Dancing with the Baby Boomers (or What an Author Will Do to Sell Books)

Congratulations to contest winner Marcy Cox.

Cindy Sample - Lefty Award FinalistAs far as I’m concerned, you’re never too old to wear pink fringe, although some folks may dispute this statement after watching my video. And if performing a cha-cha solo and shaking my booty helps sell books, then I’m in!
My ballroom journey began a few years ago. Having unsuccessfully dragged an ex-husband or two to ballroom dance classes (unsuccessful being defined by the word “ex”), my dream of learning ballroom dancing remained unfulfilled. Mesmerized by images of actors, singers, and athletes performing on Dancing with the Stars, I thought if Emmett Smith and Donald Driver could waltz across the floor in size fifteen shoes, how hard could it be? If I couldn’t at least keep up with Carson Kressley, I would hand over my feather boa.
To him!
Armed with a free coupon and shiny new satin heels, I signed up for a private lesson, assuming my natural sense of rhythm would instantly prove me a star.
Wrong. Sure the rules say guys are supposed to lead, but everyone knows women learn dance steps faster. But in ballroom dance, the woman has to follow, even if her partner has no sense of rhythm and waltzes to tango music. Eventually, I realized it wasn’t so bad letting someone else be in charge. Once I stopped fighting, I started gliding.
After somewhat mastering the smooth dances, we moved on to the smoldering Latin dances. Since my hips remain titanium free, I figured rumba and cha-cha would be a piece of shortcake for me. Nope. Evidently my hips only swivel in one dimension. Not that anyone has ever complained. But Latin dances require Cuban motion: a three- dimensional figure eight using your hips. It turns out practicing my rumba walk down the local Safeway’s aisles makes grocery shopping very entertaining. Especially for the other shoppers.
My teacher was amazed that I learned my lessons so quickly. Unfortunately, I forgot them even faster. After instructing me in the same steps four weeks in a row, I asked if our lessons reminded him of the movie Ground Hog Day. He smiled and replied, “Give it time.”
He was right. I’ve not only mastered the art of following, my short-term memory has improved so dramatically I may try out for Jeopardy. My hips are now awesome in several dimensions, and they only creak occasionally. While it’s unlikely I’ll ever out swivel Karina Smirnoff, Gladys Knight better watch out. Shoot. I might even take on all of the Pips!
Although most of my dance partners make me feel as graceful as Ginger Rogers, occasionally I have a Three Stooges moment, much like my protagonist, Laurel McKay. In Dying for a Dance, she trips her instructor and crashes into a pair of dancers, breaking the heel of her shoe in the process. It’s amazing how much she and I have in common. Fortunately I’ve never stumbled over a dead dancer.
Either way I’m having a grand time. And if I have to don pink fringe to sell a few books, why not? If you can’t have fun as an author then you’re in the wrong line of work!
So how far will you go to sell books? Is there a secret hobby you’ve been dying to try?
Leave a comment by midnight May 15, and you’ll be eligible to win an 8 inch chocolate stiletto (yum yum) or if that doesn’t entice you, a $20 gift certificate of your choice.



  1. You look amazing in pink fringe! Love that color!! Fun blog. And having been a middle, high school, and college professor, I’ve had a few Groundhog days myself! LOL

  2. Wow! I’m impressed. You look like you’ve been dancing forever and pink becomes you. I’d need a stand-in. Ballroom dancing isn’t in my future since my husband isn’t an ex and we both have two left feet. What would I do to sell my new book-NO WAKE ZONE? Hmmm. My main character, Marley Clark, loves coffee and chocolate–maybe I could find an all-you-can-snarf-down contest? I’m with Marley when it comes to swimming and kayaking, but haven’t mastered her tae bo moves. I could take tae bo classes but I’m sure someone (me) would get hurt. Congrats on your ballroom accomplishments and your very funny, delightful books. I’m a big fan.

    • Thanks, Linda. Hmmm. I’m visualizing you in a Tae Bo moment. My 86 year old mother is now taking Tai Chi. Maybe you can give Marley a more relaxing hobby. I love your series as well!

  3. Cindy. I am mega impressed! I thought your grace and style was divine! Bravo!!

  4. Jacqueline Seewald says:

    In college I took ballroom dancing and loved it. B.C.–before children, my husband and I would go dancing and it was great fun. We should definitely take it up again! Such fun.

  5. Although you look good in that pink dress, if I wore it I’d look like a giant bottle of Pepto Bismal! Very funny blog. I know what you mean about dragging husbands (or ex-husbands) to ballroom dancing classes. I’ve tried this with Joe a number of times but the attempts have never improved his rhythm. He proves the old cliche that white men can’t dance. Usually, I’ll bribe him with: “If you come to dance class with me on the cruise ship, I won’t nag you about your gambling in the casino all night.”

    The only two men I dated who were great dancers, I was never attracted to–darn! It’s a wonderful form of recreation and much more fun than (sigh) golf. Why do I always pick the golfers instead of the dancers?

  6. You look fabulous, darling! My husband and I took lessons at the local jr college. At first, I was annoyed at having to rotate partners. That was until I realized my husband wasn’t really trying and some of the other men were really wonderful dancers, expect for those rather energetic few…

  7. What fun! You really dance well (and look great).

    My current husband and I have tried ballroom and Argentine tango. I think you have a good point about learning with separate teachers–we’ll have to look into that.

    How wonderful that they promoted your book at the competition!

  8. OMG! The whole time I was worried your dress would come off, it looks rather flimsily attached… too much fun, Cindy. You are one fabulous woman.

  9. As one has also (once!) been conned into doing an exhibition cha-cha I can really appreciate the number of steps and moves you packed into that, Cindy. Good job! See you soon, I hope Cx

    • Hi Catriona. I have a feeling your cha-cha was far superior to mine. I’m just glad I remained upright since I’ve managed to land on my pink fringed booty more than once!

  10. Oh, Cindy, what fun, fun, fun. You did a good job–next step “Dancing with the Stars.” You’d show ole Lynn a thing or two.

    I think I told you I taught ballroom dancing in the past and what I found with most of the male students who had a hard time came down to not hearing the beat. The ones that studied the music did grreat, but there were some who just never heard it.

    Enjpoyed your book.

    • Thanks, Betty. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and DYING FOR A DANCE. It’s always amazed me that some people can NOT hear the beat but I’ve learned to follow them no matter what tempo they are playing in their own head!

  11. I do know how to spell great, but on second thought maybe it shouod be grrrreat!!

  12. Way to go the extra mile! Loooooove this video. I’ve watched it three times in awe. Thanks for another fun blog to make me laugh over lunch 🙂

  13. You rocked the pink fringe and the dancing! Cindy, this is SO COOL!!!!

  14. Deirdre says:

    Cindy – I am forever impressed by all that you have accomplished and should I ever write a book I can’t imagine having the guts (let alone your fabu sense of style) to openly dance as you so wonderfully did. You go girl!

  15. sara hyman says:

    i’m impressed that you’re going for it. I’ve thought about trying, but probably never will. Keep it up and enjoy the fringe!.

  16. Cindy, you’re not only “pretty in pink,” but a great dancer, too. The lessons paid off! Now that I’m doing Jazzercise again, albeit the Lite version, I’ve rediscovered my love for dance, too … but I won’t be wearing a leotard anywhere soon, if I can help it, even though that’s what we wore at Jazzerclasses in the ’80s. The protagonist of my book wears one as the base of her costume at the masquerade Crystal Ball in my book, and unless my figure shrinks between now and publication/launch, I’ll have to find some other less revealing way of walking in your dancing shoes. 🙂 Bravo to you for having so much fun with your book and promoting it. The video is a great idea!

    PS – I agree on the Pin-Stripe to Pink Fringe post. I want to read that!

  17. Pat Foulk says:


    You look so “hot” in that dress. Just fabulous. Luv the car wash comment. Laurel would kill to look so great and move with such grace. You’re a cheetah!

    Cheers from Pat who is green with envy. Will you go to my class reunion in my place?

    • Ooo. I love being a cheetah unless that makes me older than a cougar! The BEST thing about all of that fringe is that it is a great cover-up! You just have to whirl around so fast no one can see the real you! I’ll even lend it to you for your reunion!

  18. You looked great out there! You’re an inspiration in so many ways!

  19. Laura DiSilverio says:

    Cindy–Love the pink fringe. Good for you. My hubby and I just started taking ballroom dance lessons this spring . . . it’s great to have something new to do together. I’ll vote for you when you’re on DWTS!

  20. You go, girl! You looked great! How fun! I had a character do dancing to work out with a friend in The Key. It was fun to imagine it in my mind, but yeah, don’t think my body would go that way. Let’s see, hardest thing I did for a book? Climbed part way up Long’s Peak? In sandals in the snow? Congrats on the book!

  21. Linda Westphal says:


    Your dress is AMAZING! You look beautiful.


    P.S. I loved your dancing, too. 🙂

  22. Charlene Wright says:

    I am inspired. You are awsome.

  23. I couldn’t have done it better and you know how I love to dance! Wow! You look pretty sexy there! Love the fringe! You’re the prettiest “Baby Boomer In Pink” I’ve ever seen!

    You are multi-talented. Is there anything you can’t do? Or try? Hum? :O)

  24. Bev Moglich says:

    HI Cindy,

    YOU certainly qualify for DWTS. Keep it up and you will be there before you know it. I,too, love to dance and so pleased to know I’m not the only woman who feels comfortable taking the lead.

  25. Wow, great job! You’re a natural.

  26. Love it Cindy! You are absolutely fantastic in pink! I could not master the step ball change in tap class. Someone had a post that I came across who was a dancer. I was so impressed and told her that I envied anyone who could dance. She responded with practice makes perfect. I told her that I have been practicing walking for the last 55 years and still don’t have it down! I practice in the grocery store; the park; walking down Main Street; around the house; in the garden…you get the picture. My sister talked me into a jazz dance class led by this petite French woman. For some reason, even with practice, I was turning right when everyone else was going left. Weeks, I am talking weeks, my sister and I practiced…Still didn’t have it. Swivel is the only thing that I can sort of do gracefully on the patio chairs as long as I hang on to the arms! I do have issues getting out of the chair though. I do have good eye hand coordination, so that is at least something! Loved this post, and hugs to you my friend!

  27. Stan Kirst says:

    You not only look amazing but glide on the dance floor like an angel!
    To think that you are not only a brilliant CEO, master story teller but can dance like the wind, I’m breathless.

  28. Cindy, you are such a go-getter. I’m thrilled to see you followed your dream. I’m a fan of DWTS…I’m such a clutz, but I know a good dancer when I see one…and you’re one! I’m sure your protagonists are as gutsy as you are. Way to go! Rolynn

  29. TIFFANY says:


  30. Cindy, *you* are definitely not too old to wear pink fringe!! You look great out there.

  31. That pink fringe is awesome, Cindy. You totally rock!!

  32. lois hirt says:

    Good for you- with the dancing. Pink fringe looks good on you and looks good when you shake it while dancing. i like the profile=that should sell books.
    Lois Hirt

  33. Sue miller says:

    After Judy L told me tonight that I HAD to see you on You Tube I rushed home to connect…You’re AWESOME, my friend! You’d better order more books to be printed – I predict a huge demand after people see your many talents. At the Opera event we had Flamenco….get to work on your “signature” dance for the next one!

  34. Cindy, you look fabulous! The compromise we’ve reached in our marriage is slow dances only. That doesn’t mean I can’t grab another partner for the fast ones. I look forward to reading the book.

  35. Marcy cox says:

    With legs as long as yours no wonder you can glide across the dance floor! Loved the blog always the funny gal!

  36. Ron Chicaferro says:

    Why am I not surprised you can do things like this!! You’ve always been a star in everything you do! And, with the dancing, at least you look better then Laurel McKay out there – – well, almost better – – actually maybe the same. Keep up the great work (and the practicing!) !!

  37. Pat Hamilton says:

    Dear Cindy! wow, this is so wonderful! What a great job and what a tremendous sacrifice you’ve done to support your craft (mystery author)! Truly, I have taken zumba class (mostly Latin style dancing) several nights a week for years and I still can’t get all the moves down. You look just beautiful! But truth time: how many takes to get this? best wishes! Pat

    • Believe it or not this was a last minute decision and we only practiced the entire routine during one lesson because my teacher came down with the flu. But we have been dancing on and off for a couple of years (unfortunately mostly off since my books were released). And even though my hips can still swivel, they aren’t always happy about it!

  38. Adding my comments to the bazillion. That video was great! You can dance, girl. And what a clever way to promote your books. You have such ingenious methods! Applause, applause, applause!! Love ya!

  39. Well okay then – that settles that – you look good in pink!

    I’m kidding, that was awesome! Good for you for never giving up on your dreams. Keep at it and maybe we’ll see you some day soon as one of the new pro dance troupe on DWTS.

    Fun stuff, Cindy!

    I suppose if I’m going to sell my first book, I’m going to have to learn to barrel race. Given the fact that I’ve never done more than sit atop my horse at a fast welk, I don’t think that’ll be happening any time soon. Unless they change barrell racing from a timed event, but then it would just be called barrell and that’s stupid.

    Fun post my friend. When are we going to see you at one of our SVR meetings again? Soon I hope!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • HI Patricia. I love the idea of a slow mo barrel race. Wouldn’t that make a great video! I’ll be at SVR in May, finally. Too many conventions and not enough days in the week!

  40. Cindy, you are great. Way to go! You’re courageous and graceful—a rare combination. My Aggie Mundeen character, who fears nothing but aging, pokes her nose into situations where she’s apt to turn up dead. I thought I was fearless until I tried zip-lining. Hip-swiveling is out, sailing above trees at mach speed is horrifying, and the gear they make you wear is worse.

    Nancy G. West

    • Thanks for the zip-lining tips, Nancy. My protagonist is going to attempt that in DYING FOR A DAIQUIRI but my research will consist of watching my fearless kids attempt the journey. BTW, your Aggie is a riot!

  41. Cindy, you are great. Way to go! You’re courageous and graceful—a rare combination. My Aggie Mundeen character, who fears nothing but aging, pokes her nose into situations where she’s apt to turn up dead. I thought I was fearless until I tried zip-lining. Hip-swiveling is out, sailing above trees at mach speed is horrifying, and the gear they make you wear is worse.

    Nancy G. West

  42. Cindy….you are too cool………you look lovely !……..and remember that “Groundhog Day” was filmed in our hometown (which looks like puxatownee more than puxatownee, and is easier to spell)…….

  43. Wow Cindy, what an inspiration. I don’t know my left foot from my right probably because I have two left feet. Love your dress, pink is your color. I hope you sell tons.

  44. Way to go, Cindy. Fabulous. You can do anything! And, you do!

  45. WooHoo! You look great, Cindy! You & your partner moved along the floor so smoothly. Congratulations. :o)

  46. Diane Dellicker says:

    Wow! If I looked like you do, I’d wear that fringe dress, too! I loved the dance you did, as well as your nerve to get out there and do it.

    I’m looking forward to reading your books, because they saund as if they will be fun reads.

    • Thanks, Diane. I’m just happy it was low definition video coverage! Life is short and I’m all for making the most of it. Maybe next time we’ll do some outtakes – that would really be worth a few laughs!

  47. Cha-cha, ha, ha! Hmmm, will you be true to your word? “And if I have to don pink fringe to sell a few books, why not?” So how far will you go to sell books? Will you dare wear your pink fringe dress to your book signing on Sunday, May 20, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the new Face In A Book in El Dorado Hills Town Center??!!

  48. Cindy,
    You look great in pink! Nothing short of outstanding. Dance like that and the guys are almost afraid to ask… Liked the way you used your arms and really moved. Very impressed! Hope to see you sometime soon.

    • Thanks, Harry. I’m no Jim Clark and Tania Chegini, my teacher and his partner, who danced at my launch party, but at least I didn’t land on my keyster. Just think of the fun we’ll have with my DYING FOR A DAIQUIRI launch. Homicide, humor and hula!

  49. Robin Padilla says:

    I think you did a great job! Ball Room Dancing is so much harder than anyone thnks until they have tried it. The Pink Dress is your Color! I can’t wait for your next book to come out. I have never been a mystery reader before, but my friend Jacqui (your mail lady) gave me a copy for my birthday and I loved it. Love the humor in your stories.

    • Thanks, Robin. It’s so nice to hear from a new fan. I’m diligently working on DYING FOR A DAIQUIRI. At least the research is easier than DYING FOR A DANCE.

  50. Norma Jean says:

    EXCELLENT marketing Cindy!

    Love your comments … fun read.

    Who do you think is going tonight on DWTS? I felt so bad for Katherine last night.

    • I think the final four are all equally amazing. I’m always surprised that they don’t have more falls and incidents during the show. I just hate for DWTS to come to an end although I’ll be prepared when they decide to do DWTBB!

  51. You read it here first….You will be Dancing with the Stars soon, because the stars have already danced with you. I have two left feet so will be joining you for Daiquiri. Now, that I can do….congratulations!

    • Frances, I doubt very much that anyone as elegant and graceful as you could possibly have two left feet. But maybe we can tour the Hawaiian islands together when DYING FOR A DAIQUIRI is released. What fun author events we could have!

  52. I look forward to the video that will accompany Dying for a Daiquiri.

  53. I used to love East Coast Swing and boy do I miss twirlling around! It’s good to see you out there on the ballroom floor.

  54. Now how cool is that? you looked very elegant and comfortable out on the dance floor. Your dress was enticing, and you know what, pink has become the new “in” color for both boys and girls. May by the time you have a 2nd printing of the book, there will be a way for you include this film clip. Great way to sell books.

  55. Holly Rittenhouse says:

    Cindy- I am amazed at your talent and creativity you have as a x- mortgage banker. You were always a role model in this industry and you still are as you expand your writing and dancing talents. You are truely amazing. Yes Dancing with the Stars should be calling you for next year’s cast!

  56. I love the video, Cindy! Marvelous. It looks like a lot of fun.


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