Interview: Cindy Cipriano

Today I am delighted to have Cindy Cipriano on the blog for an interview! Cindy is an author of middle grade and young adult fiction, and I really enjoyed her responses.

1.) When did you decide to become a writer? In other words, what made you actually sit down and write something?
My son is my inspiration in many ways. One, was my decision to finally put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write the story I first thought about when I was eight. I wanted to leave the story for my son and his children.
2.) Every writer is eventually asked this question, but where do your ideas come from? Why do you write what you do?
The Circle (2013) and The Choice (2015) are the first two books in a seven-book series about faeries who live in the mountains of North Carolina. The entire series is based on a daydream I had while in timeout. I wondered what I would find if I pried open one of the tiles in the floor of the room I was, er….contemplating the err of my ways. I imagined a winding staircase leading down to a small dark room where I’d find a wise old man, long beard, and all hunched over parchment, working by candlelight. That old many became Uilleam Lindsay, and that scene is in The Circle.
3.) Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you? How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I WISH I used an outline. I’m told they’re quite handy! But, in actuality, I just sit down and write. I usually have the entire story mapped out in my mind and I just work on it from scene to scene. My evolution as a writer has included giving myself the okay to take risks. My WIP “Wish Taker” is an example of this. Oh, the things my character will endure 😉
4.) What is the hardest thing about the creative process of writing?
Creatively speaking, no problem. My biggest challenge is one I imagine all part-time writers face: Finding the time to write. For most of us, writing is our passion, but not our “day job”.
5.) If you’re a Christian, what are the challenges you believe Christian writers face now and in the future?
One of the challenges I believe Christian writers face is striking a balance between commercial appeal and what we believe to be true. I don’t compromise on that. I’m not going to write something just for shock-value, or sales. At the end of the day, I’m not going to publish something I’d be embarrassed for my son and his children to read.
6.) If you would, please tell us what was hardest thing about writing your last book?
The Choice (2015) was fairly simple. I have the entire seven-book series mapped out in my mind. I know who’s going to do what and when and who will (sniff) not make it to the end. Now, my WIP that’s another story. I’m so in love with the characters and the story itself, I can’t bear to part with it! I know that sounds strange, but sometimes writers become attached to their characters. No matter what, at the end of a project, I find myself putting off those final words because I know once I do, the characters, the story, will no longer just be mine.
7.) How long does it typically take you to finish your book?
If I have the time to write at will, I can usually finish writing the first draft of a novel within sixty to seventy-five days. If I have to squeeze my writing in and around my day job and other obligations, it can take up to eight months.
8.) Name your three biggest frustrations about the writing business.
Ha! Like most writers, I guess those would be:
1.) Writing the synopsis.
2.) Writing the query.
3.) Waiting to hear back about representation or publication.
9.)  On the flip side, what excites you the most about the creative process?
I love being in my “world” being with my characters. It is hard to explain, but they are real to me 🙂
10.) What are you reading at the moment, and who are a few of your favorite authors and why?
Two books, simultaneously.
1.) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
2.) To Kill a Mockingbird
Why? I’m a high school English teacher and these are the two texts my students will be studying next.
3.) Unpublished manuscripts
Why? Because I am a member of two critique groups and that’s what we do!
11.) My published works include:
1. “What Lance Saw,” and “Miller’s Island”, The Doorway to Adventure (2010)
2. The Circle Book One of the Sidhe (2013)
3. The Choice Book Two of the Sidhe (2015)
Twitter —  @cindycipriano
Facebook — Cindy Cipriano 

Cindy Cipriano lives in North Carolina with her husband, son, and 27 pets. Okay, maybe not 27. More like three dogs, three cats, and many, many fish. Cindy enjoys spending time with her family, and the avoidance of cooking.

Cindy writes middle grades and young adult fiction. Her first novel, The Circle, Book One of The Sidhe Series (Odyssey Books, 2013), won the 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Silver Award for Pre-Teen Fiction, Fantasy. The Choice, Book Two of The Sidhe Series (Odyssey Books) was released in 2015.

Two of Cindy’s short stories, “What Lance Saw,” and “Miller’s Island,” were published in the children’s anthology, Doorway to Adventure (2010). In addition to SCBWI, Cindy is a member of the Triad Writers and the Drawbridge Writers critique groups.

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