Interview with Cynthia Vespia

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to spend my time with relaxing activities. I enjoy working out, doing martial arts, hiking, stand up paddling. And creative things like graphic design or drawing. I'm also a big fan of movies as it is a form of storytelling.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I've been writing since I was very little. Most of the stories didn't make much sense but I remember writing about warriors alot. I even incorporated some of the general elements from those stories when I started writing my books later on.
What is your writing process?
Generally it starts with an idea that comes to me out of the blue, like a spark. I'll write a brief outline so I know what the important elements are that I want to make sure I add in. Then I'll flush out the characters. I like them to be very descriptive. This includes background elements like where they went to school and who their parents are. It helps them to feel more genuine.
I usually write longhand on a legal pad to get the first draft down, then I'll go back into the computer and transfer what I wrote over editing it as I go.
After that its finish the novel. Edit. Lather, rinse, repeat!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I used to read alot as a kid. I remember The Chronicles of Narnia had a strong impact on me as my first taste of fantasy. Piers Anthony's On A Pale Horse delivered great characters I'll always remember. But it was Dean Koontz INTENSITY that made me want to become a writer.
He weaves together a unique story with believable characters and great pacing. I wanted to be able to do the same and draw the same emotion out of readers that he did for me.
How do you approach cover design?
Because they DO judge a book by their cover I spend alot of time designing mine. The majority of my covers I create myself. I enjoy graphic design so I've become pretty adept at designing, I've even made covers for other authors as well.
I get a general idea for the theme of the novel. I'll research similar novels in my genre to see how they were done. And then I get to work. It may take a few tries but I am very happy with the covers I have at this point. They are only getting better!
An important tip: Your cover has to be recognizable in thumbnail format too so make sure your titles and images are visible at that size.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read alot of different types of books but my favorites are always fantasy. The old school sword and sorcery type of fantasy. I'm not a big fan of urban fantasy.
I also like contemporary thrillers like Dean Koontz and Mary Higgins Clark write.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The publishing industry is fickle. I'm not going to sugar coat it. The business is like any other entertainment venue. There are a great deal of people all vying for the same spot that you want. It takes alot to get a publishers attention and even more for them to actually publish you.
After years of rejection, or smaller houses publishing me and doing nothing to help market me but keeping 1/2 the profits, I decided to go the indie route.
I'd self published early on when it wasn't "cool" yet. There are just alot more avenues you can try now, Smashwords being one of those. I think it is a great opportunity for authors to get their work read...but you still have to work your ass off to market your work.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The best thing about writing for me is when I get reader feedback that lets me know I did my job well. That they'll describe a scene or character in detail the way I saw it in my own mind. I also love eliciting reactions from them. That's why I started writing to begin with. I write to entertain, I'm not trying to spout off a message or save the world.
I also really enjoy making up characters and worlds. Lets face it...sometimes reality sucks. It is nice to be able to escape in a book.
Who are your favorite authors?
Some of my favorite authors include Dean Koontz, Mary Higgins Clark, Stephen King. I just read my first Tess Gerritsen novel and found her work really enjoyable. But I'm always on the lookout for new authors with unique ideas or voices.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I still find face-to-face conventions or signings to be the best method for getting my work into readers hands. Which is interesting because I was always really shy growing up so being "on stage" at these events should really freak me out but I embrace it because I genuinely want to interact with my readers.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope. With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream. If you have hope, you have everything.
Published 2013-09-12.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Demon Huntress 2: Magik, Myths, & Monsters
Series: Demon Huntress. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 29,950. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Adventure » Action
The adventure for Khalen, demon huntress, continues as she seeks the safe return of her brother Khalo. The family curse grows stronger. The enemies are stronger. And now Khalen must learn to lean on others for help. But who can be trusted?
Demon Huntress: Destiny Unleashed
Series: Demon Huntress. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 51,920. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Adventure » Action
Khalen Calabrese refused to accept the title of Demon Hunter or the duty that went along with it. Instead, she chose a life of adventure as a pirate on the high seas. Freedom, fortune, and glory were hers until the past came calling. Infected with a family curse, and with minions from Hell at her back, time is running out. Now she must take up the title she never wanted.
Resurrected
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 89,390. Language: English. Published: September 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural, Fiction » Inspirational
After his sudden death Bryan Caleb must learn the rules of the afterlife as he tries to save his son from a similar fate.
The Crescent
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 65,990. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Medieval, Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
In a violent time where respect was taken at the tip of a sword, and gladiators were the rockstars of their era, two women will stake their claim in a sport of death dominated by men to fulfill their respective destinies.
Lucky Sevens
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 81,700. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Literature » Literary
As a former Navy SEAL, Luca "Lucky" Luchazi is ideal as head of security for Lucky Sevens Casino. When prominent names start turning up dead he finds himself involved in scandal and danger. Lucky must fight his way through a cast of eccentric characters only Las Vegas could spawn to catch a killer before his luck runs out.
Phoenix Rising
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 27,840. Language: English. Published: April 4, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Former army sniper John Phoenix has brought his work home with him. As a professional hitman he does very bad things to very bad people for very good reasons. When Phoenix wakes in a pool of his own blood he finds himself entangled in a deadly plot of gun-running, headed by a former member of his unit.
Demon Hunter: Heroes Call
Series: Demon Hunter, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 18,020. Language: English. Published: April 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
The Demon Hunter faces his toughest opponent of all...the demons inside his head.
Demon Hunter: Seek and Destroy
Series: Demon Hunter, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 16,860. Language: English. Published: April 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
As the new Demon Hunter, Costa has alot to contend with. Aided by his constant companions, Talisa and Paralay, they must face evil in many forms. But what happens when familiar faces become the opposition. Will love be enough to conquer evil?
Demon Hunter: The Chosen One
Series: Demon Hunter, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 61,070. Language: English. Published: April 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
A young man learns he is the son of a famous hunter of demons and now he must follow in his father's footsteps.
Theater of Pain
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 64,560. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
In the world of professional wrestling some competitors would do anything to make it to the top...even murder.
Demon Hunter: Saga
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 111,770. Language: American English. Published: February 20, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Adventure » Action
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A man comes to learn he is fated to follow in his fathers footsteps as a hunter of demons....whether he wants to or not.