I am happy to report that Cyn (who owns an award-winning author site and blogs at Cynsations) agreed to let me interview her to go along with the posting of her new book, ETERNAL, on my site under “Good Books to Share.”

I enjoyed reading ETERNAL. The pace is swift, and the set-up interesting from the get-go. Miranda, the teenage heroine, has a guardian angel. He messes up and she is turned into a vampire. Now her angel has to make amends. But is he committing the ultimate no-no for guardian angels? Is he falling in love with her? ETERNAL kept me turning the pages through a single sitting. For anyone who likes a good love story, as well as for fans of vampire tales.

Cynthia Leitich Smith

book iconHow old were you when you first started seriously writing?

I guess it depends on what you call “serious.” By fourth grade, I was writing poems in my bedroom more evenings than not. I even “bound” them in a homemade book with the help of my mom. By junior high, I was editor of the school paper-a position I had again in high school. By my sophomore year of college, I was spending my summers working in newsrooms. By my third year of law school, I was teaching legal writing. At 28, I quit my “day job” to write fiction for young people.

book icon How many rejections did you get before you got your first acceptance?

I honestly don’t know, but with regard to writing for young readers, my apprenticeship was about two-and-a-half years before my first sale.

book icon How do you make up names for your characters?

With JINGLE DANCER (Morrow, 2000), most of the names are family names. The one exception is “Jenna,” which I simply thought sounded musical with jingle. Quincie P. Morris in TANTALIZE (Candlewick, 2007) is named after Quincey P. Morris in Abraham Stoker’s classic novel Dracula (1897). But beyond that, I often look for variety in terms of syllables, vowel and consonant sounds, first letters, etc. or meanings. The name “Miranda” from ETERNAL (Candlewick, 2009) means “miracle.”

book icon When you write do you like quiet, music, or lots of activity around you?

Increasingly, I prefer sort of neutral music-no lyrics, which I generally tune out. It works like “white noise.”

book icon What’s the earliest childhood memory you can think back to? Does it appear in any of your writing?

I remember burning the silver plate off a gold spoon with a candle flame. I think everyone else was eating pie in the kitchen. And no, not so far.

book iconWhat age child do you have in your head? Is there more than one child there?

It’s very crowded-I have a four, ten, fourteen, seventeen, and a nineteen-year-old.

book icon Do you have any regrets about writing for young readers?


book icon What do you have hidden in a dresser drawer? (We won’t tell, will we, everyone?)

Nothing too interesting, I’m afraid. My iPod and the key to my treadmill.

book iconWhat do your favorite pair of socks look like?

They feature tiny Texas flags.

book icon Given that you won’t sunburn, and you have lots of water . . . would you rather walk through Death Valley or Mall of America? Why?

Death Valley-scenery and peacefulness.

book icon If you woke up in the morning and found someone’s shoes in your refrigerator, what would you think?

That the cats were growing more sophisticated by the hour.

book iconHave you ever been abducted by aliens? If so, did they wear socks? What did they have hidden in their zormorpholater? And did they tell you the titles of any of their favorite books?

No aliens, faeries perhaps.

book iconWill you name a character in your next book after me?

Maybe, but I can’t promise he/she will be a good guy.

book icon Finally, let’s end up looking toward the future. What’s up next for you? Anything you want to tell us about?

I just finished (I hope) text revisions on the graphic novel adaptation of TANTALIZE, which will be told from the point of view of Kieren, the werewolf hero. I’m also jazzed about the short stories I have coming out this year. “The Wrath of Dawn,” co-authored by Greg Leitich Smith will appear in GEEKTASTIC: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (Little, Brown, 2009) and “Cat Calls” will appear in SIDESHOW: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magic, edited by Deborah Noyes (Candlewick, 2009).


Thanks, Cyn! 

Now to all of you . . . go forth, and read!