.  I was laid off from my job in June 2011 and decided it would be the time to take advantage of the opportunity to do what I’d always wanted to, write.  I’m glad that I did.

What inspired the idea behind your book?  

This book, Tame A Wild Bride, is the third in the Tame series.  I wanted to do a mail order bride book and what better place to put it than in Creede, Colorado where my other historical westerns are set.  My mother was a ‘pen pal bride’.  She and my dad had met the summer before when she was the nursemaid (nanny) for a boy with asthma.  The high altitude and clean dry air was good for him and so mother stayed with him while his parents returned to Texas.  This was on a dude ranch that my father was a cowboy on.  When mother went back to Texas after the summer was over, they corresponded with each other and finally my dad popped the question and they were married in March of 1942.

What has been your greatest challenge in writing Tame A Wild Bride?   

My biggest challenge with this book, as with all my books, is the middle.  I know the beginning, I know the end of every book I do, but getting them from the beginning to the end, the sagging middle, is always a challenge for me.

Tell us about your favorite character in this book! 

My favorite character is Rosie, my heroine.  She always keeps a positive attitude, no matter what is thrown at her.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? 

Since my book is historical there is some reality to it.  There were mail order brides.  Women who for numerous reasons, found themselves on trains west to marry men they’d never met.  Many of these marriages turned out happy, some of course did not.  Even today we have mail order brides.  Women from other countries who marry Americans to get green cards and come to the United States for better lives.

Do you share any personality traits with Rosie?  

I am a very positive person.  I try to look at everything with rose colored glasses on.  I want to see the best in any given situation and so does Rosie.  She takes what could have been an intolerable situation and turned it into something good.

Do you have to be alone or have quiet to write? 

I prefer the quiet, but it’s not required.  I don’t listen to music when I write, though several of my critique partners do.  I’m pretty good at blocking out everything but what I’m working on.

What kind of research was involved for the series? Did you find it became easier with each book?

I didn’t have to do a lot of research for this book.  I’d already researched the area and the time period for my other two books in this series.

I would read these books simply because of the covers – all in the series are beautiful! Did you have a part in their design?

I have a great cover designer, who happens to also be one of my critique partners.  The covers she does for me are beautiful.  I find the silhouettes for the covers and she used pictures she took from her back patio for the background on the first two covers.  For this last one, I pulled the background picture, too.  I use Fotolia for my pictures.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series? 

This book is that last in the Tame series.  My next book is going to be the final one in my Swords of Gregara series.

If you could live the life of any character in any book, which would choose and why? 

I would choose Audra from my book Centauri Dawn.  She discovers she’s a princess from another planet.  I mean, come on, how great would that be??
 
How do you unwind after a long writing session? 

I have a glass of wine and watch some television with my husband.  He often has to tell me to stop or I’ll keep at it into the night.

Is there a genre you wish you could write, but haven’t made the plunge? Which one and what appeals to you about it?

I wish I could write romantic suspense.  I haven’t tried to because I don’t read them that often but it’s very popular right now.

Why did you choose to be an Indie writer and would you choose to self-publish again

I chose to be an indie author because I couldn’t get the big publishers interested in my work.  It didn’t exactly fit in any of their slots.  Being an indie author, I don’t have to fit into anything.  I can write what I want, on my schedule and publish when I’m ready.  I don’t have to wait a year or more to see my book in the hands of readers.  I can literally put it out there today and people buy it tomorrow.  It’s a win-win situation as far as I’m concerned.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?  

Write.  Just write.  You can’t edit a blank page so get your butt in the chair and start writing. 

Have you ever literally deleted or thrown away a book you’ve written?   

Never.  I have a few that still need a lot of editing.

If you were casting your main characters for a movie, who would be your top picks? 

For Rosie, I’d choose Katherine Heigl mainly because Rosie looks like her.  She’s not your typical skinny Hollywood actress.  She has a shape and some meat on her bones.  For Tom I’d choose Robert Downy, Jr because he can be sexy and aloof, comforting and funny.

Did the plot of the book turn out the way you planned or did something change during the process of writing it? 

I don’t plot my books probably why I always have a sagging middle. I’m what they call a pantser.  I put my fingers on the keys and just start typing.  The books flows out of me and sometimes even makes sense the first time through.

Favorite place?  

Hawaii

Best Christmas present?   

Don’t remember.  I apparently have everything I need or want.  My husband and I didn’t give each other presents this past year because neither of us could think of anything we wanted.

Favorite author?   

Johanna Lindsey

Favorite smell?   

Fresh baked bread

Favorite series?   

The Mallorys from Johanna Lindsey

Favorite movie?   

Harry Potter

Favorite dish?   

Macaroni and cheese

Favorite color?   

Purple

Favorite quote?    

You can’t edit a blank page

Your best trait?   

Positive outlook

Your worst trait?   

I can’t say no

The Book
Rosie Stanton climbed on a west-bound train to answer his ad for a wife and mother, everything she wants to be.  But Tom Harris lied.  He doesn't want a wife, merely a mother for his two abandoned children and a cook and cleaner for his ranch.  Betrayed once, he's vowed never to let another woman into his heart.  Sexy Rosie upsets all his plans and threatens to invade his scarred heart.  How will he maintain his vow to keep his hands off her as she charms his children, his cow hands, his life?


The Giveaway
One lucky commenter will win an eBook copy of their choice from Cynthia's Tame series. Tame a Wild Heart, Tame a Wild Wind, or Tame a Wild Bride. Leave a comment and your book of choice.



Connect with Cynthia!


Twitter: @CynthiaWoolf




An Excerpt
Rosemary Stanton stood on the train platform sweating and waiting.  Sweating because it was an especially hot day in late June.  Waiting for her husband.  A husband she wouldn’t recognize if he were standing right next to her. 
She’d been desperate when she answered the advertisement for a mail order bride.  Wanted: Single woman to cook, clean, and care for children on a cattle ranch in southwestern Colorado.  Will marry upon arrival.
Well, she was twenty-six with no prospects.  Her brother just got married and his new wife, Beatrice, didn’t want Rosie around.  She could answer this advertisement or become a governess.  Help someone else’s children grow up into adults.  Live in someone else’s house.  For the rest of her life, she’d have nothing she could call her own.
Rosie wanted a home.  She wanted a husband and children.  All the things she’d never have if she stayed in Philadelphia.  When she’d seen the ad in the morning paper, she’d nearly shouted with glee.  However, she managed to restrain herself until she got to her room before she yelled with joy.  The advertisement was tailor-made for her needs.  It got her away from Beatrice and got her her own home all in one fell swoop.
Her brother, Robert, though was not happy with the idea of his baby sister traveling across the country to marry a stranger.  He grudgingly agreed to give her her dowry to take with her.  Five thousand dollars.  She’d take the draft to the bank as soon as she arrived in Creede, Colorado, and married Mr. Thomas Harris.  Cattle rancher.  It was her “in case it doesn’t work out” money.  Though she supposed it would belong to her husband once she married.  Perhaps she just wouldn’t tell him about it.  Her conscience spoke up.  That’s no way to start a marriage.  With lies and secrets. Oh, all right.  She’d tell him and have him take her to the bank.  But not until after she’d taken his measure.  If he was a cruel man, she would leave and she sure as heck wouldn’t tell him about her money.
Even with the dowry, there’d been few prospects for Rosie back in Philadelphia.  She wasn’t pretty in the conventional sense.  She thought her face with its big brown eyes and full lips was pleasing enough, but men apparently hadn’t.  Her one beau had said her eyes were the color of warm brandy.  That was before he left her to marry another more suitable woman.  More suitable, hah!  Richer was more like it.
Paul had expensive tastes and married a rabbit-faced girl, heir to a substantial fortune to which he’d have access.  Well, good luck and good riddance.
Rosie did have one feature she’d been told was extraordinary.  Her hair.  It was waist length, wavy and a clear, golden blonde.  Right now, standing on the train platform in Creede it was bound up in a loose bun on top of her head under her hat.  It, like the rest of her, was covered in dust and soot from the train.  She’d discovered on the second day that she could minimize the grime by sitting in the front of the car with the window closed.  But sooner or later the heat and mugginess of the car would force her to open the window.  The air came rushing in, cooling her, but bringing with it the dirt and ash from the train’s boilers.
On the long trip, she’d told herself again and again she’d made the right decision.  This was her future.
“Excuse me.  Miss Stanton?”
Rosie shaded her eyes from the late afternoon sun and looked up at a tall man with dark hair.  His hat was pulled low, hiding his eyes.  He had a strong jaw covered with a shadow of whiskers.
“Yes.  I’m Rosemary Stanton.”
He took off his hat and held out his hand.  “I’m Tom Harris.”

Read more: http://www.amazon.com/Tame-Wild-Bride-Series-ebook/dp/B008QNVC14/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343706138&sr=8-1&keywords=tame+a+wild+bride

7 comments:

  1. Thank you, MK for having me here today. I look forward to getting lots of comments.

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  2. Great interview, Cynthia! The story of your parents is so romantic! I'm already a fan of the Centauri series and would love to win any one of the Tame books.

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  3. Thank you for joining us today Cynthia!

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  4. I enjoyed your post and excerpt, Cynthia!

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  5. Thanks Alicia and Gerri for stopping by. I'm glad you like the excerpt and my parents story.

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  6. Hi, Cynthia. Mail order brides have always intrigued me, so I'm looking forward to reading Tame a Bride. Happy writing to you. -- Karen G./Karalee Long

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  7. Thanks Kara Lee. I hope you enjoy it.

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