This week I had the privilege of interviewing one our new contributors to The Writer's Alley, Cindy Wilson. Instantly I sensed a kindred spirit. To find the right information worthy of this presentation, I blew off the dust on how to interview books, opened secret closets, and looked under rugs seeking some inner cryptic revelation that would open the pages of Cindy's life. Here are the results--call me Gumshoe.
Why do you enjoy or feel led to be a Christian Romance Writer?
I love characters and relationships. They inspire me and move me and that’s a huge part of our Christian journey. It’s about relationships with the Lord and with friends, with family, even with those who don’t fit into any of those categories. And of course, love stories are my favorite. It just seems natural to write about characters who are either approaching or amending relationships, finding love, and doing it all to God’s glory. The depth of their growth and sweetness of their connection is what I hope will speak to readers.
When you sit down to write, what do you do first?
Okay, if this is actual scheduled writing time then I make sure I’m prepared. I usually get a glass of Diet Pepsi, even if it is still morning. And I find myself some background noise. Sometimes the television and sometimes music (I make a playlist for every new story I write). I have my laptop and my notebook nearby. Since I’m a plotter, I always have a notebook full of notes, characters, scenes, etc—depending on what point I’m at in the process. Oh, and I let myself have a little snack sometimes, too. Usually Reese’s Pieces. Chocolate. Yum! And then I’m ready to write.
How do you find time to get your writing done?
I don’t struggle too much to find writing time. I feel fortunate in that I can write pretty much anywhere, anytime. It doesn’t have to be early morning or late evening for inspiration to strike. When I’m working on a story, the characters, the setting, and the plot are circling my mind for so many hours of the day that when I finally do get the chance to sit down and write, a lot comes out. That said, I am a stay-at-home mom, so I have to work around the kids’ schedules. I try to sneak in a little writing in the afternoons when they have down time or in the mornings before things get hectic, but I usually have to write the most at night after they go to bed—or on the weekends.
What is your favorite writing resource, and why?
My favorite writing resource has always been reading—and usually that’s reading other books in my genre. Reading a great novel, especially in a genre that you’re passionate about writing, lets you learn, be entertained, and be inspired all at the same time. Of course just reading isn’t the only thing you need to do to hone your craft but it’s still so important since reading books is what made most of us passionate about writing in the first place.
In a few sentences, what is your testimony?
I’m apologizing ahead of time because this is going to be more than a few sentences. I became a Christian at the age of twenty-five and of course it changed so much about my life. One of the biggest things it influenced was my writing. I had written secular fiction for several years before that and started to pursue publication. One I was born-again, I realized a few major things about my writing. One was that I needed to change what I was writing and why. I’ve always had a passion for writing but now I was writing for the Lord and I needed to approach it with that perspective. The other thing was that I knew nothing about Christian fiction. I’d never read any Christian fiction and I was a new Christian myself—hardly ever went to church as a kid and my parents never talked about it or the Bible. So, not only was I learning what it meant to be a Christian in every day life but I had to learn what it meant to write Christian fiction for Christians who had probably known the Lord a lot longer than me.
You recently went to a conference, what was your one, most significant, take away?
That’s such a tough question because there were so many amazing experiences in that one tiny weekend that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I think the biggest thing I realized, though, was that it’s all about God’s timing. The contacts we make, the successes in our writing journeys, and every little divine appointment is in God’s hands. I truly believe He orchestrated that entire weekend for me and it was a humbling and amazing reminder that I need to trust God and seek Him for every decision I make with my writing.
Won't you take a sec to write my knew kindred-spirit friend
a welcoming message?