I hope some of you remember my friend Cynthia ( Cynthia Ainsworthe), I introduced her to you a few years ago HERE . We have been friends for quite some time and she is a sweet soul. I love shining the light on authors and Cynthia is an accomplished and awarded author of several books. She had always wanted to become a writer. But, like it does for many of us, life put her dream on hold for most of her life. I can still hear my AP English teacher telling me she would be the first person to stand in line to buy any book written by me (she was an awesome teacher). Well, there’s no book, although I have it all in my head (wink) and still hope one day to let it out. But, I am blessed to have many lovely friendships with very talented authors. All of whom in one way or another have tackled their bucket list and ticked the been there done it, box of becoming an author and being published.
Cynthia wrote her first novel, Front Row Center, which won the prestigious IPPY (Independent Publisher) Award and I am very excited to share that her novel is now being adapted to screen. A script is in development by her and known Hollywood screenwriter, producer, and director, Scott C Brown.
I know you will enjoy this post and that you will no doubt soon have her steamy romance books filled with suspense and seasoned with crime on your reading list. Enjoy!
Tackle Your Bucket List—Get Inspired!
The word inspiration is used millions of times since its inclusion in the English language. It has been employed as a reference point for people, things, emotion and acts, good or bad. When I think of inspiration, my mind travels to those who have set an example by deeds of good, a lyric, or an emotion-evoking phrase in a novel or speech. Such is the reason why I embarked on a career in writing late in life.
When I was ten, I wrote a play for my neighborhood friends to present to their parents. I had no typewriter and wrote the script out by hand.
My early teen years sparked my interest in writing stories for others to enjoy. There, my imagination could soar and explore wondrous travels and situations. I devoured books of the time by William Goldman and relished his fanciful turn of a word and poignant use of few words, which spoke volumes of a situation or a character’s inner thought. I even attempted to write a book on a rickety Smith Corona typewriter with the use of carbon paper for the copies.Alas, my father had other goals for my life that did not include being a writer. In these days, the idea of a parent choosing a child’s profession is ludicrous; but then that was the norm. Therefore, I dutifully chose my career from the list of “suitable” professions Dad chose.
A few decades later, after college, marriage, and establishing a nursing career, I attended a Barry Manilow concert. Though I have followed his career and enjoyed his many concerts in the past, I never truly listened to his words of advice, “Do what you love, and the rest will follow.” That advice hit home to me one June day not so many years ago.
Writing a novel was a long buried dream. I realized that the number of days left in my life were limited to a finite number. I no longer had the luxury of youth to delay a desire to the lingering future. I couldn’t believe there was a story of any value within me. I hadn’t done any creative writing since I was seventeen. At the age of fifty-eight, I wondered if I could even construct a proper sentence, since my nursing career involved writing in disjointed phrases on patients’ charts. This was a challenge as I had to shift from years of living in the analytical side of my brain to my much underactive creative side.
I didn’t even own a computer and didn’t realize that typewriters and carbon paper was a thing of the past for modern-day authors. Learning computer skills with that of setting up an email was a challenge. It took me at least three weeks to learn the basics of MS Word. All I wanted to do was write a book, and now I had to figure out all the little tabs in the Word command ribbon. I thanked my daughter for showing me the “Save As” function.
It started with the “What if?” concept in my mind for my plot. One “what if” lead to another, and another. I began my manuscript on June twenty-seventh and finished my last period on September twenty-seventh that same year. I wrote every free moment when not at the hospital working the night shift, thirty-six hours per week. Ideas and characters rained in a torrent, begging to be developed and born on paper. Excited with my finished “baby” and baptized with the name Front Row Center, I eagerly shared my greater than 292,000 word creation (I had no idea I had written a tome) with a dear friend, Mark J. Dye, who advised me to seek an editor, as he considered the story good. I expected the usual kindness from a friend, but never actual enthusiasm. Since I dedicated this new baby to Barry Manilow, Mark also suggested I present the manuscript to Barry, which I did. Looking back, I would have never given Mr. Manilow a raw manuscript with construct errors—a book that hadn’t been read by a professional editor. At the time, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
Having searched the internet for writing services, I landed an editor who felt I had a career in writing. She took me through the basics to a finished product. She was tough, and wouldn’t write any revisions, but forced me to learn what turns a writer into an author. As much as Mr. Manilow’s words inspired me to write, she inspired me to write well.
On a whim, and never expecting to have a chance of winning, I entered my one and only novel in the IPPY Awards in the romance category. You guessed it. I won! This was my first novel with no previous writing experience.
Recently, two short stories of mine, When Midnight Comes and Characters, have been included in an anthology The Speed of Dark compiled by Clayton C. Bye, Chase Enterprises, Inc. Publishing, which won the 2013 Reader’s Favorite International award that I share with other contributing authors. I felt extremely honored to be included among a group of very talented and seasoned authors, and was accepted as one of the judges on the book panel prior to publication. My short story, It Ain’t Fittin’, garnered the Award of Excellence in Writing by It Matters Radio
I have been honored by being a guest on many radio talk shows, met and chatted with Barry Manilow several times, and made wonderful friends along my journey. I only mention my achievements to show that following your heart can be so gratifying and enriching.
What was the best part? Making friends and knowing they enjoyed my writings—giving them the gift of traveling with my characters with varied experiences.
Inspiration and taking a chance? It made a monumental change in my life. What was merely an item on my bucket list evolved into a rewarding career. Follow your inspiration and see where it might lead. Listen to your nagging inner voice and welcome the rewards.
It has been a pleasure sharing my blog with Cynthia today.
Cynthia’s Dangerous Reach book 4 in the Forbidden Series is due for release this spring!
I hope you will get to know her even more through her writings and social networks too.
Watch Cynthia’s wonderful book trailers HERE
What will you tackle on your bucket list?
Hugs all around and I’ll see you back here tomorrow for what is surely the best blog party in blogland, TFT!