Friday, October 3, 2008

Interview: Cindy Jacks

Every blog needs a little distraction every once in a while. This week The Diaries went to the expert on the subject, author Cindy Jacks. With her Point of Distraction series from Lyrical Press, Cindy has been heating up ereaders and melting hard drives everywhere. Heck, the minute she stepped into the offices, Jmo plopped the A/C down to a brisk 32 and, to all of ours shame, is standing around in his skivvies and waving a Sherrilyn Kenyon hand fan. For Cindy’s sake, I’ve made Jmo put on some pants and told him casual Fridays does not mean we get that casual.

TMD: Cindy welcome to the Diaries. We‘re so glad you could join us. Yes, I know. Just ignore the Spongebob Underoos. Lord knows I have. Jmo put those pants on right now or I’m tossing out your Oreo stash.

CJ: Oh don’t get dressed on my account! I’m digging Jmo’s briefs, though I’m wondering why Spongebob is all stretched out like that. Perhaps it’s best not to ask, lol. Anyhoo, thanks Morgan and Jmo for having me here!

TMD: Cindy we love Ana the heroine from the POD series. She’s a hot hip woman who's always game for...well...a game. As avid followers of the series, we just got to know. Will Ana ever find her man? Or men?

CJ: Well, Ana does burn a hot streak through some of the most eligible bachelors in the DC area (and elsewhere in a couple tales), but by the end of the fourth book, she allows herself to fall head-over-heels for one of them. I’m soooo dying to blurt out who it is, but I can’t. Argh!

TMD: what inspired you to write this series? The whole concept is so refreshing and who can't help but live vicariously through Ana? Is there a specific person or event which inspired each episode?

CJ: It’s funny you mention living vicariously through Ana because she was originally created for me to do just that. The series came from a collection of short stories I wrote to entertain myself and my best friend during my ‘Corporate Whore’ (CW) phase. Like Ana, my job was lucrative, but boring and unfulfilling. Hence the title: Point of Distraction, since I spent many an hour distracted by Ana’s adventures.

Almost all the characters are based on people I know. Sometimes they’re an amalgamation of a few different people. A lot of the side plots and personal touches are also based on true events. For example, in book three, Ana goes to a high school reunion and someone immediate spills a glass of red wine down the front of her dress. That actually happened to me at my ten-year reunion. The moment I walked in the door. So I spent the night with a huge stain on the front of my dress. Or in another tale a young man sends to Ana’s office a bunch of Dragonball Z balloons and a bouquet of porn. Yep, that one happened to me, too. Stressed my assistant out to no end, lol.

Jmo pssst... in Morgan O's ear.

Morgan O: Okay, since you got your pants on. Jmo wants to know if Ana thinks a man confident in his own masculinity to wear Spongebob underoos is hot

CJ: Absolutely! Of course, Jmo would be hot in anything. I am wondering what he intends to do with that tub of chocolate frosting. On second thought, I don’t think I want to know, lol.

TMD: you also have another new release, this one with Freya's Bower; Taking off - The Red Shoe Collection. I know there's a story behind that book. And while you’re at it, we know about your shoe fetish, so you might as well ‘fess up to how much you spend on shoes annually, and how many pairs are stashed in your closet.

CJ: Why yes, the book does have a story behind it. Thank you for asking (wink, wink). A brilliant writer friend of mine passed along a cool writing exercise. The challenge was to write a short story based on a style from a book about the history of shoes. Through a quick internet search (in Google we trust!), I stumbled upon the obituary for famed shoe designer, Beth Levine. The pair of red satin stilettos featured with the article just spoke to me. Yes, it is possible for shoes to speak. In one afternoon of brainstorming I came up with four separate short stories based around the shoes. So I decided to have the shoes travel in time to four separate women in the last fifty years. I sat down to write the stories and in a few short weeks I had The Red Shoe Collection. Thanks, brilliant writer friend!

As for my personal shoe collection, it’s way down from the CW days. I just went to count. Only thirty-seven pairs. Is that a lot?

TMD: This is a little known secret, but Jmo is a big fan of shoes. He's got his eye on a pair of Dior Whisper open toe sandals. If you had to pick one designer to drool over, who would it be? MorganO likes her Halflingers most of the time but picks up sandals for summer. Comfort is where it’s at baby.

CJ: Shane&Shawn hands down. Blahnik of course is a god, his shoes are gorgeous, but never comfortable. On the other hand, Shane&Shawn designs are beautiful and flirtatious and oh-so comfy.

BTW, if anyone would like to buy me an early Christmas present, there’s a pair of black and white open-toe Shane&Shawn Mary Jane’s that I’m longing for!

TMD: we love the jewelry you've designed and is available on your site. How do you manage to find the time to juggle writing, as well motherhood to create such beautiful works of art?

CJ: Sleep deprivation and lots of caffeine, lol. Kidding, kidding. I try very hard to manage my time during the day, stick to a schedule. Of course, I’m not always successful, but my motto is “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” As long as I keep chipping away at the ol’ to-do list, I’m happy. Plus, I’m not capable of just sitting and watching TV. If I do park myself in front of the boob tube, I bust out the laptop or beading supplies and work while I get my Grey’s Anatomy or Burn Notice fix.

TMD: As we well know, authors wear many different hats. What are some of the different things you do as an author to promo yourself and your books? Which ones are your favorites?

CJ: My favorite thing to do is hang out online with my Yahoo buddies. I know it doesn’t sound like promo, but I firmly believe that as a new author, I’ll only build a readership if I build relationships with other readers and other authors.

I also really love collaborating with other authors to make chores like blogging more interesting. Jambrea Jo Jones, Kensana Darnell and I just launch a new blog, Playground Mystique, that revolves around the life and times of our muses. That’s been a riot. You wouldn’t believe what muses get into when their writers aren’t looking!

I also do more formal promo from author interviews to chats to contests, but I always find those events are more successful if I’ve taken the time to get out there and generate some real excitement about things.

TMD: We at the diaries love to hit authors with hard mind provoking questions. This isn’t one of them but it is normal for around here. What’s harder to decide on Mr. Right or the right pair of shoes.

CJ: Oh beautiful shoes! Shoes are easy. I think that’s what’s seductive about them. They deliver on their promises to make you look and feel sexy, they don’t let themselves go just because you brought them home and they don’t leave the toilet seat up. I’ve never met a man as easy to get along with…then again, I hear I can be a weensy bit difficult myself, lol.

TMD: Since you’re all over the net, you’d better pop in a few links and let people know where they can find you and your books. Don’t forget those yahoo chat groups, as many of our readers like to pick up the latest scoop on any little juicy detail out there.

Yes, it’s true, I’m an internet ‘ho. I do get around. Lemme see if I can remember all my hangouts…

Author site:


Lyrical Press titles:

Freya’s Bower title:

Yahoo groups:


Whew! I think that’s it, hee hee.

It's been fun, Cindy! MorganO is taking off this afternoon for the weekend, so we hope lots of folks will come to play and keep you company today! The Alaska Chapter of the RWA is having a writers retreat at a gorgeous bed and breakfast out in the boonies. We expect her to come back refreshed and full of fabulous stories! Have a great weekend, everyone.


Rita Vetere said...

The interview was delightful! Enjoyed learning a little more about how Point of Distraction and the Red Shoe Collection came into being--both great reads!

ddurance said...

That was a wonderful distraction and quite, I for one would like to know more about the chocolate frosting. LOL


Cindy Jacks said...

Thank you, Rita and Deidre. I'd share more about the chocolate frosting but Jmo swore me to secrecy :)