Welcome to Cynthia Ley!

It is really my pleasure to have Cyn here today. Not only, does she have a new book for everyone to check out, she's also a fabulous editor. She's edited my last two novels and does a wonderful job. I'm so happy to be able to be working with her again. I just hope she doesn't decide to drop editing completely in the future, in favor of writing. I'd be lost!

I came up with a few questions for Cyn. So, sit back, relax and learn a little bit more about one of Solstice's newest authors.
Thank you for having me, Rebecca! It's a pleasure.

1. Where did you get the ideas for your most recent project?
All over. I think writers need to be a bit hyper-observant, whether of the world around them, or the world they are creating.

2. What is the easiest part about writing for you?
When it's ready, just writing the story. The tweaking comes later. I'll often scribble a rough sketch of part of a story, but not necessarily the beginning! Then I'll wrap the story around that in the coming days or weeks. It's very rare for me to just sit down and write off the cuff. I like to give them time to cure, time to explore themselves before I type anything.
3. What's the most difficult part of writing? 
Sometimes stories don't quite go where you'ld expect them to. That can be hard because it's really easy to get married to a concept. I've been learning to let go and let the stories tell themselves, rather than what I would consciously superimpose on them.
4. How long have you been writing?
For fiction, not long. My background is in research writing.

5. What does your family think about your writing career?
They thinks it's pretty cool.

6. What's the most surprising thing you've learned since you started writing?
That it's not scary--it's actually very freeing. I had fiction writing PTSD for a very long time, beginning in elementary school. One of my blog entries is about that.
7. Of all the characters you've created which is your favorite and why?
The bartender in "Contact" from my first collection of short stories (Perfect & Other Stories). I really relate to him. He's the quiet observer who doesn't miss a beat.

8. What are you working on right now?
Another short story collection.

9. If you had to give one piece of advice to an aspiring writer, what would you say?
"Never give up! Never surrender!" It's true though. You can't allow one failure to get you down. You have to be open to learning from it. You have to be honest, sometimes brutally so, about your strengths and weaknesses. It's really important to have other people read and critique your work honestly. If you're into writing for the ego strokes, you're in the wrong business. You need to develop a thick skin, and realize that both reading and writing are subjective.

10. Where are you hoping to be in the next five years?
Counting my millions. (laughs) No. Seriously, I hope to be a recognized name. Building a name and reputation takes time. And still writing, of course.

11. What do you do for fun?
I'm a longtime member of the Society for Creative Anachronism--love learning and teaching about medieval life and culture. I also enjoy reading, embroidery, histories of the weird and wonderful, storytelling and music. And of course spending time with my family.
12. How do you balance your writing with the rest of your life?
It hasn't been an issue--I just need to remember to always carry a notepad and pen. I never know when ideas will strike. Like in the Costco parking lot, madly scribbling on the back of a receipt!

13. Anything else you think we need to know? Tell us something fun :)
Ok, true story. :)

I used to be a member of a Scottish color guard. One day while we were out practicing full dress manueovers, the large banner I was carrying got picked up by a freak wind and I lifted four feet off the ground with it! "Airborne!!!" someone shouted behind me. I didn't dare let go of it because of its size and the wind had such a grip on it that to let go would have seriously hurt any number of my fellows. Our Colonel grabbed me by the belt and a couple of the men tried whacking at the banner with their halberds to get the wind to release, but it wouldn't. I was still four feet off the ground, thinking "Man, I'm glad I trust these guys!" They got a plan to start at the far edge of the banner and walk it towards the pole, pushing it down as they went. The wind fought them hard, but they finally succeeded. The banner fell limp in a rush, and I came down flat onto the Colonel, who hit the ground with an "Oof!"
    I clambered off of him."Sir? Are you ok? Sir? Are you alive down there?"
    He sat up on his elbows, and looked bemusedly at me. "Don't do that again."
    "No, sir," I promised.

14. Contact info? I can be reached via email at cjledit4@gmail.com, or Twitter @CynthiaLey2. I welcome interested persons to also follow my blog:
authorcjl.wordpress.com where I'll post not only my own thoughts, but also feature authors whom I've had the pleasure of working with.

My current publication, Perfect & Other Stories, is available through Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble. It is an e-book.

Thank you, Rebecca!

If you'd like to check out Perfect & Other Stories here's the link:


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