Name: Cindy Charity
Age: Ummmm……do I have to answer? LOL! I turned 44 this past February
Where are you from: I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario
I am one of six children (five girls and one boy); my parents were an interracial couple. My mother is of Irish decent and my father was a mixed bag of French Canadian, Native Canadian, and Black.
My parents divorced when I was young so growing up, my time was spent in two different environments. During the school year, we were in the city with Mum, and weekends, and summer vacations, were spent up north (Northern Ontario) with Dad.
I’m married with three children, two girls and a boy, and live in Kincardine Ontario, a town that hugs the shores of Lake Huron.
I am an Early Childhood Educator, as well an Educational Assistant (but truly, I am a writer with a day job lol)
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
At the moment, I am working on getting my first book, The Compass, into print. It’s book one in a five book, paranormal romance series. The series is available digitally through various platforms including Amazon and iBooks. I also write contemporary romance and I have been working on a few new stories.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I was a big reader and storyteller as a child. Still am. And I think the need to write came from that love. I already knew that I told great stories, so becoming a writer was organic. The books I would read were fantastic, but somehow I knew I could write better ones. Ah, the optimism of a child!
My mother saved everything, and one day, she gave me this box. Inside were papers, notebooks, handmade books, storyboards…..tons of stuff. They were the stories I had written, some went right back to the first grade.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I made the decision to pursue writing as a career, I began to see myself as a writer. Of course, my family had always seen me that way. 😀
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It wasn’t an ah-ha moment for me. I just started to write out the story that had been rolling around in my head—kind of like an exorcism, for lack of a better word. That being said, I also wanted to write the kind of book that I couldn’t find for myself, something—a scenario, that seemed impossible, yet, sparked the thought that maybe it could be possible.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I go for the humor with a heavy sprinkling of sarcasm. I also try to include deep emotions…..being a Pieces, emotion drives me.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For my series, I had to really sit and think about it. I wanted to have unity between the books, so the first one had to be an awesome springboard for the rest. I had the general overview of the series, but the one question I had was, how? How was the main character in the first book, going to fulfill the task set before her? As I thought about her predicament, I thought about all the directions she would have to go in order to succeed. Directions led to thoughts of compasses. The Compass became the title of book one.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The one message that I hope readers can see; that they can connect to, is that we don’t have to go through life’s struggles alone. That when we are faced with the choice of darkness or light, we reach out to those who love us.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My series starts in New York—and having visited there a few times; I tried to make it as realistic as I could. The locations are about the only thing that is realistic. Well, unless you are someone who believes in the fantastic (I certainly do!)
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Oh, man…..that’s a tough one.
The one memory that sticks out was the day my eldest sister gave me a bag of romance books. I had never read a romance book, and at first, I was not interested. Curiosity eventually got the better of me, and I picked one up and began to read. I finished the whole bag in a matter of days. In reading them, I discovered that a woman could be strong, smart, and independent. She didn’t need the hero in order to be a whole person—she chose to be with the hero. I held onto to that.
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?
Going back to that bag of books, Nora Roberts and Julie Garwood were my first heroes. They have the ability to make me laugh, cry, cheer, and feel anger toward a situation in the story. I greedily read anything they put out.
As I got older, I discovered paranormal romance. Christine Feehan and Sherrilyn Kenyon are goddesses!
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I believe in a higher power. For some, this belief comes in the form of their faith. For me, it comes from everywhere and from many sources. Celtic lore, Native traditions and teachings, the universe…..we welcome what we offer.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It’s what I’m striving for.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Oh, yeah……lol…..I cut out a lot of stuff—fun stuff, from the first draft. If I got a do over, I’d put it all back.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Writing is the perfect next step for a storyteller.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’m working on a story about a Scottish family and a love curse that has followed them through the generations. The hero is bound and determined to break it, but when he meets the heroine, he isn’t so confident he can……
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Within the industry, I (along with many others) am a pantser. Plotters work out their stories; some use big white boards and sticky notes so that they can see the progression of the story—they can see the pitfalls, or the dragging parts of the plot. I write by the seat of my pants (hence the moniker), and that can be extremely challenging. By writing this way, a story can take me in so many different and sometimes, wild directions. At times, I can become so frustrated, that I walk away. But I always come back—because I am a writer.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
With the exception of attending one writer’s conference a year, I don’t travel much for book business. I am working hard to change that.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The immensely talented Kim Killion, of The Killion Group, designed all five of my book covers.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding the time, and doing it knowing that I didn’t have the full support of those closest to me.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
During the process of writing my series, my eldest sister was diagnosed with cancer. I wanted to quit right then, but she, and my characters, wouldn’t let me. Writing became therapeutic, and it gave me a measure of peace as I fought alongside my sister. I learned how strong I was and that came through in my characters.
I had a choice. I could choose the darkness of sorrow, or, I could choose the light that was my sister. She lost her battle on January 10th, 2014. And I chose to stay in the light.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Oh! This is a fun question! Sophia Bush is who I envision for the heroine of the first book. She is spunky, clever, and can hold her own quite nicely. Colin O’Donoghue would be the hero….I can so see the sparks these two would create……
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t try to get it right the first time. Go to conferences, learn the craft, ask tons of questions. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes—the best learning (and sometimes writing) comes from them.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Goodness—well, to start I’d like to say: Thank you. Thank you for the support, the messages, the shout-outs and the sharing of my books. Thank you for telling your friends and strangers about them. It means so much to me. Writing is such a personal thing, you reveal a part of your soul; and when you share it with the world, you leave yourself open to all manner of reactions. I have been so lucky. I have such an amazing group of readers—a gal can’t ask for more than that. Well, making it onto the New York Times bestseller list wouldn’t be a terrible thing! (are you listening, universe?)
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am reading the Dark Series by Christine Feehan, one of my favorites.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Anne of Green Gables (a Canadian classic!)
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have a warped sense of humor, so pretty much anything that leans in that direction will have me cracking up. I’m a Pisces remember, so I’ll cry over a greeting card, or a commercial lol
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Marilyn Monroe. She was, and in truth, still is, an enigma. She was a woman who never had the chance to truly become herself. I believe she had so much left to say and do—but on her own terms.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I wish to be cremated and my ashes scattered along the pathways of a forest.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love to read (naturally) but I also enjoy hiking, card games, dancing, and challenging my kids at video games (I am a closet gamer—shhhhh!)
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
All the NCIS shows; Bones, Once Upon A Time, and Sleepy Hollow. I also enjoy cooking shows, and some daytime talk shows (gotta get the gossip!) The Harry Potter moives (I have been known to don my Hogwarts robes to run errands), The Mummy franchise, and anything Marvel.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Pizza. Is. Life. So is a good burger. Black dominates my wardrobe, but I do love color (all of ‘em) My taste in music changes with my mood. Currently, I listening hip-hop. However, I do throw on some Frank Sinatra now and again.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
When I was young, I always said I wanted to be a lawyer.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?