Monday, November 8, 2010

Cynthia Vespia's Life, Death and Back

Cynthia Vespia was drawn to writing early in life where she developed a successful career as a freelance journalist writing everything from features and fillers, to reviews and human interest stories. But it was the allure of the fantastical worlds of fiction that always remained her true passion.
 Her first novel, a medieval fiction entitled The Crescent was published in August 2005. The novel was unanimously praised as "an engaging, descriptive read" which prompted a sell-out at Borders Bookstore in less than one hour during the first official signing.

A short story, a satirical look at the afterlife entitled Death's Grand Design was published online shortly thereafter and once again met with reviews that honored her attention to detail and the flow of her prose.

In May of 2006, Theater of Pain was released. This suspense thriller unfolds within the eccentric world of professional wrestling where competitors would do anything to reach the top...even murder.

After a short hiatus, Cynthia returned with Demon Hunter. It is the story about a nobody who becomes a somebody in the bloodiest of ways. Following the tradition of dark fantasy and combining the concept of high-adventure, Demon Hunter examines both the light and dark side of human nature when a man learns he is fated to hunt demons before they corrupt mankind. The success of Demon Hunter was followed up by the sequel, Seek &Destroy which takes the characters and the reader on a journey that begins on the high seas and ends in Hell. Both novels (published in e-book format) were nominated for Best Series in 2009 by LRC Cafe.

Cynthia’s next release returns to the contemporary side of thrillers but still contains that special twist that her novels are fast becoming known for. Life, Death, and Back (WeavingDreamsPublishing) delves into the paranormal when a mans life is tragically cut short and he remains on Earth to tie up loose ends with his family.

Today Cynthia writes mainstream suspense fiction with savagely powerful characters and strong storylines. Cynthia likes to refer to her novels as "Real life situations that you could find yourself in but hope to God you never do. In her spare time she enjoys reading, movies that involve a strong plot/characters, and keeping active through various forms of martial arts and as an active fitness competitor.

Welcome, Cynthia, and congratulations on your recent Covey Book Trailer Award.

Thank you, Susan.

When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre(s)?

I started writing as young as 8 on my sisters old typewriter producing random short stories on a daily basis. It wasn't until my senior year in high school that I decided I wanted to write professionally. I write what I like to read which is mainly contemporary thrillers and a smattering of fantasy.

When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?

My goal has always been to entertain. Looking back on some of my novels I can say that the themes have messages of their own but when I sit down and start a book it is never about getting some hidden meaning across. I like to write real and authentic to whatever world I'm creating. Essentially I just want to create stories like the bards of old.

Briefly tell us about your latest book. Series or stand-alone? If you have written both, which one do you prefer?

Unfinished Business (Weaving Dreams Publishing, ISBN #978-0-9824876-3-1, $13.95), weaves together a tapestry from life to death and back again. In the wake of his death Bryan Caleb begins to realize how precious living is and how much he’d taken for granted. Now he has unfinished business. In exchange for more time on Earth, Bryan has been granted guardianship. Even as he struggles with his own immortality Bryan must find the compassion within himself to help guide Lisa Zane, an emotionally and spiritually drained young girl, through her troubled life to find her true purpose. For it is only with Lisa's help that Bryan can rescue his very own son from the life of crime he has fallen into before Kriticos Caleb's fate mirrors his father' death.

What’s the hook for the book?

All humans die, but what happens beyond the grave? Can the dead return to the world of the living? These are questions that have been asked for centuries.

How do you determine that all important first sentence?

That's like trying to get a car out of the mud by rocking it back and forth until you finally hear that satisfying "pop!" I usually began with some sort of action event to get the story moving immediately. What action? Well that depends on the story. I meditate on lie.

How do you develop characters? Setting?

That's the best part of writing in my opinion. The creation of worlds and people to populate those worlds, its a gift from God and what better way to pay him back then to create the way you yourself were created. The setting develops out of the initial story idea and those come to me at random times. Then you fill in the characters to match that time and place. Or I'll get an idea for a really interesting character that I just have to use and I'll build everything else around that. Most of the time the characters are a mix of personalities that I've known in my lifetime coupled with creative license. Like I said I want the story to feel as real and authentic as possible.

What are your protagonist’s strengths? Flaws?

The protag for Unfinished Business, Bryan Caleb, has the strength of perseverance. He's a good man in essence, always trying to do the right thing in his life. His flaw comes in death. He's dead, the rules have all changed and he has to learn what they are and how he can use them if he hopes to finish his task at hand.

How do you determine voice in your writing?

That is something which develops in time and it can only come from writing and writing a lot.

Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?

Back when I first started writing I let the story take me for a ride. I’d follow the characters and let them tell me what would happen next with just a shimmer of an idea in the distance. Now I tend to outline just a little bit more. I get my characters in order with deep, rich details...some of which I may never even use but they are there from which to draw. Then I jot down a few key scenes I want to include and build from there. I try not to map the entire story otherwise I feel it loses its spontaneity.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

Events in my life lend themselves to stories if I see fit to draw from certain experiences. But being that I write fiction the majority of the writing comes direct from the imagination. I see the story in my head and it’s my job to deliver it to the page in a way that draws the reader into that same story.

Have you started any online networks or blogs to promote yourself and others?

Yes, I like to stay active within many different networks to reach out to fans and other authors alike. Most recently I’ve revamped my blog to make it more fun and user friendly. I invite everyone to drop by for a visit at

I’m also online at Twitter ( ); Facebook; and Myspace

After hours of intense writing, how do you unwind?

Writing does get intense. It’s mentally draining sometimes. I like to workout. I do strength training and martial arts. Or sometimes I just put on a good movie and kick back. Watching great films inspires me.

What are your current projects?

I’m getting knee deep in a series of novels told with grit and suspense in some of the most popular cities in the states starting with my hometown of Las Vegas. Hold on to your butts because I’m going to push a lot of buttons with this one…no apologies!

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Go to my official web presence at

I also maintain an author page at where you can find my current novels and a link to my blog.

Thank you to all for the continued support!


Sheila Deeth said...

Really enjoyed this interview. Thanks for the introduction.

L. Sue Durkin said...

Life, Death, and Back was originally called Unfinished Business. I mention this to avoid any misunderstanding of what Cynthia's book is named, since the original title was accidentally inserted for Life, Death, and Back.