Please help me welcome historical romance author Cynthia Woolf to my blog today.
Cynthia Woolf was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.
Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.
Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.
She worked her way through college and went to work full time straight after graduation and there was little time to write. Then in 1990 she and two friends started a round robin writing a story about pirates. She found that she missed the writing and kept on with other stories. In 1992 she joined Colorado Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America. Unfortunately, the loss of her job demanded the she not renew her memberships and her writing stagnated for many years.
In 2001, she saw an ad in the paper for a writers conference being put on by CRW and decided she’d attend. One of her favorite authors, Catherine Coulter, was the keynote speaker. Cynthia was lucky enough to have a seat at Ms. Coulter’s table at the luncheon and after talking with her, decided she needed to get back to her writing. She rejoined both CRW and RWA that day and hasn’t looked back.
Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she’s made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.
Where did you grow up? Siblings? Locale? Were you considered a “bookworm” or a jock? Married, single? Children?
I grew up in the mountains west of Denver, CO. I have three brothers, two older (much older) and one younger. Because my older brothers were so much older than me, eight and twelve years older, my mother always said she raised two families. I was considered a definite bookworm. My mother was a librarian and we always had new books in the house. I loved it because I would get the book before anyone else. I’m married and have no children.
(I love Colorado, although driving those mountain roads is really scary. I still have the nail holes in my car’s upholstery as a reminder.
Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?
My favorite genre is historical romance. I like all time periods with regency probably my favorite. Two of my favorite authors are Johanna Lindsey and Julie Garwood.
I agree completely.
What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?
I like to garden and we like to go fishing. Unfortunately, we haven’t been fishing in years now, but we still think about going. Now if we could just find the time.
(You and my hubby would get along fabulously.)
Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?
No quote that I can think of.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing when I was ten. I wrote a story, a romance of course, about a little boy that I liked at the time. I still remember his name, David Williams, but nothing else about the story.
Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?
I can write anywhere because my first draft is in long hand. I prefer quiet and when I used a computer I prefer my PC.
(I’m in awe of anyone who writes longhand. I don’t have the patience for that.)
Are you a plotter or a panzer?
I’m a definite pantser. I feel like when I plot the book it’s already written so what is the point. Of course, that leads to another problem that is more prevalent among pantsers, the sagging middle. I always know the beginning and end of the book but never have any idea about how to get there. LOL It usually works itself out when I’m writing.
Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?
Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?
I don’t set daily goals. I write full time and I just make sure that I write something every day. I can’t fix a blank page.
What do you hope your writing brings to readers?
I’m not trying to write the next great American novel, I just want my readers to be able to get away from their real lives for a few hours and relax and enjoy my story
What long-term plans do you have for your career?
I intend to keep writing as long as I have stories to tell.
Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?
I’m working on the third book in my Swords of Gregara series. This one is called Honora. It’s in the editing phase. I also started writing my next series, Brides Inc. The first book is The Golden Bride.
What advice would you give to unpublished authors?
Write, write and write some more. Get a good critique group. Get a professional cover and get a professional editor.
A fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.
I collect purses.
Something about you that would surprise or shock readers.
I can’t think of a thing. I’m really a pretty laid back person.
Is your book a series? If so, how long? Family saga, other?
My book, Tame A Wild Bride is part of a series. The Tame series consists of three books and a short story. The books are Tame A Wild Heart, Tame A Wild Wind and Tame A Wild Bride. The short story is Tame A Summer Heart and is included in the WG2E anthology Summer Fling.
Tell us something you learned researching your book that surprised/interested you.
When researching thoroughbreds for Tame A Wild Wind, I was surprised to learn that horses give birth on the ground. For some reason I thought they did it while standing like a giraffe does. Also, it’s very unusual for a horse to give birth to twins and triplets are unheard of.
Can you give readers a blurb about your book?
Rosie Stanton climbed on a west-bound train to answer his ad for a wife and mother, everything she wants to be. But Tom Harris lied. He doesn’t want a wife, merely a mother for his two abandoned children and a cook and cleaner for his ranch. Betrayed once, he’s vowed never to let another woman into his heart. Sexy Rosie upsets all his plans and threatens to invade his scarred heart. How will he maintain his vow to keep his hands off her as she charms his children, his cow hands, his life?
How about an excerpt?
Rosemary Stanton stood patiently on the train platform, sweat rolling down her back and between her ample breasts. Waiting. Sweating because it was an unusually hot day in late April. Waiting for her husband. A husband she wouldn’t recognize if he were standing right next to her.
She’d been desperate when she answered the advertisement for a mail order bride. Wanted: Single woman to cook, clean, and care for children on a cattle ranch in southwestern Colorado. Will marry upon arrival.
Well, she was twenty-six with no prospects. Her brother just got married and his new wife, Beatrice, didn’t want Rosie around. She could answer the advertisement or become a governess. Help someone else’s children grow up into adults. Live in someone else’s house. For the rest of her life, she’d have nothing she could call her own.
Rosie wanted a home. Her own home. She wanted a husband and children. All the things she’d never have if she stayed in Philadelphia. When she’d seen the ad in the morning paper, she’d nearly shouted with glee. However, she managed to restrain herself until she retired to her room before she giggled with delight as she pressed her back against the door. The advertisement was tailor-made for her needs. It got her away from Beatrice and got her her own home all in one fell swoop.
Her brother, Robert, though was not happy with the idea of his baby sister traveling across the country to marry a stranger. He grudgingly agreed to give her her dowry to take with her. Five thousand dollars. She’d take the draft to the bank as soon as she arrived in Creede, Colorado, and married Mr. Thomas Harris. Cattle rancher. It was her “in case it doesn’t work out” money. Though she supposed it would belong to her husband once she married. Perhaps she just wouldn’t tell him about it.
Her conscience spoke up. That’s no way to start a marriage. With lies and secrets. Oh, all right. She’d tell him and have him take her to the bank. But not until after she’d taken his measure. She could tell by how he treated his animals what kind of man he was. A man who was cruel to his horses would also be cruel to his wife. If he was a cruel man, she would leave and she sure as heck wouldn’t tell him about her money.
Even the substantial size of her dowry couldn’t seem to provide marriage prospects for Rosie back in Philadelphia. She wasn’t pretty in the conventional sense. She thought her face with its big brown eyes and full lips was pleasing enough, but men apparently hadn’t. Her one beau told her that her eyes were the color of warm brandy. That was before he left her to marry another more suitable woman. More suitable, hah! Richer was more like it.
He’d had expensive tastes and had married a rabbit-faced girl, heir to a substantial fortune to which he’d have access. Well, good luck and good riddance.
She hoped her new husband wouldn’t be as snootish as Paul had been. As a cattle rancher she didn’t know what to expect but the idea of a more earthy, less frivolous man appealed to her.
Rosie did have one extraordinary feature. Her hair. Waist length, wavy and a clear, golden blonde. Right now, standing on the train platform in Creede it was bound up in a loose bun on top of her head under her hat. It, like the rest of her, was covered in white dirt and a nasty grayish soot from the train. Her suit would never be the same again.
She’d discovered on the second day of her trip, she could minimize the grime by sitting in the front of the car with the window closed. But sooner or later the heat and mugginess of the car would force her to open the window. The air came rushing in, cooling her, but bringing with it the dirt and ash from the train’s boilers and whatever the wind picked up along the way.
On the long trip, she’d told herself again and again she’d made the right decision. She was right to make the difficult trip. This was her life and she had to take her future into her own hands.
“Excuse me. Miss Stanton?”
Rosie shaded her eyes from the late afternoon sun and looked up at a tall man with dark hair. His hat was pulled low, hiding his eyes. He had a strong jaw covered with a shadow of whiskers.
“Yes. I’m Rosemary Stanton.”
He took off his hat and held out his hand. “I’m Tom Harris.”
Rosie took his hand. It engulfed hers with a shock of warmth. Her pale skin stood in stark contrast to his tanned one. Calluses rubbed against her soft palm though the touch was not unpleasant. She looked from their clasped hands up into the bluest eyes she’d ever seen.
“Pleased to meet you, Mr. Harris.”
“Tom. Call me, Tom.”
“And I’m Rosie.”
“Where are your trunks, Rosie?”
“Oh, I don’t have any trunks. I only brought what I thought I would need out here.”
He picked up the two valises at her feet. “Doesn’t seem like much for an Eastern woman. I’m glad to see you’re practical.”
Rosie felt the heat in her cheeks and knew she blushed at his praise, undeserving as it was. “Well, I didn’t think you’d have any balls.”
He cocked an eyebrow.
Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?
Like all authors, I’m so grateful for my readers. I thank you all for reading my books.
Thanks for visiting with me today, Cynthia. Wishing you much success in your career.