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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Interview With Author Cynthia Khoury



Cynthia is the founder of a start-up company Paparoona (www.paparoona.com). The idea behind Paparoona is to create a new reading experience through which the reader will be engulfed by whatever he/she is reading. I am also a writer and an illustrator. This is her  blog, cynthiaattempts.wordpress.com.

What type of books do you write?  I write whatever I feel like it at the moment, but I mostly write fiction. I am writing now children series for a couple of interested publishers but I am also writing a horror novel. Having said that I have only published children's stories so far. I find these are the most fun to write. It's like being given a green pass to be as silly and creative as I want. 

What is your newest book about? 
My newest book is an animated and musical ebook "The Sad Ballerina." It's about a very talented ballerina who has no reason to be sad, but she never smiles. She meets a young boy who leads a very hard life but makes the most of it. He knows nothing about ballet, and in trying to educate him about ballet she helps him out of his hard life and actually finds happiness. bit.ly/bal-ibk

What inspired you to write it?
  One fine Saturday afternoon I was thinking about "The Little Match Girl." I was thinking how much an impression has the little match girl made on me as a child. Yes it is a sad story, but still a strong story with a strong message. I remembered seeing a boy beg on the streets not long ago and then I noticed on TV there was a lovely ballerina doing all those beautiful moves.  I felt inspired to mix those elements into one story and the first draft of "The Sad Ballerina" was jotted down.
I have written something about the boy beggar I met and how the story came around on my blog (http://cynthiaattempts.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/the-back-story-of-the-sad-ballerina/)

What is the writing process like for you? 
I always try to write as soon as I get an idea that I am excited about. Writing the first draft feverishly like no one's ever going to read it, because it's true. I talk about my idea to a friend and pay close attention to their reactions. They let me know if there is a hole in the plot, or if something doesn't work. I then write the second draft without looking at the first and keeping in mind the comments I have received. From then on, I edit as much as it takes. 

What did you do before you became an author?  I worked with books. I knew what my goal was and I tried as much as I could to learn about the publishing and book distribution process. I ended up working at the biggest book distributor in the Middle East who are also publishers. I learned a lot and even on  Monday mornings. When it was time to let go and move on, I actually cried, but I ultimately knew I needed to follow my dream and I haven't regretted it.

How does it feel to be a published author? 
It felt great for a few days, you feel like you have accomplished something, but then you discover there is a lot of work to be done after you publish a book. Writing is the easiest part. I sweat when I think of things like marketing. Like a lot of writers, I am an introvert so you can imagine how uncomfortable it feels. I want to be proud of myself for having published books, but you can't measure success with just being published. I would really feel proud if someone came and told me," I loved your story, it moved me," or "you story was so funny" or "my kid reads it over and over." That would mean a lot to me.

Any advice for struggling writers?  Well, I still consider myself a struggling writer. Still if I was to give advice to those who have never been published before I would say:  Finish that book. You will find the easiest part of publishing is writing. Marketing the book and generating enough sales is way harder. Another advice I would give is write for the right reasons.  I won't give any advice on how to get published, because you can get much better advice from the annual writers' yearbooks. These books are very helpful.

Where do you see book publishing heading?  You can't stop technology. I think print books will still be around in the future, but it is definitely more efficient to make ebooks than print books. I believe we will see changes in the prominence of publishing houses.  Because it is so easy to publish online, I think we will see some lucky independent digital publishing houses rising and they will be seriously competing with the big houses. I expect a lot of the newcomers to fail but some will ultimately take the place of those who cannot or will not be ready for the shift. 

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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