Our perspective on life is as individual and unique as our life experiences, but I love that we, as authors, can take whatever we are learning or doing and write about it.
Recently, Cynthia has been working in a wildlife rescue clinic, and her experience has generated three manuscripts!
Life is indeed fodder for the written page!
Below are a few thoughts that Cynthia has on the writing process and her experience with publishing.
Do you consider yourself primarily a poet?
I do consider myself a poet first, but I enjoy writing in other genres and formats. I like the mystery of poetry— the nuance and ambiguity. I like to have pictures painted by words, and I like that gestalt sort of feeling of apprehending a poem all at once at the end. In addition to poetry for adults and children, I've published nonfiction for children and essays and articles for adults. I'm currently working on an animal fantasy for middle-grade readers. I hope to finish it within the year. We'll see!
What has influenced you the most as a writer and author?
I'm glad you didn't ask me who influenced me the most! That would be too, too hard to answer.
I believe my work as a librarian has had the most influence on me as a writer, though I have had several excellent writing instructors and mentors over the years, especially Maryrose Wood, an author of many books, as well as a playwright and writing teacher.
As a librarian, though, I could see what children loved, what they tolerated, and what turned them off as a reader. I would sometimes not share their tastes and enthusiasms, but I would always try to see what struck them as readers and make a note: The kids loved such-and-such. Re-read and find out why! Also, as a librarian, I could easily keep up with the industry as a whole--what kinds of books were getting published and what kinds of stories were no longer coming out--by reading all the review journals. I would also attend professional conferences and hear what teachers and librarians had to say about the latest books and what their students thought of them in different parts of the country. And, I had the privilege of serving on several award committees, so I learned to evaluate books and writing at still another level--all of which has helped me grow as a writer.
Please give one suggestion to a young writer that encouraged you?
The obvious suggestion is to read, read, read. But, I'll add, to read like a writer. Ask yourself, how did the author create that suspense? How did the author make that dialogue so riveting? Why do I love this character and dislike that one?
The other suggestion I would offer a young writer is to go deep inside yourself and write the book you want to read. That said, I do that all the time, and much of it doesn't get published. But, it helps me see what it is I want to say, so that I can then say it better and then it will be published-- if I do the hard work, and if I am lucky.
Cynthia, you offered some great advice on your website for aspiring writers. I would like to share it with readers.