Name: Thia Finn is my pen name. My real name is Cindy Griffin.
Age: Yikes… 50 (something)
Where are you from: I’m from a small town thirty miles east of Houston, TX., Mont Belvieu, TX
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc :
I live in the same small town I grew up in. I married when I was eighteen and we will celebrate our 40th ann. on May 1 this year. I graduated from University of Houston, Clear Lake in 1978 with a BA in English Literature. I have a MA in Secondary Education with a Reading Specialist Certificate. I have two grown daughters, Lacy and Teale, who both have Bachelor’s degrees from college. Lacy is engaged to Kyle Hendricks with a Nov. wedding planned and Teale is married to Charles Bates. I retired from working in a middle school as a teacher for 22 years and then a librarian for 12.
My husband and I travel as much as possible both in and out of the U.S. We love going to the Caribbean Islands. We also love to go riding in the mountains, sand and mud on our Polaris RZR UTV.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My second book in my rockstar romance series, Assured Distraction, is called His Distraction and is releasing on March 1. It’s the lead guitarist’s, Ryan, story. I think it is a great follow up to book one, Assured Distraction. This story has a tour of Europe in it. It’s fun and sizzling with hot scenes but has an angst side as well.
I’ve also had the cover shoot with Will Dixon, part of the Stable for photog.Reggie Deanching out of the Chicago area.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote a book when I was in high school but never pursued anything with it because… well, in the 70’s things were different for romance writers. After I retired, I toyed with the idea and finally decided to do it in Jan of 2015. I wrote book one and two almost back to back. The characters were dying to get out on paper. I probably read 200 different books from all genre’s before I decided to write about a rock band.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In high school, I wrote a lot but never did anything with it. It was more for fun. I wish I had some of those now. I would love to see what the high school version of me sounded like.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I love Kylie Scott and Olivia Cunning. I’ve read both of their rock star series several times. I finally decided, that’s what I want to do with my life. I’m still a big follower of both of them. I got to send Ms. Cunning a text message when I met her PA at an RT signing. I was so excited about it. My inner fan girl was beaming!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Both of my books are written in third person. Most romance today seems like they only want it from one or two character’s viewpoints but I guess I’m nosy. I want to know what everyone thinks. I’ve had some issues with it, too and I’ve had some readers say they didn’t like it.
Book three is going to be in opposing viewpoints. It’s so difficult for me to write this way though. The book seems like it’s taking forever.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I didn’t write in the group name or the title until I was finished with it.
Assured Distraction formed itself. I wanted a fun name for the band and those guys are always a distraction. I found myself coming back to those words over and over so I decided that’s what they must have wanted for a band name. I came up with all titles for the four books at the same time. It was as if the titles were part of the package.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Hmm. I guess I want them to know that just because they are stars, they are still people like the rest of us. The price they pay to be in the public eye is huge.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
None. I have a friend deep in the music business that I talked to a lot after I started writing. There were things I didn’t have a clue about. He didn’t laugh at me but he could have because I was so naïve about a lot of things. He read the book when I was finished. He told me my imagination was a lot bigger than reality. That’s why it’s called fiction!
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, I don’t know any big names in the music industry. The only thing close to personal knowledge is the places in and around Austin, the locations around the US and in Europe. I’ve traveled extensively in the US on road trips and then did a road trip in Europe and spent some time with friends and family in Paris. I love Paris.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I read a lot of gothic romance books in high school and college. Then I moved on to read all of Sandra Brown, Janet Dailey, Jayne Ann Krentz /Amanda Quick, and Catherine Coulter after college. I thought I would initially write historic fiction. When my daughters came along, I had to let reading go for the most part. When I came back to it, romance had changed a lot. Then I stumbled on Kylie Scott completely by accident. I couldn’t get enough of her books! I read them several times and bought them in audio books, too. Those led me to Olivia Cunning, and I knew what I was writing by then, rockstars.
Here’s something funny. I tried to read a historic romance not long ago and couldn’t get through it. I was so bored with the entire story. I will say I had to read the Outlander series though. (I love Sam!)
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I finished Soulless by TM Frazier today and started Porn Star (ARC) by Laurelin Paige. Crash by new authors, Brandon and Bell and then 9 Letters by Blake Austin are next. I sometimes read two a day but that’s coming to a screeching halt because Gunner’s book (3) is banging around in my brain and I have to get it written.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I try to read as many new indies as I can to write reviews. When I hear or see one show up, I get it. Those reviews are so important for indies. I love JD Hawkins. I think his books have improved with each one he’s done. Ella James is great, too. There are so many out there to name.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I will be writing Gunner’s book starting tomorrow. He’s got a lot going on in his book.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Hmm. That’s a hard one. My readers who took a chance on me kept me writing. There was a time with book two, I decided I can’t deal with this crap, I’m done. A few authors and readers really talked me off that ledge.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
No. Never. There’s so much that goes on getting an indie book out there that I was never aware of. Honestly, I don’t see how many authors do it full time.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I love all of my guys and Chandler. The people they choose to align with aren’t always my favorites but they have a story to be heard, too.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I think because I loved to read so much, it just seemed like a natural progression to me. When I was in college, we had to write so much. After 64 hours of English lit classes, I knew I needed to do some fictional writing.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Gunner, the drummer in the band, is a goof. He finds a girl in Paris though that sparks his interest. He can’t let her go. That’s about all I can say at this point.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Staying in one point of view. I like an omniscient narrator. Like I said, I’m nosy!
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
See above! Can I say it again, please, Kylie Scott. I told her once I wanted to be her when my writing grew up.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I don’t have to but I choose to go to author cons and signings. Now that I’m retired, I want to do it all. I’m going to RT in Vegas in April and I’ve been to three already this year. I want to go to Scotland to do one. I think it would be awesome to travel overseas to sign.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Both covers have been done by Deranged Doctor Designs. I found them on facebook and I’m very happy with how easy they are to work with.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
People leaving me alone to do it! My husband did not get it at first but he’s gotten better.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yes. I’ve learned so much. I never realized that writing indie involved so much other stuff, like covers and formatters, proofreaders, copy editors, line editors. Then there’s all the stuff for promo. I knew nothing about doing any of that. I didn’t even know they had author cons until I started writing. A whole new world opened up to me. I’ve met many wonderful people, like PA, Deb Carroll at The Club. She adopted me and I thank God for her!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing and keep reading. I read differently now. Before it was simply for the pleasure of the story. Now I find myself analyzing the style, the wording, everything about it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
THANK YOU! I have some awesome readers who prompt me to want to be better each time I write.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, not really. I grew up in the Dick and Jane era. Maybe Velveteen Rabbit. I remember reading Dr. Seuss books to my brother when we were little.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I love Helena Hunt’s books, the Pucked series. I laugh out loud at her characters. I have a love/hate relationship with Colleen Hoover and John Green. I hate a book hangover but those two can give me one every time. Oh, and more recently, Ella James. Sloth just about killed me.
After I became a mother, my entire way of seeing things changed. When something happens to a kid in one of the books I read, it kills me. I’ll cry every time.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would love to meet F. Scott Fitzgerald. He lived at such a different time and his writing draws me in so I can’t do anything until I’ve finished. I’ve read most of his writings and books, several times.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
My mom was a rock star!
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Reading, traveling, mudding, visiting with friends and family
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Outlanders, The Vikings, Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones, Hell on Wheels. I prefer to binge watch entire series on Netflix, Amazon or Hulu.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music:
Shrimp, Mexican/ Red/ Alt. rock. I love 21 Pilots, Glass Animals, Walk the Moon, Cage the Elephant… anything along those lines. I got to go to Austin City Limits Festival (ACL) this past Oct. with my oldest daughter. It was three days of nonstop music. I loved it and spending the time with her. It was exhausting but we’ve already made plans to return this fall.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Well, since I’ve already had the job I always wanted, teaching 13 year old for 34 years, I think I’ve done everything I wanted to do in the career world.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website?
If so what is it? You can reach me on fb.com/thiafinn, Instagram @cegriffin.thiafinn, Twitter @ThiaFinnCGrif, or my web site is www.thiafinn.com. I have a Tumblr too but someone a lot smarter than me will have to tell me how to actually use it!