This week’s author is a woman who’s worn many different career hats and has recently begun her career as a novelist, Cynthia Vespia. Her novel, Sins and Virtue, was released by Musa Publishing on June 29th. Please give her a warm welcome.
1. Can you tell us a bit about Sins and Virtues?
A unique hostage situation is about to turn ugly unless author Ben Haskins can use his gift of words to befriend his captor.
Fantasy novelist Ben Haskins has taken a remote cabin in the wilderness to revive his shaky marriage and failing career. Within the peaceful surroundings he runs into real trouble when convicted murderer Sam Mitchell breaks into the cabin after she escapes from prison. Marked by a dark past of abuse Sam is volatile and ready to snap. It is up to Ben to use his writer’s gift of words to diffuse the situation before time runs out for them both.
2. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue writing as more than a hobby?
I used to read all the time when I was younger. I’d write short stories on my sister’s old typewriter. It wasn’t until high school that I read my first Dean Koontz novel and I decided that I wanted to pursue writing full on. I wanted to instill the same emotions in my readers that Dean did for me.
3. You’ve been through several different careers. Other than writing, which career did you enjoy the most–and why?
I like anything that involves being creative so doing graphic design work and video editing is always fun. I’m also a big proponent of fitness so being a personal trainer is highly fulfilling when you have a client reach their goals.
4. How has your variety of careers prepared you to become a writer?
To be honest they haven’t. Anyone in the arts knows you just get different jobs to pay the bills while you work on your art. But different experiences in life usually contribute to the writing in one way or another.
5. Sins and Virtues is about a writer–how much of Ben’s character is taken from your own?
A lot of the writing related detail that Ben faces comes from my own career. Other than that Ben is his own man. I suppose it is the same way Stephen King will make a lot of his characters writers. You write what you know and we are writers so it is easy to fall back on.
6. If thrown into Ben’s situation, what would you do?
Y’know I always say my stories are about real life situations you could find yourself but hope you never do. Unfortunately it is a different and dangerous world we live in now. My instincts are survival at any cost. But you really don’t know how you will react to a situation unless you’re actually in it. For me I try to prepare for anything and with that in mind I would go down fighting. So why do I have Ben reason with his captor? Because it has been done. I’ve read about a very similar situation where the woman in this case talked down the man holding a gun on her. That doesn’t mean it always works out that way. Some people are just too far gone to be reasoned with.
7. What advice would you offer a writer just starting their career?
The first thing I tell a writer when they ask me how to start is to finish the book. You can’t do anything with just the spark of an idea. Put something down on paper and then go from there. These days there are so many options to get a book out there. You just have to research them and find out what would be right for your particular book. The other thing I tell them is not to follow the trends. What is popular today will probably be old news by the time you finish your version of it. Write the next big thing instead.
8. If you could re-do any one thing in your life, what would it be and how would you change it?
I’m torn between having regrets and knowing that I wouldn’t be where I am and who I am without having those regrets. But there are a few things that I wish I had done differently. One of those things is school. I was going to go to art school in Pasadena right out of high school. A friend of mine even offered a place to stay at the time. For some reason I never followed through on it. Now I’m trying to go back and rectify that. It isn’t easy.
9. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I always wanted a huge career as a writer. Major international successes, motion pictures, maybe even a popular TV series based on my work. Now I’ll settle for peace. I just want to live in a cozy town, do work that I enjoy with time for travel, sharing fun experiences with loved ones, and of course I’ll be writing. No matter what I’ll always write.
10. What are you working on now that readers can look forward to?
I’ve been working on a lot of short stories which has been fun for me. I’m currently editing short thriller based on a hitman. After that I’m starting on the follow up to my fantasy series Demon Hunter. This time the hunter’s daughter is the one following in the family business…so-to-speak.
Bio: Cynthia Vespia has a background as an award-winning video editor; certified personal trainer; licensed private security guard; and trained mixologist. But the allure of writing has always been her biggest passion. Today Cynthia writes character driven suspense fiction. During her down time she enjoys getting lost in a good book or movie and keeping active through various forms of martial arts and fitness. Visit the official website at: www.CynthiaVespia.com
You can purchase Sins and Virtues here. Don’t forget to leave your comments and questions for Cynthia, I have a feeling she’ll be around today.