Vampires and werewolves and ghosts, oh my! The work of Cindy Lynn Speer

Thanks to Cindy Lynn Speer for being with us today.

Cindy, first would you tell us a bit about yourself?

I live in the Pittsburgh area.  I don’t currently have pets, but I’ve
had dogs, a cat, a horse, chickens, goats and many more in my past.
Sometimes I miss having a pet and a vacillate between getting a dog
and a cat…and sometimes a bunny.  The idea of having a ball of fur
hopping around the house is very appealing.

Tell us about your latest novel.

My latest novel is actually my first – Unbalanced was the first novel I ever finished, and the one that taught me the most about actually writing and getting something done.  It takes place in a world where supernatural creatures have backed away from humanity…hidden themselves.  Balance is an organization set up to keep their secret,
and to keep the peace between them.  My main character, Andromeda Pendragon, is an agent returning to the area.  She gets taken to a party where a young woman is attacked and brutalized.  It looks like a werewolf might have committed the crime, and Andromeda has to solve the murder.  There’s a lot more on the line than helping the dead rest in peace…this could be used as a political power play by the vampires, who look for the chance to cause werewolves trouble, and the mundane authorities have to be convinced that this was something else.

What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you
learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

I love mythology and folk tales, and I particularly like dark fantasy,
so I wanted to take the old stories and re-interpret them.   Make the
folk stories of vampires, for example, make sense in a different
context.  Try to find something new to tell people.  Because vampires,
werewolves, ghosts…they are all fun and interesting, but you have to
find new ways to use those concepts to make them fresh and, most
importantly, give the reader a story that they can enjoy.

How would you best describe your books?

All over the place!  A lot of my stories have connections to folk and
fairy tales, but they also have romance, adventure and suspense.  I
love to mix genres up.

What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

I like to dabble in mystery, fantasy, and romance for the most
part…and for the most part, that’s what I read, though I can’t really
do straight romance any more.

What would you write if you could do write anything you wanted to write?

What I’m writing now?  The most important thing is to stay true to the story.
What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first
know you wanted to be an author?

I love every aspect of writing…what I don’t like is when I’m so tired
I can’t think properly to write.  I need to be able to slip into my
writer’s mind and just work…but my writer’s mind and my
day-dreaming-to-go-to-sleep-mind share the same space so sometimes
when I’m writing I hypnotize myself into wanting to go to sleep.  I
hate that.

I have wanted to be an author since I was old enough to
realize that the books I was reading were made by people just like
me…people with way too much imagination!

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How
does it inspire you?

Silence works best for me…music, especially if there are lyrics, tends
to tell me its own story and interrupts the one that I am trying to

Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have
you published? How many books did you write before selling one?

I’ve published three novels and a short story collection with two
publishers…Zumaya and Drollerie.  I wrote two books and sold my second
one to Zumaya for their Zumaya Otherworlds imprint, and Liz Burton
picked up the first book I’d written, Unbalanced, for  Zumaya Embraces.  I looked everywhere for publishers…I started with the big guys, of course, but they get zillions of manuscripts and it’s hard to get into the door.  I picked Zumaya because I was familiar with them and knew they had a reputation for quality.  My other book and the collection were picked up by Drollerie.  I submitted some short stories because they were publishing short stories in single story form.

The secret to getting published is polishing your book until it is
flawless.  A professional package is absolutely essential.  Then, time
to be determined and patient.  Just keep looking for publishers, go to
their website, learn about them and figure out what they are looking
for and what their guidelines are, then submit and wait and write more
things while you are waiting.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any
special memories you have in the creation of it?

I had written this book many years ago…like I said, it was my first
book.  Since then I’ve written tons of other stuff, so the joy was actually seeing who I’d become as a writer…how I’d changed, what I’d learned.  When I sat down to update the technology and to polish the story I was convinced that it was terrible…but the more I read it, the more I really enjoyed it.  I was surprised and really pleased.

What are you writing now?

I am writing a fantasy romance called The Queen of the Grey. The queen in the title is a woman who rules over a forest full of creatures, and they are about to go to war.

What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

I will be all over the internet…readers are invited to come visit me
at or to friend me on Facebook:  Cindy Lynn Speer,
to find out more.

What would you like to tell readers?

I’d like to tell readers that they are welcome to visit my blog…I’d
love to meet more readers and talk about the things that interest

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