Welcome back to Favorite Friday! Today I’ve got Cynthia Woolf, author of the Centauri futuristic romance series (Centauri Dawn, Centauri Twilight, and Centauri Midnight). For those of you that like your romance out of this world, check out this new series!
Cynthia was kind enough to answer some questions for me. Look toward the end of the article where she’s shared one of her favorite things.
She has also provided an excerpt of her latest, Centauri Midnight, and she plans to give away an eBook copy to one lucky commentator.
Cynthia – take it away!
How did you get started writing?
I wrote my first story when I was about ten. It was a romance about me and a little boy I liked. I also wrote some very depressing poetry. I decided that poetry was not for me and stuck to romance.
What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I have a historical western romance and a sci-fi romance out now. The sci-fi is the first in a series. I write in these genre’s because they are the ones whose stories reached out to me. The western was the first book I wrote and was inspired by my parents love story. It’s set on the same ranch that they met on in 1941. My book is set in 1885, so it’s not their love story. My dad was a cowboy and trapper but to the best of my knowledge was never a bounty hunter.
The sci-fi series was done because of dreams I had when I was a teenager. I knew I was a princess from Alpha Centauri. There was no way I could belong to the crazy family I had. Of course, I adore that crazy family now.
What inspired your latest book?
Centauri Twilight is the second book in the Centauri Series. I used to dream that I was a princess from Alpha Centauri, that was the basis for Centauri Dawn, book 1 in the series.
Book 2 is much darker. Lara is the twin sister of Audra in book 1. Lara has been a sex slave since she was a child. Having escaped, she’s now an outlaw and working to free the rest of the slaves who are now her people.
What is your favorite part of writing?
My favorite part is what I call the ‘puking’ phase. Just getting it all down on paper for the first time. You just let if flow out of you, not caring, for the moment, if it is good or bad.
What is your least favorite part of writing?
Editing is my least favorite. I’m constantly questioning myself and my work. Changing it, correcting it, putting it back to what it was and starting it all again. It’s never good enough for me.
What is your next project and when will it be released?
My newest book is called CENTAURI MIDNIGHT and is the third book in the Centauri Series. It was released in January 2012.
How much time do you spend promoting your books?
What works best for you? I spend a lot of time promoting my books. A minimum of two hours per day. Usually more but it is in 15 or 20 minute increments throughout the day, not in one big chunk. Between Facebook, Twitter, blogging, putting announcements on loops, etc, I spend a lot of time doing it. So far, blogging seems to get me the biggest bump in my sales.
How has your experience with self-publishing been?
My experience has been wonderful. I highly recommend it for everyone out there who doesn’t want to be constrained by the “big” traditional publisher. For everyone who wants to write from their heart and not according to the industry rules and constraints, self publishing is the only way to go.
Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
I have ideas from everywhere. My sci-fi series is from my dreams as a teenager. My western was inspired by my parents own meeting and love story. I place Tame A Wild Heart about 60 years earlier than when my parents met but the setting on a ranch is the same. My dad was a real cowboy and my mom was what we would call a nanny now. They were called nursemaids then.
What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Go for it. It’s a wild ride but totally worth it.
What is one of your favorite things?
One of my favorite things is to be able to just sit and read, without feeling guilty for not doing something else. I work harder now that I’m writing full time than I ever did when I was “working”. I want this endeavor to succeed so much that I’m putting every waking moment into it. My husband is afraid I’m going to get burnt out because I work so hard, usually 16 to 18 hours a day. So this past Sunday, I didn’t do any writing. I just read. I didn’t even get out of my P. J.’s. I just read in bed, at my desk, in the living room. He would watch TV and I read, but I finished my book, Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones. Very good book, by the way. It felt like such a luxury.
Excerpt from Centauri Midnight
“Damn it, Audra.” Kiti was up and pacing the room again. Her long black hair was tied in a high pony tail and swung back and forth with each step she took. The thick, plush carpet kept her boots from clicking on the floor. “I’m begging you to let me go with Garrick Marcus. It’s not just revenge I need. I need closure. I’m the one who should deliver Tybold to the authorities. Garrick Marcus is the best captain in the fleet and I know Darius is sending him after Tybold. Joridan needs us both to avenge his death. To bring his murderer back to Centauri for justice to be served.”
“Kiti, are you combat trained? We don’t know what to expect from the Proconians. By this time, Tybold could have convinced them we are conquerors and he’s their only salvation. We don’t know. It could be a suicide mission. I don’t want to lose my best friend.” She went on. “I know you’re grieving. Joridan’s loss and Lara’s return has been very hard on you.”
“Stop.” Kiti jumped up and started to pace again. “I know what my life has been like. I mourn the loss of Joridan life and Anton’s capture and torture by Slavarien. Joridan was my little brother. Even though he was a head taller than me he will always be my little brother. I still smell Joridan’s scent in his room. Sometimes it’s so fresh it’s like he just passed by.” Her eyes filled with tears, “I miss the closeness that Anton and I once shared but I do not bemoan him finding Lara. I’m very happy he found his lifemate. It was something he never thought to be able to do. After the torture that both Anton and Lara suffered at the hands of the Slavariens, it’s amazing that they found each other. I wish I had a lifemate out there somewhere.