Hello everyone! Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and I am so excited to have the chance to interview a (fairly) new author to the genre. Cynthia Roemer has written two novels and is currently working on her third. I am so glad that she took time out of her busy schedule to answer questions for me so we can all get to know her better. If you haven’t read her books (Under This Same Sky and Under Prairie Skies) then be sure to grab copies of each (purchasing links are available at the end of this post but check those out after you read the interview of course!) Grab a drink, sit back, and spend a few minutes getting to know Cynthia Roemer. You’ll be glad you did! Happy reading!!!
Kristi: Your Prairie Sky Series is fantastic. Where did you come up with the idea for the series?
Cynthia: Thanks so much, Kristi! You’ve very kind. The idea for Under This Same Sky came to me during my college days. I had a theme verse, an overall message I wanted to get across to readers through the lives of my characters. I wrote a rough draft of the novel, but it sat untouched for a number of years until the Lord revived my dream of novel writing in 2012. Under This Same Sky went through many changes as I refined my writing skills and tweaked the storyline, but it never lost its original message that, no matter what we go through, God is with us and has a plan for our lives.
Under Prairie Skies also began with a theme message of “iron sharpening iron.” Once I had established characters, it was easy to take a minor character from the first novel and create a story all her own. It’s so wonderful how the Lord takes a simple message and an outline and weaves it all together into a palatable story. He is the thread that binds my novels together.
Kristi: I fell in love with your writing while reading your first book. It put me in mind of a Janette Oke novel in that you really captured the time period and the characters were so realistic. Who inspired you as an author?
Cynthia: At the top of the list would be Laura Frantz. Upon entering my first ACFW Genesis Contest, one of the judges recommended her book The Frontiersman’s Daughter to me, and I willingly sought it out. It was the first novel I’d read that really put me into the character’s skin. It inspired me to dig deeper into my characters and helped to transform the way I write. Apparently, it worked, for the following year (2014) I was named a finalist in the Genesis Contest. =)
Kristi: What is a typical day like for you as an author? (Do you have a schedule or word goal for the day?)
Cynthia: My days vary. Two days a week, I’m a school librarian and mainly just have time in the evening to work at marketing/blogging. Sundays my computer is off to spend time in worship and with family. So that basically leaves 4 days to write. Mix in all my other responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, gardening, etc. and it boils down to a fight for time to write. On a good day, I’ll write for 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon. I’m not a fast writer, so am really looking forward to being off work this summer so I can buckle down and write much of Book 3 in my series, Under Moonlit Skies.
Kristi: What’s your writing process? Do you outline the story or let the characters decide what happens?
Cynthia: I generally outline the key events of my stories and know where my characters start and how they’ll end up, but I leave room for the Lord’s leading and for the characters to change and grow. Often they end up going places and doing things I hadn’t anticipated.
Kristi: What is the easiest part of the writing process? The most difficult?
Cynthia: Perhaps because it is my favorite part of writing, the easiest is developing characters. I love breathing life into new characters much like, I’m certain, the Lord enjoys creating each of us. =)
The most difficult and least favorite part of writing for me is the many rounds of edits I must do prior to publication. By that stage, I’ve read through my manuscript so many times I nearly have it memorized! But it is a necessary part of the process to see that the novels reach readers in tip-top shape. And for that reason, I do it willingly.
Kristi: How did it feel when you saw your book in a store for the first time? Did you pull all customers in the area over to look at it? Shout to everyone in the store that you wrote the book and suggest they buy one? : )
Cynthia: LOL! Not quite. I’m not a pushy saleswoman. I’m much braver at posting a picture on-line about my books than drawing people’s attention to it in person. But it is truly a thrill to see my novels on a book shelf and to see my name in print! It still doesn’t seem real at times. Such a blessing.
Kristi: Why did you choose to write historical fiction as opposed to contemporary? Do you think you will write contemporary fiction someday?
Cynthia: I’m old-fashioned at heart and love history, so historical novels are what I most enjoy reading as well as writing. Though I don’t foresee myself writing contemporary, I am quite open to writing about other time periods, whether it be wartime novels or Biblical fiction.
Kristi: How many more books can we expect in the Prairie Sky Series? Can you give us a hint as to what the next book is about?
Cynthia: There will be at least one more novel, possibly two, in the series. Currently, Book 3: Under Moonlit Skies is slated to release with Mantle Rock Publishing in early September, 2019. This third novel will take place in 1858, three years after Book 2: Under Prairie Skies ends. I’ve enjoyed researching for this third book and have my rough outline completed, along with the first few scenes.
I’ll refrain from giving away too much about Under Moonlit Skies, other than to say it will feature Esther Stanton (younger sister of Charlotte Stanton from Under Prairie Skies) as the heroine and will take place in part in historic Cincinnati, OH. I’m excited to delve deeper into this third installment in my Prairie Sky Series and hope you readers will look forward to reading it!
(Kristi: 2019???? Any chance I can get my hands on a copy earlier?….lol)
BOOK BLURB FOR UNDER PRAIRIE SKIES
~ Beyond shattered dreams lies a realm of possibilities ~
Illinois prairie ~1855
Unsettled by the news that her estranged cousin and uncle are returning home after a year away, Charlotte Stanton goes to ready their cabin and finds a handsome stranger has taken up residence. Convinced he’s a squatter, she throws him off the property before learning his full identity. Little does she know, their paths are destined to cross again.
Quiet and ruggedly handsome, Chad Avery’s uncanny ability to see through Charlotte’s feisty exterior and expose her inner weaknesses both infuriates and intrigues her. When a tragic accident incites her family to move east, Charlotte stays behind in hopes of becoming better acquainted with the elusive cattleman. Yet Chad’s unwillingness to divulge his hidden past, along with his vow not to love again, threatens to keep them apart forever.
Cynthia Roemer is an award-winning inspirational writer with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the lives of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the 1800s prairie. She writes from her family farm in central Illinois where she resides with her husband and their two college-aged sons. Under Prairie Skies is Book Two in her Prairie Sky Series.
Cynthia Roemer can be contacted at:
Author Newsletter Sign-up: http://cynthiaroemer.com/