Thursday, February 9, 2012
Interview with multi-genre writer Cindi Maciolek
Today's guest, Cindi R. Maciolek is sharing about birds, writing, and more. Read on for the fun and to learn more about her book Divatiel: Reflections of a Bird’s Companion.
Cindi R. Maciolek is a writer and business consultant, whose previously published works include Java Jems: 5 Minute Inspirations for Busy People and The Basics of Buying Art. She’s also a contributing author to the books Life Choices: Pursuing Your Passion and Life Choices: It’s Never Too Late. Maciolek has written numerous articles for the luxury marketplace, including the Robb Report and Luxury Las Vegas. Maciolek lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
On the web: www.cindimaciolek.com
Twitter: @cindimaciolek and @divatiel
Facebook: Cindi Maciolek – Writer
Welcome, Cindi. Please tell us about your current release.
Divatiel: Reflections of a Bird’s Companion, is the true story of life with a diva-tastic cockatiel. It’s a memoir of love, a tribute to my fine feathered friend. Jake’ pretty much ruled the roost for the 17 years we were together. Certainly, I allowed her to do so, but I also had no idea how much fun living with a cockatiel could be. The book was probably a three year project, but now that it’s out, I have the opportunity to share her story with others. She had so many experiences, from getting stuck inside the kitchen cabinets to being injured at the vet’s office to flying on an airplane. I also learned a lot about life from Jake’ and I have a list at the back of the book highlighting key lessons from the Divatiel. I can’t imagine ever having another bird like Jake’ and I suspect her life was one of a kind. I hope that readers feel the love and help me share her story with others.
What inspired you to write this book?
From the moment I met my little birdie, she impressed me with her intelligence and her ability to interact with me. I’d regale others with tales of her antics, and time and time again I was told, “You ought to write a book! She’s too funny!” So, one day, I began to gather a collection of short stories about her. I intended it to be a sort of introduction to life with a bird, but my cockatiel in particular.
As I sent it out for comments, everyone came back suggesting I rewrite it as a complete story, in chronologic order. It nearly tripled the size of the book, but it’s such a better read, I have to admit.
I searched and found very few books about life with pet birds written from an owner’s perspective. Most people understand what life is like with a dog or a cat, but birds are a completely different animal. Some people who have birds simply keep them in cages and have limited interaction with them. That was not the case with Jake’. We interacted significantly throughout her life, right from the day I brought her home.
I also want animal lovers of all types to enjoy and understand what life was like in Divatieldom. If you’re bonded with your pet, chances are you’ve shared similar experiences and you can identify with them.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working both sides of my brain. For my left brain, I’m finishing a business book that I started a couple of years ago. I really struggled with the structure of the book, and I finally feel comfortable with where it’s going. I want it to be useful to entrepreneurs or those considering starting their own business.
For my right brain, I’m deep into a chick lit novel that I love, love, love! I came up with the idea many years ago and it’s great to see it coming to fruition. It will make a fun beach/cruise read.
I’m always working on screenplay ideas of some sort, too. And, children’s books. I have a whole series I’d love to publish.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve written since I was about four years old, so I guess I’ve always considered myself a writer in some way, although I only just allowed myself to think in those terms. As an adult, most of my writing has been in the business world. It wasn’t until really recently that I looked back on my life and thought, wow! I’m a writer! I couldn’t possibly be me if I didn’t write. It’s so engrained in my being.
Now, am I the world’s greatest writer? I think not, but I certainly have a lot to offer. I also rather enjoy bringing voice to those who, for some reason, aren’t capable of expressing themselves. I want my readers to enjoy what I write and to learn something at the same time.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Oh, that my books would sell in the millions and I could write full-time!
I work as a business consultant, particularly with entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized companies. I thoroughly enjoy it! When you click with your client, there’s a great synergy that takes place and it feels wonderful to help them reach the next level in their business. I also write regularly for Luxury Las Vegas. My editor is awesome!
Finding time to write can sometimes be a challenge. I tend to write a lot in my head, so when I sit down at the computer, it usually flows more easily. If I’m consistent about setting aside one or two hours a day, I can accomplish a lot, but it seems I’ll go in fits and starts where I’ll be consistent for awhile, then I take a break. I’m a night owl, so writing later in the day is more typical but there’s great satisfaction in getting out of bed and laying down a good chapter before doing anything else that day.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I read aloud when I edit. If something doesn’t read aloud easily, it needs to be fixed. I also embody the characters as I read, using different voices and actions. It helps me to bring the story to life and envision what it will be like on the big screen someday.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Since I began writing at such a young age, I always wanted to be a writer. However, I have other creative interests that I’ve pursued at times, including fashion design and singing/songwriting, but it always swings back to writing and business consulting. It’s in my blood!
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
This project was definitely a team effort. I have to give a big shoutout to Shelly Volsche who did a great job with the cover design, layout and Divatiel logo. I absolutely love her work and she helped define the look of it all. Valory Degree was a huge help from an editing standpoint, and our interactions kept the book moving forward. I also want to give big thanks to all my readers who gave me honest and helpful comments, and my nephew, Dan, for the subtitle.
I want to use this book and the upcoming merchandising (tiaras should arrive shortly, other items on the way) as a vehicle to pay it forward. Jake’ would have wanted me to help other pets and that’s what I intend to do. I invite your readers to keep tabs on future projects at www.cindimaciolek.com and www.divatiel.com.
And, thanks so much for the opportunity!
Thank you, Cindi. You certainly are a multi-talented writer!
Readers, you can read more about Cindi as she tours her book at these other blogs through March.
Feel free to comment and let Cindi know you read this interview, too.