Cindy A. Christiansen Interview
Today I have the pleasure of speaking with author Cindy A. Christiansen
. Thanks for being here today, Cindy
. Welcome to FAR!
To start, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm very excited to be here. Actually, I'm excited to be anywhere. When you suffer with as many health problems as I do, you're just happy to still be alive. I think. (lol) My writing career started while I was bedridden with an autoimmune disease. Writing kept me going, along with my dog, and I find it very cathartic to this day. It doesn't make it easy, especially since I have cognitive issues, but it's important to keep those brain cells working. I'm married and have two children on the autism spectrum. That's another challenge where writing sweet romance with comedy, suspense…and dogs has helped me to escape my everyday life and enjoy my characters' journeys.
Please tell readers a little bit about your current release, Not Quite Zen
I'm really psyched about sharing my latest release with you. There's so much going on in this book, you'll need to take notes. (Just kidding.) Think witness protection, street gangs, attempted murder, secrets, disguises, accidents, love triangles, therapy dogs, multiple mysteries, car accidents, home invasion, undercover work, escaping dogs and poisonings. Oh, and I guess there's a romance in there somewhere. (lol) Here's a short blurb:
Therapy dog trainer and hospice aide Harmony Hastings takes a much needed Zen vacation only to return to sheer chaos at the Silver Sunset Senior Community. Who is the new gorgeous, young doctor and why has old Doc Barlow disappeared? Why are residents being harmed? Can Harmony keep her chakras in balance long enough to figure out the mystery before one of the baby boomers ends up dead? Is the mysterious doctor the guilty party, or is he only guilty of giving Harmony a terminal case of love?
What inspired you to write Not Quite Zen
Well, baby boomers are our largest demographic group. I hate to admit it, but I'm on the fringe of that group myself. And with all of my health problems, I fit right in. :) Let's just say, the hero and heroine aren't the only ones falling in love in this book.
Is there a message in your story that you want readers to grasp?
I have an overall message in each of my books. I list them on the website with my author notes for each book. Not Quite Zen's message is: Live for the moment. It's so important to enjoy our lives along the way, because all of sudden it's over.
What is your favorite line from the novel and why?
I really like Harmony's Grandpa Joe. He tells it like it is. :)
"My granddaughter is a smart, talented, wonderful woman. But when it comes to anything involving murder and mayhem, she's a bit of a flake."
What would you like to accomplish with your writing career?
Raising money for abused and abandoned dogs. I'm thrilled to say I've partnered with the Friends In Need Animal Sanctuary. My goals are to keep writing books I'm proud of, help abused and abandoned dogs, and also help other challenged writers navigate the writing system.
What is the best advice that anyone ever gave you?
Well, I don't know author Laura Hillenbrand personally, but she's had a strong influence on my career. Laura has an autoimmune illness called Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome. I also suffer with this illness. I decided that if Laura could accomplish what she has, then so could I. I guess the osmosis advice she gave me was to never give up, no matter what you're facing.
What is the hardest part of writing and the easiest for you?
Struggling with the cognitive and physical symptoms of a multitude of illnesses and raising two kids on the autism spectrum makes finding time to write my biggest challenge. It also contributes in struggling for words and trying to be humorous when you're feeling lousy. But, I really enjoy thinking about my characters and letting them take me places I can't go myself. I find promotion the hardest part, but love connecting on a personal level with readers. I find plotting out the basic story the easiest thing to do.
Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?
I'm taking on the challenge of a three book series. I'm finding it hard but very exciting.
Since everybody needs a break, even when doing something they love, how do you like to spend your time away from writing?
I love a lot of different things. I'm a wildlife artist, and I crochet and donate baby blankets to various organizations. My husband and I restore antique clocks. As a family, we love fishing and camping. I also love refinishing and collecting antiques. I also have to admit, I'm a bit of a TV fan.
What was the first thing you bought when you sold your first book?
I'd love to say something exciting like I bought a new Mercedes with my advance. But instead, I think my family went out for burgers. :)
Describe yourself in five words.
Determined, dedicated, dog lover, sensitive and giving.
Do you have a website or blog where readers can learn more about you and your works?
My website, My blog and Facebook Fan Page.
Is there anything else you would like to add today?
I'd like to thank you for having me and for all the great questions. And to all those who stuck around and read the interview, I'd like to giveaway an ebook copy of Not Quite Zen (PDF) to a random winner of anyone leaving a comment today.
Thank you for taking time to speak with me today Cindy
Interviewed by: Tammy