Author Interview: Cynthia Hamilton

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Cynthia Hamilton

General Info:

  1. Name

Cynthia Hamilton

  • Your city, state & country of residence:

Santa Barbara, CA USA

  • Author Bio:

Cynthia Hamilton is the author of nine books, which include fiction, mystery and memoir. SPOUSE TRAP is the first book in her Madeline Dawkins Mystery Series, which takes place in Santa Barbara, a town she is happy to have called her home for forty years. It is followed by A HIGH PRICE TO PAY, GIRL TRAP, and THE TROUBLE WITH PARADISE. She is currently at work on the fifth book in the series.

FINDING RUTH was inspired by a photograph she found of her mother taken in 1949 while moving her into an Alzheimer’s facility. It was written as a means to discover who her mother was as a person in her own right, outside her role as “Mom”. ONCE UPON A LYME… A TALE OF TWO JOURNEYS chronicles her battle with a misdiagnosed disease and the unexpected upside of becoming a writer as a means of coping with the pain. LUCKY AT LOVE, ALLIGATORS IN THE TREES, and GOLDEN STATE are lighthearted looks at life, love and the resiliency of the human heart.

  • Titles & genres of your available books:

SPOUSE TRAP (Mystery)

A HIGH PRICE TO PAY (Mystery)

GIRL TRAP (Mystery)

THE TROUBLE WITH PARADISE (Mystery)

FINDING RUTH (Fictionalize biography/memoir ~ “momoir”)

LUCKY AT LOVE (Fiction)

ALLIGATORS IN THE TREES (Fiction)

GOLDEN STATE (Fiction)

ONCE UPON A TIME . . . A TALE OF TWO JOURNEYS (Memoir)

  • Links to your works on Amazon, B&N, etc:

SPOUSE TRAP: https://tinyurl.com/yy4cuujp

A HIGH PRICE TO PAY: https://tinyurl.com/y3hhh8z9

GIRL TRAP: https://tinyurl.com/yxzbvjgz

THE TROUBLE WITH PARADISE: https://tinyurl.com/y5lw7zy5

FINDING RUTH: https://tinyurl.com/y69nrdtu

LUCKY AT LOVE: https://tinyurl.com/yxgvkxex

ALLIGATORS IN THE TREES: https://tinyurl.com/y6sperwl

GOLDEN STATE: https://tinyurl.com/y26c9e86

ONCE UPON A LYME . . . THE TALE OF TWO JOURNEYS: https://tinyurl.com/y4vgphl7

  • If you have more than one book, please highlight the book you are currently promoting on our site: 

4 books: SPOUSE TRAP; A HIGH PRICE TO PAY; GIRL TRAP; THE TROUBLE WITH PARADISE   

  • Brief description/teaser/blurb of selected book:

SPOUSE TRAP: A wife betrayed in the worst possible way must fight with body and soul to reclaim her life and her dignity. Prequel to the Madeline Dawkins Series.

A HIGH PRICE TO PAY: Madeline’s dual professions as event coordinator and private investigator cross paths during the most lavish affair of her career. As the party draws near, a simple background check after the disappearance of precious family jewels quickly turns into a murder investigation, and before Madeline and Mike can put the pieces together, another body turns up.

GIRL TRAP: Two inquiries come to MDPI on the same day that seem like fairly straight-forward missing person cases. But it doesn’t take long to discover there’s nothing ordinary about the disappearance of two beautiful sisters from Minnesota and an estranged heiress who has never touched her eight-figure fortune.

THE TROUBLE WITH PARADISE:  Life in beautiful Santa Barbara County will never be the same for two grieving widows. One is serving a lengthy sentence for the bizarre tractor death of her much older, land-rich husband. The other is convinced her husband’s death was no suicide.

Never ones to shy away from longshots or lost causes, Madeline and Mike must figure out what secrets these two men took to their graves.

  • Twitter handle: AuthorCynthiaH
  • Facebook address: https://www.facebook.com/Cynthia-Hamilton-Books-194062874017327/?ref=hl
  • Website address: http://cynthiahamiltonbooks.com/
  • Any additional means of contact: Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/434917.Cynthia_Hamilton
  • About your writing
  • What inspires you to write? The most random musings. I’ve turned daydreams into novels just by following a single random thought. I’ve also taken inspiration from chance encounters—as I did with LUCKY AT LOVE: SOME GUYS JUST NEVER GIVE UP. I used my own experiences to write ONCE UPON A LYME… A TALE OF TWO JOURNEY to offer hope to those suffering through the baffling and debilitating disease. FINDING RUTH came about in my quest to understand what my mom’s life had been like from her POV.
  • What do you love most about writing? I love being able to examine life from many different angles and perspectives. It allows me to understand different points of view and different ways to not only look at life, but also different ways to handle life’s quandaries.
  • What’s the most challenging part? Finding the time. For me, writing always ends up being dead last on my list of priorities, even though it’s the thing I want to do most.
  • How do you craft your story & characters? Both of those come from musings that take on a life of their own. I’ve been asked by fellow writers if I’m a “plotter” or a “pantser.” I’m definitely a pantser. I don’t do outlines or even get a real sense of where I’m going or what I want to accomplish, the two exceptions being the memoir about my ordeal with late-stage Lyme and the book I wrote to better understand what my mom’s life had been like from her POV, now that Alzheimer’s has stolen her memories.
  • How much research is involved? There was a lot of research involved in piecing my mother’s life story together. I studied 1,000+ photos, searched public records and genealogy sites, as well as mining my brother and sister for any random memories about our mom.
  • How long did it take from idea to finished book? It generally takes me a year +/- to write a book.
  • Do you have any writing rituals or habits? Who influences you the most? I’m in some dire need of good writing rituals and habits! I’d say every author I’ve read has influenced me in some way, even if it’s a “what not to do.” Most of the time, reading feels like going to the well to drink not of a storyline but of the essence of writing. If I were to give any writing advise, it would be read often and widely!
  • What is your favorite theme/genre to write?  Hmm . . . that’s a hard one. I think I like which ever one suits the idea that’s captured my attention.
  • Which character you’ve created is your favorite? Why? Jake Sorenson, the unlikely babe magnet in LUCKY AT LOVE, SOME GUYS JUST NEVER GIVE UP. He was based on a man I met at a wedding who’d been married and divorced seven times. Instead of sending up a red flag to all the ladies in attendance, it had the opposite effect. He actually asked me – in front of my husband – if I was willing to become #8. I came away from the reception knowing that I had to understand what made someone like him tick.
  • Do any of your life experiences worm their way into your books? Yes, they have. In addition to filling in story details when needed, I’ve based two of my books on true events. ONCE UPON A LYME… is the story of how a mystery illness led me to become a writer. FINDING RUTH is the book I wrote to understand what my mom’s life had been like from her POV.
  • How do you like to connect with readers? Any way I can! I love getting emails from my website from readers who’ve enjoyed my books. I love discussing books in general with other readers. I get feedback on my books and books that I’ve read and reviewed from fellow readers on Goodreads and BookBub. I also have lots of friends who’ve read my books and love to ask me questions. Basically, I’m all ears when it comes to books – mine or someone else’s. I was a reader long before I became a writer, and reading is still a huge part of my life.
  • What do you hope readers take away from your books? I hope readers will find something to connect with in my writing. I hope they are entertained and maybe enlightened in some way. I hope they come away with a feeling of satisfaction, that they took a journey and feel enhanced in some way, no matter how small.
  • Who helps you with the critique and editing process? Do you ever hate something you’ve written? My husband and sister are my first sounding boards. I work with three editors, so I get something different from all three. If I don’t like something I’ve written, I simple delete it and move on, and I check in with myself constantly to make sure I really like what I’ve written. I’ve never completed a book and hated it.
  • How do you overcome any nagging self-doubt that inevitably creeps in? By giving my work the upmost scrutiny. If something’s not right, I fix it. I guess I’m of the belief that you just keep working at something until you get it right. I’m very tenacious and won’t quit until I’m 100% satisfied.
  • Do you read all reviews? Yes.
  • Why are reviews important? They not only advise would-be readers, they can hold important observations about my work. I sometimes find critical reviews instructive, giving me insight I might not have come to on my own. I do prefer the good reviews, though. 😊
  • What advice would you give aspiring writers? Listen to your inner voice. There’s no right or wrong way to write.
  • What can you tell us about what we’ll see from you next? I plan to start the fifth book in my Madeline Dawkins Mystery Series. I’m also opening my mind to the possibility of starting a new series.