Thursday, 23 April 2009


Cindi Myers became one of the most popular people in eighth grade when she and her best friend wrote and illustrated a torrid historical romance. The manuscript was eventually confiscated by an English teacher, who told her to concentrate on learning to properly diagram a sentence and was kind enough to make no further comments on the story itself.

Cindi never lost the writing bug. She became a journalist and wrote hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines ranging from The Houston Chronicle and The Boston Globe to Ladies Home Journal and Popular Mechanics. Her first novel Patchwork Hearts was published under the name of Cynthia Sterling in 1999. As Cindi Myers, she has written thirty contemporary romances and women's fiction novels for Harlequin. Her stories have been praised for their realistic characters and true-to-life emotions.


Some of the very first advice I received was, Write What You Know. This was probably back in high school - a time when, like a typical teenager, I thought I knew everything, but really knew very little.

Write What You Know seemed really boring to me. I wanted to write about things I didn't know - things like great love and exciting adventures and deep, dark mysteries.

But none of those stories sold. Determined to make a living as a writer, I turned to journalism. Here, I discovered the wisdom of Write What You Know. One of the first articles I sold was to Modern Bride - an article about keeping love alive in a long-distance relationship. At the time my new husband worked out of town during the week and only came home at weekends.

To that advice, I added Write What You Can Find Out. I wrote about my won experiences, but I also learned to interview experts for their take on the topic. This approach served me well for fifteen years of freelancing both full and part-time.
But I really, really wanted to write a book. I was a history buff, so I took an area of history I was quite familiar with - Texas History - and wrote a historical romance set in that time period. And sold it. I wrote six others and sold them. Hey, this is great, I thought.

Then the bottom dropped out of the market for western historical romance and I didn't sell anything for 2 1/2 years. I went back to freelancing and continued to write books.

In 1999 my husband and I moved to Colorado. I decided to tackle contemporary romance and set my new story in Boulder, very near to where we were living at the time. I was writing what I knew and what I could find out about. The book became It's a Guy Thing! My first sale to Harlequin Temptation.

My thirty-sixth book overall is out in May. The Man Most Likely is the third book in a series I'm writing for Harlequin American Romance set in the real-life town of Crested Butte, Colorado.

Why Crested Butte? I'm a small town girl and wanted to write about a small town. Crested Butte is one of my favourite places. It's a quirky, fun town with a lot of history and a lively present. I thought it would be a great place to set some stories. It's fun to go there and do research (that Write What You Know thing again.)

Of course, writing about a real town comes with challenges. I have to get the details right, and I always risk offending the locals. But so far, I have received nothing but praise from the folks there.

If you want to catch up on the series, the first book was Marriage On Her Mind. The second, The Right Mr. Wrong received the Reviewers Choice award from Romantic Times Magazine for the best American for 2008.

Here's the blurb for The Man Most Likely.

Angela Krisova is living the sweet life as owner of The Chocolate Moose in downtown Crested Butte, and everyone's favorite actress in the local theater troupe. Plus-sized and proud of it, Angela knows she's not leading lady material. She's learned the hard way to avoid too-handsome playboys, but then she meets slacker-turned-hotel-executive Bryan Perry. Bryan has left behind his ski-bum lifestyle and intends to make something of himself. He's ready to settle down with the right woman, but he isn't prepared to fall head-over-heels for Angela. She's nothing like the women he's dated before, but is he the man most likely to win her heart?

I really love this story because Angela is not a 'typical' romance heroine. She's a size 16 and not on a diet - determined to learn to love herself just as she is, yet fighting the insecurities we all have. And her hero, Bryan, is the perfect man for her, though even he doesn't realize at first.


I also write for Harlequin Superromance, and you can look for my latest release from them Child's Play.This one is set in another real small Colorado town, Evergreen.

Playscape designer Diana Shelton is 40, newly divorced and is expecting her first baby. School principle Jason Benton mourns the end of his own marriage and is fighting for custody of his daughter. Neither thinks this is a time to begin a new relationship, but they learn that love can be found in the most unexpected places.

My Crested Butte series continued in July with The Daddy Audition and in November with Her Christmas Wish.

So that's my take on Writing What I Know - I take real places and real situations and give them a fictional twist and somehow a story emerges.

Do you as a reader enjoy reading stories set in real places? Or do you prefer wholly fictional settings?

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