Help me welcome, Cindi Myers. Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a $10 gift card from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, winner's choice. I'll pick the winner tomorrow.
Lori: You have a new novel out from Entangled Publishing. I love the concept. Tell us about the book and how you came up with the idea for it?
Cindi: Always a Bridesmaid is the story of what happens when two people who think they have more important things to do than fall in love get together and try to fight their instant attraction. The heroine, Stephanie, has been burned twice by love, so she's turned her focus to getting her master's degree while divorced dad Mike is concentrating on raising his son. The two end up as roommates and learn what they think they know about love is no match for what they feel in their hearts.
One day I saw a really gorgeous house by the river in Evergreen, Colorado and I tried to imagine who would live (and how they'd be able to afford) such a place. I came up with the character of a divorced dad who rents rooms in the house to a bunch of young people who become friends. Of course my mind turned to romance and my imagination took over from there. I liked the idea of a heroine who'd been a bridesmaid in so many weddings she'd sworn off walking down the aisle anymore.
Lori: You used to live in Texas, but now you make your home in Colorado. What inspired you to move there?
Cindi: We'd visited Colorado in the winter to ski and loved it here. Then one summer I got a magazine assignment to write about a doctor in LaJunta and I stayed over with a friend in Denver. Back in Texas it was over 100 degrees and miserable and here in the mountains the weather was so wonderful. I told my husband I wanted to live here -- thinking I'd never pry him out of Texas. He said he was sick of the heat and the traffic in Austin, so he started applying for jobs around Denver. We came up a couple months later and he did a round of interviews and landed a good job. We went home and put our house on the market, packed up and moved. We love it. We're always outdoors -- skiing, hiking, camping. And turns out we really like winter.
Lori:You write all kinds of things, from nonfiction to fiction, from historicals to contemporary. What makes you such a versatile writer?
Cindi: I love to read all kinds of fiction, so it seems natural for me to write lots of different things, too. Variety keeps me from getting into a rut and, I think, helps keep books fresh. I started out as a journalist and still write for magazines because it's a good way to supplement the fiction income, and I learn so much researching nonfiction. If you're going to make a living writing, it helps to be versatile and prolific.
Lori: I know you've got two dogs. Care to tell readers a little bit about your pets?
Cindi: We have always loved dogs. Right now we have Katie, a 7-year old chow mix who is such a sweet, gentle girl, and Winston, a 14-month old terrier mix who is both very active and very affectionate. Both are rescues. They hang out with me all day while I write, get me out of the chair for regular walks, and go with us hiking, camping and snow-shoeing.
Lori: You're an avid skier. What led you to the sport?
Cindi: Friends invited us on a ski trip when I was 30. I'd never even seen snow before. My first day was horrible. I kept falling and getting up was torture. But I'm very stubborn and I was determined to stick with it. I did and got better and now I love it. When I'm skiing, I don't think about anything but the run I'm on at that moment. It's very Zen and a great stress-reducer. The scenery is beautiful, it's terrific exercise and it's the closest I'll ever come to flying.
Lori:You're a knitter. How long have you enjoyed the craft? What's your favorite thing to knit?
Cindi: My fourth grade teacher taught everyone in class to knit. I've been doing it ever since. I like to knit on long car rides, on airplanes, while listening to audio books, and while watching television. It's relaxing and interesting to see the project unfold. My favorite thing to knit is socks -- very traditionally on 4 or 5 needles. Socks are relatively fast, you can do all kinds of designs and patterns on the cuffs and you can make a pair with a single ball of yarn, so I can splurge on expensive stuff without breaking the budget. But I also knit a lot of scarves and sweaters.
Lori: You're also a belly dancer. How did you get started doing that?
Cindi: As you know, writing is a very sedentary occupation. I need to exercise, but I hate simply working out. It's boring. A friend invited me to a belly dancing class and I loved it. It was active and reshapes your body, but is really fun and affirming. And you get to wear fabulous costumes.
Lori:What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Cindi: Taking an afternoon off to do nothing but read is really a guilty pleasure, considering how crammed full my schedule is. It feels decadent to ignore everything and curl up on the sofa with a book or my ereader and a big bowl of popcorn.
Lori: What's your favorite comfort food?
Cindi: Ice cream. I love it way too much. So I try to stick to once a week.
Lori:Anything else you'd like to share with readers?
Cindi: I'm so grateful to everyone who reads by books. Romance fans are the best about supporting writers.