Saturday, September 2, 2023

Interview With Authors Cynthia Angela Todd and Coralie Ann Todd



1)      What inspired you to write this book? Our father: It was WHO, inspired us. Our farther, James Richard Todd, enjoyed sharing our family’s experiences in letters back home, & always spoke of wanting to write a book. He was the main reason for us sharing our unique story.   J.R.T, was the 11th black man who was permitted to join the U.S. Foreign Service in 1945.  We were also inspired as a family, post 09/11/2001; as there was a rise in misunderstanding of, animosity & frankly fear, of others’ cultures who lived among us.


2)      What exactly is it about? & who is it written for?  The adventures our family experienced, living in 14 varied countries.  Our target audience are: All those, regardless of nationality, gender, culture & language, who have a thirst for learning of other cultures. Our target audience is Middle school, however, to expound on this Brian, we must add that adults, and even younger children, have expressed how much they enjoyed & learned from this work. We can provide you copies of, kudos letters, we received, especially after having made presentations. Nationwide. By the way, our desire is to have it established nationwide, as optional reading in each & every school system.  


3)      What do you hope readers will get out of reading your book: Pleasure, humor, & understanding of other cultures, in a manner that is easy to consume.


4)      How did you decide on your book’s title & cover design:  The title, came from a near fatal mishap on a country road in Mozambique, at dusk one evening. Our car almost hit a matriarch elephant, as she was watching her young herd, crossing the road in front of us, but for, our mother, alerting our father by shouting: “Jimmy! watch out for the elephants!” (pg 164) There is also a figurative/metaphorical meaning to the title, referencing the varied problems, the reader may run into, problems that can be, using our presentation drawings of going over (the elephant), your problems, or Under (elephant) your problem etc.  In so far as the cover art: The pictures of the elephants (not copyrighted used, rather originals taken by our cousin, while visiting South Africa)just seemed logical given the title. The superimposed art work, (a copy of a charcoal original, circa. 1958), also was a no brainer, since the book was about these 2 little girls.


5)      What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers, other than run!?   Everyone on the planet has a unique story & perspective. Whether the potential writer is considering fiction or non, that is not important. Begin with an idea, decide who you want to write it for (broadly) & JUST START WRITING! At the onset, struggle is not required: “The willingness to do, gives you the ability to do.” 


6)      What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? With everything becoming digitized, we see the farther reach of writers’ work, beyond their country to a world audience. THIS is a good thing!


7)      Were there experiences in your personal life or career that came in handy when writing this book:    Yes!  Most definitely, as demonstrated, in our childhood, by our parents: a can-do attitude, a phenomenal outlook, especially humor, grace & naturally diplomacy were always witnessed. By the way these were demonstrated by James & Norma, during the good & bad times. We both, brought these foundational tenets, to our careers and personal relationships all these years.  When writing this book, it was our goal, through our experiences to uplift each region, to demonstrate the good in the world and to live by example. We firmly be believe we do so in: “Watch out for the elephants!”


8)       How would you describe your writing style? Which writers or books is your writing similar to? We would have to describe the style as user friendly, written both for the avid reader, and those like C. Ann, who is an occasional reader. Our goal was & is, to entertain, teach, and to reach ALL TYPES of readers, while incorporating an easy style (in our opinion) to hopefully educate.  Writing similar to: No one comes to mind here, in terms of the manner the flow of our work, the way it is laid out non-chronologically, etc.


9)      What challenges did you overcome in the writing of this book? Collaborating as a family, we were able to reach a consensus as to which stories to add and which to leave out, with little challenge. There was some debate, but surprisingly, in the end we were all on the same page (no pun intended). In regards to this question, we would like to add, the writing aspect, as we recall, was straightforward, it is & has been the marketing aspect which has been MOST challenging. 


10)  If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours?  Our work is, at once: entertaining, positive, upbeat, an easy read, educational, in that the reader should understand that as a world with many regions, cultures and religions, at the end of the day we all have the same wants & desires. We are more similar as a people than not.  This work, will present the reader with a 3-dimensional, view of our world, in a firsthand account, through the writer’s perspective, so: we ask: “Why not make it your book of choice this month?” 


About The Authors:

Our unique experiences shaped our educational goals/academic accomplishments: love of learning and world travel; appreciation of all cultures and races and also assisted us in our present day philosophy.

Cynthia Angela Todd’s Bio:  Born in Cairo, Egypt – graduated from Cours Maintenon High School in Cannes, France (1965) – graduated from Rockford College (now Rockford University) in Rockford, Illinois (1969). Majored in French and German and minored in Spanish. Received my Masters in French at Long Island University. Taught French German and Spanish at Long Island Lutheran High School for 5 years. Then joined TWA where I worked for 23 years. Worked at the Energy company for 5 more years. Our family, my husband and my two daughters and I moved to Kansas City in 1989.

Coralie Ann Todd’s Bio: I was born in Haifa, Israel and traveled the world with my family. After leaving my parents’ home in 1972, I attended Dickinson College in Carlisle PA. After graduation, my journey took me briefly to Southern California, then on to Pakistan, where I worked for approximately 1.5 years before returning to SoCal. I obtained my M.A. in Psychology, a field that has always interested me, in 1990. I worked in the travel industry exclusively and made Los Angeles my home until 1998, then I moved to Missouri and reside here presently. My career choices in MO have mainly been in Patient and Customer Service, enjoyable, as I love to use my love of Psychology daily.


Need Book Marketing Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


Read This!

To Sell A Book, Just Ask?


Self-Help Advice For Authors Marketing Their Books


Are Book Industry Monopolies Killing Authors?


Do Authors Have A Barbie Complex?


Authors: You’ll Sell More Books If You Write Better!


Embrace Your Writer Avatar To Quell Fears


28 Digital Book Storefronts That Your Book Should Be On


27 Things To Do To Promote Your Book


10 Rules For Authors To Get Attention


More Great Life Advice When Marketing Books


How Do Authors Draw Readers In?


How Do You Find Your Targeted Reader, Dear Author?


The New Author Marketing Playbook


About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  



No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.