Today’s guest is best selling Cynthia Hickey. She has five books published through Barbour Publishing. She has several historical romances from Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents. She has sold over 160,000 copies of her books.
JIM: Where all did you live during those growing up years?
Cynthia: I was born in Redondo Beach, CA but moved from there when very long. We alternated our time between Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Germany, finally settling in Arkansas at the age of ten when my father retired from the Army and returned to his home state.
JIM: Did any of those places have a particular influence on your writing?
Cynthia: Arkansas has. Most of my stories take place in the Ozark mountains. It’s the home of my heart.
JIM: ve never before known anyone who worked in a pickle factory.
Cynthia: It was the perfect high school job. Football was so popular with the town residents, that we had Friday nights off work to attend the games during football season. I did a little bit of everything during the two years I worked there: tossed out hamburger pickle slices that had holes in them, worked the relish and spice line, flipped jars, and worked the conveyor belt when the cucumbers arrived from Texas, sometimes with a snake or two mixed in.
JIM: You have quite a few inspirational novels and a bunch of general novels. When you finish a book, how do you decide what kind of a book to write next?
Cynthia: A literary agent once told me that I have more story ideas than anyone they’ve ever met. I keep a file on my computer of these ideas and when I finish a book, I browse this list. Sometimes I choose something from the list, other times, I’ve got a brand new idea.
JIM: You said your first novel was Fudge-Laced Felonies. How long did it take you to write it and then how long to get it published?
Cynthia: I wrote this cozy mystery in three months on a dare. When a publisher started a new cozy mystery line, a friend told me I should write for it. I had no idea what a cozy mystery was. This friend dared me to write it, and voila … my first book was born. I rarely turn down a dare.
JIM: What is your secret?
Cynthia: Strong discipline, a daily writing goal, a wonderful imagination, and God’s help. My novels include everything from novellas to full length works of 90,000 words.
JIM: Wait, now. You have seven children. Where do you get the time?
Cynthia: Luckily for me, all but one of my children are grown and moved out. The sixteen-year-old is busy with school and work. I didn’t start writing seriously until my children were independent.
JIM: Tell us a little about your latest inspirational novel.
Cynthia: An Unconventional Lady is book two in a series based on the historical Harvey Girls. Annie Rollins is adventurous and wants nothing more than to lead tours into the Grand Canyon. Her widowed mother has other ideas and signs Annie up as a Harvey Girl to teach her refinement and a woman’s proper role in the world. What happens next, is a sweet, fun, little romance between Annie and the man her mother hired as the guide.
JIM: Tell us a little about your latest general novel.
Cynthia: My latest general novel is actually a zombie novella. I started writing these because my son and grandchildren wanted to be main characters in my books. I had no idea they would be as popular as they are.
JIM: And what comes next?
Cynthia: My next release, coming out July 1, is the third book in the Harvey Girl series, and I’m starting a new series for Harlequin’s Heartsong line that deals with finding love among natural disasters.
JIM: Lastly, where can we buy your books?
Cynthia: My website at www.cynthiahickey.com lists all of my published works. Come sit a spell an browse.