Welcome, I would like to take this opportunity to thank author Cyndi Redding for taking
the time to answer these questions for Coffee Time Romance about her book Surviving
--Thank you for having me, Sheryl! I’m grateful for the opportunity to share more of myself with
How did you come up with the storyline for Surviving Mortality?
--I was thinking of telling you the whole, sad story, but I want to keep the tone of this interview
upbeat, so let’s just say it came out of my own bizarre experience. Well, every author writes
“from experience” but this was more so because I used the book for healing. When my folks
passed away, I was a wept-out, mess. I had already lost my brother and sister and suddenly
found myself feeling very alone, grieving and dealing with the aftermath. It was overwhelming. I
quit my job as an RN, let my dear husband support me, and floundered around for a while.
Then I hit upon the idea of writing out some of my emotions. A direct autobiography would have
been too much to handle, so I had my heroine, Cally Malloy, tell it, symbolically, and in fiction.
How long does it take you to write a book and how long did it take to write Surviving
--I wrote Surviving Mortality over a period of two years. It was my first book and I made so many
boo boos that I had to rewrite it dozens of times. It was the book of my heart, and it just wouldn’t
stay in the trash each time I tried to toss it.
What was the inspiration behind writing Surviving Mortality?
--I went to a clairvoyant shortly before and after the double deaths. She was absolutely
incredible. I called her to set up a third appointment when I was cleaning out the house and
discovered that some important items had gone missing! I wanted to know if she could find out
where the one item I valued the most could have gone—a gold locket with an old tintype photo
of my mother’s parents. I never met them and it was a beautiful engagement photo. She
answered me over the phone and the answer wasn’t the one I wanted, but it was the only one
that made sense after I turned the house upside-down three times looking for it. She said it had
Who could have taken it? I’ll never know, but I was so angry that I had to pin it on someone.
Why not the person who hurt me the most? Sure! My ex-fiancé. Okay, that part’s fiction, but
since I wanted to make him into a villain anyway... Of course, I needed a hero, and in real life it
was my wonderful, supportive, understanding, witty, intelligent, and charming husband. I
created Nate Smith, every woman’s fantasy.
Did you have to research this story and if so, what?
--I researched the roles of the Kennebunkport police and the private detective. I found they
work very differently and they don’t work together well. I had them each doing their separate
investigations, but having to co-operate at the heroine’s insistence. Our hero is the PI.
Unfortunately I can’t credit him, because he must remain nameless, but he was fascinating. A
real eye opener!
How did the characters for Surviving Mortality come about, were they already thought out
or did you come up with them as you wrote Surviving Mortality?
--The characters evolved. I had ideas, but they soon took on a life of their own. My characters
tell me who they are, eventually. I had to rewrite the hero a few times to make him more Alpha.
I tend to like the Beta males in real life, but I don’t try to make the characters bend to my will.
The story turns out better if I let them be who they are and tell me what they want to do. As a
result, Nate became what I call a Balpha male!
He’s really a sensitive guy underneath, but he tries the strong, confident approach with Cally. It
isn’t until he lets her see the whole Nate, including the man he is inside, that she knows she’s
helplessly in love with him. Isn’t loving someone for who they really are the best romantic
message I could write into a book?
Do you plan on writing a sequel to this book?
--I’ve thought about it. The secondary characters of Tommy and Mary Jo were great, and if I get
the inspiration to follow the adventures they started in Surviving Mortality (no hints) I might. I
even have a title. Surviving and Thriving.
Congratulations on signing the contract for your new book, Sensation of the Seas with
Venus Press, can you tell us a bit about this book?
--Gladly! I’m interested in anything paranormal and will research a subject I’m curious about
until I’m satisfied. Then I enjoy sharing some of what I learned in my writing. This book resulted
from my fascination with gypsies, especially the Eastern European Rom. I got the idea when on
a cruise, and decided that with all the diverse cultures and countries that the crew represented
it would be the perfect setting. Besides, I liked the idea of spending time on a cruise ship, at
least in my head, as I wrote! I pumped an Aussie crewmember in the spa while I was getting my
foot massage and my deep hair conditioning. I met with her later and I grilled her for two hours
while I took notes. She was incredibly candid and told me funny stories, love stories, even the
best place to make love on the ship! We’ve kept in touch by e-mail ever since.
How hard has it been to find publishers for your books?
--I sent out my first one to traditional publishers and had interest, but no takers. Then I had a
flash of inspiration one day as I was finishing my second book and realized that what I like to
write is more unusual and edgier than the traditional publishers for my word count will touch. I
researched e-publishers and sent it to three reputable ones with good track records. All three
wanted Queen of Hearts. I looked into the publishers further, read their books, and talked to
some of their authors. I found that Liquid Silver was generous, fair, and had happy authors.
After that, they took everything I sent to them. They published three: Queen of Hearts, Out of
the Broom Closet, and Surviving Mortality and another one, Guardian of the Angels, is coming
in their Zodiac series later this year.
I went with Venus Press for Sensation of the Seas because it has some very hot erotic scenes
that Liquid Silver doesn’t usually publish. Venus Press is fine with pushing the sexual limits and
yet keeping it in good taste. I don’t know why Sensation of the Seas became so hot, but it did. I
had to tell my Aussie research subject that even though the heroine is an Aussie spa girl on a
cruise ship, it really isn’t about her! (Cyndi chuckles.) I’m writing a novella for Venus Press right
now, and if they like it, it will be part of their Sons of Zeus series. It’s leaning more towards
Did you always want to be a writer growing up, if not, how did you become a writer?
--I should have known I was a writer much earlier than I did. I absolutely loved creative writing in
high school. Duh! First I attended Massachusetts College of Art and was sure I was the next
undiscovered fine artist. When that didn’t happen, I married a cop, had a baby, got divorced
and suddenly had to make a decent living. Eek! With the help of my parents, I returned to
school and became a registered nurse. It put food on the table, and yet I still craved an artistic,
I took a course at U. Mass in screen writing just for my own pleasure. I wrote several romantic
comedies and even had an agent for one of them! Sadly, Hollywood passed on it, but all I
learned was not lost. I had the basics of story telling behind me and had the “bones” of several
future novels. Queen of Hearts is the first of those. RWA taught me the rest and continues to
support and inspire me.
How much time do you get to spend with your family when you do not have a deadline?
--My daughter recently moved into her own condo about an hour away, but we get together
every week or two for lunch out or dinner at home. She calls a lot too, and I always stop
whatever I’m doing to talk with her. (She knows when I’m trying to type, and I’m not really
listening!) Thank goodness we get along well and just tease each other when things like that
My husband is my best friend and we spend almost all of our spare time together. We never tire
of each other’s company, but we have our separate interests that we make time for too. For
instance, we spent today watching the morning the news, shoveling snow, traipsing through our
woods, and then, after lunch, he went to play his silly video games and I wrote a couple more
pages of a love scene. When I finish this interview, I’ll probably go back and finish the love
scene, and then he’s in trouble!
Where do you find the time to write or do you have set hours of the day?
--I’m one of the lucky few who writes full-time. Even so, I have a schedule. When my husband
goes to work, so do I. I answer e-mail and then I write. I usually take a long lunch break and do
errands or whatever. Late in the afternoon I try to take some time for marketing my books and
growing my career. If my muse bothers me while I’m out and about, I’ll usually return to writing
Have you ever had Writers’ Block?
--I had it badly when I was writing Sensation of the Seas. I had originally thought I would submit
it to Liquid Silver. Knowing what they like, I tried to push the characters in that direction. They
wouldn’t go. In fact, they refused to budge until I had dreams that woke me up, telling me the
direction the characters intended to take. I resented the heck out of them for holding me
hostage like that, but I learned from the experience too. I now have a few tricks up my sleeve
for coping with writer’s block.
Do you have any other upcoming projects besides Sensation of the Seas?
--Three in the works! That’s one way I deal with writer’s block. If one is giving me a hard time,
or needs to sit while ideas percolate, I move to another one. These are all comedies and I’m
having a blast writing them! I sent the first 7 pages of “Heaving Bosoms” to one of my writing
buddies, and she thought it was hilarious! Now she’s asking me when “our book” is going to be
finished! I had to put it on hold in the fourth chapter when I went to New Orleans. I returned
with fresh inspiration for a novella with a deadline—the one for Venus Press. The third project
is called Destiny Makeovers, a screenplay adaptation that’s percolating. Each time I convert a
screenplay, it improves and changes.
What encouraging words would you give to aspiring authors, if you could?
--Keep on writing! Don’t give up! When the going gets tough, know that it’s tough for everyone
in the beginning and never doubt that the tough get published! Hang in there until you finish a
book, then cheer! Throw a party! Go on a wild vacation, but as soon as you get back, write the
next one. Get a critique partner to look at the first one and edit that one while you write the
second. Then, repeat the process. When you get to the end of editing and polishing one that
you think is good and commercially viable, start submitting it. Take any and all constructive
criticism as an opportunity to improve your manuscript and do it. Then send it out again.
Repeat the process until you get an offer.
I would like to thank Cyndi Redding on behalf of Coffee Time Romance for chatting with
us about her book Surviving Mortality and we wish you good luck on all your upcoming
--Bless your heart, Sheryl. It’s been a pleasure for me too.