Sunday, April 24, 2011

Guest Blogger - Cindy Spencer Pape

Please help me welcome my guest today, Cindy Spencer Pape.

THK: Tell me about yourself.

CSP: Geep. I think of myself as pretty average, but then people laugh. I guess average people don’t have voices talking in their heads, or hear their kids say something and reply, “that is SO going in a book.” Let’s see: I’m short, fluffy, and kind of snarky. That’s a survival skill when you live with a bunch of males. I’ve been married over 25 years and have two sons in college who still live at home. Since my desk is in the family room and so is the X-box, much of my writing is done to the sounds of gunfire, explosions, and profanity in the background.

THK: Tell me about your current and upcoming releases. Please include a blurb and a link to where the book can be purchased.

CSP: With pleasure! Photographs & Phantoms is a novella connected to my Gaslight Chronicles series at Carina Press. It’s available as a FREE download to celebrate this week being steampunk week at Carina. You can find it here

I had loads of fun writing it, and hope you enjoy the blurb and snippet below. Also, if you’re interested in my steampunk/fantasy/romance world, the full length novel Steam & Sorcery is also available from Carina Press.

THK: What genre do you write it? What drew you to write in that genre? If you mix genres talk about that too.

CSP: I write whatever appeals to me at the time. I blame my genre-hopping on a short attention span, but part of it is also me challenging myself to try new things. Most of my books are paranormal romances, because I really love the mix of a happy ending and fantasy elements. With the Gaslight Chronicles, I’ve branched into steampunk-ishness because I find the mixture of historical and SF/fantasy utterly irresistible. The clothes and jewelry are really cool too. (wink)

THK: How many books have you written? How many have been published?

CSP: Counting short stories, well over 40. I have two fulls out on submission with my agent, one horrible first novel buried at the back of my hard drive, and all the rest have been published, or are in edits at the moment.

THK: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

CSP: Probably the humor that runs through even the most serious moments. I don’t mean to write funny, but somehow it ends up there, even when I think I’m being serious. I think I just have a quirky outlook on life and it ends up as funny in my writing.

THK: What is the hardest part of writing?

CSP: Not letting the bad reviews, rejections, or difficult chapters get you down. I’m kind of thin-skinned by nature, so that’s something I’ve really had to work on to survive in this business.

THK: What do you read for fun when you’re not writing?

CSP: Romance, all types except sweet or inspirational. Some fantasy or SF or mystery, especially if they’re also funny. I cried when Douglas Adams died.

THK: Any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

CSP: See #6. You have to develop a tough hide and you have to KEEP GOING, even when you think it’s hopeless. I came so close to quitting right before I sold that it scares me. Don’t give up. Always send that puppy out to just one more house, and write just one more book.

And a few just for fun questions.

THK: Chocolate or vanilla?

CSP: Oddly, vanilla. Though milk chocolate is still a major food group.

THK: Vampire or werewolf?

CSP: Totally werewolves, all the way.

THK: Night or day?

CSP: Given the choice, I think I’d be entirely nocturnal, except I love sunshine.

THK: Assuming you already had food and water, what one item could you not live without on a deserted island?

CSP: Someone to talk to. I’d be making up games out of sticks and rocks, and scribbling stories on palm leaves with blood if necessary.

THK: If you could have one super power, what would it be?

CSP: Healers crop up a lot in my books, so maybe that. Mostly I’d settle for a super metabolism.

THK: And probably the most interesting question: Master or slave?

CSP: Errrmmm-I don’t like to be bossed around in real life, but am pretty submissive when it’s on a more… intimate level.

Blurb & Excerpt:
Photographs & Phantoms
A Gaslight Chronicles Novella
By Cindy Spencer Pape
Available as a Free Download from Carina Press

Blurb: Brighton, 1855

As a member of the Order of the Round Table, Kendall Lake is overqualified to be investigating strange phenomena at a seaside photography studio. But since the photographer is related to the Order’s most powerful sorcerer, Kendall reluctantly boards a dirigible to Brighton.

Amy Deland is haunted by a shadow that appears in some of her recent portraits. In each case, the subject died within days of the sitting. Does she have her grandmother’s gift of foresight, or has she somehow caused the deaths?

As Kendall and Amy search for answers, their investigation draws them together in a most improper way. But it seems the evil presence in the studio is determined to keep them apart…

Excerpt: (PG)

They wove among the tourists and barrows and tents. “Sergeant Peterson built me a steam barrow to carry my equipment and a small canopy. It even has feet rather than wheels to accommodate the steps.”

“Very thoughtful of him.” Kendall’s tone was utterly neutral. “Are you and the sergeant…an item, perhaps?”

“What? No, of course not.” While Michael Peterson was a nice enough young man, and relatively attractive despite his missing arm, he was far too…traditional for Amy’s taste. He’d hinted in that direction a time or two, but she knew he’d never tolerate a wife or even a lady friend with a profession of her own. “Whatever gave you that idea?”

“Just something in his demeanor. Whether you believe so or not, the man has a definite interest in you, Amy.”

“I’ve never given him any reason to. I’m not looking for a husband—or a lover, for that matter. Certainly not unless I find one who understands my need to work.”

“Your photography is a part of you—not just the way you make your living—is that what you mean?” He spoke as if he actually understood. “I’ve a cousin who’s a concert pianist. She feels much the same way. Her husband has learned to cope, so I imagine there are other males out there who can adapt.”

“If you happen across one, send him to Brighton,” she replied. “But I’m not going to hold my breath. I’m happy with my life the way it is.” Except—in the last few hours, she’d realized there were parts of the male-female relationship she wouldn’t mind exploring further. Kendall Lake did something funny to her insides in a way no other man ever had. He made her think of things, wish for things, that could certainly never be. He was a marquess, for heaven’s sake, and the heir to a dukedom. No good could come of imagining herself in his arms, his lips upon hers.

You can find out more about Cindy and her books at the following links.

Thanks so much to Tracey for having me here today!

Thank you, Cindy, for being my guest;) It sounds like you and I have several things in common. I've almost finished my latest book to the sounds of Dragon Age on PS3. Ha. Ha. Ha. I'm totally adicted to that game myself, by the way.

Your books sound great and I love the cover art. I wish you lots of sales and many more books:)


Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Thanks, Tracey! Dragon Age is a favorite around here too, along with Halo.

Mannouchka said...

Dear Cindy ,
I always reading your books
and I am so Happy Tracey invited you on her blog . I wish you Cindy and Tracey a wonderful week and week-end