Meet Novelist Cynthia Herron

Cynthia Herron pens heartfelt, homespun, contemporary Christian romance novels set in the vibrant foothills of the Missouri Ozarks. She is very blessed to be represented by the fabulous Mary Keeley of the Books and Such Literary Agency.

Cynthia and her family live in the very geographic region that is the setting for her novels. She and her husband have a middle school-aged daughter who aspires to be a preschool teacher, and they also have a son who is a college senior studying elementary education. Cynthia earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology at College of the Ozarks, and she has a background in social work. She currently substitute teaches.

Cynthia is a PK, the wife of a deacon, and a Pollyanna with a touch of rebel thrown in. She enjoys scrapbooking and making memories with her family. Cynthia has a fondness for all things apple. She likes collecting gingerbread men, old cookbooks, and miniature teapots. She adores the ocean and the sound of the incoming tide. In fact, her husband has promised her that one day he will retire with her on the water! Hmmm.


Cynthia has chosen my Writer’s Quiz interview format. Since she’s a teacher, that’s fitting, right? Rest assured, there are no grades involved. Cynthia’s already a winner in my book.

Multiple Choice Questions

(Please explain your answers.)

1) When did you first experience your love of writing?

  1. I came out of the womb with a pen in my hand.
  2. I dabbled in high school but didn’t get serious until recently.
  3. I read a romance novel, fell in love, and had to write one.
  4. None of the above.

(a) Even as a young child, while other kids clamored to get to recess, I was content to curl up under a good shade tree with a pencil and tablet.

2) I understand you write contemporary romance. What kind?

  1. Sweet, traditional stories.
  2. Suspense-filled tales.
  3. Stories with a hint of humor.
  4. None of the above.

(a) and a combination of (c). I strive for the heartfelt, homespun aspect in my novels while injecting a healthy dose of offbeat humor.

3) How did you respond when Mary Keeley offered you representation?

  1. I almost made her go deaf in one ear with my shouting.
  2. I was in a total state of shock and could only mumble goofy responses.
  3. I burst into tears and had to make a run for the tissue box.
  4. None of the above.

(d) I literally saw spots and almost fainted! My dear hubby had to get me a glass of water.

Essay Questions

(Maximum of two paragraphs per question.)

1) What led to your offer of representation?

This is the brief version: I initially sent Mary a query regarding my book, and then we began corresponding through a series of e-mails. She requested a partial and then a complete. She loved my story! I began to get good vibes when she asked about a marketing plan. I polished what I had and sent it, too.

We then agreed upon a specific date to “chat” by phone. I felt like I knew what was coming, but nothing can really prepare you for it until you hear those magical words, “I’d like to represent you…”

2) What aspects of writing do you find most challenging? Most rewarding?

The most challenging aspects of writing (for me) are learning to compartmentalize and knowing when to call it a day.

Most rewarding: Getting to do what I love to do on a daily basis, networking and making new friends, and having my family tell me, “We’re so proud of you! We knew you could do it!”

3) How does your background in psychology help you in your writing?

I believe it gives me deeper insight into what motivates individuals, although sometimes, people can still surprise me.

True or False

(Please explain your answer.)

1) I can’t start a story until I’ve figured out the faith elements.

False. I always begin a new work knowing whether or not my main characters are Christians, however, their personal stories may very well take a direction that I’d not initially intended and it becomes purely a “God thing.” I’m talking about those goosebump moments when it becomes glaringly obvious that the Holy Spirit is the one guiding the story, not me as the author.

2) I’m a character-driven writer.

True, but only to a point. If you mean do my characters steer their own ship’s course, for a brief time, I’ll let them think they do.

The bottom line is: there’s a story that has to be told, characters that want to tell it, and they may for a time. Then I have to step in with my creative pen, so to speak, and edit what they say and do to get their story back on track.

3) I write best when there’s plenty of activity around me.

False. I like to “people watch” at the mall, church, and other public places, but as far as writing and crafting, I prefer solitude with a blend of quiet music.

Fill in the Blank

1) My favorite creativity fuel is:   ___________________.

Mashed potatoes and gravy. Oh, and Starbucks, of course!

2) When I need an infusion of inspiration I: ___________________.

Read favorite Bible scriptures.

3) The members of The Cynthia Herron Fan Club are: ________________.

My husband and children and immediate family, and also our church family.

Story Problems: Just for Fun

(X is an unknown number. You get extra credit for tackling these. :-))

1) You’re hubby calls, says he’s taking you out to dinner, and suggests your favorite X restaurants. Which are they, and which one wins out?

Hemingways (seafood restaurant) within the Bass Pro complex, Lamberts (home of the famous tossed rolls and known for their down-home country cooking), or Olive Garden (breadsticks…need I say more?). Though I’m fond of them all, Hemingways would probably win hands down. Who doesn’t love crab legs soaked in butter?

2) You were the winner of a $3,000 shopping spree at your favorite mall. The contest sponsor will arrange for three of your favorite celebrities to meet you there to keep you company and to carry the bags from your favorite X stores. Who are the celebrities, where are the bags they’re carrying from, and what is in each of them?

A few favorite celebrities might include Celine Dion, Dr. Oz, and the Duggar family (Ooops…I’m guessing I’d have to narrow that one down. Okay, make that one Michelle.) I’m a very laid back, down-to-earth kind of gal, so I rarely shop high-end. My bags would probably be from J.C. Penney, Old Navy, Bath and Body Works, and Starbucks. Inside the bags: casual slacks and blazers, jeans and tee shirts, a purse or ten, a variety of hand lotions, and a humongous bag of Sumatra or something equally as bold, please.

3) A longtime friend says she’s going to be able to pay you a visit and wants you to give her a taste of the Ozarks. You choose X of your favorite places to show her. What are they, and why did you pick each of them?

The family-oriented, Christian theme park Silver Dollar City in the Branson, Missouri area because it blends a taste of today with yesteryear and beautifully showcases our Ozarkian heritage. I’d then whisk her away to the gorgeous campus of College of the Ozarks where the students work for their education and are able to graduate debt-free. We’d, of course, settle in for the evening at the Keeter Center Hotel (on campus) where we’d be pampered with homemade C of O cookies, milk fresh from the dairy, and turn-down service with chocolate treats on our pillows.

Cynthia’s Question for You

If you were planning a trip to the Ozarks, what are some points of interest YOU would like to see? Any myths about the Ozarks you’d like dispelled?

Cynthia’s Drawing

Cynthia has generously offered to give away (2) $10.00 gift cards good at these Darden restaurants: Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, or Seasons Fresh Grill.

To enter the drawing, just leave a comment for Cynthia by June 23rd and enter your email address when prompted during the comment process.

On June 24th, I will hold the drawing and post the winners’ names here as well as in a comment and will contact her/him via email to get a mailing address.

Congratulations to the drawing winners, Lisa Lickel and Patti.

Note: Offer void where prohibited.
Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.
Prizes will be mailed to U.S. or Canadian addresses only.

Thank you, Keli, for having me today. It’s been a blast! And thank you to all who stopped by to visit with me for a while. May God truly bless you in your walk with Him.

Learn More About Cynthia

Visit her personal blog ~ http://cynthiaherron.wordpress.com

Friend her on Facebook: Cynthia Herron

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About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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22 Responses to Meet Novelist Cynthia Herron

  1. You had me at Mashed potatoes and gravy!
    I almost went to Ozark Christian College! I always take a dose of Drammamine when I travel there because of the curvy mountains. 🙂

    Great interview! Lots of fun!

    • cynthiaherron says:

      Mashed potatoes and gravy…ahhh! That’s truly my comfort food, Jessica! And about those curves…even having lived in this area all my life, I still get car sick!

      And woohoo! I’m so excited to have yours as my first comment! 🙂

  2. Keli Gwyn says:

    Welcome, Cynthia! It’s great to have you here.

    I’d gladly do lunch with you at Olive Garden. Love their breadsticks dipped in their yummy marinara sauce. Yummers!

    I’m a BIG purse person. If I won’ a shopping spree, I’d hit the Coach outlet store and go crazy. =)

    • cynthiaherron says:

      Oh, Keli, it’s so wonderful to be here! And since it’s getting late and I’m kinda hungry…if you’d like to fly over we could share a few breadsticks and shop for a new purse or two. : )

  3. CYNTHIA!!! I was JUST in the Ozarks for vacation last week!!! No joke. If I had known you lived there, I would have looked you up!

    It was such a gorgeous area…We stayed at a resort on Table Rock Lake (which my husband got discounted thanks to his eBay skills). One of our favorite stops was Dogwood Canyon – beautiful waterfalls, and our kids loved seeing elk and buffalo up close. We all decided we HAVE to make a return trip!

  4. cynthiaherron says:

    My gracious, Sarah! I would have loved to have met you! I would have asked you about all things Amish and then treated you to a funnel cake or two at Silver Dollar City! Thanks for “visiting” me here!

  5. candidkerry says:

    Hi Cynthia and Keli,

    What a fun interview! It’s great to meet you, Cynthia. As soon as I read where you’re from, I was hooked. I’ve always wanted to visit the Ozarks because that’s the setting for my favorite childhood book, Where the Red Fern Grows. I’ll remember Silver Dollar City as a must-see spot when we visit your part of the country.

    I also love those goosebump moments where the Holy Spirit is directing the words I’m writing. Starbucks is one of my fave creativity fuels, too. 🙂

    Best wishes with your writing. I look forward to reading your books!

    God Bless,

    Kerry

    • cynthiaherron says:

      The Ozarks are indeed “God’s country”, Kerry! (Of course, I’m partial. 🙂 ) You would love it here! Thank you so much for stopping by, and God bless YOU on your writing journey.

  6. Lisa Lickel says:

    Hi, Cynthia – wow, what a nice interview – felt like homework! I love the Ozarks; just the thought of dogwood in bloom makes me smile. Congratulations on a wonderful first interview.

    • cynthiaherron says:

      Hello, Lisa! Thank you so much for stopping by! (Keli made it so much fun. 🙂 ) Happy to hear you like my neck of the woods, too.

  7. Another great interview, Keli. I enjoyed meeting you, Cynthia, and peeking into those shopping bags. You’d find a lot of the same things in mine, except maybe for purses. I tend to latch onto a favourite and stick with it through multiple seasons until it’s totally worn out. 🙂

    Congratulations on being represented by Mary Keeley. I’ll look forward to seeing your books on shelves one day soon.

    • cynthiaherron says:

      Thanks for the well wishes, Carol! Mary is truly a gem, as well as the entire Books and Such Literary team! I appreciate you visiting with me today. 🙂

  8. Sarah Thomas says:

    Cynthia is far too humble to say so, but I’m definitely a member of her fan club! So good to see her being interviewed–thanks Keli.

    • cynthiaherron says:

      Sarah, you really are too sweet! And I’m a fan of yours, too. 🙂 (And, BTW, the title of your WIP hasn’t left my mind…Can’t wait to see your book on the shelves one day!)

  9. Rita Garcia says:

    I enjoyed Cynthia’s fun and witty interview. It’s easy to see why her writing has a “healthy dose of humor.”
    I am blessed each time I visit your blog–thanks, Keli!

  10. pattisj says:

    Do I smell funnel cakes?? Great interview! Thanks to both of you for sharing it here. And I want to go where Sarah Forgrave went!

    • cynthiaherron says:

      Yes. Funnel cakes! Yummm! Tons of fat and powdered sugar, but sooo deelish, Patti! Thank you for “visiting” me here.

  11. bonnie leon says:

    Well done, Cynthia. I feel I know you better. I hope we’ll have a chance to meet some day.

    And Keli, I love this creative format–fun, fun, fun.

    Grace and peace to you!

  12. Keli Gwyn says:

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by to learn more about Cynthia and to those who left comments for her.

    I’ve held the drawing, and the winners of the gift cards are Lisa Lickel and Patti.

    Congratulations, Lisa and Patti! I’ll be in touch.

    • cynthiaherron says:

      Thank you so much, Keli, for having me as your guest at Romance Writers on the Journey! I enjoyed my time here and I’ve enjoyed making some new friends! Blessings, everyone!

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