Cindy Lynch is the author of Bye For Now; here is a link to her website:
Q: What is Bye For Now about?
A: My first novel entitled Bye For Now is the first installment in a young adult series. The story begins with Callie, the book’s main character, a woman, presently in her midyears. She is our narrator. During a quiet moment of mundane daily activity, as Callie is partially attuned to TV, a real life American tragedy begins to play out on the screen. It’s a traumatic—a horrific—event with unspeakable impacts on the human psyche. To escape the horror on the TV, Callie’s subconscious triggers the narrative and the book’s story commences to unfold, in detail.
Callie’s escape into her subconscious takes her back to her high school years. She’s on summer vacation at her grandparent’s lakeside cottage in northern Vermont, within spitting distance of the Canadian frontier. Life is slow. Life is rich. Pastoral Vermont scenes are carefully crafted with vivid imagery straight out of Callie’s memories of her youth. There’s the first hot flush of young love. There are soul nourishing family scenes of meals and recreational events. Each character is carefully painted in true-to-life brush strokes.
The character descriptions validate the youth Callie has experienced. There is special emphasis on the power of family connection to influence our future life in positive, uplifting ways. Later on, as Callie matures and the tale flows into her college years, troubling events are resolved in ways that hark back to the power and influence of her early family life. As the story proceeds, the pace picks up and the emotions conveyed take a tighter grip on the reader’s attention. Intensity grows as awkward social situations are recalled and irreconcilable adult enigmas are replayed.
Q: What makes Callista an empathetic character?
A: Callista, or Callie as her friends know her, tends to wear her heart on her sleeve. Everything in her life, whether good, bad or indifferent tend to cause tears to form. She blames her mother for that character trait but this is what I find so endearing. She truly feels emotions for other people. Being Empathetic creates strong, bonding relationships in her life.
Q: What was the most challenging thing about writing a story that had to do with repressed memory?
A: There were several challenging things about writing this story. I have had the body of the story in my head since I was 14 years old but just didn’t know how to start it. While talking with a fellow writer and friend, Sharisse Coulter, about the horrific events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School, goosebumps formed on my arm. Sharisse pointed at my arm and said, “I believe you have the start to your story.” Since the beginning is an almost identical recreation of how I found out about the tragedy, it was pretty easy to write it into the story. Because it was such a sensitive subject I worried how friends in Newtown would react to my writing it into my fiction. I worry more now, because I continue this thread into my second book, Even Willows Weep.
Q: Who are some of your writing influences and why?
A: I believe V.C. Andrews somehow influenced my writing. I was a huge fan of her books when I was younger. Now as an adult I am more influenced by Nicholas Sparks. He has managed to get the formula right. Somehow he draws me into each of his stories and I become part of each scene; seeing, smelling, feeling everything he is describing.
Q: What kind of day job or income source do you have and how does it influence your writing?
A: I’m a stay at home mom of three boys. I was a teacher for 9 years but when my first son was born I retired to raise my kids. Luckily my husband, John, has a great job at Show Me Cables here in St. Louis which allows me to do what I’ve always wanted to do and that is to write fiction. I’m very lucky that he’s supportive of my passion for writing.
Q: You are from the Sandy Hook area in Connecticut, do you think the community has been portrayed fairly by the media?
A: After December 14, 2012 I was worried for the towns people of Sandy Hook. When the media invaded the beautiful town I grew up in I worried that would disrupt their lives and may show badly. I should not have worried. The first few weeks dealing with loss pulled the community together. I believe they are stronger and more committed to one another because of it, so yes, I believe they were portryaed fairly. What I saw was compassion, empathy, and love for their neighbors. Banding together to remove the media and drawing closer to collectively mourn. I’m extremely proud to say that I lived there.
Q: What is the most successful thing you have done to promote your book?
A: I think speaking to book clubs has been the most successful thing I have done to promote my book.
Q: What makes you want to read an e-book?
A: I have my book available on Kindle but I have to say I’m not a fan of e-books. I downloaded one from Nicholas Sparks a few years back and I had a difficult time enjoying the experience. I’m one that likes the feel of the book in my hands. The tactile sensation of turning each page, the smell of the print, and viewing the images on the cover makes for a much more pleasurable experience.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: Right now I’m finishing up book two, Even Willows Weep, the second installment of this trilogy. It will be available in May, 2016 on my website cindylynch.net, createspace.com, or amazon.com. As mentioned above it’ll be available in Kindle form as well. I’ve also begun working on my first non-fiction book.
Q: What do you do when you nave writers block?
A: When I have writers block I tend to walk away from the computer and exercise. I do my best thinking in a spin class, swimming laps or running. Something about exercise pushes my brain into overdrive and somehow I have several ideas when I finish up. Usually having to run to my phone or a notebook to write down the ideas before they vanish.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.