Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cyndi Tefft - Book Review, Author Interview

PhotobucketIt just figures that the love of Lindsey Water's life isn't alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile and Scottish accent.

After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates.

Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven's siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries.

My Review:

By Cyndi Tefft

From page one this book draws you in and holds you there. It has a highland feel to the story that I adored. The writing style and pace flowed well. The character were believable and very relatable. World and Setting takes place on multi dimensions and “flashbacks” seem well studied. Also accurately drawn/played out. Overall this was a great, fun read. One of which I’d love to see a sequel to. Oh and, Have I told you lately how much I LOVE Scottish Men? Mmmmmmm

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Author Interview:

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I live in Seattle, though I’ve only been here for about three years. I grew up in Oregon
and have lived in the Pacific Northwest most of my life. I am a self-proclaimed Scot
freak, though you’d have to go back about 400 years to find a drop of Scottish blood in
my ancestry. I know because I signed up for specifically to research that!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My mom is a great writer so I think it was just always something around me as I was
growing up. I’m a lot like her (even more so the older I get). We both like writing and
singing, and are horrible cooks to boot. Ha! As a teen, I journaled nearly every day as a
way to “scream” on paper the things I couldn’t say out loud.

What surprised you the most about the writing/publishing process?

When I began writing Between, it wasn't to get published. I just wanted to see if I could
do it. I honestly didn't think I'd make it past 50 pages since I tend to get bored easily and
move on to new things. So I surprised myself by how dedicated I was to getting to the
end, to finding out how it all came together. The hardest part was editing and revising
the book. Since I'd never written a book before, I thought it was perfect as soon as I
finished typing it. I had no idea how much time I'd spend revising it once I started getting

The publishing process was much more difficult than I ever thought it would be. Trying
to find an agent and get traditionally published was a gut-wrenching exercise that sucked
the joy out of writing for me. All of a sudden, writing wasn’t fun anymore. It became
about fear and rejection, about not being good enough, and I lost interest in writing. The
rise of self-publishing tools and resources provided me an avenue to get the book to
readers, and breathed new life into my outlook on writing.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

Not at all, actually. LOL The plot developed over time and the characters are really a
mishmash of people I know (or want to know!). I am more of a pantser than a plotter,
meaning that I just write and see where the story takes me. I wrote an outline for a book
once and by the time I was done, I didn’t want to write the book, since I felt like it was
already done! I like not knowing what’s coming next and having the characters guide the
story as their personalities unfold.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Well, there’s good “writing” and there’s good “storytelling.” The best of both worlds is
when the story is so engrossing that you don’t even notice the writing. Beautiful prose
can add a special quality to a story, but it can’t (in my opinion) make up for a tale that
is lacking. Good writing is when the author can make you rejoice, weep, think, worry,
wonder, laugh (and all the emotions in between). There is no set formula, I don’t believe,
but you know it when you see it.

In Twitter Fashion using 140 characters or less, sum up Between for us.

Between is a YA love story about a girl who dies in a car accident & the 18th century Scottish Highlander who comes to take her to heaven.

How did you come up with a story that was such a whirlwind of events?

I’ve always wanted to travel, but could never afford to. Writing about foreign countries
was a way for me to “visit” them. I spent hours researching French and Scottish history.
It wasn’t until last year (after the first draft of the book was complete) that I had the
change to travel overseas for the first time. Being able to visit Eilean Donan Castle, the
childhood home of Aiden MacRae in Between, was a dream come true. I made a video to
share the experience with readers!

How long did it take you to write it, and did you have any writer’s block along the

I wrote the first draft in about six months and spent the next year (or so) editing it. I much
prefer writing to editing! *grin* I did have some periods along the way where I wasn’t
really sure what was going to happen. Sometimes, I’d sit down to write and ten pages
would be complete by the time I was done. Other times, I struggled to get two pages.
Certain scenes were harder to write than others.

One of my co-workers was reading the book even as I was writing it. She liked to read
the manuscript on her lunch break and would constantly push me to give her more pages
so she wouldn’t run out. That was great motivation to keep going!

Will we be seeing a following book to this story?

Absolutely! I can’t say much since I don’t want to give away any plot points from the
first book, but I can tell you that it’s called Hell Transporter. Aiden’s job is to transport
souls from earth to heaven, and the second book has to do with his counterpart. I’ve got a
cover in mind that is similar to Between’s, but with a red flame instead of blue smoke. I
think it’s going to complement the first book beautifully.

I am about one-third of the way through the first draft of Hell Transporter. Once Between
is launched, I will turn my attention to getting it finished. But let me just say, the
ending… oh, you’ll like that!

How did you come up with the character Lindsey?

Lindsey is very much like me, as a matter of fact. However, I intentionally gave her traits
I don’t have (like the fact that she can cook and I could burn water). Still, the way she
thinks and reacts is often how I would, under the circumstances.

I always must ask, if you could pick one actor to portray Aiden on the big screen
who would it be and why?

Oooh, that’s hard because I’ve never seen an actor and thought, “That’s him!” I would
love to interview a bunch of hunky Scots for the role. I decided to do a Google search for
handsome blond men… *three hours later* OMG, okay I have it now!!

Paul Walker. He would make a fantastic Aiden. *fans self* The blonde hair, striking blue
eyes, the way his expression can change from sweet to scary… He’d have to cultivate a Scottish accent and grow his hair out, but I’d give him the part!


Was there anything you found particularly challenging when writing this book?

There is a scene at the Palace of Versailles where Lindsey and Aiden attend a ball. I
wanted to capture the magnitude of the palace, how grandiose and excessive every room
is, without going into such nauseating detail that the reader will start skimming. It was a
challenge because there is so much to describe and I had to limit myself to key visuals to
set the scene without going overboard. I wrote and rewrote that part several times.

What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your finished book?

Sheer joy and relief. This journey has been longer and more emotional than I could have
ever envisioned. There were many points along the way when I thought I’d never get to
see it in print. Holding the book in my hands for the first time, I just clutched it to my
chest and let the joy flow over me. It was quite a moment.

Thanks for having me on the blog. I had a great time!

Here are some ways to connect with me:


tears_of_fire said...

This sounds like a great read. I will have to add it to my list :) I like Scottish men in stories to ;-)

Toni said...

Absolutely love the coloring and feel of the cover. Great job!! Sounds like an interesting story. Love how it is not the normal PN. I don't even have to mention it but...HELLO SCOTSMEN!! You have a winner right there!

lindalou said...

Whoa! I love Scottish men too! AND what a great interview! Thanks for the review... 5 stars! I have to add it to my MUST-READ list...

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