Interview with Cynthia St. Aubin

Author Spotlight – Evangeline Anderson
Cynthia St. Aubin

1. Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing? What genre do you write?
Hi! I’m Cynthia St. Aubin and I write snarky, deliciously twisted paranormal romance and contemporary mystery. I like to play with paranormal, mythological, and art historical characters (Vincent Van Gogh makes a great werewolf, by the way), and more than anything, I love to make my readers laugh. I live in Colorado with the love of my life and three surly cats.

2. What inspired you to write your first book?
I tried my hand at other things, earning a master’s degree in art history and taking a turn as a cube monkey in the corporate warren, but because the voices—er, characters—in my head kept talking to me, and they discourage drinking at work, I started writing instead. It’s my one true love (besides all things fried) and the reason I wake up with a big dopey grin on my face every morning.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Literally everywhere. I always have a notebook on me, and am constantly jotting down snippets of interesting conversations I overhear, people or places that would be fun for me to describe, and so forth. Just to provide a more extreme example, I passed an unfortunate squirrel the other day that had ended his life in a state far more two-dimensional than he began it. Before I know it, my brain is spinning out a short story about zombie squirrels that take over the city. My imagination is pretty much like a ball pit for crazy.

4. Where/When do you do the most of your writing?
I’m a certified night owl, and my muse typically doesn’t drag herself out of bed until around sunset. I’m also the fidgety-est person in the history of the world, so I tend to wander from my desk, to the couch, to the bed, to the fridge with my laptop in tow.

5. What do you think has been your biggest accomplishment?
Hmmm. That’s a toughie! I’m going to have to say my biggest accomplishment is having lived a perfect moment. I know it sounds a little silly, but traveling to Europe had been a dream of mine ever since I was a little girl. I took a semester off college and worked some really crappy jobs and barely managed to scrape together the money. There was this moment when I was walking through Florence as evening fell, and the streetlights looked like melted gold in the Arno river. A violinist was playing “Hey Jude” for the evening tourist traffic in one of those long, columned archways, and it hit me that I was living my dream. For just that moment, everything was perfect, and I was lucky enough to be there to see it.

6. What series/book did you write that has the biggest following?
The Matilda Schmidt, Paranormal Psychologist series. There will be eight novellas total in the series, and I’ve been delighted with how positive the response has been so far.

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7. Who has influenced your writing the most?
If I had to pick just one person, I would have to say Janet Evanovich. She was the first writer who ever made me laugh out loud, and I was totally addicted from the start.

8. Do you have a favorite author?
There are so many! Thomas Harris, Barbara Kingsolver, Janet Evanovich, Maya Angelou, Oscar Wilde, Ann Rice, Erma Bombeck, and Stephen King, just to name way more than a few. They each represent something I love about the written word, and I like to think that informs how I approach my own stories—whether it be artful prose, irreverent humor, snarky satire, or emotionally compelling characters.

9. Is there anything that you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Horrible confession time: I have a doctorate in procrastination. When a deadline is breathing down my neck (and they often are, due to the aforementioned procrastination), I will find anything and everything to do except sitting down to put words on the page. Once I’ve pushed myself to the point of overwhelming anxiety and fear of failure, I’m galvanized into action. It’s ridiculously painful and probably far less effective than good old-fashioned self-discipline, but it will probably be something I battle for the long haul.

10. Are the experiences of your characters based on any of your own or people that you know?
Absolutely. I’m a magnet for all kinds of situations most normal people likely don’t attract. Case in point: I once managed to pull a muscle while getting a massage. The massage therapist asked me to roll over and I wasn’t sure which way I was supposed to go, so I panicked and got my arm caught under myself. Or there was the time I locked myself out of the locker room where my pants were. I often tell people that I could make these things up, but luckily I don’t have to.

11. Do you have any advice for other authors?
Putting my work out into the real world has been such a learning experience for me. What follows is just a few of the lessons this process has brought me. Take what’s useful to you and leave the rest. Write the story that you love. Let it be something that you’re passionate about and willing to fight for. Speaking of fights, be ready for one. You’re going to have to be your own biggest fan, your most ardent supporter, and at times, your own cheerleader. You have to be willing to believe in your dream when no one else does, and that can be a real challenge. Do study the craft. Even if that means ordering discount grammar and style books on Amazon. Find a critique group and listen to criticism when it comes. Be willing to find out where there’s room for improvement in your work. Look at authors whose careers you admire and learn from them. Make friends in the writing community and be supportive. That support finds its way back to you when it’s your turn to put yourself out there. Don’t compare your first drafts to anyone else’s finished product. Finally, put your ass in the chair.

12. Is there a particular niche or direction you would like to expand your writing portfolio into?
In the coming year, I’m going to be focusing more on my contemporary mystery series and letting paranormal hang out on the backburner for a bit.

13. Describe your latest WIP.
Right now, it’s all about Unassailable—novella five in the Matilda Schmidt, Paranormal Psychologist series. In this adventure, Doctor Schmidt finds herself up against a pants-less ghost pirate with some unfinished business to attend to. Her two suitors (a hot hit man and a delicious demigod) are back and more insistent than ever, which results in some steamy, if awkward moments. Don’t you just hate it when great tub secks gets interrupted by a ghost pirate sword fight? 😉

14. How can readers reach you?
So many ways!
My Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-St.-Aubin/e/B00IEESRNG/
FB Author Page:
https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.saintaubin
FB Profile Page:
https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.st.aubin
Cyn’s Minions (my amazing street team!) :
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cynthiastaubins/
My website:

Twitter: @CynthiaStAubin

Or you can follow the trail of doughnut crumbs. Probably that will lead you to me as well. ☺

Feed an author! Buy mah books!
Click here for the Amazon buy link for Unbearable

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