Happy Pre-Thanksgiving Week from Kevin Thompson on the peninsula where passing Thanksgiving and going straight to Christmas commercials apparently does pay $200. We’re sitting here on the front porch, enjoying the breeze and the cooler high-60s temps…at 8:40 p.m. Today, I have the privilege of sharing and interview with fellow CAN author Cynthia Simmons.
Welcome, Cynthia! Congratulations on your most recent book! Give us the back cover copy…
Peter Chandler and Mary Beth Roper faced impossible odds keeping their Confederate bank afloat. Mr. Roper, Peter’s partner, has financial expertise, but his weakened heart is failing. While caring for her ailing father, Mary Beth discovered counterfeit money with forged signatures. Area citizens can present the bills and demand gold, causing the bank to fail. Can they find the culprit in time?
Where’s George Bailey and his Momma and Papa Dollar when you need them? So, what inspired you to write Pursuing Gold?
I’ve always loved history, particularly the Civil War era. I grew up near Chickamauga Battlefield just south of Chattanooga, TN. Climbing on cannons and gazing at hooped skirts under glass formed a large part of my childhood. How natural it felt to bring the war to life on paper.
What is the primary focus of this story?
The main theme is seeking God, which we all need to do.
What surprised you the most during the research or writing of your book?
I was surprised how hard it was to find information on Confederate banking. When the Confederate government ended, the banking system failed and few took the time to look into the financial crisis the South faced.
What? The government didn’t keep good records? So, what do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I have walked through some pretty tough trials, and I want my readers to learn God does see you through. At times, I felt alone, but you aren’t, which is what Peter and Mary Beth discovered.
How do you share Christ in your writing?
When you see characters struggle and find hope in God, people get the message a lot faster than a sermon. Plus I work in the church library, and most of the books checked out are fiction. So I believe it’s important.
How has being a writer impacted your relationship with Christ?
I write better when I stay close to him. The creativity gets stuck if I’m not spending time in the Word.
What would be your ideal writing place? And…what’s your actual writing place like?
I’d love to have a cabin in the mountains. My computer would sit at a desk with a huge window overlooking a beautiful green valley. In real life, I write at a desk that once belonged to my mother. My son’s paintings hang on the wall across from me, and I work surrounded by notes scribbled on bits of paper.
What talents do you have aside from storytelling?
I grow orchids, arrange flowers, and make jewelry with my disabled son. Plus my husband and I do ballroom dancing.
Do you have a “day job” or a previous career? Does it influence what or how you write?
I was a homeschool mother for over twenty-five years, but my kids grew up. Now I am the host and producer at Heart of the Matter Radio.
Do you have pets and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
I have two ragdoll cats: Col. Brandon and Sir Edmond. They think I belong to them, and when I pet them, fur usually floats around the room. They love to walk across my computers and make letters go across the page. On good days they sit at my feet and sleep.
Everyone struggles with time management in our 24/7 world. How do you stay disciplined and meet your deadlines?
Deadlines work wonders for motivation. I usually give myself a deadline that comes before the publisher.
Last question. Tell us about your next project.
Undying Love – Susannah Thompson longs for meaning beyond the confines of her society, a cause to devote her life to. Romance and mystery mingle as she meets an orphan on the London streets and searches for a way to provide for the child. She finds unexpected help from Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the new minister of New Park Street Church. His sermons have awakened her soul and fed her starving mind. And if they find a home for the orphan, what about Susie’s future? Can God provide?
Love Susannah’s last name! Thank you, Cynthia, for stopping by. May God bless your writing ministry.
Until next time, may God bless you all, and may you bless God!