This week, I have the honor of “spotlighting” Cindy Sproles. She’s a good friend and great writer. We’re in the process of collaborating on a novel as we speak, but that’s not the only thing she has going on. You’ll see just how busy she is from the interview.
AG: Tell me a bit about yourself, how long you’ve been writing, what types of writing you do, etc.
CS: I’m a Tennessee gal. Born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains. I can’t think of a better place for inspiration than the mountains. July marks the seventh year of ChristianDevtions.us and Christian Devotions Ministries I co-founded with author friend, Eddie Jones. I serve as the Executive Editor for ChristianDevotions.us and Devotional Acquisitions Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.
I’ve been writing seriously for about 10 years and, I’ve dabbled in about everything, including articles and children’s stories. I’m a serious devotional writer, and even teach writing at Christian Conferences across the country, but my love is fiction. I find my best voice in writing Appalachian Historical.
Truth? It wouldn’t leave me alone. I’ve always loved to write. I just never had the encouragement or direction to think it was possible. One day a friend handed me a flyer and said, “Go to this. I think you need to.” It was a flyer for the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Did I mention this person handed me a check, too? Paid my way so I’d go. I attended my first conference in 2004 and came home understanding why I’d always loved to write. The passion nagged at me for years. It just took someone smarter than me to turn the light on. Once I had a taste of what it was to really turn loose and write, I was hooked. I haven’t stopped since.
AG: What is the one piece of writing advice you wish you’d had at the beginning of your career?
That’s easy: Learn the craft. Writers often come into a conference or into publishing thinking their first work is perfect, when actually it’s far from it. I’ve often laughed and said I learned the craft backward because I didn’t know where to start. I wasn’t college educated in writing, and back in my high school days, creative writing was one chapter in your Freshman English book. What I learned, I figured out on my own. My advice is, if you’re serious about writing, dig in and learn the craft. Do what you have to to learn everything you can. Latch onto a mentor. Study at their feet. It’s an amazing way to learn when you learn from the masters.
AG: What are you currently working on? Any special projects.
I’m currently co-writing a romance with Aaron Gansky (*Full disclosure, men: It’s a rock’n’roll romance. I get to keep my man card –ADG). It’s a project that’s been in works for a couple years. It’s been such fun to write. The book is unique and certainly different than any romance we’ve seen in the marketplace.
Book one of the Appalachian Way series, Where the River Begins is complete and has a contract offer from a major publishing house. And, book two of the series, Coal Black Lies is underway. This book is set on Cumberland Mountain, in coal country during the early 1900’s.
I’m hoping we can get the contract worked out for Where the River Begins soon. It’s a story beta readers have really grabbed hold of, so I hope for the best there.
My newest release is New Sheets: Thirty Days to Refine You into the Woman You Can Be. New Sheets finaled in the Selah Awards this year which was a great honor. It’s been a great success to this point.
AG: How can my readers find out more about you and your work?
Visit www.cindysproles.com. There you’ll find my travel schedule along with the teaching/speaking schedule. Plus every, Friday on www.christiandevotions.us you can read He Said, She Said. This is an ongoing project with Eddie Jones.