I have waited a long time to welcome Cindy Sample to the blog for a post of pure fun–and a little mystery. The added element of Cindy’s writing is that she’s able to be all that, and also say something truly meaningful. Read on.
Preparing for this blog post was a walk down memory lane, a windy and occasionally hilly path. My first literary “moment” occurred when I received an A plus on a third grade spelling assignment I turned into a 16 page novella, “Cindy Parker and the Haunted Mansion.” It could have been a full length novel but my mother made me go to bed at 8:30. That grade was all it took to hook me. I wanted to be an author when I grew up.
Little did I know it would be 40 years before my next literary masterpiece was published. Since I needed a “real” job (or at least one that could support a family), I was hired as a receptionist for a real estate office. That position led to a career as CEO of a nationwide mortgage banking company. I have thirty years of wonderful memories of working with incredible people, culminating in me receiving the APMW Boss of the Year Award.
That was a fabulous honor but I already knew that my thirty-year corporate career was just a stepping stone to the path I had chosen in third grade. At 51, I retired to embark on the next stage of my life.
When I began writing DYING FOR A DATE, the first book in my mystery series, I envisioned the glamorous life of a published author. Interviews with Regis and Kelly. Sitting on a sofa chatting with Oprah.
I did not envision trudging over cow patties at the state fair rolling a suitcase full of books and marketing materials. But, I sold 47 books!
The life of a published author has more high and lows than the stock market. The highs occur when a new fan tells you how much she loves your work. The lows appear during the editing process when you’re positive everything you’ve written is drivel.
Fortunately the highs far exceed the lows. Oprah and I are not BFF’s (yet) nor have I received a seven figure advance, or even a four figure advance. But my favorite “Made It” moment remains an email I received from a recently divorced woman who stayed up all night reading DYING FOR A DATE. She wrote that it was the best thing to happen to her in a very traumatic year.
If I can provide laugh-out-loud moments to brighten someone’s day, then I’ve achieved the type of success I envisioned long ago. I’ve made it!
Cindy Sample is a happily retired CEO turned mystery author. Her first humorous romantic mystery, Dying for a Date, was released in June, 2010 by L&L Dreamspell. Her sequel, Dying for a Dance, a ballroom dance mystery, will be released in October. Both books are set in the California gold country and Lake Tahoe.
Cindy is a former columnist for the Gold River Newspaper and a frequent speaker in the Sacramento area. Cindy is past president of the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime. She has served on the boards of the California Mortgage Bankers Assn., the Sacramento Opera, the YWCA, and is co-chair of the 2012 Left Coast Crime Convention, which will be held in Sacramento from March 29-April 2, 2012. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.