Monday, April 30, 2007

Interview with Cyndy Salzmann

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.30.2007

Today I get to interview one of my favorite people in the world, Cyndy Salzmann, and talk about her latest novel, Crime and Clutter!

A storage unit, a 1963 Volkswagen minibus, and tattered letters...reveal shattering secrets from the '60s.

It's been a year since Mary Alice lost her father -- the father she never really knew. Now she's stuck cleaning out his rubbish from a storage unit. Just when she'd rather it all go away from her well-ordered life, her long-held secret is discovered by the feisty Marina, one of the six members of the Friday Afternoon Club. When these friends make it their mission to help Mary Alice tackle her stash, they arrive at the storage unit, prepared to clean. But what they discover takes them on a riotous ride through the crime and clutter of the sixties, the angst and betrayal of those caught in The Revolution, and the forgiveness that can only come through acceptance of a different kind of Cause.

And now, here’s me and Cyndy!

Me, Cyndy Salzmann, Vicki Tiede from Mount Hermon Writers Conference last month

What was the funnest part of writing Crime and Clutter?

Researching the Sixties! It was such fun to look back at bell bottoms, fringe vests, macramé – and of course -- the music that defined the culture. From “Groovin’” to “Blowin’ in the Wind” it was a blast to look back at this “colorful” era. : )

What's your favorite scene from Crime and Clutter?

I can’t tell you because it’s near the end – and would be a spoiler. : (

So second favorite scene… when John (Liz’s husband) is home from work because he has a cold. Men can be such “divas” when they aren’t feeling up to par and it was fun to explore this dynamic between husband and wife in a humorous way.

What's your favorite recipe from Crime and Clutter?

It definitely has to be Mary Alice’s Pesto Cheesecake. Each time I make this recipe, someone asks me for the recipe. I now carry a copy in my purse.

Finish this line: Writing a novel is ...

… a little scary. Especially when you forget that your characters aren’t REAL.

Do you have a special verse specifically to inspire your writing?

Ephesians 5:8: “You were once darkness. Now you are a light in the Lord. Live as children of the light.” Although my writing is far from heavy, I want my words to shine light in a dark world. Recently, this verse became even more meaningful when I found out recently that my name means “light-bearer.”

What desserts would each of the FAC ladies order for dinner at a nice restaurant?

Liz – definitely something chocolate. Mary Alice would have a bite of Liz’s dessert. Kelly (who is way too disciplined) would pass altogether. Jess, a piece of fruit cobbler or pie. Lucy – crème brulee. And Marina would unabashedly order the biggest, gooiest dessert on the menu – and relish every bite.

What will the FAC ladies get each other for Christmas?

Mary Alice’s gift will be handmade – and gorgeous. Jess will give everyone an assortment of pesto made from the herbs in her garden. Lucy will choose a beautiful candle or ornament for each member. Practical Kelly will give gift cards to Starbucks. Marina will sign the group up for a lesson in self-defense. And poor Lizzie will fret for weeks and end up stopping by the grocery store on the way to the party and picking up a Poinsettia for everyone.

If you were a candy bar, what would you be and why?

What’s that old jingle … “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t…” I guess I’d have to go with Almond Joy. I’m always a bit nutty.

If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Tuscany – for a lot of very shallow reasons.

1. I like how the word sounds. Tuscany…
2. The food is “bellisimo.”
3. Tuscan colors make me smile.
4. I adored reading A Summer in Tuscany. So romantic…

You're off the hotseat! Any parting words?

Thanks for letting me stop by, Camy. By the way, if you were a candy bar… : )

Camy here: Ooooh, tough choice. I’d probably be something that’s not actually a candy bar (yup, the Asian rebel bending the rules again) but it SHOULD be a candy bar—the little Toffee-ettes from See’s Candies. They’re like Almond Roca but they’re BETTER.

Thanks for being here, Cyndy!