Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is Cynthia Vespia, a.k.a. “Original Cyn” and I’m 39 years old though I feel like I’m 10 years behind where I should be so call me 29 😉
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from Cyn City…otherwise known as Las Vegas.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m part Italian, part Finnish from a large family.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have a few things I’m working on. I’m getting ready to start the follow up to my novel Karma. Part 2 will be titled Kourage. When all is said and done there will be 5 novels in the Silke Butters Superhero Series.
I’m also developing my freelance business where I’ll offer content writing; website design; video production; and graphic design including book covers. I’m open to new clients and work with every budget.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I used to read a lot as a kid, and I dabbled with writing short stories from time to time. But it was only after I read a Dean Koontz novel in high school that I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing a novel.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I suppose when I saw my first book in print. This was back when self-publishing wasn’t as cool as it is now. I went through a company just to see what it was like to hold my book in my hand. That novel was The Crescent, one of the first books I ever wrote, and now it is in pre-production for a feature film.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Well, The Crescent is a medieval drama about female gladiators. The seed to write the story was planted in my brain when I saw a documentary narrated by Xena actress Lucy Lawless about how female gladiators were revered as champions but that history only salutes the male competitors. It reminded me of today’s MMA fighters and how the same parallels can be drawn.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Titles are so important and can cause such anguish if not chosen well. I originally titled the book “Gladiatrix” but after asking around I was told that no one would know what that meant. So I chose The Crescent and worked it in as a branding symbol the slaves wore when they were collected to become gladiators. Sort of the way cattle are branded.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I think every writer has their own style. Part of the challenge of becoming a really good writer is to develop a style that resonates with readers. For my genre, I have trouble actually pinpointing what my genre is as I blend many different genres together to weave the tapestry of the story.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I’ll draw from real life experiences often when I’m writing, I think we all do that. For Karma, there are parts about the main character Silke regretting not spending more time with her father…that was from my own life. But then there is her name itself, and the name of her best friend Maki, those were pulled from my real life as well. But I don’t have any superpowers…although that would be cool.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, but I’d love to work that in some time…I’m in need of a vacation!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’m my own cover designer as I’ve become really good at it. However, for the Silke Butters series I commissioned an artist to draw the character herself because I really wanted that comic-style and I cannot draw like that. My artist is Ka Rolding, and you can find him on Deviantart.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I don’t usually write with a message in mind but this time it unfolded naturally in Karma. I think because my lead character, Silke, is Indian-American there is a bit about equality and diversity. And because it is about superheroes it embraces the theme of believing in yourself and believing you can do anything you put your mind to.
In Kourage, things do get a little deeper as I’m going to explore the sex trafficking epidemic. This is the first time I’m really attacking a social issue so it should be interesting to see how that develops.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
New writers? No not really. But in fairness I haven’t been reading as much as I should. And when I do I’m reading the classics. My favorite writer was Dean Koontz. I like how he writes strong women and his stories usually flow without too much unnecessary detail. That said…he hasn’t written anything that really grabbed me lately so I guess I need a new favorite.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Well, I can’t really say my family supported me either. I have to say the writing community has been a great support. There’s been more than once I’ve wanted to throw in the towel and they rallied around with some uplifting words, well most of them.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do and I wish I didn’t…takes all the fun out of it. You have to see writing as a business because there are so many facets that go into getting your work read. This is especially true for indie authors. The frustrating part is that it takes over and your actual writing time falls to the wayside. I’d like to just get back to writing and pay someone to do the rest!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Karma went through a lot of changes. Silke was originally a blonde, private investigator! So no, there are no more changes necessary. I’ve heard some feedback about some things that I’ll take into the rest of the series though.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned how to plot. Because I knew I was doing my first 5 part series I wanted to make sure everything matched up. So I studied J.K. Rowling’s method of developing Harry Potter and used that as the basis for plotting the entire Silke Butters Superhero Series.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
That one is easy…Priyanka Chopra! I saw the TV series Quantico where Priyanka played a CIA agent and that is when Silke’s ethnicity changed. I’ve heard Priyanka wants to play a superhero too so I think it would be a great match!
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write what you love. There are so many fads and trends out there and they all fade away. Become your own trend.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Please leave a review! Indie authors thrive on reviews and word of mouth so please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Also, thank you for your support.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
My own! LOL, I’m doing editing on an apocalyptic novel that I hope to have out soon.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No but I imagine it must’ve been a Little Golden Book. My mom used to read to me all the time.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’ll laugh at good comedy or something really stupid. I cry from frustration, or funerals…I can’t take any more funerals.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I want to meet Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson so I can ask him how in the hell he does so many projects! He’s a true inspiration and seems like a nice guy.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I like to workout. I’m a certified personal trainer so I like to lift weights and I’m also big into kickboxing. But I’m also trying to develop new hobbies like painting and I’d love to learn photography.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Some of my current favorite TV shows have been Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, and The Flash.
Favorite movies have been Wonder Woman; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
I’ll watch any genre really.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
My favorite food is pizza, chicken wings, and chocolate. For music, I like 80’s hair bands and blues…a strange mix I know.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I no longer write? I must be dead. But in all seriousness if I’m retired from writing I’d spend more time on hobbies, maybe volunteering.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes, please visit www.cynthiavespia.com and sign up for the newsletter for specials.
Here is my Amazon page.