Interview with Cindy A. Christiansen

What kind of books do you write?
I write sweet romance with humor, suspense…and dogs! That’s actually my tagline. Finding your niche is difficult to do. One day I sat down and figured out who I am as an author. The process didn’t happen overnight. I had already published three books. The third book clicked with me and my readers, and I’ve tailored my writing around these factors ever since:
• A clean read with no bedroom scenes or offensive language.
• A tantalizing, fast-paced plot.
• A story without a lot of unnecessary, boring description.
• Down-to-earth heroes and heroines with everyday jobs.
• A rollercoaster ride of emotions you face right along with the characters.
• A special dog to steal your heart.
• A few added facts, a good message, and that important happily-ever-after ending.
When did you first start writing?
Can you image what it’s like to go from a full-time job, remodeling your whole new house, a new marriage, and being an artist and then winding up bedridden with an unknown illness for months and months? Life gets extremely unbearable! That’s when I made two changes in my life: I started writing and I adopted a dog. These two things saved my life and continue to enrich it every day. Besides health issues, adding two autistic kids and an ADHD dog with seizures to the mix makes me enjoy escaping to another world where my heroines can do things I can’t.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I love Utah! Just like movie producers, I find Utah to be the most versatile landscape. From the dry west desert, to snow-capped mountains, to the unusual rock formations of Arches National Park, to rural farming towns, to the metropolis Salt Lake City—Utah has it all. I don’t think I could ever run out of intriguing setting here in Utah.
What is your writing process?
With over thirty health issues that affect me physically and cognitively and two autistic children with co-morbid conditions, I can’t exactly sit down and write from nine to five or even ten to two. I write in small chunks of time, sometimes as little as a sentence at a time. Sometimes I come back to my work and there is a half finished sentence. (lol) I’m here to say life isn’t easy but you can eat an elephant one bite at a time.
Why do you feature dogs on your covers instead of the traditional romance cover?
My books aren’t about intertwined bodies. (lol) From the beginning, I have always included one or more dogs in each book. My life has been so enriched by them that I can’t imagine life without them. One of the things that makes my books unique is that the dog character usually plays a role. I also donate proceeds from my books to help abused and abandoned dogs. The dog on the cover lets readers know these are my books and you can trust what will be inside. Although I write romance, I have a wide range of readers from YA to seniors to male readers to even those that don’t particularly care for dogs. (Can’t even imagine that.)
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I love working with my publisher on my full-length books. I became an Indie author with my novellas and short stories as a way of introducing my writing style to new readers. I have found I really enjoy writing them.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is awesome! They provide an author with detailed information to submit their work and become successful. I love that they provide you with an ISBN and distribute an author’s work to top sites.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Before I began writing, I was an artist. And although I still occasionally get out the brushes and escape into an artistic world, I find that writing fills my mind much more than my art endeavors. Even if I am not physically able to write with my health issues or situation, my mind can always be working on a story. It provides a cathartic getaway like no other activity.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I know for a fact I wrote many stories in my youth although I can’t remember them. I even wrote radio plays and had my family perform them sitting around a single tape recorder. But recently, I ran across a college writing assignment. (By the way, I got on A on it.) The story was probably my first romance and only about 1200 words. The amazing thing about it is the story included a dog. Even back then I wrote sweet romance with humor, suspense…and dogs! Right now I am expanding the story and turning it into a novelette.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Time Will Tell is the first book of a three book series—A Merchant Street Mystery. After having written a number of stand-alone books, I decided to challenge myself. I almost have the second book completed, and I’m hoping I will make the deadline. With the physical and family challenges I face, I have never dared write on deadline. I’m finding it extremely challenging.

Here’s the storyline: Holly Waterbury is a little paranoid and she just can’t handle all the suspicious behavior centered on Merchant Street in Salt Lake City. Being volunteered to help her hoarding Uncle Kipp recover after a fall and finding out he has a dog is not helping to calm her excitable nature either. But it’s really the good-looking, take-charge homeless man her uncle hired to help clean up his clock shop that has Holly baffled. Just why are his teeth so white? Throw in a not-so-valuable clock everyone is willing to kill for and Holly’s imagination runs wild. Only time will tell just how long it takes before Holly will figure out the mysteries of Merchant Street, including the sexy homeless man.

The story came easy for me for Time Will Tell. My husband and I love antique clocks and have apprenticed with a horologist. I love restoring the cases and my husband repairs the works.
Published 2013-09-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Broken Deeds, Broken Hearts
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 51,300. Language: English. Published: March 4, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
Can Carly Sue and Seth rustle up some romantic feelings for each other, or will their Hatfield and McCoy relationship continue?
Legacy of Lies
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 67,640. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Walt Jeffries thought he’d never see Kate Randle again. Now she’s in town, stirring up the past, and messing with his heart. As things heat up, will he be able to save the town and Kate’s life?
Not Quite Zen
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,060. Language: English. Published: February 28, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Will Dr. Dunford be just the shot in the arm Harmony needs to cure her anxiety, or is he the one causing all the emergencies? Can Harmony keep her chakras in balance around him long enough to figure out what’s happening to the baby boomers before someone ends up dead?
Hazardous Hideaway
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 63,050. Language: English. Published: December 3, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
A vulnerable woman on the run ends up stranded at a remote dairy and stirs up memories of an old town murder. Can the spurned dairy manager who rescues her get rid of her before someone kills her…or before she lassos his heart?
Fortune for Fools: A Merchant Street Mystery, Book 3
Series: A Merchant Street Mystery. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 57,410. Language: English. Published: November 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
Normally a risk-taker, Zeke can’t apply that to love. All women are gold diggers. When he takes a painting to Lavinia at her art gallery to be authenticated and she discovers a hidden map to valuable gold coins, will she be able to prove to Zeke that her motives are pure? Can she and her poodle, Vivete, convince Zeke that fortunes are for fools and love is everlasting?
Time Will Tell: A Merchant Street Mystery, Book 1
Series: A Merchant Street Mystery. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 52,260. Language: English. Published: November 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
Holly just can’t figure out all the mystery on Merchant Street. Will her imagination run wild when people are willing to kill for a worthless clock and a sexy homeless man just isn’t all that destitute? Only time will tell.
Hunting for Happenstance: A Merchant Street Mystery, Book 2
Series: A Merchant Street Mystery. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 51,570. Language: English. Published: November 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
Daniela is tired of waiting for love and life to come to her. When her Uncle Benito goes missing while out deer hunting, she asks Duston with his expert dogs, Ruger and Lahti, to help find him. Will they both stop waiting for happenstance and shoot for what they want—love and happiness?
Love on Laird Avenue
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,500. Language: English. Published: November 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
A determined daughter escapes the grip of her overprotective father when she buys a historical home only to discover the hunky renovator has his own ideas on protection—namely sabotaging her dates and giving her a puppy.
Caskets and Corruption
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,390. Language: English. Published: November 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
Lizzie, a portrait artist of the dead, wants a new career amongst the living. But, after discovering a drug operation involving military caskets, she’s chased across the country with Phillip Van Dyke, a stiff-necked funeral director and her sister’s stowaway, hairless dog. Will Lizzie exhume Phillip’s heart before the drug cartel catches them?
Braving the Blaze
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 57,330. Language: English. Published: November 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
A wildfire volunteer is determined to stay single and become a veterinarian. He didn’t count on being assigned a pyrophobic woman or that accidents would follow her like wildfire. Can he keep the flames of desire he reluctantly feels for her under control long enough to keep them and his Yellow Labrador alive?
A Clean Romance
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,850. Language: English. Published: September 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Romance, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
Kara loves cleaning. Honestly. When she starts selling cleaning products door-to-door for extra cash, Benjamin and his grungy Sheepdog mistake her for the cleaning lady. Will his incredibly dirty house lead to love?
Risky Seeds, Risky Hearts
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 22,950. Language: English. Published: December 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
Laid-back Sadie Jean Dixon had a calm summer planned working for the Utah Forest Service until a deliberately set fire comes blazing up the mountain toward her, and she thinks it’s Colton Masterson who did it. Instead, Colton’s father is thrown in jail and the two must work together to prove his innocence. Will Sadie’s Border collie, Gypsy, be the one to save them all?
Worth The Wait
Series: A Merchant Street Mystery. Price: Free! Words: 19,500. Language: English. Published: April 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
(4.00 from 1 review)
This sweet romance short read is a prequel to the author's series - A Merchant Street Mystery and will be continued throughout the rest of the books. For young adults and up. Dependable Adele Abberley is tired of seeing to everyone else’s responsibilities. When idealistic Kipp Waterbury drops by her antique store, will his romantic nature help her to view the world in a brand new light
Stolen Horses, Stolen Hearts
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 18,750. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
Story-line: Ambitious Harlee Jo must fix Oak’s troubled heart if she’s ever going to get him to help rescue her stolen horses. The only trouble is even Oak’s dog and horse can’t stand to be around him.