Interview with Cindy McDonald, author of 'Into the Crossfire'

For twenty-six years Cindy’s life whirled around a song and a dance: she was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of her adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. She often notes: Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things I have experienced (greatly exaggerated upon of course—I’ve never been murdered!) with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and happenings at the racetrack. Viola! Cindy’s first book series, Unbridled, was born—there are four books to that series so far.

Cindy is a huge fan of romantic suspense series, and although she isn’t one to make New Year’s resolutions, on New Year’s Day 2013 she made a commitment to write one, Into the Crossfire is the first book for her new series, First Force.

People are always asking Cindy: do you miss dance? With a bitter sweet smile on her lips she tells them: Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books, and I love sharing them with you.

For more information, book trailers, and excerpts for all of Cindy’s books please visit her website:

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Since 2011 I’ve been writing about the experiences and happenings at the Thoroughbred racetrack where my husband races his horses. Of course they are greatly exaggerated—I’ve never been murdered. However, I am a huge fan of romantic suspense story lines—especially the black ops stories. Although I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions, I decided last New Year’s to commit to writing such a series and that’s how my First Force Series began.

The character, Jack Haliday has made several appearances in the Unbridled Series as an ex-Navy SEAL turned police detective. What can I say? I enjoyed writing the character—I simply fell in love, so I suppose you could say that Jack Haliday was the original idea for the first book of the series, Into the Crossfire.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Because I don’t come from a military background, this story line is a bit more difficult to manage, but my son-in-law was in the Army and served in Iraq, so I do glean some information from him and I check everything as I go.

I have no worldly advice to give new writers—no silver bullet, if you will. I will say write, and write often. Writing is a commitment and whether you are a New York Times bestselling author or from a small press or an indie author be prepared for the challenges that marketing your book will bring.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I am published through a small press, Acorn Book Services. I met the owner who is a fellow indie-author through a friend. We really hit it off and now n ot only is she my publishing agent, but a good friend as well. We bounce ideas off each other and I am even her Beta reader.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

To be honest, everything was a surprise! I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I had spent the last twenty-six years as a professional dancer and gave no thought to writing or publishing a book until 2005.

Originally, the Unbridled Series was written in the form of telescripts for a television show. When that didn’t work out, I turned those scripts in a book series. I have no regrets.

Q: Can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?

As I mentioned, I didn’t know what to expect when I decided to publish my first book, Deadly.Com in 2011. But I’ve gotta tell ya, when the first book arrived on my doorstep, I was thrilled! Moreover, from that moment I was hooked, and I’ve since written and published five books with a sixth to be released in January 2014.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I write two series’: The Unbridled Series and the First Force Series that said I am always at my computer. My next book will be the fifth installment of the Unbridled Series, Shady Deals. The Unbridled Series is a murder-suspense genre that uses Thoroughbred racing as its backdrop.

Q: Fun question: How does your book contribute to making this world a better place?

As a professional dancer/choreographer/teacher, I influenced many girls’ lives. I receive emails and personal messages on Facebook all the time from them telling me so. In turn I’d like to believe that my books give someone somewhere enjoyment away from the hustle and bustle of life by keeping them at the edge of their seats, while my book is in their hands.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

 I wish I had some deep threaded thoughts or words of wisdom that I am sharing in my books, but the truth is I write to give readers enjoyment and entertainment through the suspense and adventure that my characters experience.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

All of my books from the Unbridled Series and the First Force Series are available in print and ebook at amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM and where all fine books are sold.

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