Today we at MBA are honored to welcome author Cindy Sample for a visit. So please sit back and enjoy.
MBA&M: Please give our readers a little insight into Cindy Sample?
Cindy Sample: I discovered Nancy Drew at the age of six and finished reading all of her books by the time I was eight. Since I was out of books to read, I decided to write a new one for the series. I turned my third grade spelling words into “Nancy Drew and the Haunted Mansion.” When I received an A+ I was hooked and decided I would become a mystery author. Unfortunately life intervened and my corporate career took off, so it took five decades for that dream to become true.
MBA&M: What was the inspiration behind Dying for a Date?
CS: As a single soccer mom of two children and corporate executive, I thought someone needed to write a series about a protagonist who was dealing with juggling her career, her kids, and her social life. I refer to my character, 39 year old Laurel McKay, as Everywoman. She’s newly divorced and struggling with the same issues many women deal with on a daily basis. Being able to relate and laugh along with Laurel’s adventures can be a great stress reducer. My books are fun and fast-paced and the characters are totally relatable. Women who have read the book frequently say they’ve lived the scenes that Laurel has. Except for the dead bodies, of course. I’m always thrilled when someone says they stayed up all night to finish the book (even when they tell me it’s my fault they look like crap because they didn’t get to bed until 3:00 AM)
MBA&M: Give our readers a little background on the story behind Dying for a Date?
CS: Since on-line dating is so prevalent these days, I decided to have my protagonist join a dating agency called THE LOVE CLUB, supposedly the safe alternative to on-line dating. Unfortunately it doesn’t prove to be safe for her dates. The first one is found dead shortly after she smacks him in the head for attacking her in his car. The second date disappears during their dinner together. The police can’t figure out if she’s a murderer or the next victim.
MBA&M: Are there any interesting facts you found while researching “Dying for a Date” you would like to share with our readers?
CS: I have tried on-line dating and met some great guys who have shared some terrific stories with me. Some are actually stranger than fiction! Most of the men I’ve met were very nice with the exception of someone who told me his best friend was an assassin. I don’t know if he was trying to impress me but we did not have a second date.
There is a backhoe chase scene in DYING FOR A DATE that required some research. It’s the slowest choreographed chase scene ever written and probably the funniest you’ll ever read.
MBA&M: We understand the main characters are always discussed, but today we would like to talk a little about secondary characters. Please name a secondary character from Dying for a Date and tell our readers about them?
CS: There are some terrific secondary characters in my series but one of my favorites is the character of Laurel’s mother. Her mother is a highly successful real estate broker. She’s sophisticated, competent and doesn’t hesitate to comment on Laurel’s imperfections. When interviewed by a homicide detective, her mother says, “My daughter couldn’t possibly be guilty. She’s too disorganized to plan a murder.” Not the most glowing recommendation. I enjoyed watching their relationship strengthen as they attempted to solve the murders.
MBA&M: If “Dying for a Date” was to become a movie, which actor/actress do you envision you would cast as your character(s)?
CS: Originally I thought of Tina Fey because she is a wonderful comedic actress but I think Valerie Bertinelli would be great as well. And since I get to choose, I think I’ll cast Meryl Streep as the mother. As far as Detective Hunter, AKA Detective Hunk, I’d be perfectly happy with George Clooney or Hugh Jackman.
MBA&M: What are some of the things that influence you while writing? Such as music, noises, pictures, etc. if any?
CS: I have a very active imagination so I devise scenes and entire book plots everywhere I go. I was on a winery tour recently and while everyone else was contemplating drinking the wine, I was pondering if I could squeeze a dead body into a barrel. Reading articles in the newspaper will often captivate me and turn into an eventual storyline.
Unfortunately I can’t listen to music when I write. I love to dance and when the music plays, my feet won’t stand still.
MBA&M: What are you working on next?
CS: The second book in this series is DYING FOR A DANCE which was a finalist for the 2012 LEFTY Award for best humorous mystery. It also won the 2012 Northern California Publishers & Authors Best Fiction Award. I would define it as Murder She Wrote meets Dancing with the Stars.
I’m currently working on DYING FOR A DAIQUIRI which will move the action from the California gold country to the big island of Hawaii. That island is filled with places Laurel can get into trouble. I’m contemplating a zip-line chase scene over tree tops and waterfalls. I’m scared of heights so let me know if anyone wants to research that scene for me.
MBA&M: Please tell our readers where to find you and where they can find “Dying for a Date”?
CS: DYING FOR A DATE is available in some B&N stores and indie stores. It’s also available on-line at Amazon, B&N, Indiebound and all e-book sites.
MBA: Cindy, do you have anything else you would like to say today?
CS: I love my new career. There’s nothing better than putting a smile on someone’s face or receiving an email from a fan telling you to write faster! It’s so much fun to meet aspiring writers and readers on-line and in person. I’m always available to share what I call my “pothole-filled-path to publication,” so people should feel free to email me at [email protected] or contact me at www.facebook.com/cindy.sample
Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day with us and our readers! It has been a pleasure!