Interview with Cynthia D. Witherspoon

What are you working on next?
The second book in the Oracle series. The Sibyl created characters who I feel will be with me for a long time, and their stories need to be written.
Who are your favorite authors?
Oh, my gosh...this is a list too long for this interview! A few of my favorites include K.G. McAbee (who I've had the pleasure of working with on numerous occasions), Philippa Gregory, Michelle Moran, Isabel Allende, Margaret George, Stephen King, Hans Holzer, and of course, the classics such as Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family for starters. I have a little one, who knows just what to do to get me up and going. My writing is what keeps me up when I should be sleeping. You know how they say the best ideas come when you lay your head down on the pillow? Yeah, this happens to me more times than I like to admit.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
With my family, playing World of Warcraft, and reading. You have to be a reader if you are going to write.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Indie review sites, browsing Smashwords, and the big book websites like Barnes and Noble/Amazon. I'm horrible in that I will base a book off of its cover. But my belief is that if a writer/publisher takes the time to make sure the cover art blows the consumer away, then the story will too.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Of course! I was in college, taking a creative writing class for my English credits. I loved the process, and became so obsessed with the art of writing, I never looked back.
What is your writing process?
I envision my scenes before I put them down on paper. If it doesn't look like a movie in my head, then its not going to translate well on the page. Once I have it all worked out, there is coffee. Copious amounts of coffee.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember my grandmother used to read Heidi to me, and The Wind in the Willows. But even now, I gravitate towards writers who can pull me into their world, and leave me there long after the story is finished.
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design is the most important thing you can do after the writing itself. This is the image which will draw people to look at your book in the first place. You can have the best story out there, but without good cover art, many people will pass you by.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Crime and Punishment - This book taught me that stories with underlying meaning keep the reader thinking about what they've read, which means they are thinking about you and your product.

The House of Spirits - This book is just pure magic. There is something about how Allende interweaves culture into the story that causes me to go back and reread it every couple of years.

The Fall of the House of Usher - Atmosphere. Papa Poe was a master, and we could all learn from studying his works.

On Writing - Stephen King is a master of his craft, and this book about writing shows exactly why. It is easy to read with solid advice. I have two copies. One for the bookshelf and one for my writing space.

Last but not least, anything I've written. Not because I'm just a little bias, but because each story I've written is a part of myself. They are like a time capsule, showing me as I was when I wrote them.
What do you read for pleasure?
If I'm honest, anything I can get my hands on. Right now, I'm waiting anxiously for Philippa Gregory's new book to come out. I've got less than a month now, and I've already told my loved ones I'll be indisposed until I'm finished with it!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I adore my Nook Color, but my smart phone has become an extension of myself, so I'm reading on it as well. Thank goodness for Smashwords 'Read Online' feature!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Banner ads and word of mouth. I'm a binge reader. Catch my attention with one book, and I'll read your entire library of work.
Describe your desk
Simple. I have a laptop and a model AT-AT to keep me company.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the South surrounded by ghost stories and the past they inspire. This is probably 80% of my writing influence. The other 20% is based off of my love for the paranormal. Give me witches and magick any day!
When did you first start writing?
I like to say I have been writing since I started reading. As a kid, I would finish a book and not like the ending, so I'd change it in my head.
Published 2014-08-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Deception: Book Two in The Witchfinder Wars
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 74,830. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
(5.00)
They are fated to love each other. But what will Tommy Hopkins do when Anya, his beloved, is ensnared, tormented, and tortured by his worst enemy?
Omega and Alpha & Rest My Brothers
Price: Free! Words: 5,910. Language: English. Published: September 27, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
OMEGA AND ALPHA: damaged by a too-close encounter, the ship is limping home to Earth…but will there be time? REST, MY BROTHERS: the last expedition to Mars is ready to come home…but where is home?
Downfall
Price: Free! Words: 3,220. Language: English. Published: September 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
She will make his bloodline suffer. Bridget Sinclair was a Chosen One, a true witch who had done well to escape the fiery fate that awaited her. When the Witchfinders capture her, Matthew Hopkins has finally discovered the one thing he had spent a lifetime searching for.
The Sibyl
Series: The Oracle Series. Price: Free! Words: 43,930. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Paranormal
(5.00)
Some tragedies are best left forgotten... Eva McRayne was sure that Greek mythology was just that: a myth. Fairy tales told to children who loved a good adventure story.Yet, when she encounters a Sibyl desperate to free herself from the chains binding her to Apollo, Eva realizes that the fairy tales are more than fantasy. They are her new reality.
The Good, the Bad and the Didgeridoo
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,030. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Airship pilot Lady Abigail Moran and her partner in all things, Simon Thorne, master pickpocket, are in the midst of yet another adventure. This time, the good ship Invincible has taken them to Australia: land of opals, kangaroos, didgeridoos…and dinosaurs?
Whispered Prayers
Price: Free! Words: 4,080. Language: English. Published: August 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult
Whispered prayers are the most dangerous ones. If only I'd kept my desires hidden because nothing could have ever prepared me for the darkness which filled my very soul. I expected to be charmed with the delights found in movies. Beauty and grace. History and elegance. I found out the hard way that the past is a very dark place. Darker than anything I could ever wish to know.
The Eternal Flame
Price: Free! Words: 1,110. Language: English. Published: August 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA
We do as we must in these troubled times to reconstruct that which God destroyed.