27 June 2011

Interview: With Between Author Cyndi Tefft

Synopsis: It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water's life isn't alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile and Scottish accent.

After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates.

Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven's siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries.

Check out my review for Between Tomorrow!

How did you come up with the idea for Between?

I wanted to write a good versus evil story, but I thought angels and demons were overdone. So I started mulling over other ways to bring heaven into the equation without making the character an angel. The Transporter idea allowed me the flexibility to create a whole realm between heaven and earth where I could make up the rules.

I’m also a sucker for a good love story, so anything I write has to be heavy on the romance. I’d been reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and fell in love with Scotland, so that’s why the hero is Aiden MacRae, a Scot from the 18th century!

What was your favorite part of writing Between?

I loved talking through ‘what if’ scenarios with my friends and family as the scenes were taking shape in my head. They’d get really into it, though strangely enough, my hubby always dreamed up bad things to happen to Aiden. Ha! I’d go on walks along the waterfront during my lunch break at work and puzzle out where the story should go next.

Of course, the best part of writing (to me) is when a reader gets excited about your book and falls in love with the characters. Nothing tops that!

Would you be able to share with us a favorite line or two from the book?

I was suddenly reminded of exactly what I’d wanted to do with him on the picnic blanket. I jerked back from him, my cheeks aflame.
“You don’t hear all my thoughts, do you?”
He threw his head back with an uproarious laugh and I narrowed my eyes in my most menacing glare, which made him laugh harder. “Gracious, woman, what kind of thoughts have you been thinking that you don’t want me to know?” His eyes danced with naughtiness and I turned away from him in an embarrassed huff. He reached out and grabbed my arm, pulling me easily to him.

If you could host a lunch for three or four other authors and their characters, who would those authors and characters be?

Without a doubt, it would be the cast of Outlander (author Diana Gabaldon and the most delicious Jamie Fraser).

I’d like to meet Richelle Mead and her characters from the Vampire Academy series (though I’d like it best if I had some supernatural powers, too).

Of course, who wouldn’t want to meet the Harry Potter and Twilight characters in person (if only to compare them to their movie star counterparts)? I share Ronald Weasley’s petrifying fear of spiders, so we’d have that in common to talk about. And I want to know what Edward really smells like (almond, sunlight, vanilla, honey?). C’mon, glamour me!

Can you tell us a bit about your experience with being self-published?

There are definitely pros and cons to going this route. You get to be in control of everything (which is good) but you have to be in control of everything (which is bad)! I love that I was able to choose the title and cover for my book, which is not always the case for traditionally published authors. On the other hand, I don’t have an expert team of editors, formatting gurus, web designers and salespeople backing me up. It’s all up to me.

There is a ton of information online about self-publishing, but it takes hours to weed through it. And even then, so much of the process is trial and error. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it definitely has its rewards.

Do you have any must haves for writing? (ie, snacks, drink, setting, etc.)

Brian Crain’s piano music was always playing in the background. I must have listened to his album, Sienna, at least 1,578,756 times (give or take)! I usually wrote on my laptop in the living room on the couch, though sometimes I would retreat to the bedroom if I needed some peace and quiet. I work a full-time job, so I wrote in the evenings and on the weekends.

I try not to snack while writing because I am so focused on the story that anything I put in my mouth would be empty calories. I love Diet Pepsi and always had a glass of that at my side, though!

Would you be able to tell us anything about projects you’re currently working on?

After the launch of Between, I will jump into finishing the sequel, Hell Transporter. The first draft is about a third of the way done already, but I haven’t looked at it in a while. I’m excited about spending more time with Aiden and Lindsey, and fleshing out the next chapter for them!

Lastly, are there any tips, tricks or advice you could give to anyone looking into self-publishing?

It’s tempting to just slap together a quick cover just to get the story out there, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that a cover is the most critical piece of your packaging. You want it to be the absolute best that it can be. It may the only chance you have at grabbing a reader’s attention.

Hire someone to create the cover for you if you’re not a graphic artist. I used Woulds & Shoulds Editing and Design and I’m thrilled with how they took my idea and turned it into something amazing. In some Waiting on Wednesday blog posts, followers have commented that they can’t wait to read it based on the cover alone!

It was great having you here today Cyndi! Thanks so much for stopping by. We hope you’ll visit with us again soon.

Thanks for having me on the blog!

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Don't forget to check back tomorrow for my review of Between!

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1 comment:

  1. Nice interview. I love hearing how authors write, how they get their ideas, etc. They're like snowflakes...no two are alike.


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