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

These appearances have been the high point of my new career. And my life.  I love meeting readers and aspiring writers, as well as other authors. Sharing stories about plotting, our characters and the fun research we get to do, is a real kick.


Although occasionally I get overly zealous about acquiring new fans!


stagecoach with gun

Those readers who take the time to contact an author are truly a high point. It’s not always easy to create another world, and those emails and comments keep us motivated. Although I’ve received some incredibly generous emails, I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you.

Really, truly, and absolutely love your books about the apple farm and the families. They are almost as nutty as my family. Most comforting.

You made the main character so real and likable. The way you write made me feel like I was in the story and I want her as my friend!

Hope you’re having as much fun writing the books as I did reading them!!  Look forward to more Laurel escapades!!!

I never want your books to end.

And the most touching of all––

This has been a rough year for me since my husband died. I can laugh and appreciate all of Laurel’s dilemmas. My daughter gave me a gift card for Christmas and I bought Dying for a Date. Now I am hooked. It gave me some laughs over a sad Christmas. My dogs and I had our dinner. Then I settled down with the e-book. Things looked a lot brighter.

Talk about motivating. That comment brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes!

Whether you are an author or a reader, I’d love to hear from you. What keeps you motivated to pursue your dreams? If you leave a comment by midnight December 16th, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $20 Amazon gift card. We can all use that!

For an opportunity to win 32 cozy mysteries, check out this incredible drawing.

I wish you all a happy and safe holiday season.

And the winner of the $20 Amazon gift card is Sandy Todd. Congratulations, Sandy. Enjoy!


  1. Michele Drier on December 8, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    I appreciate this blog! Since I’ve kinda been on the writer’s journey as well, I can relate. And comments from readers are the gold nuggets along the road.

    • Cindy Sample on December 8, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      I don’t think readers realize how much we appreciate their short notes. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Jacqueline Seewald on December 8, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Hi Cindy,

    You have a great sense of humor which I appreciate. I am the opposite of you in that I very rarely do any author appearances. I enjoy meeting and greeting readers and other authors but the occasions don’t seem to happen often and I suppose I don’t go after them either.

    I sympathize with writer’s butt, a condition we all face. So saying, I going to walk on the treadmill for a while. Best of continued success with your writing!

    • Cindy Sample on December 8, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Thanks, Jacquie. You may not do as many appearances but you are a great blogger! My torn meniscus has not helped the writer’s butt condition at all so I’m looking forward to my surgery next year! Writer’s butt be gone!

  3. Elaine Faber on December 8, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Would love to find a resource/list/announcement of the various ‘writer opportunities’ that might be available to us writers. who want to speak/share/sell our books. You seem to have found the secret to that. Would you consider a blog post or seminar where you might share how/when/where us less intuitive writers could participate in same?
    Perhaps a face book page or calendar notice of upcoming events in Sisters in Crime newsletter would be helpful. I would love to participate in more such events but just don’t learn about them in time.
    Best wishes for a bless Christmas season.

    • Cindy Sample on December 8, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      That’s an excellent idea, Elaine. So now I have an idea for my next blog post! Thanks for commenting.

  4. Kathleen L. Asay on December 8, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    As you know, I loved this blog when you ran it by me. Love the story of the woman who was cheered by the humorous stories. That’s something for you to remember whenever you’re struggling with a plot line or feeling down yourself. You have a gift and you share it every time someone picks up one of your books and begins to read.

    • Cindy Sample on December 8, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      Thanks, Kathy. Every one of those comments motivated me, but that last one is truly special. It confirms that I’m living my life the way I should (although perhaps with a little less chocolate)!

  5. Sherry Joyce on December 8, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Regrettably, I can identify with writer’s butt and other author ailments. In this world filled with strife, division and ranting, uplifting mystery books like yours provide a humorous balm to the difficulties of the real world, yet are filled with interesting characters (and clever murder plots) to keep you laughing. It reminds all of us not to take life too seriously, to laugh at ourselves and enjoy the humor under our noses. Thanks for bringing your writing talent to your fans, to your author friends, who are also fans, and those who have yet to discover you, despite your 350 events! Can’t wait for the next release!

    • Cindy Sample on December 8, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      Thanks, Sherry. You just put a big smile on my face! Can’t wait for your new release either.

  6. Pamela DuMond on December 8, 2016 at 6:48 pm


    All those events — good for you. That’s got to counteract writer’s butt doesn’t it?

    Keep those books coming, Cindy!


    • Cindy Sample on December 8, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      One would think so, wouldn’t you! Thanks so much, Pamela.

  7. Pam Munger on December 8, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    I love your books they relax me and I enjoy them so mych

    • Cindy Sample on December 8, 2016 at 10:59 pm

      I’m so happy you’re enjoying them long distance, Pam. I think you’re going to love DYING FOR A DIAMOND, too!

  8. Kathy McIntosh on December 8, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Well said, Cindy! And how lovely that your humor brought light to someone who needed it so much. That’s inspiration to write, even when our poor butts ache and our wrists throb.

    I so admire your energy and drive and will look forward to that next blog post!

    • Cindy Sample on December 8, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      Thanks for commenting, Kathy. I know you can relate to achy writer syndrome. Looking forward to your next book.

  9. Melinda Williams on December 8, 2016 at 11:53 pm


    I love your books and this post had me cracking up. Your words are so true. I would love to learn how you got all those speaking engagements.

    I really hope to win so I can use the card for something real special for somebody I treasure.


    • Cindy Sample on December 8, 2016 at 11:59 pm

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying Laurel’s adventures. There is a real funny story about one of my early speaking engagements and I’ll try to share it in a post next year. Basically one luncheon engagement led to a referral for another one, etc. etc. etc. I haven’t specifically queried any organizations myself, but there are tons of service organizations, Soroptimists, Rotary, Kiwanis, AAUW, who are always looking for speakers. And libraries, of course, although they prefer panels of speakers Good luck!

  10. Lisa Dane on December 9, 2016 at 12:50 am

    A writer’s craft is solitary but it continuously amazes me how you balance your impressive number of “meet & greets” along with the discipline required to stay on track with your “Dying For” series. How do you manage to do it all? And with such humor and, dare I say, grace?

    Toasting you with a Willy Wonka world of chocolate!

    • Cindy Sample on December 9, 2016 at 1:52 am

      It’s all that chocolate that keeps me going (and leads to the dreaded writer’s butt)

  11. Patricia Gligor on December 9, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Although I think most writers are self-motivated (we have to be), comments like the ones you received from your readers are truly heartwarming and much appreciated.
    I love your books and I admire your efforts to promote them!

    • Cindy Sample on December 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      Thanks, Patricia. Those comments really do help when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I know you can relate!

  12. Clare Price on December 9, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I can relate! Especially to the dreaded “writers butt!” You are also an inspiration, both in the stories you bring to life and the energy and happiness you lavish on your readers. 350 events! What a milestone. Eagerly awaiting Dying for a Diamond.

    • Cindy Sample on December 9, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      Thanks, Clare. I’m glad I can help inspire others although I don’t necessarily advocate 50 plus events a year:-) But you do meet the most interesting people.

  13. amy guillaume linderman on December 9, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    i think watching my hard working husband who keeps moving up the ladder at work is highly motivating!

    • Cindy Sample on December 9, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      That sure would do it! Thanks for commenting, Amy.

  14. Jenne on December 9, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Time keeps me motivated. A year from now I can be in the same place or further along. Easy choice.

    • Cindy Sample on December 9, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      There you go. Thanks for commenting, Jenne.

  15. Carole Price on December 9, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    You’re an inspiration to me, Cindy. Your energy is awesome. I would love to attend more book events and have thoroughly enjoyed the ones I have attended.

    • Cindy Sample on December 9, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      It’s fun to get out with readers and other authors. I always enjoy it so much. Thanks for commenting, Carole.

  16. Suzanne Vince on December 9, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    I agree, Cindy! Emails from readers really remind us of the real reason we started writing in the first place. If I win the $20 Amazon card, please donate to the woman who lost her husband.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. <3

    • Cindy Sample on December 9, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      You are so sweet, Suzanne. And a big Merry Christmas to you too!

  17. Sharon Baker on December 9, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    I love your sense if humor. Wish I could write books like you and all authors but can’t so read them instead.

    • Cindy Sample on December 9, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks so much, Sharon. And what would authors do if we didn’t have such terrific readers like you!

  18. sara hyman on December 9, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Cindy – you always manage to hit the nail on the head. This is true whether we’ve met you in person or thru your blog, or just thru the books. Well said.
    Happy Holidays to all

    • Cindy Sample on December 9, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Thanks so much, Sara. I hope all is well with you. Happy happy holidays to you.

  19. Kathy on December 9, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    I love your insights , and your books ! kathambre&

    • Cindy Sample on December 9, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Thank you so much, Kathy. You just made my day:-)

  20. Jennifer Hansen on December 10, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    My family keeps me motivated.

    parkeremma2003 at yahoo dot com

    • Cindy Sample on December 10, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      Families are great motivators. My mother used to pre-sell my books before I was even finished!

  21. Conda V Douglas on December 10, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    My goodness, Cindy, you are an inspiration! I only did three events this year! And yes, when our readers speak to us, best thing ever.

    • Cindy Sample on December 10, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      I have a tendency to overdo everything, Conda. The readers who take the time to email us are such an inspiration.

  22. Sandy Todd on December 10, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Hi Cindy! You are a new-to-me author & I’m so glad that Kim over Cinnamon & Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder posted about you and your give-a-way. I’m always looking for new cozies to read so I’m putting your series onto my tbr list. Right now, I’m heading over to Goodreads to read more about you and your books.

    • Cindy Sample on December 10, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      Hi Sandy. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I hope you get an opportunity to “sample” my books!

    • Cindy Sample on December 18, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks, Sandy. And congratulations on winning the gift card. An early Christmas present.

      • Sandy Todd on December 19, 2016 at 1:31 pm

        Thanks again Cindy! You are so kind! Email sent to you. Merry Christmas!

  23. Rose on December 10, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Embrace your writer’s butt! (I think there’s a yoga pose for that.) Cover it in what makes it feel happy. (Mine likes denim.) Butts have their place, like the past, behind you!

    Thanks for all your wonderful books! And THANK YOU for your mentoring!

    • Cindy Sample on December 10, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      You always make me laugh, Rose. Great job on promoting the anthology!

  24. Lisa Millett on December 11, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    I love your sense of humor cause I love to joke and laugh. Thanks for an interesting read.

    • Cindy Sample on December 11, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks for commenting, Lisa. My humor has gotten me through many a mishap! Good luck.

  25. Sharon Forrest on December 12, 2016 at 5:28 am

    Your books are new to me. Once I survive the next 9 days of school with lots of excited students, maybe I can relax and do some reading!

    • Cindy Sample on December 12, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks for commenting, Sharon. Good luck with those antsy students:-) Hope you can relax over the holidays.

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