Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cynthia Lucas Interview

Author Interview with Cynthia Lucas

1. How did you go about picking actors/actress for your new book trailer?
I went on a country wide (and in this case, international) search via internet, and any other means I could to find exactly the right model/actors to play my characters. This story, I feel, is my best work to date, and I wanted to find model/actors that I felt embodied the right look and could bring something realistic to the characters.

2.       Why do you feel it’s important to have a book trailer?
In this day and age of multi-media, having the best promotional tools you can offer your readers gives them not only a step above the typical synopsis, but also brings the characters to life in 3D! When I decided to do a book trailer, I knew of one or two companies out west who were doing cinematics...meaning NOT your ‘usual’ book trailer with floating images and text, but instead trailers that looked just like a movie or television show trailer with live action acting and soundtrack. And I knew immediately that was what I wanted to do.

3.       Tell us a bit about the process of creating a book trailer?
Well, for this one...multi-tasking is an understatement. LOL! The first step after deciding to do a cinematic was deciding who was going to do camera work and post production, and I had just come back from Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas at that time. While I was there I met Tim Prater and his wife Melody, who do photography and video work for InD’Tale Magazine. Tim had just recently started his own production company called Crunchreel and we just clicked as friends when we met, and I knew I wanted to work with them. Cinematics was a new experience for all of us, and being on a budget I decided to write my own story board, choose actors to play the roles, (and hire myself to play the lead female) and thus began the adventure. I had some very creative ideas that we needed to figure out....one of them being where Grigoris Drakakis (who is playing Z) steps out of a mirror. This effect would require green screen and double and triple layer effects on top of live action which as far as I know is completely NEW ground in cinematic book trailers. I haven’t seen this done even by the couple of companies who do these from out in CA. So, we broke new ground....as well as having a really fun experience. For me? I fell in love with the whole process of writing the story board, directing and acting in the trailer. It brought a whole new dimension to writing for me. As for the actors: Grigoris Drakakis came over from Greece to do the shoot and since then he’s taken off and become one of the most sought after models in romance covers. I’m so happy for him...he’s wonderful to work with and I know this is only the beginning of his career here in the US. Lucas Scott is a wonderfully talented actor/director and stunt coordinator who’s had some bit parts on television series and more and I also expect to see him go very far in his career. Both of these guys are the best.

4.       What was the hardest aspect you had to overcome when writing your book?
None...at least not with this story. This book flowed like a river to the sea....the story was one of the easiest for me and the characters are just very special to me because of their personal growth, their magic together and the obstacles they overcome.

5.       As a reader how do you write? Do you write in your PJs at home? In a cafĂ©? Etc.
I write whenever the mood strikes me...and I allow every story to just bubble to the surface at its own rate and in its own way. I can be sitting at my desk, or maybe in bed in my pajamas, yes! Or maybe have insomnia at 3am and I sit down and see if I can put my time awake to good use.

6.       What author inspired you to become an author?
There’s a few actually...in romance genre: Tonya Ann Crosby (she was the first romance author I ever read so I have to say, she hooked me on the genre.) Other fabulous (and classic) authors in the genre: Virginia Henley,  Johanna Lindsey, Shannon Drake....Teresa Medeiros....there’s many. In other genres: Philip K. Dick...one of the greatest writers of our time or any.  Steven King, Tolkein, Neil Gaiman, to name a few.

7.       What is the one piece of advice you’d give to a new writer?
Never give up on your dream and believe in the power of your work. Even if agents or someone else tells you it’s not what readers want or what publishers are looking for, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are correct. When I started shopping my first book, When Lightning Strikes, I was told by at least a couple agents, “It’s not what we’re looking for,”  “It has been done too many times...it’s trite,” “It’s not what readers would be interested in,” “My screeners feel it’s not really appealing in today’s market”....blah, blah, blah ad nauseum. Well, I shrugged all of it off and refusing to believe what they said, I went ahead and self published my book. It took courage and a lot of hard work in promotion...and I will tell you that I wish  every one of those people could have seen that book that they told me was ‘trite’ sitting at #1 Best Seller in Time Travel Romance on Amazon.com when it climbed to the top of the Kindle Best Sellers list in its genre!! Not to mention the fact that after the book reached some level of success, I realized that it was the only one of my books that had never had a model....and the reason was because there was an actor I’d always envisioned as being the guy I wanted on the cover. But when I was just getting started, I thought, “HOW could I ever get someone like that on my book....and even if I could get a hold of him what would I say? I’ve sold ten books to my friends, would you be on the cover?” LOL!! Well, three years later, a #1 Best Seller, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Quarter Finals finish, two RONE Award Nominations and Finals, and all of my books being Top 10 and Top 20 Best Sellers in Kindle in their genres,  I got the courage to go ahead and contact him. I showed him my cover design that I had in mind, told him about my dream of having him on my cover...and he loved it and agreed to be on my cover! His name? Jay Tavare and he’s been in some VERY top notch Oscar winning movies including The Missing (with Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones) , Cold Mountain (Nicole Kidman),  Dreamworks Into the West, Adaptation...and yes, that’s Vega from Street Fighter the Movie.  Jay is very careful about what projects he lends his name or image to, and has only appeared on one other book cover...so needless to say, I feel so honoured and blessed not only for his appearing on my book, but for his friendship as well. For every writer out there with a story in your mind’s eye and a dream in your heart...it goes to show you that you CAN make it happen and you CAN achieve your dreams!! Go for it!

8.       As a reader what is your favorite thing you do in your free time – when not writing?
I am a professional vocalist and musician....for most of my adult life, and when I’m not writing, I’m making music with my band NORTH 2 SOUTH in venues large and small near my home in central FL. We play a lot of great little beach bars and small stages, but also do some larger stages too. We are playing on the eastside stage outside Ruth Eckerd Hall in May before Styxx, Foreigner and Don Felder in concert in the hall. We have played out there many times for many shows coming in....Earth, Wind & Fire, Steely Dan, Hall & Oates, Styxx, Rock of Ages...and more. Always a fun time! My husband and I also write and record music of our own. You can check us out on ReverbNation. 

9.       How did you become a writer?
I just decided I wanted to try my hand at writing stories. I’m a lyricist and writing a book appealed to me in the sense of being able to tell a story in more than a four minute song.  I’d read hundreds of books in the genre and my grandmother was an avid writer (she loved sci fi) and I just decided to try my hand at it. I loved it and there was no turning back. I decided that in this day and age of multimedia and broad self publishing options (just as with music) I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.  And so I went the route of self publishing. 

10.   In the future what do you envision tackling? More books? Film, etc.
I would love to adapt one or more of my books to screenplay and yes...I could absolutely see doing one as movie. Or possibly turning one into some kind of series. There are more books on the horizon....working on a couple of ideas right now and music videos too. I love to experiment so who knows WHAT you’ll find me out there trying! LOL! Film making, movies, acting...more books and music for sure. And whatever it is, it’ll be fun and creative.

View the cineamatic trailer for 'Smoke &MirrorZ' which Cynthia herself starred in!

Connect with Cynthia on Facebook or her ReverbNation  website!

'Smoke & MirrorZ' by Cynthia Lucas-Book Blurb:

Purchase the book on Amazon

Scheharazade ‘Scheri’ Bloom is on the run after marrying the man of her dreams...a wealthy lawyer who turns out to be more like a monster from her nightmares. Abused physically and emotionally and forced to be a prisoner in her own home, no matter how many times she tries to escape, he has the money, power and connections to have her tracked down and brought back to suffer the wrath of his anger at her leaving.

After finally finding a way to escape, she takes to the road and with the little bit of money she’d saved up running out fast, she soon finds herself drawn to a small-town carnival, where she hopes to make a few untraceable dollars working a ride or concession stand. Instead she meets the enigmatic and egotistical magician known as ‘Z’.

Amazed by Z’s skills in illusions, like the audiences who come to see him day in and day out, she soon finds herself in danger again...not so much from her abusive husband as from everything she doesn’t want to feel from the moment she lays eyes on the handsome entertainer who looks like an Arabian Knight come to life and seems to sense every secret she can’t tell him about herself.

What Scheri doesn’t know is that that Azizi ab’d al Jadu, the man known as ‘Z’ is harboring a few secrets himself. Magic is real, and not all illusions are ‘smoke and mirrors’. Z is no mortal man, but a half-breed Ifrit Jinn....a down on his luck genie, living as a carny here in the world of man. Born out of the forbidden love of a Jinn and a disobedient Angel, he is on the run from his own kind for refusing to abide the laws of both Jinn and Allah’s Watchers. And after breaking The Law and taking human form of his own free will to come through the large gold mirror that is his portal into the world of humans....he finds his once vast powers limited by the mortal realm and all the wondrous and distracting sensations of a human body.

Z has little interest in being anyone's savior...but when Scheri’s husband finally tracks her down with the help of one of Z's most dangerous enemies, Z soon finds that it's going to take more than magic to protect the woman who has stolen the heart he didn't know he had. Can he somehow regain the power he needs to save her?

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