Interview with Cynthia Owens
website: Cynthia Owens, Romance Writer
Tell us a little about yourself: I’m Cynthia Owens and I write the Claddagh series, historical romances set in Ireland. My books reflect the theme of the ancient Irish symbol of the Claddagh – friendship, loyalty and love.
The Claddagh Symbol
My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII. A lifelong resident of Montreal, Canada, I still live there with my own Celtic hero and our two school-aged children.
Tell us a little about your books: The Claddagh Series.
In Sunshine or in Shadow
A Valiant Survivor of Famine and Tyranny Siobhan Desmond will do anything to keep the tattered remains of her family alive, even if it means working for the new landlord – a darkly handsome stranger with secrets in his eyes and pain in his smile. As she watches her village return to life and begin to thrive under Rory O’Brien’s care, she comes to understand his true nature and soon finds herself falling under his dangerously sensual spell.
As danger ignites all around them, Rory and Siobhan fight to right the wrongs of the past – and protect their newfound love.
“A woman’s love is strong, more powerful than all the ghosts in Ireland.” Daughter of an Irish village girl, step-daughter of the landlord, Ashleen O’Brien has lived between two very different worlds. But after a year in America, she yearns to return to the green land that is her heart’s home.
War and betrayal have taken everything from Cavan Callaghan – his home, his family, and the woman he loved. A hero of the Irish Brigade at Antietam, he’s searching for the family he never knew.
Love and deception await Cavan and Ashleen along those emerald shores, as the ghosts of a past that can never quite be forgotten rise to threaten their newfound happiness.
Playing For Keeps ~ Coming Soon
He fled life in the shadows for a life in the limelight – Never as dutiful as his older brother, Lucas Howard was a thinker, a dreamer of dreams. When tragedy overtook his family, he fled to the bright lights of the stage. Can he make the Shannon Theatre Troupe a success – or is he doomed to once again be “the other son?”
She sought the past she barely remembered. Mary Kathryn O’Brien returns to the genteel world her mother left behind – but can Irish Katie ever truly hope to belong? Or will old wounds and new rivalries destroy the threads of family forever?
Lucas and Katie must battle prejudice and buried secrets before they can learn to trust each other. Is their love just a brief intermission, or are they Playing For Keeps?
Comment on your experiences in publishing: I have the best publisher. Highland Press is a small but rapidly-growing publishing company based in Florida. I chose to submit to them because they published historical romances and insisted on historical accuracy. From the day I received “The Call” (or in this case, the e-mail), my editor was behind me all the way. She guided me through the maze of reviews, cover design, and edits, and rejoiced with me at the finished product. I’m proud to say I’m an author with Highland Press.
Were there any authors who influenced you or helped?: My two favourite authors are Mary Jo Putney and Teresa Medeiros. No one does tortured heroes like Mary Jo, and her research is always impeccable, and Teresa does poignant romantic comedy and like no other. I guess you could call them my “romance writing heroines.”
What advice would you give new authors?: Before publication – Never give up. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. No matter how many times your work gets rejected, if you believe in it, keep trying! One day it might just cross the right editor’s desk at the right time.
After publication – Develop a thick skin. Your book is out there now, and people are going to be reading it and criticizing it, and they’re not always going to like it. And don’t expect your editor/publisher to do you promotion for you. It’s your book, and no one knows it better, so it’s up to you to get it out there, whether it’s sending it out for review or setting up a book signings.
What is your best experience when writing?: Probably that wonderful feeling when the words are flowing and my characters are telling me their story and everything just seems to flow naturally and the next thing I know I’ve written 2000 words in an hour and I just want to keep on writing forever!
What is your worst experience when writing?: Writer’s block, which fortunately doesn’t happen to me too often, or reaching the end of a story and not being sure if I could come up with another one.
Credentials/Experience: A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. I am a member of the Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.
Publication Dates: The first two books of the Claddagh series, In Sunshine or in Shadow and Coming Home, are available now. The third, Playing For Keeps, is under contract with Highland Press. I hope to have a release date for Playing For Keeps soon.
You can find the buy links in the “Bookshelf” section on my website.
I want to thank Cynthia for participating. I wish her only the best in all her endeavours.
Cynthia was one of my critiquing partners when we first began the adventures of writing.
I want to thank her for all her help in French phrases I have used in my novels.
To find out how you can participate go to Questionnaire for Authors under Writer’s Corner.