Yours truly had a busy old time of it this week, what with Fantasycon 2017 in Peterborough, UK. More on that later, but for now, I’d like to share this interview with bestselling author Cyn Ley. Cyn has published books in the horror, paranormal and humour fields! So without further ado, here’s Cyn…
ES: Welcome to the blog, Cyn. First of all, can you tell our readers a little about yourself?
CL: Yes.. I’m both a bestselling author and a top-ranked editor, and have been with Solstice Publishing since 2014. They gave me my start and I love working with them. I write short stories mainly, although I recently branched out into novellas. Short stories fascinate me because they have to be so carefully crafted. Always up for a challenge! It’s where I do my best writing, I think. I write rather eclectically—paranormal, social satire, humor, horror. Basically whatever pops into my head and turns itself into a story… There’s not much I’m not interested in.
ES: Paranormal and social satire! Sounds fascinating. What was your last book about?
CL: My last book was THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND AND OTHER UNEXPECTED TALES. It is a collection of three paranormal stories plus one that’s a bit of a surprise. It’s received excellent reviews so far. My latest short story, “Plot Twist”, will be appearing in Solstice’s annual October fright fest anthology, NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP (October 2017).
ES: Cool. So are your books standalone stories or are they part of a bigger overall plan?
CL: They’re standalone collections. I currently have two books on the market: THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND, and ENCOUNTERS: TALES RECOUNTED AND REBORN. ENCOUNTERS is a collection of stories previously published between 2014 -2016. A number of these early tales have been revamped, but just as many stand in their original form
ES: As a writer myself, I’m always keen to know authors’ writing habits. What is your own approach to writing, and how many hours a day do you write?
CL: Tough question. I’m an intuitive writer, so most of the time stories just unfold for me. I’ll sketch out quick little notes and use them as touch point, but I’m not religious about it. What seems like a good idea initially may not be when you get to the actual writing. Some days I don’t write at all. Other days—or nights, I should say—the Muse wakes me up at 3am and orders me to write.
ES: Okay, now that we know about your writing and your working day, why don’t we dig a little deeper? What is your favourite book from your childhood, and why?
CL: The unabridged Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. It has everything—action, humor, thrills, romance, and is just plain fun.
ES: I love Dumas. His works appeal on so many levels. It’s interesting that you went for historical fiction, though. Do you undertake a lot of research for stories yourself?
CL: I don’t start with the research, but I often research as I go. This can range from [finding out about] the environment (the settings of the story), to language (how people expressed themselves in different eras, subject-specific terminology, etc.). Let the story be your guide, and pay attention to the details. Would your character have cooked in a copper pan or cast iron one? The minutia can make all the difference.
ES: Very sound advice. In fact, I recently made the mistake of failing to research a certain aspect of police procedure in Los Angeles for one of my short stories. Fortunately, I have an editor with a very keen eye! Okay, moving on to a more spiritual plane — and this is question I ask everyone — as a writer what would you choose to be your mascot or spirit animal?
CL: I’m way too much of a critter person to pin that down! LOL My cat and dogs are lovely, of course, but so are the crows that like to hang out on the roof.
ES: So all of them! And if you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
CL: Be brave!!!
ES: Excellent. Okay, we’re almost done. One last question: could you tell us what are you working on at the moment?
CL: I have a couple of multi-genre things in the works right now, but it’s too early to talk about them. They’re sketches, mostly
ES: Well, all the best with them. I’m sure they’ll be very entertaining! Thanks for participating in this interview. It’s been great having you on the blog.
CL: Thank you for having me! It’s been a pleasure!
Cyn Ley’s books are available on Amazon here and from Solstice Publishing
Or you can get in touch with her here: