Friday, August 24, 2012

C U @ 8-Cindy Vine-Author Spotlight

Author Bio:  A teacher, writer, mother - Cindy Vine was born in Cape Town, South Africa and has lived and worked in many different countries around the world. She currently resides in Tanzania at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. Cindy has three children, two of whom have already left home. Writing and reading has been a passion of hers since she was a young girl.

Publisher:  Createspace
Release Date:  March 2012
Book Genre:  Chick Lit/Women’s Contemporary

1. What inspires you as a writer?
The self-belief that I can do it, I can write and entertain people.  My late grandmother was very inspirational.  She had a great imagination and used to tell me lots of stories and encouraged me to believe in myself.  And of course there’s my children who are so supportive of my dream.
2.  When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer?
At elementary school I always used to get the highest grades for my stories.  In secondary school the teachers also made a big deal about my essays.  But the biggest a ha moment would have to have been at Teacher’s Training College where I had to write children’s stories for an assignment and my lecturer told me I’d get published one day as I had what it took to be a writer.  But then life got in the way and it was almost twenty years later that I started writing to get published.
3.  What is your writing process?
I am not a fly by the seat of my pants type of writer.  I get an idea, do some research then come up with a title.  I find I have to have a title before I can do any writing.  It just seems to make the whole story seem more real to me.  Then I mull it around in my mind for a couple of weeks, play around with some dialogue, so by the time I come to write an outline I have a good idea where I am going. The next step is deciding on the characters.  Usually I write a character sketch for each character.  On the current novel I’m working on, Hush Baby, I approached the character sketches slightly differently.  Using Google images I searched for images of people who looked similar to the characters I was imagining in my head, and then printed out those images.  Next I came up with their name, date of birth, character traits and what problems they were facing in life.  I gave every character 4-5 problems because the problems you are facing in life dictates how you handle everything else.  I figured that would give my characters more depth.  Then  I list the chapters and say roughly what each chapter will be about just using keywords.  That becomes my outline.  Finally I start to write the story.  Sometimes I might veer off the outline or think of a twist I can add, but I will always return to the basic outline.  As I finish about 3-4 chapters, I email off to my editor who proofreads for me.  After I’ve finished I take a couple of weeks off and then the editing starts and I follow most of my editor’s suggestions.
4.  Tell us about your favorite character and why you chose to write about them?
My favorite character is Jenny in Not Telling.  Here’s a girl who faced enormous odds, went through so much but still endured.  I wrote about her because I wanted to show that whatever you go through there are people going through far worse, and they can overcome the adversities.
5.  What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on 2 projects.  Hush Baby will explore a little of Munchausens by Proxy and Diary of a Dancer incorporates the diary my late cousin wrote in the last year of his fight against AIDS.
6.  Any upcoming events?
Just this Virtual Tour unfortunately, as it’s the start of the new school year and I’m the principal of an elementary school.
7.  If you could be anyone you like, who would you be?
I guess I would be Meryl Streep.  She is the most brilliant actress of our time, able to carry off comedy and serious roles.  She appears to balance her life perfectly.  Definitely a great role-model.
8.  Do you have any advice for new writers and something that a seasoned vet can learn?
Work out a schedule to manage your time effectively.  Time is the biggest challenge as you have to write more content, build an author platform and market your books, as well as looking after your family and holding a full-time job.  Effective time management is essential.  Also believe in yourself.
9.   Where can your followers find you?
My username is cindyvine on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google +, Goodreads.
10.              Any last words?
Only you can make your dream a reality.  If you want to be a writer, throw caution to the wind and go for it.  You don’t want to spend the rest of your life wondering if you could have done it.  Become a risk-taker and do it.

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