Name Cindy Griffin/ Thia Finn (author name)
Age 50 something!
Where are you from
I was born and raised in a small town east of Houston TX and still live there. I graduated from University of Houston Clear Lake with a BA in English Lit and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education/Reading Specialist. I taught Middle School for 22 years and was the librarian for 12 before I retired in 2012.
My husband and I have been married 40 years and have two grown daughters. We travel often both in and out of the US with our favorite place being the Caribbean Islands.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
On Dec. 1, I released the last book in my rockstar romance series, Assure Distraction. The title is Distracted No More, and is the bass player’s story. Carter is the bad boy of the band and this is a second chance romance.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in Jan of 2015. I wrote my first book at 17 but didn’t follow through with it because college, career, and family got in the way. After I retired, I decided to return to it. Reading Kylie Scott and Olivia Cunning, I knew rockstar romance had to be the place for me to start.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I finally held the paperback version of Book 1, Assure Her in my hand! I sat down and cried!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had the rockstar story floating around in my head and then read Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series. My characters kept saying do it! After reading Cunning’s Sinners series, I knew I had to do it.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
No, I write the way I like to read which caused me trouble in the beginning. Everyone seems like they want first person stories these days. I like to read in 3rd person. I’m nosey! I want to know what everyone is thinking about everything. Readers complained about it though so I started writing in 1st. It was a huge challenge for me to limit thoughts to one or two people in alt. chapters.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title came to me one day when I was writing book one. I don’t even know how it happened.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My novel is a pure fantasy on my part. Living the life a musician is actually a very hard life but in my mind, it’s all fun. I’ve learned a lot about their real lives and how hard it is on them. Their dedication has to be unwavering to pursue that life.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Very little of the book is realistic as far as characters go. The places and events are mostly real. I set the story in Austin, TX because I went to college there initially and loved the city. The places my characters go and the venues the band plays both in the US and out are real. The band hangs out in The Bar which is actually based on a real place in Austin under a different name.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
With a degree in English Lit., I’ve read all types of literature. I can’t say any one author influenced me. I loved the gothic romances in high school and college. From there I moved to historical romance and couldn’t get enough of it. When I started writing, I read so much contemporary romance that my husband threatened to take my Ipad away!
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
There are so many new authors out there now. The indie world has opened so much up! I love T.M. Frazier, Helena Hunting, K. Bromberg, Leslie McAdam, Lauren Blakely, JD Hawkins and Chris Genovese.
Some of them write such raw emotions that I’m sucked in and cant stop until I’m done. Others entertain me so much like Genovese and Hunting. They are so funny.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Deb Carroll is now my PA. I didn’t have one, didn’t know I needed one. I was drowning and she found me and asked if I’d let her do somethings for me. Pretty soon, I depended on her so much I can’t do without her! She’s the best ever!
Chris Genovese is my emotional support. He listens to me rant and rave, picks me up when I get so overwhelmed I can’t stand it and generally understand my life. Recently, Jonny James has joined me, too. He’s easy to talk to and very uplifting when I need it.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes and No. I’ve had a great career that I loved. Now I write for me.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
There’s always room for improvement but pretty much by the time it’s done, I think I’m through with it.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
In high school we occasionally got to write stories. I wrote for several friends. They hated it; I loved it!
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am writing a companion book to Assured Distraction. I never intended to have Hayden as a character but he’s turned into such an integral part of every book. Readers kept asking wasn’t he going to have his own story so now I’m doing it! I love this kid!
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding time where people will leave me alone and let me write! Life gets in my way!
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I don’t have to but I love to. I love meeting the readers. They are so fun to talk to. I wish when I did takeovers, I could talk to them more. I enjoy hearing their take on my books and characters.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Deranged Doctor Designs have done all of my covers. They are in Germany.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I would have to say time. I need time to get it together and just do it. I never realized that I would be in charge of marketing, publishing, and all the other stuff besides writing.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’ve learned so much about the indie world, publishing books, dealing with finances for books, picking people to work with.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
Oh wow. I don’t know. I never really thought about a movie star being a character. My guys are all rock stars. Maybe Jared Leto. He can sing and act! And I do love Thirty Second to Mars.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write. Write and write some more. Grow a very thick skin because people can be cruel. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Life’s too short to stay upset and angry.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you! They have been awesome. Also, give new writers a chance. It’s hard to develop a fan base with so many books hitting the market. Try new people and decide for yourself.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Juliana Stones’ new book, You Make Me Weak.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
As an adult? Probably a Catherine Coulter or Johana Lindsey book. I think I read all of their books.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I cry easily. Books about love and loss or losing a child kill me. I can’t read John Green or Colleen Hoover. I love them both but they kill me.
I love humorous books. Stephanie Bond is the best! I loved In Deep VooDoo!
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Edgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain. I’d love to ask them so many questions! Poe, dude were you high all the time?
Twain. Were you thinking politics or what when you wrote Finn and Sawyer?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
yikes, I don’t know. She was a great wife, mom and daughter.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Reading, naturally. Traveling. I love going new places and meeting people. I also love going to mud parks and sand dunes and riding our Polaris RZR side by side.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Sons of Anarchy, Game of Thrones, Outlanders, Friday Night Lights, Lucifer, IZombie, Banshee, and many more.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love TexMex food. We have our own brand of Mexican food here in texas! Bright red! I love alt. rock music. 21 Pilots, Glass Animals, Cage the Elephant, Lumineers, and many more
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’d been a rockstar! Naturally!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website?
If so what is it? I have a newletter that’s just starting. I had a great website until the server got hacked and we’ve not had a chance to get it back up and running. You can always get me at facebook.com/thiafinn or join Thia’s Tarts on fb, too!
Thank you so much for allowing me to be included in your interviews!