Cybill Cain Interview with In Between the Pages Book Blog (formerly Men Behaving Badly Book Blog)
- Tell us is there anything about you that people don’t already know?
CC: I’m really new at this, so there is probably a lot that people don’t know yet. I write “sweet filthy romances” and my tagline is “Let Cybill tuck you in tonight.” I have three books out in a standalone steamy series called The Chimera Club Stories. They can be read in any order, because while they do have some characters in common each story is independent of the others. The fourth Chimera Club Story, called Delicious will be out 11/30. Right now I am publishing e-books exclusively on Amazon.
2. Since books can be so emotional and such a big part of who you are, how long does it take for you to be able to get the characters out of your mind and move on to the next?
CC: That is a great question. Sometimes weeks, and some I never let go of at all. It helps to focus on other stories, but for me there has to be a break in between where I watch movies or do something not related to writing or I can’t break the tie effectively and do the new character justice. If I don’t take a breather I find myself trying to turn the new character into the previous one, or feeling disappointed because they aren’t acting and reacting the same way the character I wrote before would have. I suppose, and I just thought of this as I was typing, it’s a little like breaking up and then starting a new relationship. If you don’t give yourself some down time then you wind up sabotaging the new romance because you keep comparing it to the old.
3. Are the names of the characters in your novels important?
CC: Yes, but I don’t obsess about it. I name them based on some gut reaction or intuition for what feels right, usually. Sometimes I’ll see a name and a character is born from that. Max Alexander in Escape came about that way. I saw that name and thought, “What a great movie star name!”
4. What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
CC: I’m finding that for an Indie Author it’s time management, and good planning, well, trying to plan. By that I mean, there is the writing, which is the foundation of everything else, but there are so many moving parts and pieces that you have to stay on top of, and coordinate that you will flounder quickly if you aren’t able to effectively plan and manage the time you have for your books.
5. How do you react to a bad review of one of your books?
CC: The first time someone gave me a bad review I took a few weeks off. That was almost four years ago, when I was writing fanfiction, and I’ve thought about why I reacted that way what it meant. It was my first story, and it felt so personal, I had so much of myself in it, so their critical remarks felt like a personal attack, and I internalized it that way. I had to learn to step away from the project, and what people think and understand that not every story is for everyone. There is no way anyone can write a story that everyone on this planet is going to love. We’re too different, and that’s wonderful! Because each storyteller is unique and so is every reader! Now, I try to appreciate the ones who have valid points and use their feedback to enhance my craft. Meanies who are just being mean for the sake of it, I ignore. You have to toughen up if you want to find the courage to put yourself out there. It’s a process, and I’m not done by a long shot. Somewhere along the way I accepted that writing is my dream, and no matter what happens, I’ll never abandon it. I’ll just keep fighting to make it better.
6. What was the hardest part of writing your book(s)?
CC: The beginning! Going in I always feel like I’m trying to land a plane and I don’t know how to fly. Who is this person I’m writing about? What do they like? What will they say? How do they speak? Are they funny? Are they proud? About a quarter of the way in find the rhythm of the characters and sometimes I have to go back and bring the beginning in line with the middle because I didn’t know them then, and I wasn’t doing them justice in those early pages.
7. Did you learn anything from writing your books, and what was it?
CC: I learned that I believe love is the most powerful force in the universe. Romantic love, friendship love, neighborly love, family love, all of it shines a light that holds back the darkness in ourselves and in our world. I know not everyone feels that way, but it is my personal truth, and what I believe in my heart.
8. Is there a message in your books that you want readers to grasp?
CC: I didn’t go in consciously planning to send a message, but I am seeing one emerge. “We’re all connected.” The things we do matter, not just to ourselves but to each other. A kindness to a stranger is a kindness to ourselves because we are all strangers to someone.
9. As far as your book covers go what gives you the ideas for them?
CC: Covers are a challenge for me because I want to tell the WHOLE story in the image. I have to fight that impulse like mad! Sometimes less is more, and I struggle to find the right tone to convey the key elements of the story. Delicious is my favorite cover so far!
10. Who designs your covers?
CC: So far, me, with a few members of my creative team voting thumbs up or thumbs down when I ask their opinion. I’d like to get to a place where I can hire cover artists to do them because I want to support other Indie artists working hard to make their dreams come true, too. Right now it’s just not in the budget for me.
11. Describe in 5 words, your writing:
CC: evocative, sensual, memorable, visceral, funny
12. When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
CC: From the time I could make scribbles on a page I wanted to be a writer. I’ve done many other things in my life, but this is all I have ever really wanted.
13. What do you use to write your book(s)?
CC: A laptop named Eric, Word, a whiteboard, OneNote, Excel, lots of coffee, good music, there’s some prayin’ and some swearin’, too. It’s a process.
14. Do you listen to music while you writing or reading?
CC: It’s a requirement! I use it to set the mood for the piece, and to quiet the noise in my conscious mind and let the words free.
15. Tell us your latest news?
CC: It’s a little crazy at Cybill Central right now. 🙂
- I recently joined the Romance Writers of America.
- My debut novel Poker Face just got a five star review from Readers’ Favorite.
- I’ve just set up a readers group on FB for fans of Cybill Cain called The Chimera Club. We’ve been dream casting the roles from my books and having a great time! We’re just getting started and would love to have you come and join us!
- I’ll be releasing my fourth Chimera story, Delicious on 11/30.
- I’m co-sponsoring some great giveaways with The Kindle Book Review for the month of November.
- I have a Chimera Club Soundtrack on iTunes that you can follow. I update it with every release.
- I’m also looking to expand my street team and get as many folks involved as possible to share the word about my books. I’ll add links at the bottom for all that so everyone can get in on the fun!
16. What book are you reading now?
CC: I have several in progress. CD Reiss King of Code, Neil Gaiman Norse Mythology, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Vol. 5
17. Do you have a nickname?
CC: Not that I know of. J
18. What are your pet peeves?
CC: People who criticize things they don’t know anything about. It’s perfectly all right not to like something, but do the research, know the facts before you take a stand.
19. Do you have a favorite place to write?
CC: My desk in my bedroom.
19. What is your favorite Starbuck’s/coffee shop drink?
CC: Green Tea Frappuccino
20. What’s your favorite fruit?
CC: Lime, with salt and tequila. That counts, right? If not, I’ll go with watermelon.
21. What’s your favorite tv show?
CC: Right now, Preacher. S2 was amazing!
22. What’s your favorite genre?
CC: Romance, paranormal or contemporary
23. One of your favorite quotes
CC: “No matter where you go, there you are.”
24. Five Fun Facts:
- I started out writing fanfiction in 2013.
- Coffee makes my world go round.
- I love the ocean.
- I always fall in love with my leading man.
- According to Myers Briggs I am an INTJ personality.
You can find out more about Cybill Cain and The Chimera Club Stories here:
I have lots of exciting things coming soon, so be sure to follow me and don’t miss out!
One last thing. I saw in a FB group recently that a US military officer being deployed asked for books to read before they left the US. I really loved that idea, so I made a page on my website to offer my books FREE to military personnel! Right now, all my books are in e-book format and I can provide them in mobi, epub or PDF. If you know a soldier who would enjoy some sweet steamy romance, and is being deployed or has just returned from overseas, have them reach out to me here. I will provide a free copy of all my Chimera stories as my small and humble thank you for their service.
Thank you, MBBBB for having me here and letting me share today! It’s been a blast! -CC