Monday, June 23, 2014
Annie's Stories by Cindy Thomson ends June 30th
Please welcome Cindy Thomson to my blog this week! It's great to have you here Cindy. Cindy is giving away a copy of her book, Annie's Stories. Be sure to leave a comment about the interview or ask Cindy a question to be entered. Don't forget to leave your email addy and let me know if you are a follower for an extra entry.
Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth. I’m in the dining room on my laptop. Just took a shower so I’m dressed in a shirt, sleeveless top and flip flops. (Wet hair!)
What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?
That’s not an easy question to answer so I’ll just have to pick one. I wasn’t there specifically for research, but novelists are always soaking in things. My husband and I were in Ireland and I planned to visit someone I’d met online who has some really interesting approaches to gardening. I thought my husband would like to see her property. The woman was very gracious (even made us pancakes because she thought we may have missed that American meal while on our trip.) She was happy to give us a tour of her gardens and tell us what she had planted. But she turned out to be very eccentric. She built her house and decorated it in a very artsy Irish style. Much of what she had had been recycled or re-purposed in some way, which is great but that gives you an idea of her personality. She had never been to America, but had plenty of opinions about us, our government, and our industries. (She obviously spent a lot of time on the internet.) She even asked me if I thought the states would be better off being their own countries! Then as we were leaving she shouted out to us, “Now don’t be putting me into any of your books!” Uh, no promises!
What is something that very few people know about you?
I’m not that mysterious so this is a difficult question. Maybe that I’m not shy when it comes to speaking about something I’m passionate about. I’m a quiet person who prefers to observe before jumping in. That’s why people are continually surprised to learn that I speak in front of groups. I love talking about my writing, genealogy, Irish history…
What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
Hard to pick one. I do treasure the old Smith-Corona typewriter my grandfather used to type letters to my father when he was in WWII.
If you could live in any time period other than the one we live in, past or future, when and where would that be and why?
It’s easy to romanticize this, but the truth is the people of the past often had hard lives and short lifespans. I suppose the future might be good, but who knows? If I had to pick I’d probably pick the era I’ve been writing about, the turn of the twentieth century, because there was so much change going on and so many inventions. It was an exciting time to live. But…the time of the American Revolution would also be interesting. Who wouldn’t like to talk to the Founding Fathers? However, I would not like to be caught in that war, and I’m partial to indoor plumbing. If I could just visit the past and ask questions and then come right back that would suit me best.
If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be?
My son has an answer to this question. He says his would be Now What Have You Learned? J Mine might be Unlocking the Past.
What one novel did you read that made you want to be a part of the story?
Again, I can’t just pick ONE. There have been many but I’ll just mention one. The Light Between the Oceans by M.L. Stedman. It takes place in Australia, much of it on a lonely island where the lighthouse keeper lives. I can’t imagine the vast, incredible natural beauty of that place, and how isolated it is. I would also liked to have intervened when the characters made that fateful decision, but you’ll have to read it to know what I mean.
What is the biggest secret you ever kept (of course it can’t be a secret anymore)?
I’m not big into keeping secrets. I do write about them, though. ;-)
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
That might be the night I spent in a monastery run by French monks in Ireland that practiced silence. They were gracious, but the practice, especially when it came to mealtime and you had to make hand gestures to be understood, was odd for me. I don’t know why I thought that was going to be a good idea.
The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.
But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.
Though the postman’s intentions seem pure, Annie wants to share her father’s stories on her own terms. Determined to prove herself, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and create the future she’s always envisioned . . . where dreams really do come true.