Today is Labor Day, and though I've taken the day off work to read and relax (as I hope you've been able to do) we also have an author who was willing to visit for a Make-believe Monday interview.
Cindy Holby writes for Dorchester and she also writes as Colby Hodge and Kassy Taylor.
Cindy, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.
Cindy: Right now I’m working on Phoenix, the third book in my Colby Hodge Star series. This book has turned out to be extremely complicated because of the plot and impossible to concentrate on because of life stuff. I will be very happy when I get this book done.
Debra: I hope the writing and life smooth out for you soon.
Mark Twain said, “You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” How do you keep your imagination in focus?
Cindy: My imagination is usually pretty full of stuff. It’s the real world that’s a problem. And I think as a woman, we always have to make sure everyone else is taken care of before we are. My problem is learning how to focus on the work instead of the other stories roaming around inside.
Debra: It's hard when the stories are calling to you on one side and family is calling on the other. Life becomes a huge balancing act which leaves little time for the writer to rest. (Of course even when we're resting, those stories are always running through our minds.)
Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?
Cindy: I usually can’t focus on a character until they have a name and I know in my head what they look like. Then they take over the story telling. Once I get them established in my head, they come alive on the paper.
Debra: Yes, knowing what they look like is key. Otherwise they're just an idea, not flesh.
Some very famous authors have played with language, creating words for people or places that no one has ever heard of. Have you ever played with words in that way and if so how?
Cindy: With my futuristics. It was fun making up new words for things. My favorite is Gank, which means Brat or Prat. Kind of a futuristic teen slang.
Debra: That's a good one.
For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?
Cindy: Always. My college room-mate remarked when I told her I had sold a book that she wasn’t surprised since I always had the most interesting dreams.
As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?
Cindy: The Black Stallion books were always my favorite. And one called The Forgotten Door. And of course, Lord Of The Rings.
If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?
Cindy: I think I already have with my first historical, Chase The Wind. I didn’t know the rules when I wrote it so I set no limits on the possibilities.
Debra: Writing without limits opens up so many possibilities.
Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?
Cindy: If you think about the characters after you’ve closed the book then I’ve achieved my goal.
Debra: Yes. Then the characters live on forever.
Cindy, thank you for joining us here on this Labor Day Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.
You can visit Cindy at www.cindyholby.com