Featured Author, an Interview with Cynanyx
Today, I am really excited to share with you an interview with an author whose blog, “Delirium and Daisies” is always a pleasure to read! The stories I’ve been following there are called “Finding Nora Grace” and “Spectrum,” both written by Cynanyx. Summaries from both stories are below with an excerpt from “Spectrum.”
Shall we get started then with the questions?
1. How long have you been playing The Sims and what got you into it?
I’ve been playing The Sims for around four years now. I saw it in the store and thought it looked fun, so I went home and looked it up to see exactly what it was about. It sounded really interesting, so I got the starter pack for The Sims 3!
2. Why did you begin blogging your sims story?
I read other stories, and they were so good that they inspired me to start my own. I already liked sims and writing, and a combination of the two seemed like so much fun. I just wanted to get my ideas out there and create something that people would enjoy.
3. How do you come up with your story ideas?
Sometimes, they just fall into my head, and I don’t know where they come from! Most of the time, though, I come up with a really good first line of the story or an interesting title and build the story off of that.
4. Which character is your favorite and why?
My favorite character is probably Judith, because she’s such an interesting character. I like her personality, her humor and moments of quick wit, but also the times she’s strong and brave. She’s just fun to write, and sometimes what she does gets things going in my story, even though it’s not written in her point of view. Really, my favorite is either her or Cassie. Cassie’s really complex, which makes it easier to write a strong story that keeps people’s attention.
5. What chapter has been the most difficult to write so far, and why?
The hardest chapter to write was probably the second chapter of “Finding Nora Grace,” where Ian and Judith first spot the colorful creatures that begin their whole journey into the supernatural world. I knew where I wanted to go, but I wasn’t sure how to get there. It was hard to find a way to transition. Nothing really felt natural or made sense, and it’s something that I have trouble with, knowing where I want to go but not being able to write the journey there in a way that makes sense.
6. Is there anything you wish was different about your story?
I wish I had thought ahead more and made my story go a bit slower. I improvise most of my chapters, finishing up my writing without much of an idea about what exactly comes next. Sometimes, you have to set up for certain things, and I think I have trouble just pacing things out. So, I guess I wish it were a bit slower, and more believable. Some of the characters’ actions/reactions just don’t make sense, which I’ll have to work on in the future.
7. Do you have advice for any other writers who may just be starting out?
Write as much as you can! Practice will help you improve. Write all of your ideas down, even tiny little things. Small things and ideas can turn into stories or influence what you’re already writing! Finding inspiration in music, books, movies, etc., can also really help you with new ideas or directions. Just have fun with it!
8. What are the challenges of bringing your characters to life?
It’s hard to find a distinct, interesting personality/voice for a character. You have to make them worth reading about, not bland or unlikable, while still being realistic. They have to be human, I guess. You know, they have to have flaws, but those flaws have to be realistic and have a purpose or reason for being there. For example, when I was writing “Spectrum,” I had this specific voice in my mind for Cassie. The story would be worded/written a certain way, since I wanted it to be in her “voice” as much as possible. It was hard though, because the way I had to write it was different from how I naturally write, so I had to go back and make sure I was being true to the character. In the end, though, I think a style/voice like that makes for a more interesting story and makes it fun to read.
9. Do you believe in writer’s block?
I think so, yes. Sometimes, you can get really into writing, and just write out an entire chapter in this sort of unbreakable, inspired mindset, which is actually kind of a great feeling. Other times, however, you just can’t get into it. You have trouble writing, whether you know where the story is going or not, and if you don’t know, it’s super hard to come up with ideas. This is something I’ve experienced before, and it sucks, being stuck. At times like these, you probably just have to wait it out. Don’t pressure yourself too much, you know, just step away from the story for a bit and stay open to inspiration, or even actively look for inspiration, however you do that.
10. Would you like to share an excerpt from your story or a summary of your story? Or both?
I guess I can do both, then! I have two short stories at the moment, so I’ll do a summary for both (and an excerpt from one) and just keep it brief.
Spectrum is about a teenage girl named Cassie who leaves home in search of answers to some difficult questions. She gets a bit stuck, but new energy is brought to her search when she reluctantly helps a kid named Eli land on his feet after he ends up on the streets. After a day together, however, he’s still with her, and she can’t seem to get rid of him. They’re both looking for something, and together, maybe they can find it.
It started with a park bench and a really annoying little boy.
I’d spent the night on the aforementioned bench, for reasons I don’t feel like going over, and it was mine. There’s an unspoken rule among us squatters and no-good homeless folk, where if someone claims a space, it’s theirs until they leave, and a good five feet of space is left between them and the next person over.
The boy obviously didn’t know, and maybe that wasn’t his fault, but I still wanted my five-foot bubble. It’s common sense. You respect the bubble.
This kid just wordlessly sat down next to me, no “hello” or anything- not that I wanted one.
After a moment of his impolite bubble-invasion, I tried to give him the stare. You know, the stare- the “excuse me, what do you think you’re doing, stop it right now, get away from me” stare.
I can’t believe it. It didn’t work.
I hate to get vocal, but I have no other choice.
Finding Nora Grace centers around the disappearance of Nora Grace Carney, a fifteen-year-old girl, from a small country town. Everyone figures she wandered off, as she was prone to doing because of her developmental disability, but her older brother, Ian, has a nagging feeling there’s something else to it. He enlists the help of his best friend Judith, and together the pair search for clues and try to piece together the story of her disappearance. They soon find that there’s so much more to it than they thought, and they end up getting dragged into a world they never knew about and a fight they never asked for.
Thank you, Cynanyx, for the terrific insight into your writing!
If you would like to read our featured author’s Sims story, it can be found here:
Author’s Note: If you are a blog author (it does not have to be The Sims related) and would like to be featured in an interview, please send me an email using my contact form below! I would love to interview you, too!