Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Interview with Cindy Skaggs, author of Untouchable - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Title: Untouchable
Author: Cindy Skaggs
Publisher: Entangled Ignite
Pages: 216
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: Kindle 

Action. Romance. Hot heroes. Don't miss Ignite's newest romance...

She'll do whatever it takes to find her son - Lie. Cheat. Steal. Seduce...

As the former wife of an infamous crime boss, Sofia Capri is untouchable. She exists outside of the law...and outside of the criminal world. When her son is kidnapped, Sofia's desperate to find him. She'll do anything. Lie. Cheat. Steal. Anything but trust. But it's a strikingly handsome FBI agent who's her only chance to get her baby back...

 Something about Sofia's fiery beauty must be hitting all of his weak spots, because suddenly Mr. Law And Order Logan Stone finds himself bending the rules. When they're implicated in the kidnapping, Logan and Sofia discover a horrifying reality - they have less than 72 hours to find the boy and clear their names. Now the heat is turning up...and time is running out...for everyone.

ORDER INFORMATION Untouchable is available for purchase at  

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
Tough pick, so I’ll call it a draw: 
Getting my Masters degree in Creative Writing and getting published.  Both took grit and teeth-grinding determination, and neither one is for wimps. J  The publication thing is still unreal to me.  I believe I did the work.  I believe it was hard.  What I have a hard time believing is that I actually sold a book.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
My dad was significantly older than my mom, and consequently, he died when I was still a kid.  It flattened me, so I buried myself in books, starting with Nancy Drew.  As a Pisces and a dreamer and an (un)realist, I lived in my dreamworld.  I could create fiction out of any environment and lived there (often to my mother’s frustration).  It protected me as a child, and insulated me as an adult.  I think the ability to live in fiction is a gift, but others would say it’s a curse, because I have a hard time facing unpleasantness (why would I do that when I can read a book!?).
When and why did you begin writing?
My first short story was written in the 5th grade as a result of a creative writing prompt.  I doubt Mr. Pittman meant for it to affect my life in the way that it did, but I wrote a three-page short story about my class being stuck on a cruise ship in the Bermuda Triangle.  I, obviously, was the heroine of the story (yes, I saved my class’s fannies).  I wrote it out, on purple paper with purple ink, and I wore an actual dress (gasp) to read it aloud to the class.  After I finished, Mr. Pittman said, “Now I see why you dressed up.”  From that point forward, I knew I’d be a writer (even if I always thought it in the future tense).
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It was an extension of my reading, and it started young.  I read Nancy Drew from a young age, and in the 4th grade in Mr. Neis’s class, I started reading The Little House on the Prairie books (which lead to a long stage of historical fiction writing). When I was 13, my mother’s Aunt Ilene gave me a brown grocery bag filled with Harlequin romances, and I was hooked.  She taught me that you “hid” your “trashy” romances, and that the super-hot doctor always fell for the awkward nurse/patient.  I knew I wanted to create a world that existed outside reality and that ended Happily Ever After.
When did you first know you could be a writer?
I finished my first novel in high school. I never showed it to a soul, but through my historical, Civil War, “epic” romance, I learned that I could write, and finish, a novel.  Unfortunately, I never gave myself permission to pursue writing as a career.  After high school, I joined the Air Force.  After the Air Force, I got a “paying” job.  I went back to college, and still didn’t give credence for my desire to write.  After I had kids, I “didn’t have time to write.”  In 2011, I finally gave myself permission to write, and I applied to the Creative Writing program at Regis University.  That’s when I finally knew that my desire to write could become a payable and pursuable career choice.  Others probably don’t need as much validation, but I’m nothing if not persistent in my resistance.
What inspires you to write and why?
§  Ideas that knock around in my head.
§  Characters that insist on a story. 
§  Music of all kinds.
§  My kids.  Pursuing my passion gives them permission to pursue theirs, which is the thing I want most for them.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
Like my reading, my writing is all over the card catalog.  The best thing about getting a Masters in Creative Writing is the expansion of your awareness as a writer.  It forces you to work in other genres, and I learned that I didn’t hate them. J  I write literary nonfiction, and wouldn’t have known what it was if I hadn’t gone back to school.  I absolutely love it.  It feels very natural to write as myself (something I always thought I wouldn’t do), but romance was my first love in writing, and I’m still most comfortable there.  I like the cadence and the patterns and the HEA.
What inspired you to write your first book?
In high school Civics class, our research paper was presented in the form of a fictional diary.  We created a Civil War character and told the story of the war based on our research.  That Diary of a CW Soldier became the basis of the novel I wrote in high school.  I have no idea if it was any good, but I carried it with me in the Air Force until I lost it between moves.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
First, my reading.  I read in most genres including fiction, literary nonfiction, and memoir.  When I first started working at the library, I was like an addict.  A book would come across the return desk, and if it looked interesting or had a unique hook or the patron raved about it, I’d check it out.  I can’t count the number of books I read that first year, and some of them were really weird, but it expanded my abilities as a writer and opened up more possibilities.  I think reading is the number one thing a writer can do to improve their writing.
Second, the friendships I’ve built along the way.  Before my daughter was born, I became active in Romance Writers of America.  I fell in with a group of amazing writers, historical mostly as that’s what I was writing at the time.  We stayed in touch through an email loop, so we called ourselves the loopies.  They’re these amazing, strong, vital, smart, beautiful women, and even though I haven’t seen them face-to-face in years, they still have the ability to inspire me.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
For me, it’s overcoming the resistance.  I always have an idea or five sitting on the back burner, but I have to let them simmer for awhile, often too long, until the characters won’t shut up and I have to write.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
All my writing teaches me something about myself.  That’s why I write.  Untouchable was the book where I realized I had become too isolated.  I homeschooled my kids at the time, so I didn’t get out for any school activities, and I went to college mostly online at that point, and while I went to the gym, I didn’t socialize with anyone.  While my isolation wasn’t nearly as extreme as Sofia’s in Untouchable, I did recognize the problem as I wrote her.  That knowledge of myself helped me to move out of it and re-engage in life.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
Absolutely.  That’s always been the plan, since Mr. Pittman’s 5th grade writing prompt.  The difference between then and now is my ability to follow through.  I know that I can, and I have made serious sacrifices to build a life where writing as a career is possible.
Have you developed a specific writing style?
Is sarcasm a style? J I’m sure I have a style, but it’s likely easier for a reader to perceive than me.  Mostly, I just write and begin to see patterns in my writing, themes that recur in my projects, even my drawer dwellers that will never see the light of day.  I recognize certain ways I put together words.  I like long, complex sentences.  I like a slow cadence punctuated my short sentence fragments.  Other than that, I think the reader will recognize my style more than I will.  To me, it’s just the voice I write with.
What is your greatest strength as a writer?
The quality of the writing, the words and sentences and the way they’re put together.  I’m a perfectionist, so I go over each manuscript multiple times to “fix” every little thing.  To not perfect it would be like going out in the world in sweats and no makeup.  I just wouldn’t do it.  In no way am I a perfect writer, and my characters and plots aren’t perfect, but the words on the page are definitely massaged within an inch of their life.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
Determination.  I definitely played the long game in life following my divorce.  I knew I wanted to set myself up as a writer, so I sacrificed material goods to make that happen.  I went back to college, I found a job where I was surrounded by books, and I worked my tail off making it all happen while writing into the wee hours of the morning.  There were times (still are) where I didn’t get a lot of sleep, but it was worth it.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
I’m a dreamer.  Mostly, that’s a good thing in a writer, but I’ve avoided some ugly truths in the past because I didn’t want to face them.  It made them harder to face in the end, and I wish that I had faced them earlier on, but it’s just not the way I’m built. 
Wow, I just realized that I built that characteristic into a male character in my other series, WC.  Sometimes the mirror of my writing surprises me.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
“Do or do not, there is no try.”  Yoda.  Of course it would be a fictional character. J 
I like it because it’s about action.  I often say that love is an action verb.  We don’t try to love (although we sometimes try not to love).  When we love, we give our whole selves to it, and we act on it through big and little things.  It’s the way a man will make sure his woman’s car is well-maintained.   It’s the way a woman wears an outfit she knows drives her man wild. 
In Untouchable, Logan risks his career and ultimately his life for Sofia.  He doesn’t try to help, he acts.  Because Sofia is repressed, she has a harder time acting on her feelings, but she learns to trust Logan, and for her, that’s the biggest risk and the best action she can take.

When they told her a woman could do anything, Cindy thought they meant everything, and decided to give it a go.  Cindy holds an MA in Creative Writing from Regis University, is an MFA student at Pacific Lutheran University, works three jobs, is a single mom to two of the most active kids on the planet, pet owner, and child chauffeur extraordinaire. She took her first job at age thirteen as a motel maid.  Since then, she has worked in myriad offices, at Spencer's Gifts, in a summer stock theater, a college library & art gallery, and more odd jobs than she’ll admit.  That was all before running away to join the Air Force where she saw nearly every state in the union and more countries than she can remember. Following the Air Force, she worked as a travel agent, a retail store manager, and operated two small businesses before the a-ha moment hit.  Books!  Writing!  She now works in a library and teaches writing to college students while working on her novels. When she’s not writing, she’s trying to prevent the neurotic dog from either chewing the furniture or eating whole sticks of butter (often still in the paper).  She’s beginning to think maybe she can’t do it all.  At least not all at once.

  Untouchable, Cindy’s first romantic suspense, releases 7/21/2015 from Entangled Publishing.

  For More Information Visit Cindy at her website  


Cindy is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to Amazon
  • This giveaway begins July 21 and ends on August 19.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on August 20.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments:

Post a Comment