Sunday, October 10, 2010


Cyn Balog’s first novel, FAIRY TALE, was published in 2009 by Delacorte Press. Her second novel, SLEEPLESS, is set for release in July. And Cyn’s news gets even more exciting: she has two additional novels scheduled for publication in 2011 and 2012!

I read on your blog that you have two small children.

Yes, I just had a baby in July of 2009, right after FAIRY TALE was released, and I also have a three-year-old who doesn’t nap. It is chaotic. I find that I was actually able to get more work done when I was working full-time out of the house, because I would set aside my lunch hour to write. My daughter was in daycare so I had no interruptions.

What tips do you have for other parents who are trying to write with kids underfoot?

Write after they go to bed. I am not a night person but I have had to force myself to stay awake at the computer.

All of your books are paranormal romances. What draws you to this genre?

I didn’t set out to write paranormal romances. I liked them, and I’d read a story about a girl who learned she was a fairy princess. It seemed like there are so many books about girls who learn they are fairy princesses, and I thought, “That’s boring!” because the girl is lucky! She’d be the envy of all her friends. Not so if it was a boy learning he was a fairy prince. I thought that would be more interesting, so I wrote it. And then I had the idea for SLEEPLESS. Afterwards, I was kind of branded a paranormal author. I tried writing a realistic book, but my editor wanted me to stay with the paranormals, so I added a paranormal element to it. It’s cool, doing paranormals, though. I get to make really wild stuff up!

Describe your agent search.

I was very lucky finding an agent. My critique partner loved my work and then sent it off to her agent, who loved it as well and signed me. I hadn’t really been looking for an agent for very long so I maybe garnered only two or three rejections at that point. But don’t kill me! I had my share of heartbreak…the manuscript didn’t sell.

Tell us more about that experience.

My agent submitted to a handful of editors and like I said, they all swiftly rejected it. Meanwhile I’d been working on another book, FAIRY TALE, and my agent was so certain that should be the one I debuted with because she felt it was much stronger. She was right. She submitted it as soon as I finished and I had a pre-empt six weeks later from Delacorte.

Who is your editor and will you be working with the same editor on all four books?

Stephanie Lane Elliot is my editor for all four books…she’s wonderful to work with. I have heard editor horror stories and have been lucky that Stephanie is such a pleasure.

What promotional tools have you found to be most effective in reaching your target audience?

I have to say that promotion for FAIRY TALE went down the toilet last year considering I was nine months pregnant upon its release. I had to limit signings and events to once a month. I did find producing and handing out bookmarks to everyone I knew was a huge help. I also made use of Facebook and really relied on my online friends for their help.

How did you celebrate your first book?

The day FAIRY TALE came out, I went waddling along to every bookstore in a twenty mile radius of my house and just said, “Hey this is my book, want me to sign stock?” That was so exciting. Well, for the most part; a few nervous bookstore workers were like, “Um. You’re not in labor yet, are you?” But I will probably do the same with SLEEPLESS. Well, minus being pregnant, thankfully. There is something so exhilarating about going into a bookstore and seeing your book there. It never gets old.

Can you give us a preview of SLEEPLESS?

SLEEPLESS is about a Sandman who falls in love with a mortal girl whose sleep he controls. I wrote it in three weeks while seven months pregnant so that’s really all I remember about it. I’d had longer to write the book, but the first draft I turned in, which was written when I was going through the worst morning sickness, was so hopeless and dreary Stephanie asked me to rewrite it. It took everything I had to open up the document and start again. But I kept telling myself that being a writer was my dream; I hadn’t come this far just to give up. So I redid it in three weeks so I could keep it on schedule.

What tips do you have for aspiring novelists?

Don’t stop writing. While you’re submitting to agents, keep writing your next book. While your agent is submitting to editors, keep writing. If you are stuck on something, skip over it and write the next chapter. Write something else. Do not stop. There is a lot of discouragement in this business and if you let it stop you from writing, you’re sunk. If you keep at it, eventually it will pay off. I have a lot of writer friends, and I can place them into one of two groups. There are the ones who dwell on every little word in their manuscript or every little rejection and eat cartons of ice cream and mope. I call them Complainers. And then there are the ones who are positive and keep going no matter what. I call them Published, because eventually, that’s what they all became!

Shannon Hitchcock is represented by Mary Grey James at East/West Literary. She has her fingers crossed that one of her novels will sell!