I am honored today to have romance author, Cynthia Lucas on my blog. Not only is she an accomplished writer but she is also a professional singer/songwriter/performer and cover artist. When she is not writing you will find her performing on the weekends with her band, NORTH 2 SOUTH entertaining in little beach bars, to pre-concert shows on the east side stage at Ruth Eckerd Hall in and around Clearwater, FL.
VM~First off I want to say thank you for taking the time to share your life with us today, Cynthia. Tell us, who is Cynthia Lucas?
CL~ Wow. Virginia…before I start I want to say thank YOU so much for having me!! I am so honored to be interviewed by you…I am a fan of your work, and I really appreciate you taking the time to include me here on your blog! J As for me? Well, at the core of everything I am, I am an artist. My life and every aspect of it revolves around creativity whether through music, writing, visual…graphic design. My goals in life are to reach as many people as possible through the arts…to help take them away for a few minutes or a few hours where they can escape from every day routines or troubles, and I always hope to inspire people in any way possible….to get people thinking about life itself, our nature both spiritually and intellectually, maybe help them reach for the best version of themselves they can be, and to drive things toward the creation of a better world in general.
VM~The honor is mine Cynthia. You are an interesting and diverse person and I would like the readers to get to know you better, so here we go...
VM~I’ve read that some of your other interests besides writing novels are writing screenplays and getting them into film. Is there a particular book that you have written that you would want to see on the big screen and why?
CL~ It would be a dream come true to see all my books make it to film. The time travel ones could be right there in the same genre/adaptation for audiences as Outlander and the paranormals are very much in the realm of Prince of Persia or the like. ALL my books have messages of redemption and spiritual growth, which are extremely important to us by our very nature here on earth. All of my stories also have plenty of steamy romance, action and adventure. I would love to see Smoke & MirrorZ which is my favorite of my books on screen….and Blood From a Stone in particular…which is a gargoyle paranormal fantasy romance. It would make an interesting change amid all the vampire and werewolf series/screenplays.
VM~A gargoyle. That would be a change to something different. And the time travel books would peak the interests of science fiction enthusiast everywhere.
VM~I see you enjoy working with photography and graphic arts and have designed some of your own book covers and also have added cover artist to your list of talents. Where do you see this talent leading you in the future?
CL~ Yep! I love it, and I’m open on that one. I love to design…so I just kind of go with the flow. It started as a hobby, and sort of still is…but then my covers started selling and now quite a few of them are out there for some other wonderful authors. Danielle James, Crystal Dawn, KJ Montgomery…to name a few.
VM~That is awesome! I have a daily round of battles with photoshop, where I am unfortunately, the loser, lol. One day photoshop, one day…
You are featured on your own cover, SMOKE & MIRRORZ with gorgeous Grigoris Drakakis. Every female on the planet wants to know what that was like, so fess up. We are all ears.
CL~ Well…it was every bit as amazing as you can fantasize! Lol. He is just incredibly beautiful in person... and he’s even more so on the inside. We just had immediate chemistry and it came out on the cover and in the cinematic trailer too. Now, to be honest, I almost chickened out last minute, because I wasn’t sure at my age of 50 (at the time last year) that I could pull off playing the part of a woman who is 33 years old as Scheharazade Bloom is in my story…plus I was a little intimidated being on screen or on a cover with a guy as beautiful as Grigoris! Yes, I stand on stage every weekend fronting and singing in a band in front of sometimes hundreds of people at a time, even pre-concert crowds at large venues. I am really pretty fearless, and completely comfortable on stage and on camera; but when I realized what I was about to do…to face my own greatest self-image fears (as SOOO many ladies have!!), being on screen with a guy THAT good looking AND oh, about 20 years younger than me, well I REALLY had to put on my big girl panties and get brave. Lol. Yep. You don’t think about those things until you actually DO it and realize the WHOLE world will see it…including all your critics and everyone else who might say, “Why is SHE on there with HIM?” There’s going to be those who might judge you…or criticize. And you have to be strong enough to accept all of it…the good and the not so good. But you know, one of my missions in life is to help promote the ideal of beauty in ALL ages, sizes, weights, etc. and to empower and inspire women to LOVE themselves and have the courage to try anything they want to try!! And if I could have the courage to put myself out here like that when I am NOT a professional model and I am not 25 years old…and I’m not skinny either…well, maybe some of them would have the courage to do something they want to do too. An artistic goal, physical fitness, a new business, or even a hot photo shoot for their boyfriend or husband. Just whatever they wanted to try. So, I pushed aside any last minute jitters and I gave it my best. Grigoris has been my biggest supporter and such a wonderful friend. It was one of the best experiences EVER in my life, and we’re planning another for this coming fall. J
VM~Well the cover is fantastic and you are a beautiful fifty-year-old that many would love to look like. You are comfortable in your own skin and it shows.
VM~Readers will go to your sale sights and will scratch their heads. “What happened to the Jimmy Thomas cover?!” (the original model who was on Smoke & Mirrorz). What was the reason you changed the cover of Smoke and Mirrors from Jimmy Thomas to the then up and coming Grigoris Drakakis?
CL~When I decided I wanted to make a cinematic trailer for the book and I couldn't hire Jimmy to do it. I found Grigoris (I discovered him). Once that happened it seemed too weird to have one actor in the trailer and another model on the cover and it became apparent that it was a wonderful opportunity to introduce Grigoris into the book cover world for real. (He'd only had one other cover at that point...Katie McAllister's)...and was unknown. Once he hit my page...he took off like a rocket.
VM~Wow, great story! How did you find him?
CL~I searched high and low for just the right guy to play Z in the trailer. I started locally, then USA...and finally nothing was coming up. And I came across Grigoris on line and asked him if he was still in LA or was he in Greece. Turned out he was in Greece but wanted to come to the USA. Doors opened immediately and he was able to set up photo shoots etc. etc. after we were done shooting in Atlanta....
He came all the way from Greece to come shoot with me....an ocean separated us, but I just knew he was the right one, and it was funny that he is Greek...I'd somehow made a connection to my heritage. I felt that was no accident either that out of all the people in the world I found HIM....across the miles of ocean that led me 'home' in a sense.
VM~That’s good stuff right there folks, lol. What is your relationship with Grigoris like?
CL~We have a wonderful, special friendship because of that connection and we always will….very much support for each other’s work and trust. It opened the door to so many great things for him and for me too! And it was no accident...I believe the universe brought us together for Smoke &MirrorZ.
You can watch the cinematic teaser here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O5mRyCjGZ4
VM~That is an awesome story in itself but we have lots more we want to know. Your first novel, When Lightning Strikes, combines time-travel, swashbuckling and romance and made a lengthy stay in the Top 100 of Amazon.com's Best Sellers in Time Travel Romance and reached #1 in Time Travel Romance in Amazon Kindle Edition in 2011. Tell us what went into writing this best seller, why you wrote the sequel, QUICKSILVER MOON which was nominated for a RONE AWARD for excellence in writing. (FINALIST: Best Time Travel 2013).
CL~ The original manuscript for When Lightning Strikes took me a few years to complete…and I published it. It went nowhere…I maybe sold a few copies to friends and shelved my writing for a few years. Then I decided to re-work the story, edit and re-issue in 2010. I released it and was delighted when some of my friends were buying it…and a small trickle of sales started on Amazon. A year later I woke up one morning and found it sitting at #1 in Time Travel Romance and I was having every reaction you could imaging….laughing, crying tears of joy. Every emotion ran through my mind…but probably the most prominent was that my mother, who had passed away several months earlier and who was one of my biggest supporters, did not survive to see the book reach that success. She was so proud of it, even when it was sitting in the Top 20…but I know that she knows wherever her continued journey has taken her, and I dedicated Blood From a Stone to her, which I wrote in between WLS and Quicksilver Moon. Quicksilver Moon came about because I felt there was more of the story there to tell…and needed to tie up the loose ends and bring everything full circle in the time line. That is exactly what it did and actually I feel it is one of my best pieces of writing to date, even though it is lesser known that some of my other books. I cried SO hard at the end of that story….I was sobbing when I wrote it because of the way it comes full circle and brings everything in their timeline together and you understand how the whole thing works…and the circle of life. Quicksilver Moon was just an incredibly emotional piece of writing for me.
VM~Of the five titles out today, do you have a favorite and why?
CL~Smoke & MirrorZ is my favorite of my books there’s just something of Z that lives inside me…he is my twin soul. I believe in the power the growth of the human spirit has to transform life itself…I never give up hope for every being’s ability to grow into something better than they were before….and most of all…I believe that love is the most powerful magic in the world. <3
VM~You are right. The power of love can overcome any obstacle. I believe that.
VM~Lets go back to graphic design and another hat you are now wearing, Cover Designer. What made you decide to try your hand at this complex and not so easy endeavor?
CL~ I have always loved art…painting, drawing and graphics too. And I just wanted to try my hand creating beautiful artwork that would represent a story.
VM~Cynthia has a real talent when it comes to graphic design. You can see her work here: https://www.facebook.com/cynthialucasfantasycovers
CL~ Thank you, Virginia…. J <3
VM~Our next stop on this artistic train ride is Cynthia the songwriter and singer. Cynthia tell us about your singing career. How long have you been singing? Who is your favorite artist and where can we come and hear your music?
This lady ROCKS ya’ll!
CL ~ I have been singing for most of my adult life, and playing keyboards for many years. I’ve played in many bands over the course of the years, both cover and original….been to Nashville to record with Mark Oliverius, who’s written with artists such as Trick Pony, Lorrie Morgan (he’s her musical director), and many, many others in the Grand Ole Opry.
We were nominated for Country Song of the Year in the JPF Music Awards in 2005. We moved out of country music and into more of our roots in rock and pop some years ago, because we felt we wanted more creative leeway…and currently have a band that plays mostly covers and some original here at home in Tampa Bay. We play many venues in and around Indian Rocks Beach, Clearwater and Tampa. Favorite artists? Hmm…well, classics that would be Steely Dan, Hall & Oates and Journey….always have loved Sade too. Vocally when I just wanna let it rip: Love covering Ann Wilson (Heart) and we cover some mean Journey too….ditto Loverboy and Bon Jovi. Newer stuff: I’m definitely a Maroon 5 fan and we cover several of their songs. And I love John Mayer.
You can find us at ReverbNation: www.reverbnation.com/north2south and www.north2southonline.com as well as the link to a cover song video that Virginia has below:
VM~Isn’t this one amazing lady, you guys?
VM~What are some fun facts that you would like to share with readers? What makes Cynthia Lucas tick, lol?
I am an animal lover…we have nine cats, four dogs, two macaws, a flying squirrel, a fat tailed gecko and my daughter’s mice and rats.
Smoke & MirrorZ is dedicated to my late cat Giorgio (aka George). The kitten in the book is named after him. He was truly a king of cats.
Two of my cats (and sometimes three) like to go on walks with our dogs. They just follow along for a whole mile around the neighborhood. All of them are black. Sometimes people stop and stare or actually ask if they are our cats following…it looks like a pet parade walking three or four dogs with three cats following along in a caravan! Lol.
My favorite color is purple.
My favorite flowers are tiger lilies and canna lilies.
I sometimes get insomnia and when I do…I either clean house or write.
VM~What a great interview! You are a very interesting woman with an abundance of talent. It has been my pleasure to let readers get to know you better. Thank you for taking the time to spend with me today. Before we say goodbye, can you tell us what we can see in the future with your writing and music?
CL~ Virginia…thank YOU so much for having me, and asking so many creative, well-thought out questions! I hope to interview you someday in return. To everyone who’s out there….thank you so much for getting to know me a little, and for allowing me to share my creative endeavors with you. You are the reason I love to create…and YOU inspire me! J <3
Cynthia’s books can be found here:
Here is where you can connect with Cynthia: