Cyndia wishes she could describe an exciting, exotic life, but it would have to be someone else's.
The truth is, according to her, she is very ordinary. "How thrilled I'd be if someone recognized me at the grocery
store and asked for an autograph!"
She's been married to John for 22 years. They shower their love on their pets since they don't
have any children. "We lost our miniature schnauzer, Helpless, last year. September 11 of all days. We still
Her husband, like her dad, is a scientist, so she's been around the jargon all her
"Everything has a name, and some of those are quite catchy. The Uncertainty Principle, Standard
Deviation and so on. I wanted Amanda to be a unique heroine, so she became a mini scientist and I used some of the lingo
I've heard since birth. John and I have a boat we bought twenty years ago (hey, it still runs!), and we go fishing as often
as possible. Actually, since I don't like slimy things, I don't bait my hook or take fish off it. I just catch and John does
the rest. I do open cans of soda or beer for him, so it's not like I don't pull my own weight on the boat! John and I also
love to cook. Our idea of a fun Saturday night is spending it in the kitchen taking basic recipes and making them our own.
"We love spicy food, so most of what we make is fit only for us. Other than fishing and cooking,
we have only one other thing in common. We love our lives and laughter. Thankfully we share our lives and laugh at the same
things. Not a bad deal, eh?"
Needless to say, Cyndia Depre is a fascinating author and you will discover this with the interview
I conducted with her below.
Lea: Many writers have an 'idol' who has helped
them along in their writing career, by studying their genre, their style. Do you have a favorite writer?
Cyndia: I love authors who write fully evolved
characters. The kind that make me feel what they're going through. Martha Grimes and Elizabeth George are wonderful at putting
me in their characters' heads. I also like novels with issues and a surprise or two. Minette Walters and Dennis Lehane are
also among my favorites.
Lea: What are some of the 'high's' and 'low's'
you have experienced as a writer while establishing your career?
Cyndia: Discovering a love of reading doesn't
mean a person can write was a low. I knew nothing about the actual process of putting words on paper in an understandable,
meaningful, active and involving way. Every time I conquered a concept, such as keeping a point of view consistent, I'd be
thrilled to pieces. After years of work learning to write, then trying to sell Amanda's Rib and receiving many rejections,
being offered a contract was definitely a high. Trying to get my name and book known is difficult and can be discouraging.
Getting an email from a stranger who enjoyed my book offsets that particular low. Highs and lows don't seem to end, but they
Lea: Do you find an agent a necesary step
in your writing career? If so, what are some of your experiences and feelings with any initial agent contact? If no agent,
how did you come about choosing your present publisher?
don't have an agent and came upon Mundania Press because they were, and still are, recommended by Preditors and Editors and
they accept unagented submissions. It was a combination of luck and persistence.
Lea: Did you start off with writing goals?
If so, which ones have been achieved and what are your future goals?
Cyndia: I had no idea what I was getting into.
I thought I'd write a book and sell it and wouldn't that just be wonderful?! Ha! I ended up setting mini goals so I wouldn't
be overwhelmed and give up. Learn to write. Finish the book. Find an agent/publisher... It's kind of like losing weight. If
you think you have to lose fifty pounds it can be daunting. If you think in terms of losing five pounds, then five more, it's
manageable. At least for me. So I take it all in stages. Finish, edit, make it the best book I can, query. I'm back to
step one with my second book. Finish. Then I'll tackle editing.
Lea: Being a writer, I know time management is a heavy duty load
to handle with family and outside commitments. How do you handle time management?
Can you give us a brief timetable of your day and/or methods you use to prod you to write?
Cyndia: I'm almost embarrassed by my good fortune. I don't have
an outside job any more (I closed my accounting business when I began writing), so my time is pretty much mine. I can't
write in spurts, so if I hit the 'zone', I like to keep going until I drop. My husband understands and leaves me alone in
my 'cave' when I'm in that mood. I play solitaire on the computer for a while each morning, and plot as I play. Then, when
I know where I want to go with my work, I start writing.
Lea: Writers need a constant source of writing articles and outside
motivation. Do you find your immediate circle of friends understanding to the time you devote to writing?
Cyndia: My friends don't understand at all. But, bless their hearts,
they don't pass judgement on me either. Writing is just plain lonely, so we have to learn to be happy entertaining ourselves.
I'm comfortable with that. I don't think non-writers will ever *get* it, so the best we can ask of our friends is to
let us be us and endure our eccentricities. Many of the things they do baffle me. But if they're happy, I'm happy.
Lea: Your book Amanda's Rib recieved a great review on The Muse Book
Reviews by Alice Berger. What was your inspiration and purpose in writing this book?
Cyndia: I wanted to write a book I'd like to read. One which ultimately
surprised me, and also tackled an issue. Domestic violence is a sub-plot because I was sick of victims of abuse being blamed
for their situations. Who would ask to be hit? They deserve empathy, not derision. I gave Amanda every advantage, she had
a loving family and financial resources of her own. Yet the insidious process of abuse caught her and she felt trapped. I
wanted to get across how a person could find herself in such a violent relationship and why she would feel stuck in it.
Lea: Do you write in more than one genre? If so, which is your favorite?
Cyndia: I only write mystery/romance, but I switch from darker books,
like Amanda's Rib, to humorous ones. Oblivious, the novel I'm working on now, is great fun to write and I laugh a lot. The
one noodling at the back of my mind waiting to get out is another 'issue' book. It deals with a missing person, a murder suspect,
but no body. There will be a few twists and turns in that one!
Lea: Where can our readers hook up to find out more on your writing
career and any new projects in the works?
Cyndia: Email me. I love hearing from readers. Visit my web site, www.cyndiadepre.com I'm starting a newsletter and thinking of serializing Oblivious at my site.
Lea: Do you have
any words of wisdom to pass on to new writers?
Cyndia: Learn the rules, but write the way you want. By that I mean have
a firm understanding of POV, punctuation, plot, characterization, etc, but don't let anyone tell you how or when to write.
If you get creative at three in the morning, then write at three in the morning. If you start with the ending and write to
it, like I do, that's fine. If you need an outline, use one. If you don't, don't use one. We're constantly told we HAVE to
do so many things. Piffle. All we have to do is produce the best book we are capable of creating. Above everything else, believe
in yourself. Don't wallow in pity at each rejection. Congratulate yourself for trying, then send out more queries.
Title: Amanda’s Rib
Author: Cyndia Depre
Publisher: Mundania Press