Explore the literary mind of Cindy Davis

“The Great Peanut Butter Conspiracy” by Cindy Davis | WYLDWOOD BOOKS eBOOK COVER

Cindy writes as though she is sitting across table from you and telling you the story, one on one, person to person.

Cindy Davis is releasing The Great Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Book 3 in the Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles, in June.

A great mystery.

Breezy.

Filled with humor.

Written in Cindy’s own distinctive Florida style.

Here is an insight into both Cindy and her writing.

She writes as though she is sitting across table from you, probably somewhere in Key West, and telling you the story, one on one, person to person.

What makes your stories unique?

I try to infuse unique elements into my plots. A long time ago, agent extraordinaire Donald Maass taught me how to unite my characters by their jobs, families, personalities, and upbringings. This unity creates an assortment of possibilities for multi-layered plots. My series set at Lake Winnipesaukee, NH embodies these layers. I tried bringing the character Angie Deacon to Florida when I moved, but she hated it here.

These days I write a lot of what’s called visionary or metaphysical fiction. Either wording you use, it’s about opening up to your true self, and becoming aware there is more to this world than the 9-5 rat-race. I’m having a great time helping people ‘wake up’.

Cindy Davis

If you met one of your characters in person, who would it be, and what would you ask?

I think that would be Claudia from Come in from the Cold. That book took eight years to get the way I wanted. It went through three rewrites and two total genre changes.

It’s set in 1954. Claudia is forced into a marriage of convenience for her family, and at first she goes along with it for the sake of the family—well, mostly her misogynistic father—but as time passes, she realizes who she is and that life is about making your own choices, not letting others make them for you. Jeez, that sounds so simple. Why was it so hard for Claudia?

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

I read a lot of authors in many genres, so I could cite examples from them, but I think the aforementioned agent Don Maass was the most influential. I took a week-long intensive writing course from him. To prepare for the course, Mr. Maass read and evaluated 100 novels to find what elements made them ‘work’ or not. I learned valuable lessons from that workshop—more than 20 years ago now—that have stuck with me through the years.

What is your secret guilty pleasure?

I love jigsaw puzzles. Not surprising really for a mystery writer. Aren’t they just another way to assemble clues. I also grow orchids. I’ve got some truly unique colors and varieties.

They say ‘write what you know’. But do you reach a point where research is needed?

Back in school I hated research. Look things up in a ponderous book, memorize some dates and a few details. Now, my research is fun and exciting. I learned how to drive a big-rig. I learned about firing a gun. I travel to all the places my books are set so I can absorb the ambiance and sensory images. This, I hope, brings realism to my stories.

How do your family and/or friends feel about your books?

Except for my dad and Rick, nobody cares. And they’re readers. Go figure.

How do you choose the books you read? By genre? Author?

A little of both. It just depends. Lately, I tend to read two at a time (not including what I do for my work). One is something Rick and I read out loud. It’s always something spiritual or eye-opening. The other is usually a mystery—one of my choosing or something by a friend or acquaintance.

What advice would you give a new author?

Don’t ever be 100% satisfied with what you’ve written. Always know you can do better. Always strive to improve. Listen to advice. Take what resonates.

How do you feel about rewrites? Describe your process after the first draft is complete.

I don’t have to do a lot in the way of rewrites. The editor in me won’t permit me to slap things on paper (the famous shitty first draft) and go back to fix later. I refine as much as I can in the first draft, usually have a pretty workable manuscript. Then I go back and look for plot holes and typos.

What project are you working on next?

I am nearly finished with book four in the Zipacna series. Tentatively titled Abduction in Maui, it leans more toward being a thriller than anything I’ve written in a long time. I’ve done a partial outline on book four in the Joy cozy series set in Florida. And, finally, I need to tweak book two in the Magnolia Bluff series, Boogie Woogie Chase set to be released the beginning of 2023.

Please click HERE to find The Great Peanut Butter Conspiracy on Amazon.

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