Name: Cindy Stark
Where are you from:
I grew up in a small town at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Utah.
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc:
I have a bachelor’s degree in business management, and I still work my day job as an office manager.
I live with my family, an adorable Border Collie, and three crazy cats. My favorite kitty is a sassy ginger who showed up on my doorstep a year ago, desperate to find a family. When I helped him locate his previous owner, she didn’t want him back, so we adopted him. His favorite thing is to snuggle spoon-style at night.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest book, Caleb: A Blackwater Canyon Ranch Novel will be released on November 25th. It’s the first in a new series of sexy, western contemporary romances set in Wyoming. Also, I recently released the ninth book in my popular Aspen Series, I’m With You.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing after the birth of my first child. I’ve always been an avid reader and thought I’d try my hand at creating stories. Choosing to become a writer has been one of the greatest adventures of my life.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I began to consider myself a writer after I joined my local Romance Writers of America chapter, but it wasn’t until I was paid for my work that I stopped feeling like an imposter.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always had odd bits of scenes and characters that pop up in my head at random times. I finally decided I needed to let the characters tell their stories before they drove me crazy.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Whether I write small town contemporaries or romantic suspense, I find that I have a tendency to write sexy, emotion-driven stories.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Good question! I try to use words that reflect the type of stories I write. I usually end up tossing around a bunch of different words before I settle on a title.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The message in the current story I’m writing (the follow up to Caleb) is to not judge others based on first perceptions. He’s a country boy, and she’s a city girl. By the end of the story, they’ll find they have more in common than they think.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Caleb is very realistic. This story is set on a ranch in Wyoming, and the events that take place could happen and probably have happened to many people.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I mostly use experiences from my own life—things that have happened to me or that I’ve witnessed to some degree or another.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Wow. I don’t know if I could name particular titles. I’ve read and loved many books by Phyllis Whitney, Nora Roberts, Stephen King and Kathleen Woodiwiss among many others.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Loved it!
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Right now, I’ll read anything by Tiffinie Helmer, Kerrigan Byrne and Cynthia St. Aubin. I confess I’ve written books with these lovely ladies, and they inspire me constantly.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
My current project is the next in the Blackwater Canyon Ranch series, titled “Oliver”.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I’ve received my greatest support and made so many dear friends through my local chapter of Romance Writers of America. I’d be lost without them.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, writing is definitely a career for me. My goal is to quit my day job in four years or less.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Don’t ask! I’ve learned that once I’m initially satisfied with a story, it’s time to move on to the next book. Otherwise, I could get lost forever editing and re-editing with no end.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I can’t remember exactly. However, I do remember the first story I wrote. It was an historical that took place during the first Kentucky Derby. I laugh now when I read it. Boy, did I have a lot to learn!
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’ll share the blurb for Caleb:
The list of things people should never do according to Rachel Halstead:
2) Leave your lovely ranch to your niece with the condition that she must marry within two months or lose it. That’s beyond crazy.
3) Lie about your fiancé, unless the only way to keep what should be yours is to find a stand-in husband. Don’t forget to make him cute.
4) Last, and most important, don’t fall for a man when the contract between you states he must leave you.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
My biggest challenge is time. Between being a mother, taking care of my home, and working full-time, it’s hard to squeeze in writing time.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite current author is Karen Marie Moning. Love her highlanders.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
The most recent travel I’ve done for my writing career was a trip to Port Townsend, Washington for the release of Which Witch Is Wicked. I also love to visit the Oregon Coast, which I’ve featured in my Retribution Series (romantic suspense).
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I design all of my covers myself with the exception of the Which Witch is Which series, which were designed by the amazing Kelli Ann Morgan
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing for me is truly getting to know my characters. Sometimes I don’t figure them out until halfway through the book, and then I end up editing the first chapters extensively.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
While writing Caleb, I researched information on the Yellowstone area of Wyoming along with all the happenings on a cattle ranch. I’ve been to Yellowstone several times, and I grew up in a farm town, but there are always new things to discover.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Learn your craft. Once you have that mastered, then trust your instincts and honor your art. Write what speaks to you, and never give up on your dream.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would love to say “thank you!” to my readers. I’ve met so many wonderful people in this business, and I can’t express how much I appreciate their love and support. Romance readers are the best!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I remember reading and loving all the Golden Books.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I always cry when two people who’ve finally found each other and have fallen in love never get their happy-ending. (Cue Nicholas Sparks)
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love to travel, garden and take my dog for long walks in the autumn leaves.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
My favorite shows are Supernatural, Outlander, The Walking Dead, and Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love anything Italian. I recently visited the lovely city of Boston and ate the most amazing Italian food in the North End. My favorite color is pink, and I enjoy most kinds of music. I often listen to country music while writing my small town romances and edgier music while penning romantic suspense or paranormal.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I used to want to be an astronaut. I thought it would be amazing to visit the moon.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/cindystark
Caleb: A Blackwater Canyon Ranch Novel: http://www.amazon.com/CALEB-WESTERN-CONTEMPORARY-ROMANCE-Blackwater-ebook/dp/B017V7XO98/ref=la_B008FT394W_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1447641478&sr=1-6
I’m With You (Aspen #9): http://www.amazon.com/With-You-Aspen-Series-Book-ebook/dp/B015X4LVVY/ref=pd_sim_sbs_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51zRbvM%2BFpL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR118%2C160_&refRID=08VX96FK0BHFQ18RYF4Y