Thank you for joining us at BOOKTALK WITH EILEEN. It’s always special when I’m able to have a debut novelist on my blog. Cyndi Cyndi Lord courthouseLord’s book titled They Call Me Murdered has just been released. Of course she is doing a happy dance.

So tell us Cyndi, how do you feel? Was the struggle worth the joy?

Thrilled, of course. I must confess, many days of writing this book, I felt as if the characters were using my fingers and I simply went along for the ride. My joy is heightened with each new step from reviewing the jacket photos with the model, to holding the first hardcover in my hand.

What was the hardest part of getting a story from concept to completion, that is, published?

Editing, by far, is the hardest part. As the author, you know exactly what you meant, but it must be crystal clear to the reader. By the time it was ready to be submitted to the publishers, the feedback I received encouraged me. They remarked it was the cleanest and crispest they’d seen, and both offered contract. Regardless of the pay-off, I still dislike editing.

I was amazed that you had your own private investigator agency. I have never met someone who owned one! How long did you do P.I. work? I understand that you had 11 employees, too. Can you give us a little inside story on what kinds of investigations you did?

For twenty-eight years, I had my own agency and it rapidly grew from two employees to eleven. In my earlier years, when I still felt invincible and bounced better, I enjoyed bounty hunting and fugitive recovery. Insurance fraud, civil investigation, along with legal support to law firms produced the largest volume of work for the agency. Anything Sandra does, I’ve done, and my pleasure as a writer is to live vicariously through her most often winning in a battle. That wasn’t always the case for me.

Are you still involved in any investigatory work or are you spending most of your time writing now?

I spend most of my time writing. I have another book in a different genre coming out the end of next month, and that will be a trilogy. Of course, there is the Sandra Derringer Chronicles, and we’re planning to put two more books in the series out this year. That’s a lot of writing. Yet, I still handle some cases for long time clients, and all of my work now is done from home and on the computer. I love locating missing people, I don’t think I’ll ever stop.

I understand from our conversations earlier that you’ve actually been writing since 1984, publishing in magazines and articles for websites. Tell us about your first attempts at novel writing.

My first novel, Chicky, is about my teen-age, troubled years, after the death of my brother in Viet Nam in 1968. It needs full editing, I knew nothing about writing back then.

A literary agent contracted with me in 1996 for a psychological thriller, An Act of Termination. After landing a contract and advance from a large house, they merged with another publishing company resulting in the genre being eliminated from their list. It took the wind out of my sails for a decade, but I have recovered nicely.

So now that you’ve finished They Call Me Murdered, what is next?

Book Two of this series, They Call Me Missing will be released in the summer.

I’ve also started another series, The Plain Wish Series, a young adult, Amish theme, and trilogy. Book one, A Plain Wish releases in the spring of 2014, followed by two more books in the series, A Plain Adventure and A Plain Love.

I have also written a young readers books which releases in late spring, titled Nick the Owlet’s Adventure. This book I wrote for my granddaughter who is one of the triplets, age nine.

Since you have gone through the process, as it were, what is your advice to new writers?

Keep writing – never stop. Write your story out in a first draft, then edit it until you have no grammar errors. Edit it again, and get rid of the ‘was,’ ‘there,’ and all the pesky ‘ly’ words possible by restructuring your sentences.

If you’re not excellent in line editing, find a partner who is or pay someone to do it for you. I realize self-publishing is popular, and that’s great, but please, don’t put rubbish out there and call it a novel just because you can.

I’ve heard that everyone has at least one story in them. What are your thoughts about that?

Every story is a good story, not all stories are told well, and all they need is great editing.

Boy, I’m hearing that editing then is a major part of writing. Is it the one that takes the most time?

I can’t say that it takes longer than actually writing the story, but it certainly consumes an equal amount of time. If it doesn’t, you’ve probably missed a lot and it will get rejected anywhere you submit. That sounds harsh, I know, but truth is sometimes harsh, and in the world of publishing novels, the competition is phenomenal. You must stand out and grab the agent or publisher.

What else? I’m gearing up to edit and revise my own story so all the advice is sorely appreciated.

Never get advice from someone who critiques your story line or style. That has nothing to do with critiquing or editing.

Work with those people who support your work and offer stern and concise editing without making a personal issue with you, and don’t you take it personal. Be sure that they know what they’re talking about, too, for I’ve learned many speak with authority and know little about writing to publish.

My last bit of advice is this is your work, and you can keep or toss whatever advice you’re given. Polish your work, then submit it, anything less diminishes the great writer you can become. Being a notable writer is a lot of hard work so be prepared for the journey.

Some of our readers may enjoy contacting you. Where are you found on social media? This page is an interactive page where fans can friend Sandra Derringer, the protagonist in They Call Me Murdered. They will be able to follow the series and post questions or comments. – The Plain Wish series page and meet the author.

For a chance to win a Kindle or Nook copy of Cyndi’s book she would like to have you answer these two questions. Comments will be counted between January 29 – February 5, 2014

What do you think about female Private Investigators? Would you like to be one or are you too afraid?

Thanks to one and all for stopping by. Here’s the link which will take you to Amazon if you want to purchase the book.

They Call Me Murdered Cover

About eileendandashi

I am a lover of books, both reading and writing. 2018 marks the beginning of my own journey from writer to published author. This blog will showcase various authors' thoughts on the elements of novel crafting, and my attempts to find my voice in writing. While journaling this journey, I hope to encourage others to follow their dreams. Book reviews continue as I have the last four years, only making time for my new pursuits.
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  1. But Gay, don’t you LOVE reading about it? That’s how I live all my other lives that I wish I’d had–through lovely books by talented authors.


  2. cyndilord says:

    Michelle – thank you for your wonderful reply. I like it very much. 🙂

    The most satisfying part of my work is when I reunite family members regardless of the reason for their estrangement. Last year, we leaned the agency in the direction of location services, and it’s been a pleasure and I sometimes feel for receiving compensation.

    Early on, I, learned the hard way how badly things can go in what one assumes will be an easy case. In a scene in They Call Me Murdered, Sandy is punched in the head/ear by an ex-professional boxer. That actually happened to me, and the book made it possible for Sandy to handle it a little differently than I.

    Over the course of my career, I’ve been shot at, shot in he foot by catching the ricochet of buck shot, had a concussion from the punch, and my right elbow fractured and dislocated with someone’s butt, intentionally. Yeah, it all hasn’t been fun.

    I hope you enjoy my book, They Call Me Murdered.


  3. cyndilord says:

    April – thanks for your answer. I agree, we rock!

    You’re very accurate and the older I’ve gotten the easier it is for me to persona and go unsuspected. Insurance fraud is a great place to walk right up and have someone see grandma and have no worries, for example. Of course, in those situations, I look nothing like they made me up for the author picture. That’s be pretty obvious.


  4. cyndilord says:

    Jeannie – that’s what I do mostly now. Leg work consist of meeting with folks, and not chasing them any longer. I am too old, and I don’t bounce as good as I used to, either.


  5. cyndilord says:

    Hello Gay! I agree, and most men don’t take us serious – that’s an error on their part, for sure.


  6. I admire females private eyes. However, I’ve never seen or heard of one besides you and Stephanie Power’s character on Remington Steele (TV). I’ve always loved mysteries and dreamed while I would read of being one. Due to my physical limitations now, I would take a desk job for a P.I. I think that would be so cool! I’d still be “on the case” indirectly.


  7. Emily F. Rose says:

    I love the idea of women being Private Investigators…A couple years ago I actually took a P.I. class and it was extremely interesting. For the longest time I wanted to be one, but then I realized that my first love was writing 😉


  8. cyndilord says:

    Deb – thank you for posting. You might know more lady P.I.s than you realize. Often, we don’t tell people what we really do. 🙂


  9. G Carter says:

    What do you think about female Private Investigators? Would you like to be one or are you too afraid?
    I think that female Private investigators would use more of their five senses.
    Example: most female would have their (i) dotted and (t) – cross. Don’t miss out on anything and love to talk and ask question and don’t settle until they feel complete.
    Would I like become one? Sure, the only thing that I might not stomach is a lot blood of horrible death.
    I wish you the best in your book Cyndi and more to come.


  10. DV says:

    Oh, she has. She has lots more characters.



  11. cyndilord says:

    Hello Emily – we seem to have done things in reverse. While I have always lived writing, it was in 1986 or so when my desire to write novels increased.

    Maybe one day you can continue with your criminal justice pursuit.


  12. cyndilord says:

    Thank you for your reply, G. Carter. I understand exactly what you’re talking about. It seems your thoughts are right on for instincts and liking to talk to people. It’s a two-sided coin because those who you aren’t working a case with talk and talk, and the keen listening and re-call play a part in how you determine their real character.

    I hope you order and enjoy this first book in the series. 🙂


  13. Caryl McAdoo says:

    Praying God’s very best for you and your new book, Cyndi! BLESSINGS!


  14. G Carter says:

    No doubt, I will give you my support.


  15. cyndilord says:

    Thank you, Caryl


  16. cyndilord says:

    Good Morning Everyone!

    I’ll pick the winner tomorrow – I have someone in mind, 🙂 Today is the last day to participate. 🙂

    Come on, give me your answer.


  17. DV says:

    What do I think of female P.I.’s = I think female P.I.’s are especially awesome because it’s not something you see women often doing. I think they put a unique flare into the profession because of their natural instincts to nurture. I imagine certain P.I. work goes against their character to care for the underdog.

    Would I ever consider being a P.I.? = Oh no, no way. I am not patient in the way of waiting for movement and taking notes and I’m way to chicken to take action on someone I know has the potential to be dangerous.

    Just as an FYI, I know someone who tried to reply to these questions and she got booted off the site. = (


  18. cyndilord says:

    Hi DV – thank you for your reply. It can get scary.

    I’m sorry someone was booted, it must be a glitch. Have them try again!


  19. Pat Murray Bell says:

    Hi Cyndi!! I’m so excited about your book!! I love female investigators/heroines and especially when I know there will be more than one…they become my friends. The paranormal aspect is especially fascinating to me. I believe God is soooo big that He finds all kinds of different ways to communicate with us and He chooses people who are especially sensitive and willing to hear these different ways of communication. Sometimes people’s lives are cut short and they leave with things still needing to be said or done and God shows them the people they can use to get this work finished for them so they can rest in peace!! Thanks for sharing this side with us. Wishing you well with your new series. I will certainly give it high marks on my Amazon review as well. Good reading folks…you’re in for a great ride. Pat Bell


  20. cyndilord says:

    Thank you so much, Pat Murray Bell. I know from your comments you are enjoying the book. I have been overjoyed with all the positive reviews from readers. I can’t hardly wait until you’re done so I can read your reviews.
    I’m not sure what sales have been, but Amazon has re-ordered how many ever they order. They are reporting they’re out of stock and will have more in soon. They’ll have them in a day or so.

    It was so nice to see a new fan and friend here.


  21. Pat Murray Bell says:

    I’m thrilled for you and so glad Amazon is reordering….that’s a great sign. Get out your rose colored glasses and enjoy the ride.


  22. cyndilord says:

    This evening, I’ll be posting the the winner of the kindle version of the book.
    I am excited! How about all of you?


  23. cyndilord says:

    It’s time to pick a winner. With so many wonderful answers, this was a difficult decision, and all of you were impressive. There can only be one winner.

    That winner is: michellewillms2013

    Thank you all for participating. You rock and encourage me so much. 🙂


  24. Pat Murray Bell says:

    Yea for Michelle! Great fun. KEEP BREATHING!


  25. Thank you from me as well. BOOKTALK WITH EILEEN has been honored to spend the week with Cyndi Lord. She’s been marvelous and a great conversationalist. Michelle, I shall be emailing you for the particulars. Don’t forget, Cyndi is coming out with a sequel to this book, THEY CALL ME MISSING. So if you haven’t read THEY CALL ME MURDERED yet, order your copy soon to be ready for its continuation.



  26. Great interview and some valuable insights, Cyndi.

    “Every story is a good story, not all stories are told well, and all they need is great editing.” You really nailed it with this.


  27. Cyndi Lord says:

    Thank you for stopping by, Eva. I’m happy you got some good insights.


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