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Hey all!  Cynthia Smith, author of a brand new fantasy novel entitled Tantalize agreed to do an interview with me!  You can visit Mrs. Smith website by visiting: http://www.cynthialeitichsmith.com/!  Now, without further ado, here is my interview with Mrs. Smith.

How did you get started writing Native American stories?

 

My early manuscripts were about all kinds of people and things—a three-legged dog in Mexico, the weariness of winter, you name it.

 

But I’d also heard the advice to “write what you know.” For me, that meant stories of kids from families in the mid-to-southwest who were Native and not.

 

Contemporary daily life stories—not the historicals people associated with “Indian” books for kids—but stories about such pressing questions as what to do when your favorite barbershop closed.

 

What made you want to try fantasy?

 

I’m a reader of fantasy, and the second piece of advice given to beginning writers is: “write what you love to read.”

 

I also have a vivid inner life. As a kid, I was blessed with a three-years-younger friend who was (and is) more of a little sister and who gave me the opportunity to play “pretend” much longer than my same-age friends.

 

Have you found a specific genre that you enjoy writing most?

 

I write across age-markets and both fantasy and realistic fiction. But my work is uniformly contemporary. I seem to have no interest in crafting a historical.

 

I’m not sure why because as a reader I enjoy them. It’s not the research. There’s little I enjoy more than doing homework for a book.

 

So far, though, I seem to be in a contemporary fiction place. Perhaps that will change…with time.

 

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?

 

Not really. I have only so much to give a manuscript in any particular writing session. But for the most part, once I have the first page down, the rest follows. It may change dramatically along the way, but it follows.

 

On those occasions when a scene or solution is just out of my grip, though I generally find it useful to get into the water—swim, shower, bathe—or to dance in the dark to the soundtrack from “Xanadu.”

 

Any advice for people who want to be an author?

 

Don’t. Don’t want to be an author. Want to be a writer. Want to be a writer so much that when you finally become an author, your responsibilities as such—however enjoyable—vex you because they’re getting in the way of your writing time.

 

What were some of your favorite books/authors growing up?

 

I adored Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia and Kongisburg’s Mixed-up Files and Speare’s Witch of Blackbird Pond. I also read a lot of Judy Blume and Nancy Drew and Stephen King and comics.

 

What was your dream job when you were little?

 

I wanted to a princess/senator living a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. I had the hair for it, too.

 

What do you think of penguins taking over the world?

 

Awesome! Tacky for President!

Thanks again Mrs. Smith!  I hope everybody enjoyed this interview.  Do you have a favorite author you’d like me to interview?  E-mail me the author’s name and website at penguinqueen@hotmail.com and I’ll try to contact the author!

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3 Comments

  1. hey mariah, We’re back from the watch party. This election is super scary. Why would anyone ever want to vote for creepy Obama? But he’s winning as of 10:00 tuesday night. We really need a miracle here Lord! I don’t know any possible way we can make it 4, possibly, 8 years with Obama. By then America will be an HUGE trainwreck. And the media, ugh, the media makes me sick. They have already crowned Obama as king. PUUUHLEASE….. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Patrick Henry and James Madison would ROLL OVER DEAD if they could see what is going on today. Man. I’ll probably be spending half the night praying and worrying.

  2. I didn’t know of a watch party to go to, but I did watch the results on t.v. that night. I’m very upset that Obama is our future president, I had a feeling that he was going to win, just because he seemed to be more popular than McCain, but I still hoped that McCain would win. I stayed up praying that night too.

  3. Beware the penguins! lol

    That was a fun read! Good interview!


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