It's interview time, and today, we have Cindy Spencer Pape with us! Cindy is a fabulous author...multi-published with Ellora's Cave, Cerridwen, Total-E Bound, and Wild Rose Press. Hope you enjoy this interview as much as I have!
How long have you been writing? How long have you been published? I've been writing seriously since about 2000, and sold my first book in 2006.
How long did it take you to publish your first book, once you started looking for an agent or publisher? Six years on the publisher(s)—STILL looking for an agent.
How long does it take you to write a book? That can vary wildly and with no clear reason from two weeks to two years.
Do you write one book/story at a time or multiples? Usually I'm concentrating mainly on one, but have others in various stages of germination.
What is the most books/stories you've had WIP at the same time? What is the highest number you've actively been writing on at the same time? Right now about six, plus a handful of other inactive starts.
What genres do you write? Contemporary romance with paranormal elements, paranormal romance, & erotic contemporary & paranormal. Have just edged into ménage & m/m romance.
Are there any genres you'd like to try but haven't? Romance in a high fantasy setting.
Are there any genres you'd never consider writing in? If I said yes, odds are it would be the next thing a publisher asked you for, and five minutes later I'd be writing it. The only thing is, it's got to have a happy ending, so probably no true horror or serious literary fiction.
What's your writing process? (i.e. pantser/organic writer or plotter or mix? write on the computer? longhand? mix? how many passes? etc.) Any and all of the above. Mostly, I start on the computer, then about 3 chapters in I start to formulate a loose outline. But sometimes I plot, sometimes I write longhand…I'll try just about anything.
What are the strangest conditions you've written under? The strangest place and/or time you've written something? Sitting in doctor's offices? In the car? Bathroom? Wherever the idea hits. I've always got a pen and notebook handy.
What's the strangest thing you've had happen to you at a public appearance? The most disturbing or amusing? Haven't done too many yet. The coolest had to be at my first RT when a young woman read my nametag in an elevator and squealed with delight. (Then proceeded to tell me I needed to write a sequel about a character who was already dead.)
How many books do you read in the average month? e-Book or print or both? 20-40. Both.
What is the funniest or strangest editor/crit request/comment you've encountered? "If you're going to give your characters tails, they should probably use them when they're having sex."
What is your ideal location to write a book, if you had the money to live there or sequester yourself there? Shady patio overlooking the ocean.
If you could have a book signing anywhere in the world, where would you like to go? Anywhere tropical.
What would you like to own/have that would make your writing faster or smoother? (Yes, you can name everything from computer programs to a personal maid here.) Domestic help, definitely. And office space would be nice. Current workspace is a laptop on either a tv tray at the couch or my kitchen table.
Introvert or extrovert? Yes. Honestly, it depends on the setting. I'm kind of shy by nature, but can work past it, and once I'm comfortable, I never shut up.
What's the strangest/worst job (outside of publishing) you've held? (Choose either strangest or worst, since strange doesn't necessarily mean bad...or answer both.) Township Clerk (elected)—I HATE politics, even local ones. Feeding my grad advisor's reptile collection for a summer, when I have a major phobia of snakes.
The best bumper stickers you've ever seen? The best you've ever personally had on your vehicle? My current ones are "Oh, Crap, you're going to try to cheer me up, aren't you?" and "My day isn't complete until I've terrified a complete stranger." Those are both pretty good, along with "YOU—off my planet!"
Have you ever included a real experience of your own in a book? Did anyone who knows you notice it? I sneak little ones in all the time. And yeah, sometimes.
Have you ever included someone who irritated you in the book? As what, and what comeuppance did he/she get? Heh. One guy ended up in a psych ward in Curses. And I've included lots of snotty women who, of course, NEVER get the hero.
Where do you get your character names? Anywhere and everywhere. High school, family history, baby name sites, you name it.
Where do you get your inspiration for a book? How do you get your ideas? Honestly, how do you answer this? Ideas pop in and out of my head constantly. It's putting two or three together and then making them work that's the tricky part.
What is the best reader or reviewer comment you've ever received? "I read this one over and over when I'm feeling down—it's become one of my comfort reads."
What does your family think about your writing? How, if they do, do they support you in your writing endeavors? They're fantastic. My dad bought me a new laptop when my old one died, and he sends my mainstream books to his 90-year old sister. J My kids think it's cool and my husband is just amazing.
If you write with small children around, what agreements or rules have been made to preserve your writing time? My kids are teens, and both boys. That's a challenge all its own. They think my writing is cool, in the abstract, but they sure don't want to know the details.
When and where do you do the bulk of your writing? At a laptop, either at the kitchen table or on a TV tray while I sit on the couch.
Do you have animal companions while you write? How do they help or hinder the process? I have a dog and an iguana. Mostly the dog barks at neighbors and needs to go out whenever I'm in the middle of something. The iguana mostly just looks at me like I'm crazy.
What's your favorite part of being a writer? Not having to be somewhere by in the morning.
What's the thing you wish you could hire someone else to do or wish you didn't have to do as a writer? Promotion. Sigh. Writing synopses would be nice, too.
What advice would you give a new writer? Don't give up. I was just about to chuck it all, and sold three manuscripts to three publishers, pretty much all at once.
Do you belong to a crit group or other writing group? How helpful do you find it? Invaluable. Actually talking to other people who have the voices in their heads is marvelous. That they also let you know when a story isn't working is just the icing on the cake.
What book, if you have written several books, is your favorite and why? Each has a special place, but possibly Curses, which is my longest and most complex, or Dragon in the System, which features lots of geek characters in a university setting. Love my geeks!
Which of your own characters would you like to meet in real life, and what would you do? Any of the heroes. And Drool.
Do you prefer to think of yourself as a hero/heroine or villain/villainess and why? I'd love to be wicked, but I can't even play evil convincingly in a role-playing game, so I guess I'm stuck as a heroine.
If you could have one magical power, what would it be and why? Tough call. Healing comes up a lot in my books, so maybe that. Time travel would be cool.
If you were the overlord of the world, what would your first decree be?
Hmmm. How about food and healthcare for all?
Give us your backlist...
*Love at the Crazy H 1: The Cowboy's Christmas Bride The Wild Rose Press (e-book & print)
*Love at the Crazy H 2: Crazy for the Cowboy The Wild Rose Press (e-book & print)
*Love at the Crazy H 3: Always a Cowboy The Wild Rose Press (e-book & print)
*Dragon in the System Cerridwen Press (e-book)
*Djinni and the Geek Ellora's Cave (e-book)
*Teach Me (Torrid Tarot Novel) Ellora's Cave (e-book)
*Between a Rock and a Hard-On (Tricks and Treats Quickie) Ellora's Cave (e-book) available in print as part of the Tantalizing Treats anthology
*Stone and Earth (Jewels of the Nile Quickie) Ellora's Cave (e-book)
*Beltaine Bargain (short story) The Wild Rose Press (e-book)
*Curses The Wild Rose Press (e-book and print)
*One Good Man co-written with Lacey Thorn Ellora's Cave (e-book & print)
*Heart of the Bear Total-E Bound (e-book)
*All the Way Back, (
*Stone and Sea Ellora's Cave (e-book)
*Sorcerer's Song, in the Ellora's Cavemen, Jewels of the
*Three for All, Ellora's Cave (e-book)
Tell us about releases you expect within the next year...
Tell us about the awards you've won... No big wins yet. Finaled in TRS's Cupid and Psyche Award this year for Best Erotic Paranormal for Curses from The Wild Rose Press. I also have three books nominated in different categories currently at Night Owl Romance for their best books of 2008.
Tell us about your current release...
Three for All
Out now from Ellora's Cave
Blurb: In her 600 years, elven reporter Eislinn has had two great loves in her life—paranormal police officer Callum, another elf, and Lothan, a demon enforcer. One hot summer night the three of them come together, and
Note: This book contains male/male and male/male/female sexual acts and light bondage.
Give us your URLs (web site, MySpace, Facebook, blog, etc.)
Newsletter Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cspapenewsgroup/
Blog; Write Faster: http://cindyspencerpape.blogspot.com/
Blog: Oh Get a Grip: http://ohgetagrip.blogspot.com/
Infinite Worlds of Fantasy Authors (IWOFA): http://iwofa.net/