Name Cecily Wolfe
Age I’ll never tell! My birthday is June 15.
Where are you from
I am from and live in the Midwest United States. I am a mother and a librarian, and I love cats and NASCAR.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest news is my latest release, Reckless Treasure, which is now available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and e-book retailers. It is the story of high school senior Francesca, who can’t wait to graduate and go away to college and away from her mother and twin brother. She doesn’t know that her best friend, Mitch, is in love with her, and while she knows that her own crush on her older neighbor isn’t really going to lead to a real relationship, she doesn’t want to admit that her mother is involved with him. Her grandmother, who died before she was born, had an admirer in her own high school days, and he comes to town for his class reunion. He and Francesca run into each other, and he is immediately taken by her. His money and connections could make her future easier, but not without a cost.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in third grade, when I became obsessed with Helen Keller. I read everything in the school and public libraries about her, and wanted more. I started writing stories about adventures she might have had with her tutor, Annie. I wish I still had those stories, but I do remember writing them and feeling that Helen was such an incredible person, so she must have had some interesting adventures.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In third grade! I knew that my friends weren’t writing as a habit, and that they were interested in my Helen Keller stories, so I understood that I was doing something different, something others wanted to see and enjoy.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first published book, a novella called A Harvest of Stars, came to me through the characters – as most of my stories are. I started thinking of a boy who loved a girl but couldn’t help her, for some reason . . . and the reasons came to me the more I thought about these two young friends. This story has been compared to the fiction of Jodi Picoult, and is available on Kindle Unlimited.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not sure – I think sometimes I tend to write more when I could write less, but I have studied a lot of the classics and the Victorians in particular, and they tend to be a bit wordy.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title for A Harvest of Stars comes from a Shirley Jackson book – the stars part does, and it is mentioned in my novella. Reckless Treasure took some time to name, and I played around with different words that expressed the idea that Francesca is valuable to other characters in different ways, and that her choices were significant to the story. I have a relationship with my thesaurus, and that came into the picture before I landed on Reckless Treasure. My Christian historical romance series, Cliff Walk Courtships, is named for the place where the stories happen (Newport, Rhode Island, with its gorgeous Cliff Walk) but each of the books in the trilogy is named for a Bible quote.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Each of my stories is different, and I think each reader will take what he or she needs or wants from it.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I base a lot of the feelings on those I’ve experienced and can express, but most of the actual events are not from my own life.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I have been influenced quite a bit by classic literature, and Reckless Treasure is, in fact, a re-telling of a classic Henry James novel that isn’t studied very much. I like Shirley Jackson a lot as well, and that is how A Harvest of Stars came to mention her story and the title grew from that reference.
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?
My favorite author is Joyce Carol Oates, especially her family dramas. She really has a handle on relationships and how messy they are, especially between relatives because we are tied to them whether we want to be or not.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My professors in college. I have degrees in English and library science, and they were always supportive of my creative efforts and basically told me not to give up.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. For me, it doesn’t pay the bills (well, maybe a utility bill now and then) so I work full-time, but it is definitely work. A lot of work and a lot of time management.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I don’t think so. I have moved forward and am working on other projects (two books and two short stories) so my head isn’t really with my previous stories, although the characters always stay with me.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
When I was in third grade and wrote my Helen Keller stories.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am working on two books right now, That Night, which is a YA story about a girl who overdoses on heroin at a party a few days before her senior year of high school begins. The story is really about how her friends and family deal with losing her, and their thoughts on how they might have prevented her death, and will be released on July 4. I am also working on the second book in my Cliff Walk Courtships series, Crown of Beauty, which will be published at the end of October.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time management! I work full-time and am a parent to two children who keep me very busy. Making time to write is sometimes difficult, but worth the effort, especially when a reader lets me know that he or she connected with my characters in some way.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No. I wish I had the time and money to travel. Maybe someday!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I did, using Pixabay, PicMonkey, and Canva. It is a challenge but a lot of fun.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I am very emotionally connected to my characters, and my stories are very character-driven. A favorite character of mine died, and I had a difficult time writing that – I am going to return to her and write more stories about her childhood and adolescence. In fact, I am involved in a short story anthology publication (this fall) in which I will be writing about her in a cut scene from one of my books, so readers, you may be interested to see how certain events came to happen, so keep an eye out for this anthology.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I have been doing a lot of research for this historical and local facts for my Cliff Walk Courtships series, as well as some very sad details about heroin use and overdoses for That Night. I always learn something from my characters as well – they teach me something about myself, and maybe who I am and who I would like to me. Sometimes my characters mirror negative traits about myself I am not proud of, and make me think about the importance of change for the better.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
Oh, wow, I love this question. For A Harvest of Stars, I would love to see Amelia Warner as Locklyn. For Reckless Treasure, I picture Drew Seeley as Mitch and Jenna Coleman (although she isn’t blonde) as Francesca, and Kiernan Shipka as Tricia. Georgia Lock as Ashley. That’s as far as I’ve gotten! I’d love to know what readers think about casting choices.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just do it. Be fearless, write what you want, and don’t compare yourself to other writers. That’s the great thing about books – there are so many different ones, so many different stories, so there is something for every reader. You don’t know how your stories might connect with a reader, so go ahead and give your story life and send it out into the world.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! I appreciate your time, effort, and consideration, and am so happy to hear how you all connect with my characters.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Knickerbocker Club series by Joanna Shupe and a novella collection, An Amish Kitchen, with stories by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, and Kelly Long.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, but I’ve always been a reader and my parents and grandparents always read to me. I remember being thrilled by A Wrinkle in Time in fifth grade, and horrified by The Shining in sixth. Quite a jump in reading material!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Fictional deaths make me cry. I get very attached to characters and have had a lot of emotional angst over Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters series, which I adore.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Wow, there would be so many. Maybe Cleopatra – she’s so fascinating as a celebrity historical figure, and getting to know her as a real person, a woman, leader, mother – would be enlightening.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Lived the Dream – because I am!
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I like to watch NASCAR, swim, and crochet/knit/cross stitch. I spend a lot of time with my family and we like to play board game, watch movies, and spend time in the park hiking.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch much TV but recently I have really enjoyed Peaky Blinders. Very rough, but absolutely addictive!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My favorite color is seafoam green. Foods? Oh my goodness, I love to eat. Probably French fries! I could eat fries all day, every day.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
A ballerina. I danced as a little girl but do not have the body type for it. It did teach me discipline as well as respect for the arts, which I carry to this day.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I am also on Facebook and Twitter @ceciwolfe, and blog on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15280497.Cecily_Wolfe/blog