Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Author of Note: Cindy Bauer

Our Author of Note this month is Cindy Bauer. I so appreciate Cindy stopping by The Bookshelf.

Q. Welcome, Cindy! I know my readers want to know all about you as a writer, and we’re going to get to that right away. But first, we’d like to know who you are outside your office. Tell us about Cindy Bauer, the lady next door.

A. First I want to thank you for having me. I’m honored to be here.
I’ve been married almost 32 years to a wonderful man who makes me laugh. We don’t have any children, though we did try. I lost seven and we finally gave up. We decided it was not in the Lord’s plan for us.

We both grew up in Davenport, Iowa. In fact, we were born at the same hospital. I’m 15 months older than hubby. We’ve lived in five states and have moved many times, but we planted roots here in Missouri in 1986, when called upon to help my dad with my terminally ill mother. She passed in 1988.

I have one brother and sister, both older than me. They’re actually my half-siblings, but since they were “in place” when I was born, I’ve never considered them as anything but my brother and sister.

I work at our local daily newspaper. We publish five days a week. It had been my dream for years to become an author. My sister, a former journalism teacher, hounded me to begin writing the book(s) I had long ago dreamed of, but pushed aside once I got married. So my journey began. And what a ride it has been!

I enjoy spending time with hubby, the dog and meeting challenges. I enjoy helping others and have a close relationship with the Lord.

Q. That said…you recently “fired” your publisher and are now trying to place your trilogy elsewhere. I wish you great success with that! Tell us about your books.

A. Yes, I did sever ties with PublishAmerica. If you are a serious writer, POD publishing or self-publishing is not the way to go.

My books are an Inspirational Fiction series. I began with Chasing Memories, which I based around my own “memory box.” The story developed itself as I wrote. In order to complete the whole picture for my readers, a trilogy was inevitable.

Chasing Memories is about a young widowed mother. While helping her elderly neighbor, she’s hit by a careening car on an icy street. She wakes up in the hospital with amnesia (hubby’s idea by the way). The story is her struggle with learning to live with virtual strangers and strengthening her faith in God by trusting Him to guide her along her journey in recovering her memories. The ending actually has two surprises, which of course I can’t tell you about.

Shades of Blue picks up where Chasing Memories left off. In Chasing Memories, Laura’s closest friend Susan Barnes becomes the main character. At the end of Chasing Memories, she had moved to Kansas City, got a new job, new apartment and become engaged! The book begins with her wedding.

Susan thought she had married an upcoming attorney with a promising future. Turns out he’s a drug dealer, has an alcohol problem, and becomes abusive as well. The story is based on “could-really-happen” life events and how Susan deals with them, drawing her closer to the Lord.

The final book, Crystal Clear, is about Annie, the daughter. It picks up where Shades of Blue left off. I’m still in the process of getting down the rough draft, after rewrites on the first two for submission as a series to more reputable publishers.

The series is intended to be enjoyed by anyone, from young adults and up. I hope the stories show that though life may throw some difficult obstacles, you can take the experience and knowledge from those events and use them to your benefit and possibly the benefit of others. In other words, don’t dwell on what went wrong in the past, but use the knowledge gained to better your future instead.

Q. What was your inspiration for this series?

A. After mom’s untimely death, our immediate family basically fell apart. She was the glue that held us together. I began to feel the need to tie up those gaps in our family communication. I started saving everything, from greeting cards, to photos, to letters and put them in a container (very large mind you), now kept on the floor of my bedroom closet. I call it my “memory box,” with mementos to reflect on later in life. I wanted to pass that on to others, thus the beginning of Chasing Memories, which is based around a memory box. Family is so precious and we need to treasure them now, and hold them close in our hearts after their passing. Though they are gone in sight, their love and their souls are still very much here with us! Don’t go through life with regrets. Sometimes there is no tomorrow. So tell them every day that you love them.

Q. How long does it take you (on average) to write a book, from first word to being ready to place in a publisher’s hands?

A. Interesting question. I work full time, plus I’m a housewife. With hubby’s physical limitations, there is more work now than there used to be. So, approximately nine months. Much longer than I would like, but I just don’t have the time I need to spend on them to complete them sooner.

Q. What do you enjoy most about writing? Least?

A. The reaction I get from my readers and learning what they took with them by reading my
books. I was recently delighted to learn my sister-in-law’s daughter-in-law, who recently lost her job, decided to go back to college after reading my first book Chasing Memories. And after reading Shades of Blue, she said she has bonded with the characters and doesn’t want me to move forward with my mystery-suspense series, but write more in this series, instead.
Least? Getting that rough draft down. Fine tuning it is the easy part. It’s getting that rough draft down that I get wrapped around

Q. What books are on your nightstand right now?

A. I recently became a book reviewer for Bookpleasures.com. I’m getting a chance to read others’ works, which I am learning a lot from, plus it’s an opportunity to express my abilities as a writer and reviewer. Right now I am reading Angels of Maradona by Glen Carter. Next I have a new one from author Kelly Moran, called When the Leaves Stop Falling. I just read Hard Evidence by best-selling author Roxanne Rustand, and still have her other two to cover. Plus, I have one by a new author, Donetta Garman, (whom I actually know), called Growing Up Ugly.

Q. I know that interviewers often don’t ask the questions an author would really like to talk about. Is there anything you’d like to say that I haven’t touched on?

A. Yes, I do. Since I enjoy helping others, I have several features available on my website, other than my own books. There are over 200 books by other authors, some best-selling authors. I also do a detailed monthly newsletter where I promote other authors and their books. There are interviews and reviews, recipes and an electronic version of the Bible for your spiritual needs. Visit my site at www.cindybauerbooks.com.

I would also like to tell others to never, ever, give up on your dreams. Don’t sit back and say “I wonder if...”. Don’t leave this world with regrets. Do what your heart tells you to do. Go with your instincts. You have those for a reason and God has you in His plans! Just do what comes natural and leave the details to Him!

Again, thank you for this opportunity, Delia.

Cindy Bauer was born in Davenport, Iowa, where she grew up the youngest of three children. Always an avid reader, she dreamed of becoming a writer. She graduated from Assumption High School in 1975 and married her husband, Robert, in 1976. The couple moved to Missouri in 1986.

Cindy's dream to write resurfaced in 2003, and with encouragement from her husband and her sister, she wrote Chasing Memories (2006). Shades of Blue followed in 2007. Currently Cindy is working on the third and final novel in this series, Crystal Clear.
She loves spending time with her husband and also enjoys cooking, reading, writing and gardening.


Kathleen said...

Very good interview, good questions, very informative. I will have to check these books out. They sound like some that I would like to read.

Delia Latham said...

I confess to not having read Cindy's books yet, but they DO sound intriguing.