Interview with Award Winning Author Cindy Huff

Hello Cindy.

cindy huff 2016 (1)

It is nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

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I grew up as an Air Force brat, so I learned to make friends. We moved every few years, so my sisters and I were always making new friends.  I’m an introverted /extrovert. I love people, but I also love time by myself. I love reading and visiting museums. When I went to the Sears Tower in Chicago everyone else was looking at the Chicago skyline while I was reading the historical plaques inside the observation deck.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create? 

I found my writing muse in junior high. When I realized God had given me an imagination with lots of characters talking in my head I knew I needed to write. But it was decades later before I attempted a novel.

Who is your favorite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you? 

I have more than one favorite writer. I love Mary Connealy, Cindy Ruchti, Shelley Arnold and C Hope Clark. I learn so much from reading them. I would say Lucy Montgomery inspired me to write when I read all her works including Anne of Green Gables when I was a home-school mom.

 What genre do you enjoy reading? What’s your favorite book and why?

I love historicals and mysteries.

My favorite book is usually the one I’m currently reading. And it doesn’t have to be in my favorite genre.

 I’m addicted to reading.

 How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I had to learn to write faster. Fans want more books. And it needs to be better than the first. The first one Secrets & Charades took over ten years from rough draft to publication. (Big learning curve.) My second book, New Duet took over a year. My third, still unpublished, Bride in Disguise took about nine months. And my present work, a novella I am contracted to write, needs to be done by August.

If you’ve published a series, what is the series about? 

I’ve written a sequel to Secrets & Charades. This historical romance series takes place in the made-up town of Charleston Texas. Lots of fun, strong female characters. I address a variety of cultural and historical things that took places after the Civil War over a six-year period.

What was it like creating back to back stories that link? 

 Challenging. Each story needs to stand on its own.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could, what genre would you like to dabble in? 

New Duet is a contemporary romance, while Secrets & Charades is a Historical Romance. I’d like to try a mystery or a time travel book someday. We will see.

What has been your proudest moment as an author? 

Winning the Maxwell Award for Secrets & Charades. That is second only to seeing my book in my hand.

 Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration? 

No, but I wanted to set a few manuscripts on fire.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer? 

Definitely. A hopeless pantster. I do lots of research, but outlining is never good. The characters take me down different roads from my outline.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing? 

My hubby is the Grammar King. He fixes my commas and stands his ground when I disagree. He is usually right.

 What three tips would you give any aspiring writer? 

Learn all you can.

 Don’t fool yourself into thinking your first draft is a best seller., or too stubborn to change a word.

Take the advice of experienced writers and don’t be afraid to show your work to other authors. Their input is priceless.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a novella for a collection. The Cowboys will release in August 2019.

 What will you release next?  I hope Bride in Disguise gets picked up soon. Otherwise, that novella will be my next release.

So… where can we get your books? 

Both Secrets & Charades and my new release, New Duet are available on Amazon. Secrets & Charades just released in an audiobook available on Amazon, Audibles and iTunes.

How would you define what being a successful writer means?

I have no idea. I think I need several more books under my belt to earn that title.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? 

Depends on the plot. S&C took two months of reading before I began and lots of double checking facts. Historical books must be accurate. New Duet took a few weeks of research. Setting it in my hometown made it so much easier. But I’m not a thirty-something so I had to add the right touches to make New Duet believable. Because Dan has a prosthetic I need to be sure I describe it correctly. Lots of pictures on the Web.

What was your hardest scene to write? 

In New Duet, I had to ask my husband how one got off the floor to retrieve crutches after falling. He has had lots of experience with them while I have had none.  And in Bride in Disguise, my heroine is tied to a chair and works to get loose.

What’s your writing schedule like?

 I have a part-time job and grandchildren and a mom to do things for, so some days aren’t too productive. On a good day (usually my days off) I get up early, clean out my e-mail. Write a blog then spend the rest of the morning and early afternoon writing. Then my creative juices are done, and I find other things to do like read or take a walk or run errands.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Rather than name drop, I’ll just say being part of Word Weavers, ACFW and attending conferences has brought many wonderful published authors into my life. Those in critique groups with me help me fix stuff. Reading their work, I learn so much.

How have your family and friends accepted your career as a writer? Are they supportive?

My husband right from the first word. Other family members took my writing for granted until I got a contract for my first novel. My friends think it is cool to know a real author.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

Mostly imagination, but at my age, I’ve met many people to draw characteristics from to create fresh characters.

 What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction?

A contract and a deadline. It’s the truth. I’d been given guidelines and I needed to create believable characters. Identical twins who didn’t look so identical anymore. Fears, past hurts and scares helped create Jed and Lonnie Holt. Add a woman running from trouble and you have my novella.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

The United Kingdom to track down ancestors.

Which one of your characters is your favorite and why?

Evangeline because she was my first character. But I love them all when they are telling me their story.

Buy links:

Amazon: New Duet

Secrets & Charades links

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Charades-Cindy-Ervin-Huff

 Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secrets-charades-cindy-ervin-huff/1126086057?ean=9781946016140

LPC: https://www.shoplpc.com/product/secrets-charades/

social media sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/author.huff11/about/?ref=page_internal and

www.facebook.com/cindyehuff,

Twitter: @CindyErvinHuff,

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8029703-cindy-huff

Blog: www.jubileewriter.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.com/Cindy-Huff/e/B01N9UAOZA/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Bonus:

Secretes and Chardes

Secrets & Charades Back Cover Copy

 Jake Marcum’s busy ranch leaves him no time for courting, and his wounded heart has no place for love. When battlefield nightmares disturb his peace and his tomboy niece, Juliet, needs taming, somehow a mail-order bride seems like a logical solution.

Dr. Evangeline Olson has no idea her niece is writing to a rancher on her behalf, and she sure isn’t interested in abandoning her medical practice for a stranger. But when an inheritance threatens to reveal a long-buried secret, she travels west to become Jake’s wife.

Jake soon realizes Evangeline is more than he bargained for, especially when her arrival causes a stir in the community. As the two try to find their way in a marriage of convenience, their fragile relationship is further tested by cattle rustling and kidnapping. Can their hearts overcome past hurts to create a real marriage?

 

New Duet Back cover copy:

Isabella Melinda Wilson has been squeezed into the music ministry model of her controlling husband’s making. Before she can leave him, he leaves her a guilt ridden widow. Her mother-in-law is no comfort and presses the guilt button at every turn. Isabella flees to her sister’s home in search of her own identity and a new beginning.

Dan Sweeney has one goal. Be as normal as possible. After losing a leg, some fingers and his self-worth, he needs his service dog, Brutus, to help keep his PTSD at bay. Career-less and clueless about the future, he struggles to put his life back together.

Isabella isn’t looking for a new relationship and Dan feels unworthy of one. Can these two broken people heal into one whole love?

About Cindy Ervin Huff:

Cindy Ervin Huff received the Editor’s Choice Award for her debut novel Secrets and Charades, published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Secrets & Charades placed third in the Maxwell Awards.

Over the past forty years, her byline has appeared in numerous publications. Her latest release a Contemporary Romance New Duet is set in Aurora, Illinois. Healing Hearts, part of The Cowboys novella collection is slated for release in August 2019.

Cindy is the founding member of the Aurora Illinois chapter of Word Weavers and a member of ACFW.  Her blog Jubilee Writer offers writing encouragement to all newbies, especially those starting later in life. www.jubileewriter.wordpress.com

Visit Cindy on her Facebook www.facebook.com/cindyehuff or follow her on twitter @CindyErvinHuff.

 

About eve culley

Children's Author, micro-farmer, wife, mother, and grandmother
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