Monday, August 31, 2009

Cindy Keen Reynders: Spends her days as author and marketing professional

Story featured in the Fall/Winter 2009 Edition of the Wyoming Libraries Roundup
She often wonders if the stories she’s written so far are “all the gods will allow.” Lucky for her readers, author Cindy Keen Reynders has more than a few ideas left to write.
During Reynders’ day job as a marketing specialist for Laramie County
School District No. 1 in Cheyenne, she says she’s constantly coming up with ideas for her writing whether it’s a name someone says that sticks out or an idea for another book.
“I sit down for two or three hours in the morning for my writing, then I switch over to my other life, but my writing is always a part of me,” Reynders says.
Reynders says has always had an interest in writing but became serious about it in the early 1990s. She began writing romance novels and joined a writing group while she lived in
Colorado Springs.
“Before, I had always written romance, but I never really sat down and took the time to go through different drafts,” she says.
But once Reynders joined the writing group she began taking more classes to learn as much as she could about her craft. She also started going to conferences and seminars.
“It just grew from there and now I continue to do whatever I can to keep writing. I take some breaks and sometimes life gets in the way.”
Once Reynders moved to Wyoming and remarried she started shifting the direction of her writing career away from romance.
“I thought romance just isn’t working for me. I still want to write, but I needed to find a new story and a new genre.”
So she started with an idea and it grew and grew, eventually becoming two books, The Saucy Lucy Murders and Paws-itively Guilty.
“When I finished the first book, I did a couple of drafts and thought, ‘Hey, this might be worthy of publishing,’” Reynders says.
The book was going to be published, even if Reynders had to do it herself. She decided to save up money to self-publish the book if her querying to different publishers went nowhere.
Fortunately for Reynders, she didn’t have to worry about self-publishing.
“It took a lot of hard work, but this one happened and they signed on for both books,” she says.
The two books tell the stories of two sisters and the situations they find themselves in, trying to help solve murders. Reynders’ own sister helped her with the books.
“I had always used my writing groups to bounce ideas around, but with these books I was able to work with my sister. We would sit and talk and laugh thinking of the different situations the characters got into.”
Reynders calls the two books a lighthearted, fun read as she describes the characters as “larger than life.”
“When you sit down and read it, it’s just like a roller coaster ride. They’re lots of fun,” she says.
Cheyenne has really become home for Reynders—who says she and her husband plan to retire here. As a child, Reynders says she and her family traveled everywhere and in her first marriage her husband was in the Air Force.
After all it is her home in Cheyenne where Reynders really gets into her writing. She goes to bed early and is an early riser—spending two to three hours every morning working on her writing.
“I get up at four, grab a cup of coffee, get dressed and go downstairs to my dungeon, an unfinished basement with writing posters on the walls. It’s all mine. It’s my territory.”
Her schedule allows her to split her passion of writing and her regular day job. Reynders says there are lots of writers who can’t or don’t want to do both, but Reynders prefers it.
“There are a lot of us who would like to get big, but it just isn’t necessary. It is just another facet of our lives. Some can fit in full-time work and others cannot, depending on your choices,” she says.
It is the work environment that
Reynders says helps broaden and improve her writing. Although she switches from writing to work during the day, she is always thinking an dalways listening.
“The voices won’t stop. The plots keep coming,” she says.
Reynders has written down and saved several potential story plots. Some day she says she may write all of them, or she may not write any.
“A part of me does want to work full-time at writing, but a larger part of me realizes the richness of working a ‘day job.’ The people I meet and know is all brought into my books.
I’m not writing in my own little bubble. All these experiences broaden my writing.”
Most people say you have to be determined to be a writer, but Reynders jokes you have to be more obsessive compulsive than anything else.
“Even with the acceptance you get, there is still a lot of rejection. I continue to wrestle with the rejection, but I write because I love it,” she says.
And the rejection does not keep her down either. Recently, Reynders has returned to writing romance novels, after some previous rejection in the genre.
“I now feel that my skills are much better. I was told ‘no’ so many times and had the door shut in my face, I decided I’m gonna do this. I have no reason not to,” she says.
Writers should continue to challenge themselves, according to Reynders. Her next book is a romance novel set in 12th Century Ireland.

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