Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Interview with Cindy Ray Hale | Author of the Destiny Clark Saga

Amanda: Give us a quick introduction to you. Published books, what you write, etc.
Cindy: Hi! I’m Cindy Ray Hale. I write YA Contemporary and Sweet Romance. I have a nine book YA. Contemporary series called The Destiny Clark Saga. It’s based off of The Destiny Trilogy, but it’s expanded and quite a bit longer overall. I released two books in July. One is a small town sweet romance called Her Senator’s Second Chance, and it’s part of the Love Under Lockdown boxset. The other book is a YA Contemporary called My Best Friend Prince Charming. It’s the sixth book in the Sweet Mountain High Series.

Amanda: Favorite book you’ve published so far?
Cindy: Definitely Destiny. It’s the first book I ever wrote, and I put so much of my heart and soul into it. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Amanda: Most fun character to write? Favorite character to write? (Because they can definitely be different. ;) ) Hardest to write?
Cindy: Hannah from the Destiny books. I adore her. She’s witty and impulsive and hilarious. I’d say she was the most fun and my favorite too. I think Shannon from My Best Friend Prince Charming was the hardest character to write. She went through a lot of tough emotions in the book and some of it hit a bit too close to home for me.

Amanda: Did you like to read as a child? Favorite book? Do you still have that book or reread it now?
Cindy: I devoured books as a kid. Even before I knew how to read I would sit for a long time, looking at the pictures of all our books. I loved the Babysitter Club books when I was in third and fourth grade. I don’t have them anymore, but it would be pretty interesting to reread them. 
Amanda: I read some of the Babysitter Club books when I was younger!

Amanda: Have you always been a writer/storyteller? How did you start?
Cindy: I started when I was barely able to write. I don’t even remember what I was writing about, but I don’t think it was very good. Lol! I did write a short story when I was seventeen that ended up getting published in a magazine. I got married young and didn’t write for about twelve years. We hit some financially hard times, and I began writing to help support the family. That was back in 2012.

Amanda: Do you write to music? If so, what kind? I love to hear about new music!
Cindy: I do! I have a playlist on YouTube. I make different playlists for each book and I listen to them while I write. It helps me feel like I’m really one with the story. Music is huge for me. Here’s the playlist I put together for My Best Friend Prince Charming.
Amanda: I do that for every book that I write, too. I always make a playlist for the books I write. It's so much fun, and even if I don't listen while I write, I'll listen before I start writing so I can get in the right headspace.

Amanda: I know for me, there have been some funny stories since I’ve been deep in the trenches of writing. Like a realization about a work in progress or characters (the funniest has to do with the song Mirrors by JT.) Do you have any funny stories that you’d like to share?
Cindy: First of all, I love Mirrors and have it on one of my playlists too. I remember writing a scene at four in the morning once and I had the characters kiss and then one of them immediately bursts into tears. I read it the next morning and was scratching my head over it. I ended up deleting it and rewriting the next day when I wasn’t loopy and exhausted.
Amanda: Sometimes I take notes when I have ideas at night. Actually, I do that a lot. But sometimes I swear I am still asleep and when I try to read it I can't make out a thing!

Amanda: Do you have a typical process or any writing rituals? Anything you have to have with you while writing? (Besides computer, paper, typewriter, whichever…)
Cindy: I like to make a word count goal for the day before I get started. Then I sit down and write until I hit the goal. I have a rocking Lazy Boy type chair that I love to sit in and I keep my laptop on my lap when I write. I usually have my big cup of water next to me and my headphones on with my playlist to keep me focused. Otherwise, I get distracted by every little thing.

Amanda: Who is a character that has influenced you (not from your books)?
Cindy: Lizzie Bennett. I love her strength and independence and snark. She’s so fantastic.

Amanda: Which of your characters would you least want to go on a road trip with? Why? Most want to?
Cindy: Aspen Adams. She’s a total snot, and she’s incredibly fake. She would drive me nuts. I’d love to go on a road trip with Hannah. She’s beautiful and funny. We would have a blast.

Amanda: Top three favorite books and authors right now.
Cindy: I’m sooo excited for Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer. I need to preorder it ASAP. I read the leaked pages of it back in 2008, and I’ve been ready for more ever since. I even helped to start a FB group call Midnight Sun - Twilight Reunion Party. You can join the party here.

I also love The Hunger Games and Pride and Prejudice.

Amanda: Favorite writing craft book?
Cindy: Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. Also Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes for romance.

This or that:
Strawberry vs. Chocolate
Poetry vs. Fiction
First draft vs. Editing
T. V. Show vs. Movie
Book vs. Movie
Hero vs. Villain
Villiain vs. Anti-Hero
Witch vs. Vampire
E-book vs. Physical Book
Tea vs. Coffee

Amanda: Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on now?
Cindy: Yep! I’m writing a RomCom that will be part of The Funny Thing About Love boxset. My book will be called Oops! I Kissed Him Again. It takes place in the same small town as Her Senator’s Second Chance.
Amanda: I love that title!

Amanda: Any last comments to share? :)
Cindy: Thanks so much for the opportunity! The questions were lots of fun!
Amanda: Thank you so much for being on the blog today! I loved reading your answers. It's always so much fun to read all of these answers. <3

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