Interview with Cindy Hiday

When did you first start writing?
I can't remember ever not writing. It began as long letters to family and friends. The letters continued after I married and my husband was stationed in Germany. In an attempt to fill long hours alone in a foreign country, I ordered a portable typewriter from the Sears catalog and began my first romance, a wounded-cowboy story that will never see the light of day!
Where did you grow up and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Oregon, which is why all my characters have some connection to the Pacific Northwest. Even the characters in Iditarod Nights, which takes place during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska, are Oregon natives. I can't imagine living anywhere else.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Once upon a time, I met an incredible 11-year-old boy with Down's syndrome. His loving spirit, his fascination with television characters, his creativeness, and his struggle to communicate lodged deep in my conscience and spilled out years later, when I took the NaNoWriMo challenge. That 11-year-old became Benjamin Ray Colton in Father, Son & Grace. During the writing of this novel, my mother succumbed to dementia. I saddled poor Grace with all the issues and fears and grief I went through, in an effort to find peace with the ordeal. The story is fiction, but all of the characters reflect me, the author, in one way or another. It was freeing to step outside the romance genre and write from my heart.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
New York publishers. My first contemporary romance, A Bed of Roses, was published in 1993 by Silhouette Books and reached international markets. A thrilling experience, having a New York agent and recognition from a major publishing house, it also had its disappointments. Limited print runs, pauper percentages on sales, remaindered copies of my hard work destroyed. Editors rejected my second romance, Her Phoenix Heart, after numerous revisions. And by the time they turned up their noses at Iditarod Nights, I knew my fifteen minutes of New York fame had expired. When POD and electronic books (on 3 1/2" floppy disks) were still in their infancy, I released Her Phoenix Heart for the first time. You could say that book has been my guinea pig, having gone through two POD publishers and most recently released as an ebook at Smashwords. Smashwords made the process so easy, I obtained the rights back to A Bed of Roses and released it as an ebook also. Then I updated and polished Iditarod Nights to complete the romance trio.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No. But I do remember the first story I sold. It was an essay I wrote for a community college workshop, about my one and only skydiving experience ("One jump makes a proud skydiver"). My fellow students encouraged me to submit it to the Oregonian, and to my surprise, the paper bought it! You can read it for free on my website:
Published 2015-01-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Father, Son & Grace
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 62,190. Language: English. Published: November 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Literature » Literary
"You’ll be taken on the trip of a lifetime, with unexpected, often hilarious results." 5 Star Readers' Favorite It begins as a father-son road trip to the Grand Canyon. But when they rescue a runaway preacher's wife on her way to Las Vegas, they set off a non-stop chain of misadventures and accidental heroism.
Iditarod Nights
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 42,930. Language: English. Published: May 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
Claire is about to take sixteen dogs on the biggest race of her life: 1,049 miles of harsh terrain, extreme weather and sleep deprivation. She doesn't have the time or energy for romance. Yes, the musher from Nome is easy on the eyes, but he's an Alaskan man, and she will return to her home in Oregon after the race. Besides, he has too many secrets, and secrets always come back to bite her.
A Bed of Roses
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 57,830. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
After three surgeries on a knee injured in a car accident, journalist Dana Whitaker would give anything to walk normal again, but facing yet another physical therapist and his torture chamber terrified her. Her new PT expected her to do things she wasn't capable of doing. Yet, giving up was not an option.
Her Phoenix Heart
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 65,780. Language: English. Published: August 18, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Elizabeth Heart flees an abusive marriage and starts over with her own business, a house, and a German Shepherd named Bo Diddley. Then Tyler Stone rides into her life and has her longing for more. But it will take a special kind of man to heal Beth's emotional scars and set her phoenix heart free. A story of love and second chances.