I’m excited to present Cynthia Gail, a fellow Soul Mate Publishing sister, who is going to tell us about her new book, Winter’s Magic.
I think I read Debby’s email ten times just to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood her words. When I finally realized that she was definitely offering a contract, I told my husband and called my best friend. But that feeling was nothing compared to seeing my book for sale on-line for the first time. It’s a feeling I can’t quite describe.
I can understand that reaction. Sometimes really good news is hard to believe. If you could be a character in one of your books, who would it be, and why?
Beth Sergeant is probably my favorite character in the series. She has a loving and supportive family that she values. She has a warm and forgiving personality. She’s tough on the outside, but every woman can relate to her internal vulnerabilities. I also love that she works for herself and runs an exclusive spa. Who wouldn’t want to work in the midst of luxurious female pampering?
I know I would sure like to work there. Is finding the right title easy or hard?
You would think that after writing an entire novel, coming up with one more ounce of creativity would be easy. But for me it’s excruciatingly hard. Winter’s Magic was originally called Raising the Bar, a reflection of the opening scene between two co-workers, and a title I simply loved. After signing my publishing contract, I started looking at the bigger picture and decided a name change was necessary to brand the series more effectively. I came up with a list of words that I thought described the book—from there, the four seasons came to mind and fit with the timing and theme of the whole group. Spring’s Surprise, Summer’s Family Affair and Fall’s Redeeming Grace are planned for 2013.
Wow, you’ve got everything all lined up. That’s great. What is a typical writing day like for you?
I have a Monday through Friday day job, so most of my writing happens on the weekends. A typical Saturday starts with my husband and I having coffee together on the back porch (weather permitting), we alternate cooking breakfast, then we split up for much of the day. He goes to the garage or backyard to tinker, while I grab my laptop. Whether I choose the lounger or recliner, I put my feet up on a pillow, and write in a relatively peaceful environment. For as long as I possibly can. Some weekends, I write all day Saturday and again on Sunday. Other times, I barely get in a half-day. Life doesn’t stop, but my family is supportive and flexible. My husband and I have a commitment to always spend Saturday evenings together and my son knows he has to join us for dinner on Sunday nights.
Sounds like a great routine. When you’re not writing or working your day job, what are some ways that you like to relax?
Girly stuff. I love to get a facial, a pedicure, and have my hair and nails done. (It’s no wonder Beth runs a spa) A good book. Our neighbors have a boat they keep on Old Hickory Lake and we find ourselves regular guests on Sunday afternoons. I like to entertain, grill, and relax with friends on the patio. Life is busy, but even on the most chaotic weekend, I try to chisel out a fraction of time for just me.
Ooh, I love those girly things myself. Do you prefer redeemable villains, or like them nasty through and through?
I have to believe that everyone has redeeming qualities. Winter’s Magic was originally the first book in a trilogy called Music City Hearts. But I just couldn’t leave Lauren as a villain, so I’m writing book four to share her story.
This is such a hard question because there are so many scenes that I could call my favorite. Chapter One I love because it’s the first meet and chemistry flies between them immediately. Chapter Two gives us a glimpse into Nick as a person. His soft heart and family values. Chapter Ten shows Nick loosening up a bit from his starched, formal personality. He’s spontaneous in ways you’ll have to read to find out.
I must tell you I love your cover. Now for a few fun things:
Mountain home or beach house? Mountain home in the winter. Give me plenty of firewood, hot cocoa, blankets and my laptop and I could write by the fire for hours. Beach house in the summer. It would be a dream to sit on the porch and let the sound of waves and busy beach-goers inspire my stories.
Gloomy day or sunshine to get your muse going? Sunshine. A gloomy/rainy day makes me want to curl up with a book or movie. Sunshine gets my creativity flowing.
Coffee or tea? Coffee in the mornings. Hot spiced tea on a winter afternoon.
Cat or dog? We have 3 dogs. Larry and Daisey are basset hounds. Biscuit is a puggle.
Beach vacation or sightseeing? Sightseeing. I’m dying to go to Europe. I haven’t even traveled within the U.S. very much, but I want to go to England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Italy and Switzerland. I’d like to spend an entire month experiencing the various cultures and visiting all of the sites we only get to see in pictures. I also want to go to Canada and Alaska. I have several author friends who live in these areas and I just can’t wait to visit for myself.
Jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers, or pencil skirt, silk blouse, and killer heels?
I’ve worked from home for the past 3 ½ years, so I live in jeans/sweats, t-shirts and flip-flops most of the year. I look forward to opportunities to dress up and go out on the town.
Carrie Underwood or Lady Gaga?
Carrie Underwood. My music tastes are pretty wide-ranged. I like Maroon 5, Jessie James, Daughtry, Colbie Caillat, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan. But I also love slow jazz—the kind you play when you’re taking a bubble bath, surrounded by lit candles.
Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?
Winter’s Magic is a fun, fast read. There are parts that will make you laugh, while others make your heart squeeze. A few surprises. Steamy love scenes. It’s the perfect book to grab a blanket, a cappuccino, and curl up with during the holiday season.
Cynthia was nice enough to share a blurb and excerpt from Winter Magic: