Today on Make-Believe Mondays I'd like to introduce Cindy Cruciger. Cindy writes for TOR and she also writes her Path to Publishing column for RT magazine each month.
Cindy, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you're working on now.
Cindy: I am working on two manuscripts right now. The first is a sequel to Revenge Gifts. The second is a snark overload set in the Reality TV recapping world of Big Brother. I practice over at _www.HamsterTime.net_ (http://www.hamstertime.net/) as FerfeLabat. Very fun. Most people look at that style of writing and have no clue what they are looking at so the book has been a challenge of style and clarity. I don't expect it to be universal in appeal. Revenge Gifts wasn't for everyone either. This is a kinder and gentler snark than what you might see on the live feed websites. It's weird. But I'm not exactly normal.
Debra: Oh, but why be normal? We like you just the way you are.
Ray Bradbury said, "We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." How do you keep your creative cup filled?
Cindy: The key for me is to keep life interesting. I am always watching the world around me and really seeing it in all its strange glory. From the attack lizards in the commons by my office to the nutcases on the train pretending to have a Bluetooth Cell phone when (in fact) they have no phone and are talking to the voices in their head, I keep it all in a diary for future reference.
Debra: Attack lizards, oh my!
(Now of course you know everyone is going to want to read your diary. Hide it. Hide it well.)
Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?
Cindy: Yes and no. I've heard of writers who have entire conversations with their characters. I don't quite go to that extreme. But in this second book I think I know them a lot better.
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: No. I set weird people in real places. That is far more fun to me than setting normal people in weird places. The idea that one of my characters could be at the dinner table next to you on vacation should be enough to freak any reader out.
Debra: Yes, but what interesting dinner converstations might ensue.
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: I have vivid dreams but I've never written about them or used them in fiction.
As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?
Cindy: Oh I was a romance freak after reading Forever Amber. I loved the mix of history and romance and have been an addict ever since.
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 already did in Revenge Gifts. My thinking was, no one in their right mind would ever publish it, so I threw in everything but the kitchen sink and had fun with it. I figured I would get back to "real" writing later.
Debra: It's a wonderful thing when you can combine work with fun or in your case when your fun becomes your work.
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: You need to just get lost in the world you create to the point that the real world goes completely missing for hours at a time. When you get to that point in your writing life, then you know your imagination is getting out onto the page.
Debra: Yes. And what a wild trip it can be.
Cindy, thank you for visiting us here on Make-believe Mondays to share a the magic of writing with our readers.
You can visit Cindy at www.cindycruciger.com