Today, I am thrilled to be introducing you to one of the first authors I met when I started in my self-publishing journey in 2008, Cindy Bauer. I was looking for reviewers for my novel A Time to Tell and that's how I met Cindy. When she reviewed my book, I discovered that she too was an author, and decided to read her books. I don't usually choose to read book series because of the time that has to be devoted to it, but Cindy's Memory Box series kept me interested.
As well as agreeing to answer my interview questions, Cindy has generously offered to give away an e-book copy of the Memory Box Trilogy to one lucky follower of my blog. To be in with a chance of winning you will need to leave a comment below, or simply 'like' this blog post. A winner will be chosen on 20th June 2012.
Here's the interview:
Was Chasing Memories written with the intention of it being the first book in a series, or did the idea for a series come later?
It came later due to the ending being changed to leave room in case I wanted to make it a series. Because of the way the story ran, I did decide, of course, to continue the story by writing a second book.
The Memory Box Trilogy is named that way because the main character, Laura, loses her memory in the first book after an accident and is then given a box to put important things from her life. How did the idea for a memory box come to you and have you ever kept things from your past in a box like that?(I do, by the way lol).
I have a memory box, too, and yes, I keep little mementos in it, such as greeting cards, family bibles, newspaper articles, etc. I wanted the story to be based around that idea.
Your second novel Shades of Blue is a continuation of the series but interestingly is written from the perspective of a different character. Instead of Laura, her nanny Susan becomes the protagonist. What was the thought process behind switching the main character? I thought it was a great idea.
Thank you! Toward the end of Chasing Memories, Susan had moved away for a new job in a big town and then shortly thereafter, she announced she was engaged. With that in mind, it felt natural to continue the story as to what happened to Susan once she actually tied the knot.
Susan is the victim of domestic violence, and her story is very realistic. Was kind of research did you do into the subject before writing the story?
I didn’t feel the need to do any research. On occasion I have suffered something similar and so I just put myself in her shoes and felt what she would feel and wrote from the heart.
Crystal Clear - Third in the Memory Box Trilogy is the final book in the Memory Box Trilogy. I really enjoyed it and thought you did a fabulous job in tying up all the loose ends and finishing the series. It's probably the most action packed book of the three. Where did the inspiration come from for the book?
Honestly, I’m not sure but I’ve always enjoyed mysteries the most. Halfway through Chasing Memories, I realized it was an inspirational fiction story and not a mystery. However, once I began writing the third book, which is based around Annie, Laura’s daughter, whom I had to age in Shades of Blue, I decided from some of the comments from my readers that I should try to tie up the loose ends and though each book stands on its own, if one should read all three, the whole picture would come into place. Thus I had to write some mystery into it to tie the three stories together.
How long did it take to write the Memory Box Trilogy? And, do you think you would write a series of books again?
Chasing Memories took nine months to write, edit and publish the first edition. Taking on a series for your first attempt at writing is quite a task once you begin the second book because first, you want it to be better than the first to continue capturing the reader’s attention and second, you have to remember everything about each character as far as their age, personality, etc. It proves to be quite daunting at times because basically you are writing about someone’s life who doesn’t exist. But in retrospect, yes, I plan on writing another series though I am switching to mystery suspense this time.
I've seen on your website that you are in the process of writing more books. Are you able to tell us a bit more about them?
I have 5 other stories in my head that I’m trying to sort out and get put down “on paper” so to speak. The first is Justifiable Vengeance: Katelyn Montgomery has every reason to want justice and one way or another, she's going to make sure they all pay for what they did...
Next will be Murder in the Newsroom: Rhonda Mathias knows more than she should and her life is in danger, but she refuses to become the next victim...
The next three are titled: Keep Your Enemies Close, Shattered Dreams and Cause For Murder. I have not written the synopsis down for those yet as they are still being assembled in my head. It’s difficult not to mix the stories up. Usually I decide on what the story will be about, but as I’m writing, it changes. I will say, though, they may become a series.
I read that you cut your ties with the original publisher of the Memory Box Trilogy and became a self-published writer. What was the reason behind that?
Honestly? They were crooks. They took advantage of “new authors” by pretending to publish their books for free, but in reality, though they did publish for free, they did not be completely honest of their intentions. They for one, publish almost everything submitted to them, word for word, without reading the story. Yet, they wrote you back almost instantly as if they had and how thrilled you would be to know you were going to be published. Also, they ask for a list of friends & relatives and then they send them forms in the mail to order your book once published. If you buy copies for yourself, you are actually paying about 3x the cost of printing, so they, and the printer, are making much more than the author. The book prices are so high, they don’t sell, and they do nothing to promote you or your book once published. They are super nice until you’ve signed that contract and then you have difficulty in contacting them once it’s been published. The name of the company is PublishAmerica out of Baltimore, Maryland.
It was actually a Barnes & Noble outlet that warned me about them while I was attempting to get a signing event and advised me to get out of my contract with them, if possible, and republish elsewhere. And they went into some other details about why, which proved quite interesting. Also, if you publish with that company, you’ve already got a strike against you and most publishers will not even consider your work just for the simple fact that they will publish anyone, anything, even if the book doesn’t make any sense what-so-ever. You could write a bunch of mumble jumble and they’d publish it if you wanted them to.
I saw in your bio that you used to work for a local newspaper. How does fiction writing compare to journalism, and do you think your background in journalism helped at all in your writing journey?
LOL, funny you should ask that question. My sister edited the first two editions of my first two books. She majored in Journalism and Political Science and taught in two major high schools in Iowa. I wrote a couple of articles for the newspaper, but basically I was an assistant to the general manager and was in page design. That is where we decide what will go on what page to make everything fit together while giving attention to the advertisers as well.
As well as being a talented author, I understand you are a volunteer partner in Books In Sync., can you tell us a bit more about your role there?
Yes, I am a volunteer partner with Books In Sync. I generally handle the things the owner/founder doesn’t and we tend to gel together nicely. I make the logos we use, edit the site, pass ideas back and forth, etc. I also format books and design covers if authors need help with that plus I handle the “off site” promotions. Books In Sync is a promotional site for authors and because we are authors ourselves, we understand the time consuming and often frustrating task of promoting your work once published.
We’ve recently purchased a writer’s magazine called Cold Coffee Writer’s Magazine and also have a social site for our authors called Cold Coffee. I put the entire magazine together and publish it, focusing on our authors and their books, coming soon work, soon to be released, plus they contribute with short stories, poetry, recipes, etc. We’ve recently added a couple of new authors, including one who used to own a restaurant on the infamous Route 66, and one who appeared on Oprah. We have authors from all walks of life including lawyers, mothers, new authors and multi-book authors from several countries.
And we promote our authors for well under what any other promotional service charges. Generally our fees only cover our time involved to do the work so the authors have more time to write. Unfortunately, now I don’t have much time to write, but que sera sera. I really enjoy helping others so it was a great partnership to become involved with.
I read that you have interviewed some well-known authors such as Lenora Worth and Gail Gaymer Martin, and also singer/songwriter, Amanda Abizaid. I know that you are a very big fan of Amanda Abizaid. How did you go about arranging those interviews and what was it like interviewing one of your idols?
While I was with the writing guild, Christian Fiction Writers of America, having been invited by Gail Gaymer Martin, I had the opportunity to personally get to know several bestselling authors and discovered they are just like anyone else. So I felt like I’d known them all my life and talking to them and getting them to allow me to interview them was fairly easy. And I learned a lot from them about the writing and publishing business.
Amanda sang the theme song for the TV series, The 4400, and I wanted to use that song for my book trailer for Chasing Memories. After attempting to contact her through several social sites, she wrote me back and I found out she didn’t own the copyrights to the song, the Production Company for the show did, so I couldn’t legally use it. But we got to know each other and became fast friends. She has the most beautiful voice and a heart of gold to go along with it. She sent me some of her music for Christmas that year that I interviewed her along with a Christmas card, which by the way, is safely tucked away in my Memory Box. Though the music is not. I play it occasionally when I find the time to actually sit down and listen to music. And her style varies, which makes her an interesting singer.
What advice would you give to someone considering self-publishing their own books?
Go for it. Traditional publishers are on their way out. Most readers aren’t reading actual hard copy books much anymore and the electronic age is here. Unless you jump through hoops and have the time and money to travel, attend writing conferences and really focus on writing professionally, you aren’t going to get a publisher to consider your work if you’ve never published before. Several won’t accept new authors unless represented by an agent and it’s more difficult to get an agent to back you, than a publisher.
One of the heartbreaking facts that most new authors don’t realize is that you are NOT going to become an overnight success with one book. The statistical chances of that happening are astronomical. But… I still encourage everyone to write and publish your work. If you have a story you want to tell, then write it down and put it in print to share with others. Becoming a well paid author is not as easy as it sounds and you have to work very hard at it, plus you have to be ready to accept rejection time and time again.
Do you prefer e-books or print?
I’m old fashioned as far as that goes. I still prefer the kind I can hold in my hand and put a bookmark in when I go to sleep.
Who are your favourite authors and what is it about their writing that you like?
There are several Harlequin authors I love who write in their Intrigue genre. My favorite is Rebecca York. I love her style of writing. Another, not a Harlequin author, is Jordan Dane.
Where can people buy your books?
My books are available at Amazon, in print and kindle versions, the i-Bookstore, Nook, from the publisher, Lulu, from myself signed personally and in pdf download as well. I will be publishing a single version of the trilogy, and all-in-one, through Create Space sometime this year if anyone would rather buy just the one book and have all three stories to read.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Cindy!
Thank you for this wonderful interview, Maria. You’ve certainly come up with some very good questions!
Remember if you'd like the chance to win a copy of the Memory Box trilogy (the prize will be pdf format), please leave a comment below or simply 'like' this post. Good luck!
back to top