My guest this month is prolific American author Cindy Kirk. Cindy is a writer who loves romance and has written many special editions for Harlequin.
When did you first discover the joys of story-telling or writing your own stories down?
I’ve loved books and stories for as long as I could remember. If I didn’t like a book’s ending, I’d make up my own. The same held for movies or televisions shows. For a long, long time I thought that everyone made up different endings. I wrote my first “book” when I was thirteen. It was a romance, of course, with a happy ending! I let one of my teachers read it and I could tell she didn’t think it was very good. It was a devastating blow to my young writer’s soul.
Which novels inspired you, or you would rate as your all time favourites?
LaVryle Spencer’s Bitter Sweet and Separate Beds; Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Dream a Little Dream and Nobody’s Baby But Mine; Lisa Kleypas’s Travis Series, Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton Series.
Could you share your journey to becoming a published author with us?
I wrote five books, it was the fifth that sold, 3 years after I started writing in pursuit of publication. The book that sold won a contest. The first prize was a critique of the entire manuscript by Harlequin editor, Patience Bloom. She not only read it, she bought it. And 15 years later, she’s still my editor!
What advice would you give to a new writer who has not made it into print yet?
To continue to hone your craft. When I started writing, I began attending regional conferences for writers. Every year I attend the Romance Writers of America‘s National Conference and soak in all the wonderful information on how to write a better book.
I love a happy ending! Not only in books but in movies. I want to cheer for the hero or heroine, see them become stronger, learn life lessons, then be rewarded.
How did the ‘Jaunty Quills‘ develop?
I was writing also for Avon (Harper Collins) when a group of Avon authors decided to get together and start a blog. At the time I was the only contemporary author. The group has morphed over time to include authors from all different romance genres and publishers. It’s been fun every step of the way.
What is the essence of a Cindy Kirk novel?
It’s a fun, enjoyable read with a dash of humor.
What is next for Cindy?
More books in my Jackson Hole series for Harlequin. A return to Harper Collins with a novella that will release in December 2014. And, who knows? That’s the beauty of writing.