Cynthia Austin is one of my favorite authors. Why? She writes realistic fiction for young adults that appeal to adults as well. She’s got a wild sense of humor and has gorgeous hair I would kill for. TMI from Mrs. N? Oops . . .
Anyway, she agreed to sit down with me for an honest-to-goodness chat. She talks about writing, reviews and what her biggest failure is. She also talks about her new release, Tainted Luck.
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?
There are so many to choose from, but my inspiration for TAINTED LUCK came from my childhood favorite, Christopher Pike. I wanted to create a fast paced, teenage ghost story similar to the stories I read as a kid.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
The names in the book are pretty important. The name Taylor James sounds a bit like a Hollywood starlet. Taylor’s big personality needed a strong name to support it. I liked the fact that backwards, it’s James Taylor, like the 1970’s singer. I initially intended for her to get bullied at school for having such a silly name, but let’s face it, no one would have the nerve to bully Taylor James.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I have some pretty big plans for the next 5 years. The original publication for THE PENDANT SERIES will be coming to a close and it seems my original characters refuse to be silenced. I’ll give my readers a sneak peek by saying Adrian refuses to stay away. He’s coming back and Sidney’s life will once again be turned upside down. I initially thought the trilogy was complete, but it turns out the characters still have many scenes to act out. There are a few new characters that are excited to be met too! So who knows, in five years, I might have a whole new revamp of The Pendant Series and maybe I can score myself an agent this time around.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Yes. I read every single review I have ever received. Do I respond to them? Absolutely not. I may “like” them (even the bad ones), but I will never comment. For some reason, it just seems so tasteless. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and if there is a part in my book the reader does not agree with, they are allowed to voice it. I’m totally cool with that. One of my reviews on BETWEEN DREAMS mentioned that Ray was a vegetarian, but then he ate a piece of bacon. That’s a great catch! Maybe I should hire that person as my next editor. The point is, reviews are a great way for an author to perfect their skill. My advice: Read each one, and listen to the readers suggestions. They are your audience, and without them, who would you be writing for?
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
I have a few projects up in the air at the moment, but I think I am going to hunker down and focus on my modern day, retelling of THE PIED PIPER. It’s a bit hard to write because the main character is incredibly racist. He needs to be, in order for the plot to play out. This is tough because I don’t want the characters beliefs to portray myself in any way. I guess in a way, it’s similar to writing a sex scene. It will be fine for strangers to read it, but I worry about what my friends and family will think.
Overall, the ending is going to be great and so I believe the readers will forgive the MC’s initial closed minded opinions on society.
Do you write naked?
Ummm…Never. That’s just weird.
What is your biggest failure?
Choosing not to go into the Air Force after I had enlisted. But then again, I was 17 years old and 6 years of enlistment was like over a quarter of my life!
Of course I didn’t realize my regret until I reached my thirties and it happened in the blink of an eye…and here I was, worried about 6 years.
Have you ever gotten into a fight?
Only once. But now the girl and I love each other, and travel the country together. Fight? What fight?
What do you want your tombstone to say?
“I told you I was sick…”
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Well, I do tell my son that I am going to read a book on how to unlock 100% of my brain. The joke around the house is that mom thinks telekinesis is possible so I guess that’d be my super power. Moving objects with my mind.
Be sure to check out her brand new release . . .
Title: TAINTED LUCK
Author: Cynthia Austin
Genre: YA Thriller/Horror
Publisher: Britain’s Next Best Seller
Levi Kast was content living his life in the shadows. He didn’t want much, just his dad’s attention and the girl of his dreams to notice his existence.
Instead, he got more than he had bargained for.
Taylor James was the new student at Kennedy High. She was eccentric, impulsive, Gothic and…dark.
She always got what she wanted, and she decided instantly that she wanted Levi Kast. He became her obsession.
Despite Levi’s initial response to retreat from her other world presence, he was eventually drawn to this girl and her obsession of death and ghosts.
But Taylor had skeletons in her closest, including a dead boyfriend, and before Levi could understand them, he found himself her next victim.
Her voice held steady. "I guess two experienced individuals will have to be enough to host this séance. Like it or not, we're talking to the dead tonight."
The group answered in sync, “The dead!?” As if we had a hidden script we were all following.
Realizing just how weird this was getting, I attempted to take my hand back, but Taylor clamped down on it for dear life.
“Don’t you dare break this circle, Levi Kast.”
“But nothing. Now, follow my lead…”
I’m one of the authors participating in the Dog Days of Summer Reading Giveaway and you can win an autographed print copy of Tainted Luck + $5 Amazon gift card
Runs August 1 -31 and is open internationally.
Winner will be drawn September 3, 2018.
Cynthia Austin is a multi-published author who lives in Northern California with her husband, two boys, and Olde English Bulldogge named Count Dogula. They love all things horror, gothic, and Victorian which prompts her friends to dub them as “The Adams Family.” She is an avid reader who may be slightly obsessed with music. She hears music in a way that she believes the artist intended it to be heard: visually, with a storyline that follows. Listening to the songs by her favorite artists, she was inspired to write her first series titled “The Pendant.”
Social Media Links:
Twitter Handle: @Cynamarie