Twilight Times Feature
with Cynthia Ward
Interviewer: Lida Quillen
1. Does your creativity express itself in ways other than writing?
Well, yes...I have taught myself how to sketch from still life and paint crafts. All art appeals to me and those I'm around consider me very creative. As my sister once said..."Give her a fork and some tinfoil and lets watch her make a satellite dish." LOL :) I've always had the nack of turning junk into something special if I wanted it badly enough.
2. Do you feel you were creative, even as a child?
Oh yes, I used to make my Barbie doll's clothes from scraps and things around the house. I made crowns from wire and roses from twisting ribbon, then they could be pageant queens with a bouquet of roses in their arms. :) I used to make up stories off the top of my head for the younger children. There was one in particular that they kept wanting me to tell over and over, but I could never remember it exactly because I hadn't written it down...'a lost treasure'.
3. Could you share with the story behind the story? In other words, how did your writing lead you to your first novel, Sometimes There's a Dove?
I was a child when I first wrote. It was a new ending for my favorite book, Virginia Dare. I didn't like how the book ended so I simply 'Created a new ending'. This let me feel the power of writing for the first time and I was hooked. Anything I wanted to make happen, happened. What a wonderful thing I had discovered! So I wrote every chance I got. I was sixteen when I wrote the first draft of Sometimes There's A Dove.
4. How did you prepare for the creation of your first novel? How much research was necessary?
Not too much. I grew up listening to my Mother's stories about her life and that gave me inspiration for Sometimes There's A Dove. I really didn't hit a hurdle until I began writing about WWII and the hidden city of Oak Ridge Tennessee where they made the atom bomb.
Then I stayed in the history books. Studied in the library for hours. I tried to make the time lines and happenings as authentic as possible. I wanted this to be a learning book about America and our past. About the sacrifices the men, women and children of that time made to keep the future safe and secure for the ones that would come later, and to let people know that the war wasn't just 'over there,' it was everywhere.
Americans and their children here felt the fear too, and it was very real. No, there was never a bomb dropped here but who knew, at that time, that there wouldn't be? Who knew that Hitler could be stopped? My mother still shudders at the sound of a plane flying overhead and can't stand to be in the dark because of the blackouts she went through right here in America.
The war was very real for those here. Just because they were the safest doesn't mean they felt safe. I hope I convey this well enough in my novel. I think a lot of American's memories have been blocked because it was so traumatic. I know my Mother has blocked many things just as the veterans have.
I just want to say God bless them all, God Bless America and God Bless Freedom! They worked for it, they died for it, What a shame it would be for any of us to abuse it or take it for granted.
5. What kind of reaction do people have to your writing?
Very positive. They get caught up in the realness of the characters and their adventures. One reader wrote and said it was ironic how 'Claire' longed for adventures while having them left and right. From the 'rooster's baptism' to 'white lightening etiquette,' they say they laugh out loud many times while reading the story.
6. Do you find anything difficult in the writing process, and if so what?
Finding time! Writing is great. There's nothing about the writing process I don't like. What I hate is being disturbed from it.. LOL.
7. Do you currently have any writing projects?
Many many many... I have upward of a dozen stories in the works. I wanted this first one for my Mom. I'm going after my next 'baby' now for my ancestors. Some serious subjects in this next one, it is a historical romantic novel set in the 1800's. It is mostly dramatic with a pinch of fun. Just a pinch now! LOL
8. Is there anything else you would like to add?
The main thing I'd like to say is that I write out of love and concern, and try to bring understanding and education through entertainment. I want people to enjoy my writings. Maybe even as much as I enjoy writing them. I want my novels to leave them feeling good and wanting more. Every book I ever loved when I turned the last page I always wanted more. That is my dream for my novels.
Cynthia Ward is a self-taught Mississippi artist and writer who overcame a severe learning disability called dyslexia. In the third grade, at twelve years old, she made a decision to beat this disabling and painful situation after a special education teacher told her, and her Mother, that she would, 'never read past pre-primer'... She quit school and after a long struggle she learned how to read and write and went on, without any formal training, to earn her diploma.
Against all odds, she went into the field of writing, and challenged all the doubts. Thus making a statement of the undaunting spirit and never ceasing ability to be successful by holding fast to one's dreams. Keeping in mind the motto of her Mother, "How can you fail if you never quit?" she faithfully stayed in the race and now has had her first book, Sometimes There's a Dove, published by Twilight Times Books.