Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Voices Made Me Do It with Guest Blogger Cindy Young Turner

Welcome to a special weekend edition
@the Book Boost with fantasy author,
Cindy Young Turner!

She's here to talk about being "Driven to Write" and here's what she had to say...

In a recent interview, I was asked if I would take a magic pill, if it existed, that could cure me of the writing bug. My first thought was of course not. I’ve been writing forever. It’s part of who I am. And then I thought about it some more. I thought about all the things I could be doing instead of writing.

I could come home from work and watch TV in the evenings, not that there’s much worth watching. I could catch up on movies on Netflix. Or read a book. Or do one of the dozens of projects that have been languishing around the house over the years, like organize my photos, make scrapbooks, sew pillows and skirts, and learn to play the pennywhistle. And yes, I really do have a pennywhistle and at one point I was determined to start playing. It was to take the place of the guitar I only sort of learned how to play that also languishes in a closet.

The only problem is that I need to write. If I’m not writing, I’m not happy. I get anxious if I don’t have enough time to write. I feel guilty, like I’m short changing my muse. The monkey on my back whispers, "don’t do the laundry or the dishes". Write. Write. Write.

And yet sometimes writing is like opening a vein. It’s a horribly painful process just pounding out a few words. I’ll sit and stare at the screen for a whole night and write a paragraph, in between surfing the internet, checking blogs, checking my book on Amazon (nope, stats haven’t changed in the past half hour), and doing everything possible to avoid putting a sentence together because it never comes out the way I expect it to. In my head I’m a perfectionist and it’s hard to live up to that. This writing life is maddening. No wonder authors are driven to drink.

Maybe I’d be more sane if I could get rid of the writing bug. I’d have more quality time with my family. I wouldn’t hear the voices of my characters in my head. I wouldn’t be thinking up conversations and plot scenarios while talking to other people. I could just experience the world as it is and not think, wow, that’s a great idea for a scene, or look at someone and make up a history for her because I think she’d make a good character in my next book. Instead, I would just be, zen-like, focusing on the moment.

But that wouldn’t be me. Whenever people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said an author. Now I am an author. It’s a dream come true. Artists are driven to create, and writers are no different. I always thought artists had it easy; they create something tangible, a painting, a sculpture, a piece of pottery. It’s a lot harder to hold out a stack of papers and say, look what I’ve done. I’ve written a beautiful chapter where amazing things happen and characters unfold. People might give you a funny look and slowly back away. Stay away from the crazy writer. They hear voices in their heads.

My characters are real to me. Sometimes I wonder if they’re more real than some of the people I know in real life. As painful as it can be to write, I need to tell their stories. I need to explore their worlds and find out what happens next. And with any luck, people will want to read my stories and fall in love with my characters, just as I’ve done.

So, no thanks, I’ll pass on the magic pill and keep on writing. It’s the only way I know how to really live.

A Note from the Book Boost: Well said, Cindy. But do they make a pill for pushing past the middle book slumps? If so, sign me up for a dose of that one. I think every writer will agree that writing chooses you--you don't choose writing. Thanks for joining us and please tell us more about your book!


Sydney, a street urchin and pickpocket in the town of Last Hope, has managed to evade the oppressive Guild for years, but there is no escaping fate when she's sentenced to death for associating with the resistance.

After she's rescued by a wizard, Sydney is forced to accept that magic-long outlawed throughout the Kingdom of Thanumor-still exists, and the Tuatha, a powerful faery folk, are much more than ancient myth and legend. When the wizard offers a chance to fight the Guild and bring Willem, bastard prince and champion of the Tuatha, to the throne, Sydney embraces the cause as a way to find her own redemption.

But Sydney's fear of the Guild, distrust of authority, and surprising connection to the Tuatha threaten Willem's success. Can she untangle the strange threads that entwine her life not only to the fate of the kingdom, but also to Willem himself?


"Is it magic? Be careful."

The glow changed from a soft yellow to orange to red-and then to black. Durok's power assailed her. His hatred and malice chilled her to the core. Blackness engulfed her.

Two gleaming eyes gazed out of the void. They pierced her soul, probing her innermost thoughts, her fears, her desires. She sought to cry out, but no sound escaped her lips.


Willem's voice grew faint. Unseen hands clawed at her. Blindly, she struck back. Her mind reeled, and she relived every painful moment in her life, every loss, every hurt, every betrayal.

Unbearable pain. No way to fight back.

"You are strong, Sydney," a voice murmured. "Don't let him defeat you."

The voice reminded her of Edgar, bringing with it memories, not of Edgar on the scaffold, but of him tucking her into bed when she was a child and telling her he'd keep her safe. "You're safe now, Sydney. Give me your hand and you'll be free of him."

She let him take her hand. His fingers pried open her fist. The darkness lifted.

"Sydney, can you hear me?"

She forced her eyes open. Willem's stricken face hovered above her. With a steady arm around her, he helped her sit. Her heart thudded in her chest. She made an effort to stand, but the ground spun beneath her and pain stabbed behind her eyes.

"Easy." Willem's arm rested on her waist, solid and comforting. "Just sit here for a minute."

"The marble...."

He held up her neck pouch. "Safely put away. I took the marble from you without being affected myself."

Her hand ached. Opening her fist, she gasped. The middle of her palm was red and blistered.

"Let me see."

"It's all right." She clutched her hand to her chest.

"Here, let me help." He pulled his handkerchief from his pocket. Gently, he took her hand and wrapped the soft fabric around her palm. "We'll deal with your wound later, when someone can tend to it properly. Vadnae or one of the monks, perhaps. We're lucky you weren't more seriously hurt."

"What happened?"

His gaze searched her face. "I was hoping you could tell me."

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Traci Bell said...

Hi Cindy,

It's so nice to know I'm not the only one that gets stressed if I can't write :)

Jean Murray said...


Boy, I know how you feel. I wish I had a usb hub in my head to down load directly all the stories in my head to my computer. Never have enough time to write or edit for that matter.

Love your book.


Cindy Young-Turner said...

Thanks, Tracy and Jean! A USB hub in my head would be great. Who knows, maybe that will happen one day.