Friday, September 19, 2014

Remembering Cynthia Chapman Willis

Cynthia Chapman Willis

I worried when Cindy died about what would happen to her stories. Over the past couple of years, I had critiqued two novels that she had been working on, but never got the chance to finish. I shouldn't have worried. Cindy took care of her manuscripts by leaving them to her dear friend and  colleague, Wiley Blevins. Wiley got right to work using Cindy's notes and his long history of collaborating with her. When Wiley finished, he gave me the privilege of being the final person to critique Cindy's manuscript. I had such a good time doing so. It was like being given the opportunity to spend one more day with her. Cindy's voice spoke to me on every page. I remembered our many conversations about her love for animals and wanting to write a high concept book. I truly believe that A Fighting Chance has evolved into the manuscript that Cindy envisioned. Wiley shared with me that Cindy said, "One of the things I mind most about dying is that I have so many stories yet to tell." I hope she has the opportunity to tell at least one more.

In addition to working on Cindy's manuscript, Wiley himself has a new novel out called, The Healing of Harold Lily. He describes it as a "hillbilly Romeo and Juliet." I recently purchased a copy and can't wait to read it.

Best of luck to Wiley on selling Cindy's manuscript and in garnering sales for his new book!


  1. everyone who knew cindy loved her.

  2. Exactly. She was always so kind and upbeat, even during her cancer treatments.

  3. This collaboration is a true work of love. In addition to talent, Cynthia Chapman Willis was rich in friends.

  4. Yes, Cindy was rich in friends and she deserved it.