Today, for Literary Wealth’s debut blog, we are welcoming a new new author! As a matter of fact, you are in for a treat because this is her debut blog appearance!
For this visit, Literary Wealth and Cindy are holding a giveaway! One lucky reader will win a copy of Hot Coco! Just leave a comment at the end of the post. One name will be drawn to receive either a print or e-pub version of Hot Coco–Winner’s choice! (Sorry, print version is only available in the US.) Please leave your e-mail address in the comment so that we may contact you.
Welcome to Literary Wealth, Cindy! Tell us a little about yourself.
For the past twenty-six years my life has whirled around a song and a dance: I have been a professional dancer/choreographer for most of my adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things I have experienced (greatly exaggerated upon of course) with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and happenings at the racetrack.
Surprised? Why didn’t I write about my experiences with dance? Eh, believe it or not life at the racetrack is much more…racy. The drama is outrageous–not that dancers don’t know how to create drama, believe me, they do, but race trackers just seem to get more down and dirty with it which makes great story telling—great fiction.
I didn’t start out writing books, The Unbridled Series started out as a TV drama, and the Hollywood readers loved the show. The problem was we just couldn’t sell it. So one of the readers said to me, “Cindy, don’t be stupid, turn your scripts into a book series.” and so I did!
A lot of people are on Twitter these days, so can you describe Hot Coco for us in 140 characters or less (which is the size of a tweet)?
A gorgeous blonde klutz wreaks havoc on Mike West after his attraction for her sticks him with a mischievous horse that mimics its owner’s ability to screw things up.
When did you begin writing Hot Coco? What inspired this book and how much research was involved in writing it?
I started writing Hot Coco in July of 2011. I wanted the Unbridled stories to be different with each book and not follow a formula like so many series do. I wanted Hot Coco to make my readers smile. That said, this is not just a story about a klutzy blonde that drives Mike West and the West clan crazy—read closely—this is an expedition where my cast of character find out who they want to be, where they want to go, and how much forgiveness it will require of themselves and others in order to reach that destination.
What or who made the biggest influence on you wanting to become a writer?
I did a lot of writing as a teen, but after I graduated my life as a dancer, then a wife, then a mother, and then a business woman swallowed up all my time and effort. In 2005 something drew me to my PC to write these stories, and I’ve been sitting there ever since.
What was the first book you ever wrote about and was it ever published?
Other than some projects that I did at home as a teen, Deadly.com was the first book that I have written, and yes it was published in September of 2011.
Do you have any writing habits that people might find unusual?
I “marinate” my manuscripts. At least that’s what I call it. When I’ve finished a manuscript I do the same thing most authors do—I start over from the beginning and read, tweak, read, tweak, and then read and tweak some more. And after I’ve gone through this procedure several times, I close the file and let it marinate. I let the file sit for up to six weeks without opening it, without re-reading or tweaking it. But I never stop thinking about it. I keep a notepad close by and jot down thoughts during those six weeks that the manuscript is becoming juicy and succulent. It is definitely an exercise in fortitude, but hey, ya know what? It always pays off in a very big way because when I open the file to re-visit the story, I’m reading it with fresh eyes and fresh thoughts and the results are always well, fresh.
Do you have a favorite character or one that is especially close to your heart?
Oh my, I love all the Unbridled characters, Mike West is the handsome beyond belief Thoroughbred trainer whose sense of humor doesn’t stretch very far, I’m afraid. Who can blame him? In the first book, DEADLY.COM I asked him to withstand electro shock treatments at the hands of a madman, walk into the fire to protect the women that he loves, and in this latest book, Hot Coco, well, let’s just say he’s being tortured on a more sensual level. ;}
Ya gotta love Mike’s younger brother, Shane. The youngest West is a bit on the hot-headed side, he’s also the playboy of the group, but he’s not been exempt from the wrath of my writing. His fierce loyalty to family put him in harms-way in Deadly.Com, but in Hot Coco he’s earned a little reprieve, taking on the role of the devil’s advocate and having a hot time all the while. But heed my warning Shane West—in the next book, Dangerous Deception, his strength and constitution will be tested to the limit, and it will take all the courage that he can muster to survive.
Punch McMinn is an enormous man and enormously soft-hearted. He keeps a cool head when trouble comes to call and trouble never seems to be very far from Westwood Thoroughbred Farm or the West clan.
And then there’s Lugowski, Lieutenant Carl Lugowski, that is, he took a bullet for his woman in Deadly.Com, breaks the rules for a woman that he can’t get enough of in Hot Coco, and in the next book…there’s no doubt that he’s gonna be in deep do-do that will take a whole lotta guts to get him and her out alive.
Ahhh, my Unbridled series features a full-time female antagonist within its pages who seems to really rile women. Her name is Ava West. She is a gorgeous, green eyed, redheaded, manipulative witch. She is Mike’s ex, but she still clutches a corner of his soul. When she’s not tormenting her ex, she’s got Lugowski wrapped tautly around her manicured pinky, except unbeknownst to Ava, she’d better keep him in closer check.
Oh yes, I’ve had women state that they would like to see Ava die…slowly. What? Are you kidding me? Ava is terrific! She is causing my readers to fidget in their seats while they read. In Deadly.Com she did things that made women’s eyes narrow and their brows pinch together. Well, wait to you see what she has in store for you in Hot Coco.
I love all of my Unbridled characters, although Ava holds a special place in my heart, or is that my modem? Truth be told, I’m most relieved that she lives inside my computer and I don’t have to deal with her in reality. Or do I? Surely there must be someone that I know who is very much like Ava West. Hmmm…I’ll have to think on that.
What is your all-time favorite book?
I absolutely loved Water For Elephants. My mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, not that the book is about that, but I understand what the old man in book is feeling and how quickly life passes us by. I know that my mother is feeling the same things as the old man. Sometimes she will ask me, “Cindy, do I have Alzheimer’s?” I always tell her the truth, “Yes you do, but that’s okay, because I’m here for you every step of the way.”
Other than yourself, who is your favorite author?
At this time, Cindy Gerard, she keeps me intrigued and at the edge of my seat with the suspense that she so expertly weaves.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spare time? What’s that?
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I love to write in the evening, it is the quiet time of day, and my thoughts turn to my latest Unbridled adventure, and what dodgy debacle I will ask Mike, Shane, Punch, or Lugowski to walk into without hesitation. I finish cleaning up the dinner dishes, check to see what my husband is watching on TV, and then I pour myself a glass of wine, and then retire downstairs to my office, where my characters live inside my computer. They are waiting for me—sometimes in a panic, depending on what state of affairs I’ve left them in the last time we met. I click on the file, take a deep breath, a sip of the wine, re-read what I wrote the night before, and then I ask myself one question: what if? The next time I glance up at the clock in my office, its 1 a.m. or possibly later, or is that earlier?
What is your favorite TV show and/or movie?
I really don’t watch much TV at all, however, I do take-in quite a few movies. I enjoy Rom-Com’s the most, as I love to laugh. I don’t enjoy horror movies at all, although suspense/thrillers are enjoyable from time-to-time.
What are you currently working on?
Dangerous Deception has just finished “marinating” and is ready for professional editing and the journey toward publication planned for November. In the meantime, I’ve already begun work on the next Unbridled book, Against the Ropes. This book will be a spring of 2013 release and will feature the West’s farm manager, Punch McMinn, when he comes upon a down-on-his-luck ex-fighter he convinces Eric to take the fighter in only to have him drag the entire West family into his debacle of danger.
Where can people connect with you online?
My website: http://www.cindymcwriter.com/
I’m a goodreads author: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5264796.Cindy_McDonald
Yep, I’m on twitter: @cindymcdonald7
Thank you so much Undiscovered Author for being on Literary Wealth! Here’s to Hoping You Get Discovered Today!
GIVEAWAY! Don’t forget to leave a comment (with your e-mail address so that we may contact you) to enter the drawing for a chance to win a copy of Cindy McDonald’s hot new book: Hot Coco! Chance to win ends midnight, Monday, June 18!