Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Interview with fantasy author Cindy Lynn Speer

Welcome, readers. Today’s special guest is fantasy author Cindy Lynn Speer. We’re chatting a little bit about her fantasy mysteries The Chocolatier's Wife, and The Chocolatier’s Ghost.

During her virtual book tour, Cindy will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to one lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Cindy Lynn Speer has been writing since she was 13. She has Blue Moon and Unbalanced published by Zumaya. Her other works, including The Chocolatier’s Wife (recently out in an illustrated hardcover to celebrate its 10th anniversary) and the Chocolatier’s Ghost, as well as the short story anthology Wishes and Sorrows. When she is not writing she is either practicing historical swordsmanship, sewing, or pretending she can garden. She also loves road trips and seeing nature. Her secret side hobby is to write really boring bios about herself.

Please tell us a little bit about The Chocolatier's Wife.
A truly original, spellbinding love story, featuring vivid characters in a highly realistic historical setting.

When Tasmin's bethrothed, William, is accused of murder, she gathers her wind sprites and rushes to his home town to investigate. She doesn't have a shred of doubt about his innocence. But as she settles in his chocolate shop, she finds more in store than she bargained for. Facing suspicious townsfolk, gossiping neighbors, and William's own family, who all resent her kind - the sorcerer folk from the North -- she must also learn to tell friend from foe, and fast. For the real killer is still on the loose - and he is intent on ruining William's family at all cost.

Please tell us a little bit about The Chocolatier’s Ghost.
It’s the enchanting sequel to The Chocolatier’s Wife.

Married to her soul mate, the chocolatier William, Tasmin should not have to worry about anything at all. But when her happily ever after is interrupted by the disappearance of the town’s wise woman, she rushes in to investigate. Faced with dangers, dead bodies, and more mysterious disappearances, Tasmin and William must act fast to save their town and themselves – especially when Tasmin starts to be haunted by a most unwelcome ghost from her past…literally.

Excerpt from The Chocolatier’s Wife:
At the top of the hill, the snow spun and shimmered in the cruel wind. As she neared it, she slowed. Tasmin didn't want to step into that whirling, dancing wall of snow, but she mentally kicked herself and kept going. Home and warmth, Tasmin. Not so far, now. Just stop letting your imagination draw strange fancies where nothing is.
She crested the hill, and the wind fell silent. The snow fell away, except for one spot, where it swirled and settled, drawing details that glowed faintly in the darkness to become the figure of a woman. Her head turned slowly, looking over her shoulder at Tasmin, and then the rest of her followed suit, the snow falling and lifting and resettling on the curves and folds that outlined the silvery figure. She stared at Tasmin, moving her head this way and that, as if trying to focus on the face in front of her, considering.
The ghost tilted her head, reaching out one hand slowly, making as if she would touch Tasmin. Tasmin backed up a step. The hand was getting closer, and she panicked. No herbs, no amulets would help her, but she did have another talent, thin and unpracticed, but still there.
She raised a fist, palm towards the figure, and opened it quickly, warding the touch away. "Forbidden," she whispered, and a spear of air shattered through the snow. The ghost disappeared, and the world seemed to right itself, the wind died down and everything seemed to be normal.
She stepped carefully around the newly formed pile of snow and continued her walk home. Determined not to think any more about it, she stripped off her clothes and fell into bed, half wondering if her exhausted mind had not conjured the whole thing.

Where did you get the idea for these books?
One of my friends bought me chocolate for Christmas, and as I was unwrapping it, I was thinking about a favorite character from a movie, and the actor, and wondering what else he could do. I took a bite of the chocolate, and all of a sudden, I knew everything – the title of the book, the people, the first lines. It is a wonderful experience, to be struck with inspiration that perfectly. 

Any weird things you do when you’re alone?
Nooooo…what have you heard?
I do fencing drills – does hitting a piece of wood on a wall count?

What is your favorite quote and why?
“Full little knowest thou that hast not tried,
What hell it is in suing long to bide:
To lose good dayes, that might be better spent;
To waste long nights in pensive discontent;
To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow;
To feed on hope, to pine with feare and sorrow.”
- Edmund Spenser

It’s my favorite because I hate waiting – but you can’t lose long nights in discontent or waste your days, you have to keep going, even if you get “put back” – it’s a reminder to me to keep going, to not waste what I have, no matter how useless or hopeless it feels.

Who is your favorite author and why?
I have a lot of favorites, but Barbara Hambly holds a special place because it was in reading her work I understood what I loved about fantasy and mystery, and realized that the things I liked to write were things that could be written. She takes a story about a dragon or a vampire and turns it, gently, on its head and makes it something amazing.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Strong, well-written characters…someone who feels real. I can put up with a lot if the character feels like a living, breathing human being.


Thanks for being here today, Cindy. 

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Mai T. said...

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

Unknown said...

Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

Cindy said...

Mai T -- none, really, the closest I've done was recently, I got to visit Westminster Abby, were I saw the stones and tombs of many wonderful and inspirational authors. When I saw Tennyson and Byron I confess...I reached down and petted both stones.

Thank you, Lisa!

Cindy said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the release!


Cindy said...

Thank you, Trix!