Interview with Cindy Cipriano

Author of The Circle The Sidhe Series #1

Cindy Cipriano lives in North Carolina with her family and their 27 pets. Not really.

Just two dogs who think they are children and three cats who think they are raccoons. It only seems as if they make twenty-seven. When Cindy isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and the avoidance of cooking.

Living in a small town like Woodvine, North Carolina, means everyone knows everything about everybody. The same goes for seventeen-year-old Leath Elliott who can't seem to escape her tragic past and the loss of her father. Her only break from reality is through recurring dreams where she's spent a lifetime growing up with a boy she's never met. When a stranger shows up in the form of James Turner - a mysterious boy with a dark past - Leath begins to wonder if her dreams might be coming true. Literally.

Things get complicated when Leath finds out that James' sudden appearance in her small town is anything but a coincidence. Demanding answers, Leath confronts James, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth he tells her.

Now, the future she once saw in her dreams and the boy she's falling for is fading fast and Leath must make the ultimate decision between giving up her freedom or giving up her heart.
Searching, The Fading Series Book Two - Leath is packing light: just her two lockets (one from Victor, one from James) - and of course, her pistol. She knows that when she leaves Woodvine, even her own mother may not remember her in the shifted reality that will be left behind. But she's driven by something that eclipses everything else: her recovered memories. Now that she remembers James--she won't stop searching until she finds him.

Cindy's first novel, The Circle, Book One of The Sidhe, won the 2014 Moonbeam Children's Book Silver Award for Pre-Teen Fiction - Fantasy. Other titles in the series include The Choice, Book Two of The Sidhe, and The Lost, Book Three of The Sidhe. The series follows Calum, Laurel, and Hagen from middle through high school as they first rescue Calum's kidnapped cousin, and then save the Otherworld from dark Sidhe.

Cindy's Miller's Island Mysteries Series (MIMS) is described as innovative in blending science and fantasy. Eighth graders, Grace and Jack, travel through time solving mysterious science events. Titles in the series include: MIMS #1 The Case of the Toxic River, MIMS #2 The Case of the Mysterious Future, MIMS #3 The Case of the Magnetic Rocket Fuel, MIMS #4 The Case of the Mirrored Cat and MIMS #6 The Case of the Treacherous Tunnel.

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How would you describe The Circle to a new reader?
  • The Circle is the first in a seven-book series about fairies who live in the mountains of North Carolina.
To what extent is The Circle based on your own experiences?
  • One of the locations in the story is Fairy Stone Park, VA. I've visited this state park with my family.
The Circle is a good example of this genre. Who has inspired you?
  • C.S. Lewis
You make good use of locations in the book – there’s a real sense of place. Are these locations significant for you?
  • The entire series has real locations. The Circle includes Fairy Stone Park, VA, The Choice has Brown Mountain Lights, and The Lost features The Lost Colony, NC. All of these places are special and natural areas in NC and VA. I love putting real places in my stories to encourage readers to explore the beauty around us.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors? How would you advise a new author about traditional publishing versus self publishing?
  • Join a critique group and be a contributing member. You will learn how to be a better writer by reading and critiquing other writers' works.
Which authors do you most admire? Which qualities, in particular, have influenced your writing?
  • I enjoy a variety of writers. J.K. Rowling, Kiera Cass, Elin Hilderbrand, and C.S. Lewis are among my favorites. I love the sense of place and descriptive storytelling the authors give in their books.
The Circle is a thrilling read, a real page turner. How important was it to you to write with pace and energy?
  • I wanted to create a story that connects readers to my characters so they can't wait to find out what happens next. This is a seven-book series and so I want readers along for the entire ride.
If The Circle were to be adapted for TV or film, who would you see in the lead role? Who did you have in your mind’s eye when you wrote him/her?
  • I'm not sure. I didn't write the story with any one person in mind.
How have readers responded to The Circle?
  • I've had readers come up to me at signings to show me pictures of their fairy gardens or tell me stories about looking for fairies by flashlight at night. I love hearing these kinds of things from my readers.
Where next? What are you working on now?
  • I am working on Pretending, which is the third in my Fading series. Fading is about a girl who dreams of a boy her entire life. When a new boy moves to town, she thinks he is the boy of her dreams and then learns that sometimes dreams can be nightmares.
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Calum Ranson is sure of three things: his cousin Finley is alive, Calum will find him, and no one knows Calum and his family are Sidhe.

That is until Laurel shows up at his mother's bookstore wearing a dark clan's mark. When Calum learns the details surrounding the disappearance of Laurel's brother, he suspects the evil Hobayeth clan. Calum and Laurel work together in the Realm of Man and the Otherworld to rescue her brother, revealing a connection between Calum and Laurel that may cost Finley his life.