Welcome author Cindy Spencer Pape today

Thanks for stopping by to talk a little about your writing! Let's jump right in. When did you begin writing and why?
I’ve always dabbled, but the first time I tried to give it a serious go was in the late 90s, when I had a job where I had little to do but had to look busy, preferably on my computer, and games weren’t an option. But nobody noticed if I was typing a document. That’s when I wrote my first novel.

Do you have a favorite genre? Is it the same genre you prefer to write?
I love historical, suspense, and paranormal, for both reading and writing. Sometimes I like to mix them up, such as in my steampunk work. Curses is a paranormal, werewolf/witch book with a fair bit of suspense. Where there’s Smoke is a Prohibition-set historical, with no paranormal elements. I love them both!

Do certain themes and ideas tend to capture your writer’s imagination and fascinate you?
Of course! I’ve noticed that family often features prominently in my books, both the good and bad of them, as well as the idea of the families we build for ourselves as we go through life. Also humor, even when the story’s in a dark place, because I think life is just stupid funny sometimes.

Do you have a favorite author who introduced you to the genre?
Hands down, for paranormal and suspense, and smart romance, there’s no beating the late Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters. My early historicals were usually medieval, which I haven’t written much, but the master of the early medieval historicals was undoubtedly Roberta Gellis. I have so many other favorites and inspirations, but those two are definitely part of my foundation as a writer.

What advantages or challenges does a writer in your genre face in today’s fiction market?
Steampunk flat out didn’t sell like we’d hoped, so that hurt the bottom line a bit. Paranormal is up and down, as is historical. Right now, though, the state of the publishing industry as a whole is the big thing that gives us all nightmares. With publishers merging, closing, firing editors and bookstores closing all over the place, it’s a tough time in any genre.

What's on the top of your TBR pile right now?
I just unpacked several boxes of old books. I think I’m going to go back and read some of my classic Jayne Ann Krentz and Linda Howard’s.


Tell me a little about the characters in Where there’s Smoke.
Nettie Price is a young woman from a decent family that pretty much lost everything when her mother died and her father descended into alcoholism (yes, it could be managed during Prohibition, but it was riskier.) She promised her mother she’d look after her father, but as he becomes more physically abusive, it becomes more and more difficult. Eli Price is from a wealthy Chicago family but has chosen to forego the family banking business to be a lawyer and volunteer firefighter in a small Michigan town.

Where’s the story set? How much influence did the setting have on the atmosphere/characters/development of the story?
The setting, especially the time period, influenced everything. Nettie and Eli live in a time where the world was changing around them faster than people could keep up. Most small cities didn’t have professional fire departments, so it was possible for Eli to follow both of his dreams. Nettie works at a book store, which would have been a little scandalous just a few decades earlier. At the start of the book, she’s never even owned a lipstick—makeup, for “nice” girls was a new thing. She makes her own clothes. The location of the story, the western coast of Michigan is rich in timber, and was very popular for rich Chicagoans building summer homes, which is a big part of Eli’s family.

If you had to write your memoir in five words, what would you write?
Many jobs, kind of crazy.

How often does your muse distract you from day to day minutiae?
I’d say it was a pretty equal split between that and when the day to day stuff interferes with my writing. J

What do readers have to look forward to in the future from you?
I have a lot of stuff I’ll be re-releasing over the next year or two, plus I’m working on some new paranormal and historical stuff plus taking a step out of romance and into urban fantasy. Ideally, I’d really like to revisit the twenties, maybe with another mystery for Nettie and Eli, and, if possible, maybe sneak in a bit of steampunk just for fun.



    Curses, published by Butterfly Kisses Press from the Ethan Ellenberg Agency, full-length paranormal romance.

 Cindy Spencer Pape’s first published novel, Epic-Award winning and multiple award finalist, Curses, is being re-released by Butterfly Kisses Press:

Some people really are cursed when it comes to love! For innkeeper and witch Melissa MacRae, a family curse means that falling in love is the ultimate bad idea. Author Jonas Pierce is a werewolf, who has seen too much evil to even consider passing on his curse to another generation. So why does a hot summer fling have them both thinking about happily ever after?

Curses will be re-released on April 1, 2016, in paperback and e-book.


Where there’s Smoke, A Roaring 20’s novella, Vintage romantic Suspense with a hot fireman hero, available from Rook and Rose Publications.

Michigan, 1926:

Nettie Price supports her abusive father because of a deathbed promise to her mother. One of the highlights of her day is when Eli Lawson, lawyer, and volunteer firefighter comes in to her bookshop for his morning papers.

After one particularly brutal beating, Eli finds her and takes her to his home to recover. As a string of fires heats up the town, things also start to heat up between Nettie and Eli. But between arson and their own insecurities, love just might not be enough to save their relationship—or their lives.

Excerpt from “Where there’s Smoke”

He whistled on his way to the shop, as usual. He couldn’t have said what it was about Nettie Price that made him smile, but every day she did. She wasn’t anything like the girlfriends he’d had, whether in college or since. He’d always been drawn to tall, elegant blondes, the more modern the better. Bobs, cigarette holders and rolled-down stockings were the norm in his circles. Nettie still wore her straight dark hair in a thick knot at the nape of her neck—and the simple style suited her softly pretty features. No crimson lipstick or kohl eyeliner adorned her face, her skirts fell nearly to her ankles and she wore her fingernails short and clean. She should have been an unmemorable mouse—if not for her quick smile and quicker mind.
At every other shop in town, the clerks looked at Eli as if he were nothing more than his wallet or his position on the city council, always trying to sell him something more, something he didn’t need, or hoping to influence his opinion on this or that. Nettie saw the man beneath, and spoke to him like a person, and damn if every book she suggested wasn’t a good one. Best of all, he’d watched her with other customers. She was thoughtful to everyone who entered the shop, rich or poor. She was even polite to the ones who spoke rudely about her drunken father.

It was on that thought that Eli entered the shop so he’d momentarily lost his cheerful mood. It disintegrated completely when he got a look at Nettie’s face. Her left cheek was a mass of bruising, the eye swollen nearly shut.

And still she smiled. “I wondered where you were today. I’ve saved you a Washington Post.” Her bright tone never wavered.

Eli lost all pretense of civility and stalked to the counter. “Your father?” He pitched his voice low, so it wouldn’t carry through the open door.

“I tripped.” She winced as she tried to smile again. “Fell down a couple of stairs into a wall.” Her fingers clenched on the counter, wrinkling his copy of the local paper.

Not that he gave a damn about that. He laid his hand over his. “You’re not a very good liar, Miss Nettie. Why’d he hit you this time?”
She shrugged. “I forgot to pick up his medicine on my way home last night.”
“Medicine, my Aunt Gertrude. You mean his booze.” Everyone knew Murphy the pharmacist sold bootleg liquor out of his shop, and gave a cut of the profit to Doc Rollins, the disreputable quack who prescribed it for a wide variety of ills.
Nettie pulled her hand away. “It doesn’t matter, Mr. Lawson. I won’t forget it again.”

About the Author:
Multi-Award winning author Cindy Spencer Pape firmly believes in happily-ever-after and brings that to her writing, which blends fantasy, adventure, science fiction, suspense and romance. Author of 19 novels and more than 40 shorter works, Cindy lives in southeast Michigan with her family and a houseful of pets. When not hard at work writing she can be found restoring her 1870 home, dressing up for steampunk parties and Renaissance fairs, or with her nose buried in a book.


Comments

Janni Nell said…
Interesting interview Cindy. Love your cover!
Melissa Keir said…
What a wonderful interview. I love mixing up my genres too! :) It's fun to find a new wonderful world by a fabulous new author!

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