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. Another fantastic interview 🙂 interesting that this is written by a former PI too 🙂


  2. cyndilord says:

    Hello Cleopatra – thank you for stopping by. I see by your ID that you love books. What genre do you read?


  3. Amy Postmus says:

    What do you think about female Private Investigators? Would you like to be one or are you too afraid?
    I am intrigued by the idea of being a private investigator. As a child I fervently read all of the Nancy Drew series, Hardy Boys, and then on to whatever mystery/drama/suspense novels I could get my hands on. I personally never pursued that line of work because it never seemed realistic – how would I even get clients?! I admire all private investigators, but to answer your question about female P.I.’s in particular, I believe they must bring a twist of compassion and nurturing to their cases (being it natural instinct for them) that most men do not easily embrace.


  4. cyndilord says:

    Hi Amy!

    Yes, compassion and nurturing is a matter to be dealt with and I have had that experience often. Early on, however, I learned that those who seem most needy are also the most dangerous.

    Thank you for your answer, I appreciate it. ~Cyndi~


  5. I think a woman private investigator is great. I think they may have better instincts than most men. And yes, I would love to be a PI. I have even thought of taking training for it. 🙂


  6. I love strong women, especially ones who are successful in a male-dominated profession. I always thought I would be good at the background stuff, computer background searches and the like, but I don’t think I could handle the hands-on work at my age. Or even when I was young because I have had disabling arthritis in my right side since childhood. if I physically could, I think I’d love it.


  7. Michelle Kidwell says:

    What do you think of female private investigators, I think they are awesome, as for me being one I do not think I could do that, though I have been interested in Criminal Justice for years to an extent


  8. I admire women in any profession. A woman PI, being a more dangerous profession, she would be in higher regard. As for me–no, I’ll stick to writing.


  9. cyndilord says:

    That’s great! Take criminal justice, and work one year under a licensed P.I. – and you’re all set.


  10. cyndilord says:

    Kelly J. Erickson – I’m sorry to hear about your disability – but, what is great is that you and others can live vicariously through the Sandra Derringer Chronicles.


  11. Cleo, I’m not sure that you received Cyndi’s remark. I’ve quoted it here, “Hello Cleopatra – thank you for stopping by. I see by your ID that you love books. What genre do you read?”


  12. cyndilord says:

    Michelle – it’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. And, many cases make me feel as if it wasn’t for me. But, I love the other ninety percent of the work so much, I hung in there.


  13. Evelyn, I agree with you there. I’d admire Cyndi so much. But I’m a wimp. I do love living vicariously through these strong women though. And yes, I’ll stick with writing, too.


  14. cyndilord says:

    Evelyn, thank you for the reply. As I’ve gotten older, writing seems much more my way to go, too.


  15. Hi Cyndi, I love lots of types of books but I am a big reader of crime novels. January has been quite slanted toward psychological thrillers but I also enjoy contemporary fiction and historical fiction – you can see my books here


  16. Thank you Eileen – I’ve responded now as no I hadn’t spotted that 🙂


  17. What do I think about a woman PI? If that’s what she’s interested in and good at, then more power to her – literally! That’s certainly what us Boomer gals fought for. A woman can and should be able to do anything she wants to do. As for me? I must admit, I do have a bit of the Nancy Drew syndrome in me. But when it comes to carrying a gun for a living, I’ll pass!
    Marsha – AKA The Mutinous Boomer!


  18. cyndilord says:

    Great answer. A gun helps if you’re getting shot at.- 🙂


  19. As an advocate of strong, independent women, and as a mystery writer myself, I find the Sandra Derringer theme very exciting. Women can do anything they put their mind to and Cyndi epitomizes this very thing in her writing. We need more books that show women strong, kicking a**, and taking names! Great interview!


  20. Dora says:

    I think a female would be a better investigator than a man. Thought about bail bonding but decided the area I was in was not a good area for another bail bonds.


  21. cyndilord says:

    Hey, Marasha,, you know what I forgot to mention? I never read Nancy Drew as a child.


  22. cyndilord says:

    It’s true, Patty Wiseman. Today, many woman are right up there with men in many careers. Thank you for the compliment, and yes, Eileen did a wonderful job.


  23. Ruthie says:

    I think female private investigators have something in that that I don’t have…some kind of inside love of drama, constant activity, courage…and so much more. This is something I don’t have…but that Sandra definitely does, and I also see in Cyndi. Both she and the character she has created have an intensity of character that few women possess. And it makes Sandra a compelling character—and Cyndi an amazing novelist.


  24. cyndilord says:

    I like your idea of bail bondsmen, heh – they need to change that to ‘person.’ Particularly bad areas can be good for business, but high risk for loss. That’s when you call a bounty hunter and make sure they bring the jumper in.


  25. I drank Nancy Drew. I picked my girl friends on how big their Nancy Drew library was. Now I’m just terrible!


  26. jeanlauzier says:

    Female PIs are cool. If I were younger, I’d seriously consider giving it a try. Now, at my age, I’m definitely gonna let someone else have that job. 🙂


  27. You know Jean, boomers worked hard to give the chance for the younger folk to be what they WANT to be. When I went into the university, there weren’t that many choices. If you lived in a conservative household, they were even less. I’m thrilled to see young people today just say that’s what they want and then go for it. Of course, that happens only in the western countries. Our sisters in many other countries have a long way to go. Thanks for dropping in today.


  28. I will vouch for that. The short time I’ve known Cyndi, her enthusiasm and spirit are uplifting. I hope that she continues with her writing and creates many more characters that will entertain but also encourage the young to shoot for the stars.


  29. Women need to speak up for themselves. I believe even though women can have careers that are traditionally meant for men, they still can be women. What I’m hearing from these comments are that women feel that they’d be good at this type of career. I believe they would be, too. In fact, women need to believe in themselves!


  30. Ruthie says:

    O yes, I know for certain that she will 😉


  31. cyndilord says:

    Thank you Ruthie!
    I have to admit, the daily drama creates an inner struggle against becoming insensitive to the ones hurting. Because I am a mother, they get to me the most, especially when they’re crying.


  32. cyndilord says:

    Jean, the older I get the harder I fall, and I don’t bounce as good as I used to, either. I believe you’d make a great P.I. because you have the sense when to say it’s time to pass the torch. I’m there, now, too. Just one more lap…


  33. Ruthie says:

    O yes, I’m certain of that. I bet there were times that you had to set yourself in a place where you could see things from a non-emotional perspective…times when there was confusion as to who was the good guy and who was the bad guy…when both were the hurting parties. That kind of dichotomy can be hard to reconcile.


  34. Kassy Paris says:

    I think women private investigators would have a different way of coming at a problem and might be less likely to be spotted in different situations. If I were younger and know what I know now, I think I might have chosen to pursue a career as an investigator.


  35. I think being a female PI would be fun! Unless I was about to get my butt kicked or shot at. I love puzzles, but I’d probably suck at being one. Don’t do well with confrontation. I too loved Nancy Drew….it’s a mystery 🙂 LOVE your book Cyndi, rock on!!


  36. cyndilord says:

    Kassy, it is nice to see you here. Being a P.I. is challenging, yet, satisfying in positive and negative ways. There certainly is never a dull moment.


  37. cyndilord says:

    Katie – the best thing a P.I. can do is avoid soot outs and fist fights. But, those bad guys just don’t cooperate all the time.

    Thank you for dropping by. This is so much fun.


  38. Ann Everett says:

    Hi Cyndi,
    First, great interview. Now for the questions. No, I would never want to be a PI. I have a brother who was for many years, and unlike books or movies, it really is a boring job!! Lots of sitting and looking and waiting.,,,and now days, lots of computer work. Of course reading about Private Investigators, such as yours, is exciting because stories embellish and that’s what makes good fiction. But, as we all know, stories…be it investigation, mystery solving, romance, etc. are rarely true to life. Just as in my novels, I included my sister and myself as characters and made us younger with bigger boobs! So not true!!
    I’m not afraid to be an investigator, I just can’t sit still for long periods of time, so it’s not a job I would enjoy.


  39. Hi Ann, I believe Cyndi is taking a quick break and eating something. It has been a whirlwind of a day for her. I just love book releases and particularly when they happen to such very nice people like Cyndi. I’ll be interested to hear how Cyndi answers you. I know that she told me that everything that happened to Sandra happened to her. I’m looking forward to her reply. Thanks for stopping by and making this discussion so much fun! -Eileen-


  40. cyndilord says:

    Hi Ann – yes, fictionalization of events is great. I did use cases from the old days to build cases for this book, as you know from our talks – but, you also know, Sandy always wins – sort of – and that wasn’t the case for me. LOL You’re not kidding about things being so different now, especially with the internet. It used to takes days of calls and leg work to locate someone, and now it is usually a half hour.

    In all fairness to other P.I.s those who still bounty hunt do the hard and dangerous work, even today. You can’t email a jumper and ask them to turn themselves in – I think you can imagine the reply. But, on a serious notes, friends of mine in Michigan who still take bounty cases are in risk of death every time.

    We all know I never got the….shall we say…special help Sandy does. 🙂


  41. I love the female private investigator plot. I think women are excellent in that field and I know one particular one that if I needed one, would call her in a heartbeat. Yes, you. I would love getting into that field if I were younger. I wish that had been an option when I was decided on a career way-back-when. Great books, great PI and great author. What more can I say. Buy the book, people, I did.


  42. cyndilord says:

    Hi Bobbie – aww, that was so sweet of you. I know you’d make a wonderful P.I., too.


  43. Hi Cyndi. This is so very exciting! I always loved the Spencer series (written by Robert B. Parker) and thought it would be very interesting to be a private investigator. I know the work has the potential to be dangerous, particularly in the bounty hunting area that you mentioned, but there are also great personal rewards, too. I think most of the work would be exciting, as well. I love the idea of the job and would not be frightened of the work. I do admire you leading such a large agency; that is quite an accomplishment! Congratulations on your contract, your new release, and all your wonderful writing plans.


  44. April Conn says:

    I think they rock! In a “man’s world” Im guessing being a female P.I. is often an advantage. Men tend to underesmtimate just how resorceful and tough we really are. Never underestimate anyone. So, heck yeah! I’d be one. I know I’d be good at it too. I’m tenacious, just like Cyndi. Congrats girl! Love ya.


  45. Ruthie'z Oddz & Endz says:

    April, I think what you’ve said here describes Sandra. Her strength (mental and physical), her ability to be a stereotypical woman so that she is underestimated…it’s all a part of what makes her a success as a PI.


  46. I have a friend who is a private investigator and I have done occasional research for him. I’d enjoy it, but not in the field, just the document/research side.


  47. Ruthie says:

    Yes, I agree completely. I enjoy the research, the computer work…but the field stuff just wouldn’t be my thing. Finger work suits me much better, lol. And the fact that Sandra is so well rounded (and I would assume Cyndi too 🙂 ) that she can do both the research end and the legwork…and intense legwork at that, makes a wonderful protagonist and likeable character.


  48. Gay Ingram says:

    I think a female PI brings unique characteristics to the job. Would I be one? Not on your life. this rockin’ chair great-granny likes life slow and comfortable.


  49. cyndilord says:

    I’m sorry I didn’t reply yesterday. I slid by on my way to the new posts.

    I love true crime books, too, and general mystery. On the other hand, I was a big fan of the Little House series, and The Littles. I reead every Stephen King book until he got a bit too sci-fi for me.

    I’ll look at your link soon!

    I do hope you enjoy my book – it is action fulled and solving the case is given in the bits and pieces Sandra Derringer gets, so the reader stays right with her. The end of the book leads to the next book, and there is even a sneak preview via chapter one.


  50. Ruthie says:

    Cyndi, we’re ready for the next book already. Can I have a sneak preview??


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