Name Cordelia Wood is my pen name
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Michigan but I’ve lived in Kansas and Maryland. Currently I live in Florida. I am married with 2 kids, 2 dogs, a cat, a parrot and a lizard.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My first book was published in December of 2015. One of my current promos is that I’m giving away free e-copies in exchange for an honest review.
I’m currently working on book two entitled Culture Shock. It is the second book of the Cross Culture series. (Cross Culture is book one and is a cliff hanger).
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always loved writing and have done technical writing for journals and magazines, but I decided I wanted to write just for fun. So I began my first paranormal romance in 2014.
It was a catharsis for me and a means of escaping the realities of my dad having prostate cancer.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve only considered myself a writer very recently. I guess I feel that I’m more of a story teller than an actual writer. But, there’s something about seeing your name on a published book that makes it seem real. Before that, I only considered myself a technical writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was inspired by a dream I had that was so vivid that when I woke up I just had to write it down. I forgot about it for a few years when someone suggested that I write as a stress reliever. I got the story out of the “moth balls” and decided to flesh it out. Once I began to writing, the characters became real to me and the story kind of took off from there.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I would describe my writing style as realistic. I’m not one for flowery prose and for me it brings the characters down to earth and keeps them believable. (Even those characters from another world!)
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title Cross Culture is because the heroine is a microbiologist and two worlds come together to save the hero’s dying planet. They have to cross their cultures in order to save the world!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My story has a very strong conservation message—because of human carelessness, not only do we pollute our oceans, but we managed to destroy another plane of existence and other creatures are harmed. That, plus it has interspecies romance!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Many of the characters are loosely based on people I know and events I’ve experienced. The main character’s mother has cancer, similar to my father and one of the organisms in the book is real and I had to deal with it when I lived in Baltimore. Also, I worked at the Baltimore Aquarium and that’s what inspired me to write about dolphin shifters.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Some authors/books I can only dream to tell stories as well as they do include: J.R. Ward, Laurel K. Hamilton, Kira Brady, Patricia Briggs, Lara Adrian and J.D. Tyler.
Of these authors, I would say Patricia Briggs has had the most writing influence on me. I love her writing style and could only wish that she would be able to mentor me.
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?
I’m really into urban fantasy and paranormal romance, but recently I’ve begun reading regular romance novels and have delved into horror novels. So, the authors aren’t necessarily new, but they are new to me.
The Bill the Vampire series by Rick Gaultieri is one series that has really caught my eye. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series and plan on reading the rest as soon as time allows. The main character is one that I can totally relate to and symbolizes nerds being heroes of the new millennium.
Broken by A.E. Murphy is also a very moving story and the author has a beautiful writing style. Her story is so heart wrenching that it kept me captivated through the entire book. I had to read book two (Connected) and couldn’t put that one down either.
I also love any of the stories by Jonathan Maberry. His writing style and the stories he tells are both terrifying and fun!
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have a friend who without a doubt supported me through the whole publishing process. I wouldn’t have even considered publishing my story if she hadn’t encouraged me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It would be my ultimate career goal to be a full-time writer. In the meantime, I’m a veterinary technologist.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes, I would definitely flesh out the story even more and really get in-depth with characters. Fortunately, I’m writing a second book in the series where I’ll be able to do that.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I would say my creative writing class in high school and my British literature course. Those were my biggest academic inspirations.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here’s an excerpt from chapter 1 of my current work Culture Shock:
Today is the day. I’ve spent three weeks in this hospital-turned-hell-hole and am not ready to return to the world. The doctors think I’m well enough to go home, but I really don’t give a shit anymore. I haven’t heard from Galen since my dreamscape about a month ago and I can no longer feel any kind of bond between us. It’s almost as if he died—and I died right along with him.
I never thought another person could have that kind of impact on me, but the truth is he is my whole life-I refuse to use the word was. Not the Purists, his mother, Maggie, or anyone else’s interference seems to matter. He made the ultimate sacrifice saving my mother from cancer, and I wasn’t even able to thank him. I kind of just exist right now.
I continue my internalized self-pity rant when the discharge nurse, Natalie, shows up with my paperwork. I’m still not even dressed or ready to go like I should be.
“Good Morning, Dr. Barnum,” she speaks distractedly into the chart she has in her hand and doesn’t even look up at me. “I have some forms here for you to sign and then you get to go home. I bet you’re looking forward to it.”
“Gee, thanks.” I say, sounding a little more sarcastic than I wanted it to come out. I really have no reason to go home. If it weren’t for missing Reggie, I wouldn’t really care at all.
“If you’ll just sign here, here, here, and initial here, you’ll just need to meet with your homecare physical and respiratory therapist. Then, you’re free to go!” She gives me as bright a smile as she can muster at this ungodly early hour and I proceed to sign away. I guess I need to accept the fact that I’ll be alone again. “Is anyone coming to pick you up?” She asks, finally noticing I’m the only one in the room.
“Yes, my sister should be here in about a half hour.” Somehow my sister, Addy, has managed a leave of absence and is going to be my homecare nurse for the time-being. She’s even willing to do it knowing what a pain in the ass patient I’ve been over the past month. God love her. At least I’ll have her to keep me company during the day and Rachel will be with me after school. But I’m even more relieved that she’s living in an apartment close by and not with me. That would be a recipe for disaster.
I sign all the paperwork and hand it back to Natalie.
“Thank you, and stay well, Dr. Barnum.” Natalie takes the paperwork and retreats from the room.
Okay, get some balls, Deli. I don’t want to go back to Galen’s condo—our condo– without him there. There are too many memories and I don’t want to be there all by myself. I’d go back to my condo on the other side of town, except I rented it out and the tenant’s lease isn’t up for another eight months. Fuck.
I reluctantly rise to go change into my clothes. I slide off the bed and place my feet on the floor to get my shoes out of the closet. Of course, I promptly forget my legs aren’t working that well and I almost do a header right on to the floor. I stumble forward, almost hitting the ground. Before I do a face plant, I land face first right into a wall of solid muscle. A pair of strong forearms grabs me around the waist and sets me back up on my feet.
“Whoa there, doctor, where do you think you’re going?” A deep, gravelly voice that can only be described as incredibly sexy flows over me like a tidal wave. I crane my neck up to see where it’s coming from and my eyes lock onto a pair of the most stunning hazel eyes I’ve ever seen. Holy hell!
“I…um…kinda forgot I can’t walk well yet.” I reply, unable to let go of this man’s biceps because I suddenly feel unsteady again. He gently walks me backward and places my butt back on the bed.
“It’s okay; I’m used to women falling for me.” His expression is unreadable. He folds his arms into his chest. I scoff at him.
“Hey, it’s in my job description.” His lips finally curl into a smirk that pierces an arrow through my growing attitude and deflates it. “You should know better than to try to walk on your own. You aren’t ready for that yet—at least not without my help.”
Who the fuck is this kid anyway?
“Let me properly introduce myself.” He extends his hand and tries to shake mine. I reluctantly extend mine and we shake. “I’m Dale. Dale Desmarais. Your physical and respiratory therapist.”
My eyes get huge as I take in this tall, slender but toned kid who claims to be the one who’s going to take care of me for the next few months. He can’t be over twenty. He runs a hand through his wavy blond hair and immediately I notice a small tattoo on the inside of his left wrist. I can’t make out what it is because I don’t want to look like I’m gawking at him…
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The hardest part (other than the editing and re-editing) is getting through writer’s block. I have struggled more with book two than book one, but I don’t want to let my readers down. I want to take my time to tell a good story and try not to succumb to the pressures of releasing the book too quickly.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Since I’m so new at this, I am hoping to get into local book conventions first, before traveling out of state. So far I haven’t had to travel at all.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I went with this company which has premade designs or custom covers: https://thebookcoverdesigner.com/
And chose the specific designer from there firstname.lastname@example.org
I loved their work so much that I had them design book two from scratch.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of telling my story was having the confidence to actually publish it and trusting that readers out there will enjoy my unique story. Many people like werewolves, weretigers, and other shifters, but I haven’t seen too many stories about dolphin stories (if any).
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that you need to be very careful in selecting your publisher. I’ve learned a lot about marketing and getting your book out there to your audience. I think I’m going to work harder on book two to promote it.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead.
Definitely Hrithik Roshan from Bollywood to play Galen and maybe Jessica Alba to play Deli.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Really shop around for a good publisher. Read your contract thoroughly. Some companies are really good about getting your book published and helping with the setup, (after your substantial financial investment) but aren’t as helpful about continued marketing. Once they have your money, you’re pretty much on your own at promoting your book.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Mainly I hope my readers enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Midnight Unbound by Lara Adrian and Suddenly Dirty by J. A. Low.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first chapter book I ever read was From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg.
I think the first book I read on my own was One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss, of course.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My kids make me both laugh for their silliness and cry because I’m so proud of them.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I always wanted to meet Jacques Cousteau because I always wanted to be a marine biologist when I was a kid. What he did for ocean conservation still has an impact on me to this day.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I don’t know. I guess something humorous like “I told you I was sick” because I want people to be happy and not be sad when they remember me.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love swimming, belly dancing, and dog training. Of course, with 2 kids, I don’t get to do much these days.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I watch The Walking Dead, The Exorcist, and Gotham. I’m a huge fan of Robin Lord Taylor! He is the perfect Penguin. I’m really into horror movies and goofball comedies.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My favorite foods are sushi and pizza.
Favorite Color: Green (any shade)
My favorite singer is Elvis Costello. I love old school alternative and more recent bands ranging from Bowling For Soup to Seether.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’ve always wanted to do special effects makeup for movies and tv. Rick Baker is my idol in that area!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Here are my links:
My Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/author/ref=dbs_P_W_auth…
My FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/CordyWood/
My Website: https://cordeliawood.wordpress.com/
My Twitter account: @Cordy_Wood