Cindy R. Wilson is a prolific writer of contemporary fiction and romance. She’s completed twelve novel-length stories. Most of her stories are inspirationals and include romantic suspense, YA and contemporary.
Cindy, a native of Colorado, lives near the Rocky Mountains with her supportive husband and two adorable daughters. While she loves the breathtaking beauty around her, Cindy also enjoys traveling. She’s been to seven countries on four continents, her favorites so far being France and Vietnam. She has a dream of visiting the East Coast.
When Cindy isn’t busy mothering her two young girls or pouring words onto the page, she likes to play the violin and guitar, sing, read and hike. She loves Sushi, sweet iced tea with lemon and Reese’s Pieces. However, you couldn’t get her to eat corn if you tried. If a generous benefactor turned Cindy loose with $300 and said she had to get something for herself in one hour flat, she’d head to Barnes and Noble for books.
Join me as we learn about more about Cindy and her writing journey.
Cindy’s Journey Begins
You’ve completed a dozen novel-length stories, which is impressive. When did you begin the first one, what sparked the idea for it and how long did it take you to write it?
I actually started my first YA novel on a dare at the age of 12. I was bored and had spent most of the afternoon pestering my sister, trying to get her to do something with me. She had her own diversion, however, and when I asked her what I should do she said something to the effect of how she didn’t think I could write an entire book. I had enjoyed writing and telling stories for some time but this was a new challenge. It took me two years to write it but it ended up novel length and a story best kept hidden. 🙂 I didn’t seriously start writing with publication in mind until after I graduated high school.
You began writing contemporary stories for the mainstream market but not too far into your journey, you shifted your focus to inspirationals. What brought about this change?
I started writing inspirational fiction four years ago after completing five novels for the mainstream market. I had acquired an agent and was aiming for publication. Then I became a Christian and all the motivations behind my writing changed. My agent didn’t represent inspirational fiction, which I knew I was now meant to write. So I started over fresh and began the first of many inspirational novels..
Earlier this year you chose to end a contract with a small publisher before your book was printed. That had to be a tough decision. What enabled you to make it, and what were your primary reasons for doing so?
It was a very tough decision, especially because I had been working toward publication for a very long time. I spent a lot of time in prayer and realized, not for the first time, that I wanted writing to be a career. I wanted to reach people. I also wanted an agent and a publishing company that was behind me 100% and really worked to make my novels the best they could be. Taking a different path was the best choice…
I read on your blog that you find “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven inspiring. Since you play the violin, I can see how classical music would serve to stimulate your creativity. What other things get the ideas flowing?
I find inspiration the most in music. Before I start any new manuscript, I make a playlist of songs I feel suit the story. Anything from classical to jazz. I’ll listen to this music all the time, even when I’m not writing and it really helps spark new scenes in my mind. Reading and hiking also help stimulate the creativity.
I smiled when I read that you have no desire to write historicals, since that’s what I write. You said the amount of research is a concern. However, I understand contemporary writers still have to verify many facts. How do you go about insuring that yours are accurate? Do you rely primarily on the Internet, or do you interview people who share your characters’ interests, hobbies and professions?
I suppose I have to do at least a small amount of research for just about every story I write, some more than others. I use the Internet a lot and ask people I know who are knowledgeable on the topic. But many times I use my own experiences for accuracy, especially from places I’ve traveled or my own adventures I’ve gone on.
You have two small children, and yet you produce books at an astonishing rate. How do you do it? Are you able to write in the midst of all the activity, or do you sacrifice sleep for the sake of your stories?
A little of both! I honestly find it difficult to write in complete silence. I like background noise, even if it is the kiddos. I take advantage of naptimes, though, and if I’m really into a scene, I’ll definitely stay up far past my bedtime to get the words down.
I saw on your blog that you have 29 stories in various stages of completion, from initial idea sketched out to several chapters written. Do you focus on one story and write it start to finish, or do you bounce between them?
That sounds like a lot when you put it that way! To be fair, though, these are over 10 years worth of ideas. When I get a new idea, I write down as much as I can. Anything from character description to setting—even specific scenes. There are times a couple chapters have flowed out of me. Then I’ll stick it in an accordion folder I got somewhere along the way and keep it for when I need a new idea. I love that folder!
It wasn’t always this way, but I try to work on one story at a time and see it through to completion. This includes editing as well (though during that editing stage I’m usually planning for the next story).
What have been your greatest writing successes so far?
Being contracted with a publisher was an enormous success because it helped me to realize I do have stories to tell and there are people out there that could benefit from them. But one of my greatest moments was switching to inspirational fiction.
Cindy’s Journey Continues
You just completed 50,000 words during November’s NaNoWriMo challenge. Congrats! Once you’ve caught your breath (and caught up on the laundry), what will you work on next?
Oh my gosh, the laundry! I know, it never goes away. I took the last week of NaNoWriMo to complete my manuscript at 85,000 words and begin editing it. Once it’s polished I think I’m going to take the plunge and begin looking for an agent. In the meantime, I am really excited about rewriting a novel I wrote about three years ago.
Five Aspects of Writing That Bring Cindy Great Joy
~ The opportunity to show God’s love through characters and their situations.
~ Finishing that last sentence and feeling like I’ve accomplished something wonderful.
~ The chance to create new worlds and new characters.
~ It’s a great outlet for my creativity.
~ Finding that one perfect word or description for something.
Five Goals Cindy Has for the Next Five Years
~ To start seriously looking for an agent and find one that supports me and my writing.
~ To get published.
~ To attend a writer’s conference.
~ To work through those 29 ideas in that folder and get several written!
~ To completely polish some old manuscripts.
Cindy’s Question for You
I’ve enjoyed having you as my guest, Cindy. Now it’s your turn to ask a question of your visitors, so have at it.
Keli, thank you for all the hard work you do on these interviews!
My question is to readers and writers out there. What qualities do you enjoy seeing in fresh, realistic characters?
Learn More About Cindy
Visit her Web site ~ www.cindyrwilson.com
Visit her personal blog ~ www.cindyrwilson.blogspot.com
Friend her on Facebook ~ Cindy R. Wilson
Leave a Comment for Two Chances to Win
To leave a comment, click on “Comments” below the date in the title at the top of the post.
My Regular Drawing
My next drawing will take place December 10th. I’m giving away an etched steel magnet with the word “Dream” scroll cut from the oval disc.
To enter the drawing, just leave a comment on any blog post by December 10th and enter your email address when prompted. (I don’t share your information or add it to any mailing lists.) On December 11th, I’ll post the winner’s name in the Welcome post at the top of the blog.
You could also win a First Sale Scrapbook
If you’d like to have a chance at winning a First Sale Scrapbook created by me, your blog hostess Keli Gwyn, leave a comment on any post between now and December 31st. Be sure to include your name and email address when prompted if you want to be entered in the drawing. (Your information will not be shared.) Click red link above to see samples of covers and pages.
On December 1st, I will choose one person who will receive an 8×8 inch, twenty-page scrapbook in which s/he can document that long-awaited first sale. The pages cover various milestones including The Call, signing the contract, receiving the first advance payment and holding your debut novel in your hands.
(No scrapbooking skills required. You just add your photos and journaling.)
Note: Offers void where prohibited.
Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.