There are many dangerous professions in the world. But did you know that one of the most perilous occupations is that of the author?

Carpal tunnel, arthritis, bulging discs and my most recent injury––a torn meniscus from pulling a suitcase full of books out of my car. Not to mention the most dreaded medical condition of all––writer’s butt!   Sinc Norcal photo 101 Shades

In my effort to ensure that everyone in the Sacramento/El Dorado County area has heard about my Laurel McKay mystery series, I’ve spoken at or attended over 350 events in the past six years, including some really fun launch parties!  Dude launch CWC members


Have you ever wondered how much research goes into writing a mystery? In this day and age, it’s easy enough to Google just about anything. So how important is it for an author to be on location in order to produce an accurate scene? One that will please the reader as well as a Jeopardy champion know-it-all.

Although my books are cozy mysteries, Laurel McKay, my protagonist, has ended up in a number of dangerous situations. For authenticity, I decided that I should experience the same situations that she encounters, but without the perils. Mostly. So I’ve learned how to drive a backhoe, danced in a ballroom competition, discovered the joys of ATV riding and zip-lining in Hawaii, and drunk copious cups of Kona coffee as well as numerous pitchers of daiquiris in search of the perfect one (Lilikoi).  ATVXWaipioXmedXsize


As autumn approaches, what do you most look forward to? The beauty of the fall colors? Cooler nights with a fire roaring in your fireplace, a book in one hand and a cup of tea in the other? A mad scrimmage on the ten yard line?

For our family, nothing says fall like a tangy bite of a caramel apple, the sweet taste of a cinnamon-apple donut or the scent of fresh-baked apple pie. AbelXsXcaramelXapplesAutumn means visits to the farms located in the area known as Apple Hill, where we can view miles of scenic vistas and miles of savory pastries.


What makes you drool over a book? Is it the title?  If so, how could you resist a book called Dying for a Donut? A lip smacking mystery. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

Or is it the cover that first catches your eye?

COVER 1DONUTXoneXhandXwithXhills

We’ve all heard that phrase, “a picture is worth a 1,000 words,” supposedly coined by Fred R. Barnard in 1921 when he promoted images in advertisements first appearing on the sides of streetcars. Others believe it’s an old Chinese proverb. Or a Japanese proverb. Who knows? What I do know is that I truly want my book covers to hint at the magic that occurs on the pages of my books.


ROAD TRIP! Do those two words bring back visions of the crazy days of our youth? Mustang convertibles and VW bugs.  Beach Boys and the Beatles. Tossing beer cans out of windows and mooning travelers in passing cars. Some of you may remember those days. Others prefer to block those memories. But if I had to guess, I would imagine that most people do not have the wild memories that I have––taken with my favorite traveling companion of all time.  My mother.

Mom, brother Jeff and me not smiling as usual - 1956 Atlantic City.

Mom, brother Jeff and me not smiling as usual – 1956 Atlantic City.


As Valentine’s Day approaches, I am once again pondering the subject of romance. I’m also pondering how much post Valentine’s clearance chocolate I can consume without breaking the zipper on my black jeans. Someone may be Dying for a Diet in the near future.   Sees Valentines

Everyone has a different definition of what constitutes romance. Romance readers, who represent 40% of overall readership, have preferences for love stories that range from sweet to steamy to erotic, (the latter a rising niche if you get my drift) as proven by the sales of over 100 million copies of Fifty Shades of Grey and an upcoming movie release.


Cindy describes her ongoing love affair with chase scenes, sharing some of the wacky antics occurring in her own series.



What a fun interview – learn all the secrets behind the Laurel McKay “DYING FOR” mysteries and what you can look forward to in coming attractions!


Have you ever wondered how authors write their books? Heather Haven, a hysterically funny mystery author, asked me to participate in a blog hop devoted to how writers go through their process of writing. New writers frequently ask me for the secret to how they should write. The secret is that there is no secret. All writers eventually develop their own style and a process that works for them.  Even though I’m almost finished with the fourth book in my Laurel McKay mysteries, my own writing process has continued to evolve. I’m far more efficient now than when I started. However, one thing remains constant for every author I know – we can find 101 ways to procrastinate. The other constant is that tenacity is our middle name.


I love making up book titles. Don’t you? But I have a feeling most authors don’t come up with a title first and then devise the plot!

DYING FOR A DATE was an easy choice for the first book in my Laurel McKay Mystery series. My single soccer mom was struggling to juggle her kids, a career and post-divorce dating. As a single working mom myself, I had plenty of stories to share. People frequently ask how much of DYING FOR A DATE is based on reality. My answer –– fifty percent memoir and fifty percent fiction. But I’m not sharing which is which.