Interview with YA Author Cindy Vine: 'After the Las Vegas shooting, I started wondering about what would push a person over the edge...


Cindy Vine was born in South Africa and has lived and worked in many different countries as a teacher.  Cindy is currently living and working in Norway. She has three adult children who have all inherited her love of traveling and who all live in different countries.  Cindy likes to write about the difficult subjects that make you think.  Besides writing and traveling, Cindy loves cooking and fixing up houses. Her latest book is the YA, The Freedom Club.


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?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

After the Las Vegas shooting, I started wondering about what would push a person over the edge to make them fire into a crowd like that.  A few years ago I started a school for children who couldn’t cope in mainstream education.  Many of them had been badly bullied and I heard some horrific stories.  I looked into school shootings to see how much of a connection there was to the shooter and being a victim of bullying.  I decided I wanted to write something for teenagers so that I could make them aware of the dangers of bullying others.  Because let’s face it, you never know if your bullying might be the trigger that sets off a shooter.

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?

Tackling issues that many people would rather bury under the carpet can be tricky.  You have to approach these issues with sensitivity, but you can’t be too subtle that the reader doesn’t realize the importance of them.  As a writer, you know that some people might find it hard to read what you are saying in your story.  That’s okay.  My advice is to write the kind of books you like to read.  If you are passionate about what you are writing about, it will come through in your story.

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

I self-published all my books.  As an international school teacher living in random countries around the world, it is far easier to self-publish than to try and find a publisher in another country.

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

The amount of effort and time you have to put into marketing your book is what surprised me the most.

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

I am working on Diary of a Dancer which is a true story of a man’s struggle to fight AIDS the last year of his life.  Hopefully that will be out towards the end of the year.  And I have worked out a plot outline for another book.  I have way too many ideas for books.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

Hmm this is a tricky question.  I think the ending is a twist the reader might not see coming.  It took me by surprise when I wrote it.

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

The Freedom Club shows that you can stand up to bullies if you stand together and offer each other support.  And if you push a person too far, you might set off an explosion.  You don’t know what the person next to you is really thinking, because you don’t know their whole story.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Every day, every hour people all over the world are being bullied in schools, social media, the workplace, playgrounds.  We have to get the message out there that it is not acceptable to bully another person.  And nobody should feel that they have no voice and can’t speak up about what is happening to them.  You have a voice.  There is no need to take matters in your own hands.

About the Book:

Title: THE FREEDOM CLUB
Author: Cindy Vine
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 184
Genre: YA

BOOK BLURB:
“We could be anybody and everybody. A group of high school stereotypes with one thing in common.  Every one of us has a story.”
Every high school has the bullies, the freaks, and the weird kids that make you feel uneasy.  Rourke High has more than their fair share.  A few months before the end of their senior year, a group of seemingly mismatched kids get together to form The Freedom Club, hoping that they can support the victims of bullying, before they graduate.  As they uncover secrets and lies they plot revenge - and discover love, friendship and truths about themselves, building up to a shocking climax that will leave you reeling.
Do you ever really know the person next to you?

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